The ball that the Red Sox outfielder threw into the left-field bleachers before the bottom of the sixth inning was sent straight back to him, hitting Verdugo in the back and stopping the game for a few minutes after Boston manager Alex Cora had took his team off the field.
“As fans, brother, you all have to be better. It’s that simple, ”Verdugo said of Zoom after the rain-cut Yankees 3-1 win at the Stadium. “You don’t throw sideways at people. You wouldn’t do that to someone on the street. You wouldn’t do this to me if we stood next to each other without 40 feet of space and a fence to separate us.
Cora said he was stunned by what had happened. Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who apologized to Cora and the Red Sox on behalf of his team, made even stronger comments.
“It’s horrible, embarrassing, unacceptable,” Boone said. “I understand they caught the guy. I hope he’s in jail right now.
Verdugo was trying to bring the ball to a young Red Sox fan, but his shot went off target and he ended up with a Yankees fan. Immediately, the fans around this fan started chanting “throw it back, throw it back,” and so the fan agreed, several people sitting in the section told The Post.
“He turned around and started yelling at them,” said security guard Carlos Ventura, referring to Verdugo. “My supervisor found the person and they got him. “
Cora said her intention to take the Red Sox off the pitch was to calm Verdugo, who was furious to be hit with the ball. He just wanted to give Verdugo and the other Red Sox some time to calm down.
“I know my left fielder. I know Alex, ”Cora said. “He needed time to breathe and collect his thoughts. It seemed that no one was listening to me. We never know. What if he jumps over the fence? What if he climbed up there [into the crowd]? »
Verdugo said the only positive aspect of the situation was that it had not worsened, that he was only shot in the back and not in the head. But he was also disappointed with what had happened.
“I come to expect that when I’m there. The gossip, the education of family members, the fact that everyone is singing – excuse my language – f – k Verdugo and all that stuff, I’m used to it, ”Verdugo said. ” I do not care. It’s cool with me. As players, we throw a ball in the stands to try to give people memories, to try to make a little kid’s day and things like that. Just to hear people say to fire him and someone to fire him, and I felt like he was targeted at me, he [doesn’t] sit well with me.