BOSTON (CBS) – Always known as a fiery one, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia had plenty to say to first base umpire Paul Nauert Tuesday night after being rung up on a check swing in the eighth inning of Boston’s 6-3 loss to Texas.
It was a 5-3 Rangers with one out in the bottom of the eighth when Nauert called Pedroia out on a questionable third strike. While it appeared as though Pedroia had obviously held his swing, Nauert rung him up.
He then had to hear the second baseman bark at him for the remainder of the top of the eighth. The jawing continued after Pedroia took the field for the top of the ninth, and Nauert had had enough. He tossed Pedroia following David Murphy’s hit by pitch for his second career ejection.
Manager Bobby Valentine tried to join Pedroia in the clubhouse, but to no avail.
“It looked like he checked his swing from our vantage point,” said Valentine. “Then Adrian (Gonzalez) hits one off the wall, of course. You can’t get it back.”
“I was pretty angry and supporting my guy,” said the Sox manager. “I probably said more to him than other times I’ve been thrown out. He wasn’t going to throw me out, unless I made a complete fool out of myself or punched him.”
Valentine left the field to chants of “Bobby, Bobby!” by the Fenway crowd.
Pedroia’s teammates shared his thoughts on the call.
“It was a bad call,” said Tuesday night’s starter Jon Lester. “Pedey is obviously very emotional and plays this game with a lot of heart, and for him to get that fired up, obviously he knew he was right and it was a bad call. I shouldn’t say it was a turning point in the game, but if he battles and gets on, then maybe it’s a different game.”
“We just came back to make it a 4-3 ballgame, and now it’s 5-3 and it was time to get amped up,” said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. “We were all amped up. Pedey wants to win more than anybody, so when he thinks he’s getting screwed a little bit, he’s going to say something. From our view, it didn’t look like he went. We didn’t feel like that was a necessary call at that point in the game.”
It will be interesting to see if there is any lingering feelings from (or to) Nauert on Wednesday, when he handles duties behind the plate.