"It was overblown, for sure” - Yankees' Alex Verdugo reflects on his relationship with Alex Cora, dismisses rumors of bad blood with Red Sox manager

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers
"It was overblown, for sure” - Yankees' Alex Verdugo reflects on his relationship with Alex Cora, dismisses rumors of bad blood with Red Sox manager

Alex Verdugo and the New York Yankees will be up against their old nemesis, the Boston Red Sox. The duel is a few days away but is already gaining traction with two central elements: Verdugo and manager Alex Cora.

Both were reportedly at odds when Verdugo was dealt out to the Yankees in the offseason and took an indirect dig at Cora. With that put to bed, Verdugo said that the whole issue concerning him and Cora was "overblown."

"I think it was overblown, for sure,” Verdugo said. “Everybody made it that, like, we can’t even be around each other. But really, he just wanted the best for me.
"We were grinding and going through some struggles. Sometimes, tempers flare when you’re not playing that well. It’s the kind of stuff that happens. Realistically, I’ve got nothing against him as a person, a father or a friend. We’re still all good in those regards." (via Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com).

Alex Verdugo's indirect dig at Alex Cora when he was traded

MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees

Last season, Alex Cora benched Alex Verdugo twice for the latter's attitude towards the game.

The first one was in June, when the manager said that the 27-year-old was not hustling at the bases. The second came in August, when Verdugo was late to arrive at the ballpark, resulting in Cora sidelining him from the lineup.

“He didn’t play today. I decided not to play (him),” Cora said. “I think today, we took a step back as a team.
"We have to make sure everybody's available every single day here for us to get to wherever we're going to go. And that wasn't the case. And as a manager, I’ve got to take charge of this, and I decided he wasn't going to play.”

So when Alex Verdugo was traded to the Yankees in December, he threw an indirect jab at Alex Cora's way while appreciating Yankees manager Aaron Boone.

“I’m very excited to work with Aaron,’’ Verdugo said. “I’ve seen the way he has his players’ backs.
"The one that really (sticks out) to me is, 'These guys are savages!’ He’s yelling at the umpire. That’s something I want to see out of my (manager), man. I want to see some fire, some fight for the guys. Instead of airing people out, have their backs.”

Both will see eye-to-eye on the field for the first time on Friday since their time with the Red Sox.

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