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Boston Red Sox star Alex Verdugo implored New York Yankees fans to do better after a spectator threw a baseball at him in the field from the stands Saturday night at Yankee Stadium.
“There’s no reason to ever throw stuff back on the field, ever,” Verdugo told reporters after the game. “There really isn’t. As fans, bro, y’all gotta be better. It’s just that simple. I don’t care how much you hate a team or how much of a rivalry [there] is, you don’t throw s–t at people, man.”
Verdugo said he initially attempted to toss the ball to a young Boston fan in the outfield after he was done warming up between the top and bottom of the sixth inning. Instead, the ball was captured by a Yankees fan, who then threw it at Verdugo, striking him in the back.
The incident prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora to remove his players from the field as an incensed Verdugo shouted at the bleachers while stadium security attempted to locate and remove the fan who threw the ball.
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Aaron Boone said it was “awful and embarrassing” that a fan hit Alex Verdugo in the back with a ball. “Hopefully he’s in jail.”
“I know my left fielder. I know Alex,” Cora said. “He needed time to breathe and to get his thoughts. It seemed like nobody was listening to me. You never know. What if he jumps the fence? What if he goes up there?”
The game was eventually called after six innings after a 52-minute rain delay. The Yankees won 3-1—their first win in eight tries against their division rival.
The two clubs return to Yankee Stadium on Sunday for the rubber match of their three-game set to open the second half of the season. Verdugo wants fans to remember to behave regardless of what happens on the field.