Yankees fan banned for life after 'reckless' Alex Verdugo incident

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New York Post 18 July, 2021 - 04:56pm 18 views

What happened at Red Sox Yankees game?

The game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Saturday was delayed briefly after a fan threw a baseball at Boston outfielder Alex Verdugo in the sixth inning, hitting him in the back, which led Red Sox manager Alex Cora to pull his team from the field. The AthleticRed Sox-Yankees delayed after fan throws baseball at Alex Verdugo

Why is Red Sox Yankees game postponed?

A COVID-19 outbreak within the Yankees' player group has prompted the postponement of Thursday's game between the Yankees and Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, allowing Major League Baseball to conduct continued testing and contact tracing. The league will continue to provide scheduling updates as available. MLB.comRed Sox-Yankees Thursday game postponed

By Greg Joyce

July 18, 2021 | 5:56pm | Updated July 18, 2021 | 7:08pm

The Yankee Stadium fan who threw a ball that hit Red Sox left fielder Alex Verdugo on Saturday night has attended his last game in The Bronx — or any other MLB stadium.

The Yankees banned the fan for life from Yankee Stadium and MLB banned him from its 29 other parks, a team spokesman Sunday, following an ejection after the incident that took place in the sixth inning of Saturday’s game.

“While the Yankees appreciate the spirit and passion of our fans in our various rivalries — especially with the Red Sox — reckless, disorderly and dangerous behavior that puts the safety of players, field staff or fellow fans in jeopardy will not be tolerated,” the Yankees said in a statement. “There is absolutely no place for it at Yankee Stadium. The safety of everyone at Yankee Stadium, including guests in the stands and players on the field, will always be the top priority for the Yankees organization every time we open our doors.”

Before the bottom of the sixth inning, Verdugo had thrown a ball into the stands in left field aiming for a Red Sox fan, but it ended up in the hands of a Yankees fan. Amid chants to throw it back, the fan threw the ball on the field and it hit Verdugo in the back.

Verdugo began furiously talking to fans in the left-field seats before being restrained by a teammate and coach, leading Red Sox manager Alex Cora to pull his team off the field.

“It was wrong,” Cora said Sunday. “[Saturday] was one incident. Somebody made a bad decision throwing a baseball. … One thing for sure, when I went out there, it was loud and it got nasty, from both sides. I just needed to calm [Verdugo] down. That was the whole reason I took everybody off the field.”

“That’s what I kept telling [umpires Laz Diaz and Jeff Nelson]: ‘Right now, [Verdugo is] not going to be able to perform. It’s not safe right now. We need to slow it down and let him take a breather,’ ” Cora said. “Not too many people agreed with me [Saturday].”

Verdugo had been talking back-and-forth with Yankees fans during the Red Sox’s last series in The Bronx, which Cora said he was good with. But Saturday’s incident crossed the line.

“It’s good for the game,” Cora said of Verdugo’s previous interactions with fans. “But obviously [Saturday] it wasn’t great for the game. It wasn’t great for the people here. I know how bad they feel. Hopefully it’s the last time something like that happens.”

Read full article at New York Post

Best: Thursday's bombshell a reminder we're not all the way back

Newsday 18 July, 2021 - 06:10pm

The Yankees’ cavernous deficit in the American League East standings might not have looked normal on Thursday afternoon, but the setting and circumstances sure did.

A steamy, sunny, mid-July day. Hockey over, basketball nearly so, football still on the horizon.

And, of course, the Red Sox and Yankees at Yankee Stadium, on national television as the only contest on Major League Baseball’s let’s-clear-the-decks-for-this-thing schedule. Plus: Alex Rodriguez in the ESPN booth!

In short, it felt a lot like baseball season – like a normal, post-All-Star, cusp-of-the-dog-days baseball season, one begging for a late move by the Yankees to at least make things interesting down the stretch.

A terse release from MLB at 4:42 p.m. delivered the news that there would be no game, to allow for "continued testing and contact tracing" in the wake of an incipient COVID-19 outbreak on the Yankees roster.

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Three players – Jonathan Loaisiga, Nestor Cortes Jr. and Wandy Peralta – tested positive for the virus despite having been vaccinated and three more – whom GM Brian Cashman would not name – are suspected positives.

Where does this go from here for the Red Sox-Yankees series and beyond? Cashman and manager Aaron Boone had no information on that when they spoke to reporters after the postponement.

(The Red Sox seemed unperturbed. They went ahead with fielding and batting practice as scheduled.)

But even in the best case, in which this is a short-term glitch, the postponement was a gut punch for MLB, the Yankees, sports fans and the broader population.

The fact it happened on a night specifically designed to showcase the rivalry, and the return of baseball after the break, made it even worse than if, say, the Friday night Orioles-Royals game had been affected.

To summarize Thursday’s reality check: COVID-19 is not gone, and the sports and larger worlds are not back to normal.

We’re getting there – we hope – but we’re not there.

Cashman called it "a very fluid situation right now," but he strongly emphasized the value of vaccinations in that they have and presumably will continue to protect affected players from serious illness.

"The vaccines that we encouraged everybody to get guarantee not getting hospitalized and not getting death coming from COVID, which is important," he said. "But it doesn’t prevent you from contracting COVID."

Cashman said two of the three confirmed positives got the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine and the other got one of the two-dose vaccines.

The Yankees have a significantly higher rate of vaccination than do the Red Sox.

"We’re thankful that we’re vaccinated in most cases – not all cases," Cashman said. "Therefore, we’re ultimately protected.

"That’s the biggest message I can provide from the vaccinations, that they do protect you from hospitalization and death . . . Thankfully, I can report that as of now everybody’s OK, and that would speak again to the belief those vaccinations are working."

Boone said he has been vaccinated but believes it is and should be a personal choice.

All of the above is an important discussion and a matter of ongoing public interest, no matter one’s views. But on this we presumably all can agree:

This stinks on every level, from those whose health and/or financial situation has been damaged by the virus to those of us with far, far lower stakes – like wanting to watch a Yankees-Red Sox game on a lazy Thursday night.

"I guess the last year, year-and-a-half has kind of in some ways prepared you for this kind of stuff," Boone said. "Certainly disappointing and frustrating and don’t want to be sitting here talking about this and desperately want us to go back to as normal as possible.

"But that’s out of our control, too, and we just have to do the best with the circumstances and with the hand we’re dealt and try to make sure we’re taking care of one another as best we can."

Just like the rest of us.

Neil Best first worked at Newsday in 1982, returned in 1985 after a detour to Alaska and has been here since, specializing in high schools, college basketball, the NFL and most recently sports media and business.

Brian Cashman discusses Yankees-Red Sox postponement

YESNetwork 18 July, 2021 - 06:10pm

WS Hero Jim Leyritz Says Aaron Boone Needs To Make Playoffs To Save Yankees Job

TMZ 18 July, 2021 - 06:10pm

Bleak news for the leader of the 3rd place Yanks ... who are currently 8 games back of the A.L. East-leading Red Sox.

"I would say, based on performance, if they get to the playoffs, and they at least get through the first round. He will be back. If he doesn’t, it’s up in the air," Leyritz tells us.

The silver lining? Jim says the NYY can catch the Sox ... and it all starts with a kickass performance against Boston this weekend when the most intense rivalry in baseball is renewed.

"That [A.L. East] division is so tough that I don’t put anything ... you know, 9 games sounds like a lot, but in all honesty that can be erased pretty quickly. And, the Yankees do have enough head-to-head meetings with Boston to do some damage."

And, how's this for sweetening the pot?! Not only can you watch the hottest rivalry in baseball history ... you can actually win FREE MONEY!!!!

All you have to do is download the Fox Bet Super 6 app (free!), enter the MLB: NYY vs. BOS Late Innings Challenge (also free) and answer 6 questions about the 7-9th innings of Saturday's big game ... for a chance to win $1,000 of Big Papi's money!!

BTW, Super 6 is giving away Ortiz's money each week of the MLB season!

Looking for a little help on the questions? Leyritz -- who hit a game-tying, 3-run home run in the 8th inning of game 4 of the 1996 World Series -- predicts the Yanks will win on Saturday by 2 runs. Jim also believes the NYY will go long in the 7th, 8th, or 9th inning.

Now all ya gotta do is nail 4 other questions ... and free money!!

Alex Cora briefly pulls Boston Red Sox off field after fan hits Alex Verdugo with baseball at Yankee Stadium

ESPN 18 July, 2021 - 06:10pm

A fan threw a baseball at Boston Red Sox left fielder Alex Verdugo and hit him in the back during Saturday night's game at Yankee Stadium, leading manager Alex Cora to briefly pull his players off the field in the sixth inning.

Verdugo began yelling at fans and was restrained by first base coach Tom Goodwin.

"It felt like it was targeted towards me and it don't sit well with me,'' Verdugo said afterward.

The game resumed after a discussion with umpires near Boston's dugout. The contest was later called after six innings because of heavy rain with the Yankees leading 3-1.

"This is just a game,'' Cora said. "It's a game. It's not life and death and it's not this drama, and the fact that people come to the ballpark and they decided to throw a baseball (at) one of the players, I was in shock that that happened."

Verdugo said he threw the ball into the stands to a young Red Sox fan, but a Yankees fan intercepted it and threw it back onto the field and hit Verdugo.

"It's awful, embarrassing, unacceptable,'' Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

The game began 52 minutes late due to a weather delay even though it wasn't raining, and the tarp was not placed on the field. There also were four delays for replay reviews and another stoppage when plate umpire Jeff Nelson took a 96 mph fastball from Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole off his mask in the sixth.

As Nelson was getting checked, the rain significantly intensified. The game was delayed by rain for a second time moments after Cole took the mound for the seventh, and called following a 54-minute delay that included lightning and heavy showers.

Cole struck out 11 as the Yankees topped their longtime rivals for the first time in eight meetings this year. It was their first victory over Boston in nine tries since Sept. 19.

Giancarlo Stanton's Return to Playing the Outfield Is 'On the Horizon'

Sports Illustrated 18 July, 2021 - 06:10pm

Based on the comments delivered from manager Aaron Boone on Saturday, however, it sounds like that defensive drought will be snapped soon.

"I would say it's on the horizon," Boone said on Stanton returning to the outfield. "The importance of having his bat in the lineup is the biggest thing."

Stanton's defense has been a topic of discussion periodically ever since he was acquired from Miami prior to the 2018 season. Prone to injuries in pinstripes, specifically in his legs, putting Stanton in the outfield hasn't exactly been conducive to keeping the slugger healthy.

As much as Stanton has been able to settle into a consistent role as New York's designated hitter over the last few seasons, the importance of him being able to play on defense as well has grown exponentially of late.

New York is scrambling to manage a COVID-19 outbreak, filling in for six players on the active roster after they all tested positive for the virus. That group includes Aaron Judge, the Yankees' most consistent hitter (and an underrated defender in right field). 

Factor that in with season-ending wrist surgery for starting center fielder Aaron Hicks, along with the lack of production the Yankees have gotten from the rest of the outfield in 2021, and it's safe to say Stanton being able to play anywhere other than designated hitter every once in a while would be helpful for Boone as he pieces together playing time. 

Even the reserves in the outfield are dropping like flies. Clint Frazier and Miguel Andújar are both on the injured list and recently-acquired outfielder Tim Locastro suffered a torn ACL on Saturday night in the Yankees' rain-shortened victory over the Red Sox. 

Stanton's latest injury, Boone said, was the reason why this entire process was postponed. 

"I think timing hurt a little bit. In spring training, we left and we broke with a full outfield and didn't really see a spot where we were going to need it," Boone explained. "Then he got hurt. Even though it was fairly minor, he missed two to three weeks, set that plan back a little bit and then we got him ramped up and going again."

That injury was a left quad strain. The slugger wound up missing 13 games, sidelined shortly after completing a stretch where he was batting .481 (25-for-52) as part of a 12-game hitting streak. 

During last year's shortened campaign, Stanton spent time on the shelf with a left hamstring strain. He would've missed time had the season started as scheduled in the spring as well, suffering a Grade 1 right calf strain during fielding drills in spring training. 

"There's a lot of value in having versatile players that can play multiple positions," Boone said. "There's absolutely value in having some flexibility so that you can on a given day, maybe how a guy's feeling or having to give a guy a rest or wanting to use a DH day for somebody."

Stanton has made it clear in the past that he's willing to give the outfield a shot. There is a possibility of that coming sooner than the series in Miami at the end of the month, depending on the health of those around Stanton and how the 31-year-old progresses in his physical preparation.

"We're trying to push to get him back out there potentially next weekend," Boone revealed. "Obviously, with the Marlins series coming up at the end of the month, we're working in that direction."

Alex Verdugo

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