Alex Verdugo is pro-emotion on the baseball field.
But there’s a line, which he thinks Alek Manoah crosses.
The Toronto Blue Jays ace has indisputable talent. But what is up for debate is his on-field behavior, something that has at times come under fire. Perhaps most notably, clips went viral of him last summer barking at Franchy Cordero and Bobby Dalbec after striking them out.
He also drew the ire of the Yankees, specifically Gerrit Cole, a month later when he plunked Aaron Judge.
Manoah is a showman on the mound. And while that isn’t an inherently bad thing, Verdugo ripped Manoah on “Baseball Isn’t Boring,” specifically citing the incident last year.
“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 percent I think he does. You can find videos of him, footage of him in Triple-A going like this to hitters. Last year, telling Franchy and Bobby like go sit, s--t like that and looking right at them.
“So it’s like, s--t like that just pisses me off. 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------g disrespecting another player who is – at the end of the day we’re just trying to compete, that’s it.”
There is a difference between being emotional and being disrespectful. Clearly, Verdugo thinks Manoah errs too often on the side of disrespect.