Why we will remember Alex Verdugo's late-night press conference

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By WEEI 93.7

It wasn't as if the media hadn't talked to Alex Verdugo before.

There was that introductory press conference outside the Red Sox' clubhouse in Fort Myers which was highlighted by Verdugo's response to his a controversial past. And in those days following that get-together at JetBlue Park, the subject of the incident was the chief topic of conversation when Verdugo's name was brought up to the Sox' higher-ups.

The only other topic usually broached with Verdugo -- other than his love for ice-fishing in International Falls, Minn. -- was how it felt to be replacing  Mookie Betts. The problem was that no answers during those interviews were going to sway a skeptical fan base, especially with no hard evidence that the outfielder was going to be a foundational player for the Red Sox.

But then came Friday night's press conference.

Verdugo was at the podium just prior to midnight because he had hit two home runs while robbing a ninth-inning home run. It wasn't difficult to tell the excitement that was plain to see on the field was still prevalent during the Zoom sit-down.

And like most of those other times, the Mookie questions started coming. This time Verdugo used the opportunity to out-of-nowhere define himself to many unfamiliar and skeptical Red Sox fans:

'I don't care about shoes to fill' pic.twitter.com/I1bROiX43Y

— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) August 8, 2020

But the response was one thing. The real story was the reaction to it.

At least for the time being, the new Red Sox right fielder had won more than a few a baseball (yes, not just Red Sox) fans over.

Been one of my best friends for 5 years now, and I can honestly say Albert has been through so much BS about being misunderstood, he’s a guy you want on your team to win some baseball games and in your corner. Boston got a REAL one ---- https://t.co/PS2Py9uj18

— June Calhoun (@11WillieCalhoun) August 8, 2020

The correct attitude. Love this kid! https://t.co/bYfVc9EPS4

— Mike D (@MikeDOnAir) August 8, 2020

I love this response by Alex Verdugo. He shouldn’t feel a need to be the next Mookie. Be the best version of yourself. That should be the goal for all of us. This Mexican American is going to be OK. https://t.co/kWCX138J3S

— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) August 8, 2020

I like this kid. https://t.co/zuu0zyyvoz

— Emerson Lotzia, Jr. (@EmersonLotzia) August 8, 2020

God I love this kid and his additude https://t.co/E8jzrD8d6T

— Dubs (@aodonnell95) August 8, 2020

This kid has the perfect attitude for Boston. #Sox #Boston #DirtyWater #Dugie https://t.co/PisQqP9ujm

— BEERube (@BEER_ube) August 8, 2020

Love this answer! https://t.co/Nxu4KKFlAx

— New England Football Journal -- (@newftbj) August 8, 2020

Okay. You win, Verdugo. https://t.co/hwFOjMEYC9

— Jessica Chahanovich (@TheDownBeaster) August 8, 2020

Alex Verdugo, he is the man https://t.co/KzYR7h9qfx

— Boston Sports (@bahstonspahts) August 8, 2020

Who is this kid. This is awesome. https://t.co/m4pEMoLWg1

— Matt McRae (@MattMcRae27) August 8, 2020

If you’re still upset about a former RF, watch this. https://t.co/dhXrmhpplN

— Meg McClaff (@megariana84) August 8, 2020

If you’re still upset about a former RF, watch this. https://t.co/dhXrmhpplN

— Meg McClaff (@megariana84) August 8, 2020

Okay I've done a complete 180. I love Alex Verdugo. https://t.co/jxiQNS9ARp

— Ryan Graywacz (@Graywacz) August 8, 2020

Truly a great answer https://t.co/cnUhWZgqnC

— Luke R. (@wickedsportsfan) August 8, 2020

Alexander Brady Verdugo is quickly becoming a fan favorite https://t.co/YeAlfpr5k5

— Boston Sports Commenter (@BostonCommenter) August 8, 2020

I’m starting to love this guy https://t.co/6KeHeSZtrv

— Tyler (@t_forss1) August 8, 2020

My respect for this kid just went through the roof https://t.co/a3U1Fs1Q8k

— Bryan Murphy (@bryan_murphy10) August 8, 2020

Inject this into my veins. This kid is going to thrive in Boston https://t.co/9f9uP6xTap

— the degen den (@DenDegen) August 8, 2020