Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo was livid after being struck in the back by a ball thrown from the left-field bleachers at Yankee Stadium during Saturday night's game. He cursed at the fans who were yelling at him while security tried to find the thrower.
Boston manager Alex Cora briefly pulled his players off the field after the incident.
A fan throws a ball at Alex Verdugo and he is not happy. The Red Sox all left the field pic.twitter.com/Z8GHRZd2oY— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) July 18, 2021
A spectator was eventually ordered to leave the bleachers. The Yankees and MLB imposed a lifetime ban from stadiums on that fan Sunday. The person is prohibited from attending games at all 30 MLB parks.
Here’s video of the fan being kicked out for hitting Alex Verdugo with a baseball. You can hear fans helping security find out who did it pic.twitter.com/OKrVx8lzux— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) July 18, 2021
Verdugo was calmer by the time he spoke with reporters after the game, but he still wasn't thrilled.
"The fans are in the wrong on that one," he said. "I feel like anyone who gets hit with a ball like that, it's kind of a free-for-all, just let it all hang out and let your emotions go.
"I'm just happy that nothing went from it, nothing transpired, nobody got hurt. I didn't get hurt. We'll look back at it, I'll laugh about it. I'm sure people will start messing around with some people in our clubhouse about it, too. But, yeah, we've got to clean it up."
Verdugo said (per The Boston Globe) that the problem started when he threw the ball toward a Red Sox fan after using it to warm up between innings, only to have a Yankees fan intercept it. Other fans, Verdugo said, egged on the Yankees fan to "Throw it back," so the fan did.
As emotional as Verdugo was in the moment, he knew he couldn't go too far.
"We're the people in the spotlight, and if we do something, we look like s—," he said. "We look like the bad guys. But at the end of the day, people need to understand, we're people, as well."