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#pounditMonday, July 15, 2024

Alex Cora furious with Alex Verdugo amid benching

Alex Cora in his Boston Red Sox hat

Aug 1, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (13) looks on against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Cora was livid Alex Verdugo over what transpired on Saturday.

Verdugo was effectively benched by the Boston Red Sox manager prior to the team’s 5-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. According to MLB.com’s Ian Browne, Verdugo was tardy. The outfielder reportedly showed up just two hours before the game rather than at least four hours before the game as is expected from players.

Though Verdugo was in the lineup when it was originally released earlier in the day, the outfielder had been scratched when the final lineup came out.

Verdugo told reporters after the game that he showed up on time and that he was “available,” but did not elaborate. He said he did not play due to a “manager’s decision.”

Cora was upset and said he felt the team “took a step back” with the Verdugo issue. The Red Sox manager indicated he benched Verdugo as punishment.

Cora said that it was one of his worst days as manager since he took over as Red Sox manager, which was in 2018.

The Red Sox are scrapping for a playoff spot and need everyone in the lineup. Verdugo was originally set to bat sixth and play right field. But after he was scratched, Adam Duvall played right field and batted fifth. Duvall went 2-for-4.

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