They won’t play each other for another month, but the war of words between Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah and Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo is alive and well.
Verdugo put Manoah on blast during a recent episode of Audacy’s Baseball Isn’t Boring podcast, calling out the Blue Jays’ All-Star pitcher for his antics on the mound.
The Red Sox outfielder took issue with the way Manoah shows his emotion, accusing the Blue Jays ace of disrespecting his opponents.
“If it’s a genuine reaction and it’s for the boys, not directed towards somebody, then yeah [it’s fine],” Verdugo said. “Like, I’ll say it right now, I think Alek Manoah goes about it the wrong way, 100% I think he does.”
Verdugo appeared to be referencing a game between Toronto and Boston from last July.
Alek Manoah, Nasty 82mph Slider…
"Sit the F down." pic.twitter.com/hDbYMareIt
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 23, 2022
“That just pisses me off,” Verdugo added. “It’s not the way it should be played. It should be played like you’re celebrating it with your team, you’re not [f***ing] disrespecting another player who is — at the end of the day, we’re just trying to compete, that’s it.”
“Coming from him? I don’t give a sh*t,” Manoah told the Toronto Sun prior to Tuesday’s game in Kansas City.
“My job is to pitch and get guys out.”
The Blue Jays have had a rough start to the season, losing their last three games after winning on Opening Day in St. Louis. They play six more times on the road before the Blue Jays’ home opener in Toronto on April 11, at the newly-renovated Rogers Centre.
As for when we’ll see Manoah versus Verdugo in a game, we’ll have to wait until May 1, when the Blue Jays open a four-game series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston.
“I grew up playing a lot of passionate baseball since I was 10 years old… and playing that passionate brand of baseball,” Manoah explained earlier today on the MLB Network. “I really love baseball man, I really enjoy just being out there. That bulldog comes out because I hate losing. So it’s kind of a mixture of everything.”