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Spill That Tea! Late-season Drama Arrives Right On Time

It comes every year and I’m here for it

Kansas City Royals v Boston Red Sox Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

You know what? If I’m really honest, I love this time of year, and it might not be for the reasons you’re thinking. Of course, the competitions heat up, the suspense builds. That’s great. And of course, it’s easy to love if your team is really in the hunt. (We’re told we are, but are we?)

But I’m talking about something else, almost a guilty sort of pleasure. Because this is when the cracks start to show, when the pressure leads to meltdowns, when players, coaches – and fans, even – have just had enough.

A little trip down memory lane (and this is the tip of the iceberg; there are a million):

Right now, on our own team, we’ve got Alex Verdugo’s drama. He got benched, and not for the first time this season. He made Alex Cora MAD. It turns out he’s been a problem for a while behind the scenes, and sometimes on the field too (see: lack of hustle). Now that I really think about it, he also complains a lot, usually about other players (see: Alek Manoah, Julio Rodríguez). He might’ve been (should’ve been?) on the trading block. He’s been called a clubhouse headache, which is really the kiss of death.

I misjudged this one. I felt like Verdugo had come to spring training with something to prove and that a new mindset was behind his very good first half. I’ve heard him called a fan favorite; and I will say that he threw a ball to my girlfriend’s kid last season in Seattle – that was really nice.

But we’re nearing the end of the season now. Everything is up for grabs. What’s next for Alex? And what other sideshows will emerge from the rest of the MLB season? I have a feeling that things are just beginning to get interesting.