During his last at-bat in the eighth inning of Tuesday's 6-3 loss to the Rangers, Pedroia believed he offered a check swing when Rangers reliever Mike Adams fired a curveball. But first base umpire Paul Nauert disagreed, calling Pedroia out via strikeout.
And it set Pedroia off on a tirade. The Red Sox second baseman walked halfway down the line to argue the call and continued shouting expletives toward Nauert from inside Boston's dugout.
"It looked like he checked his swing from our vantage point," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said of the sequence. "Then Adrian [Gonzalez] hits one off the wall of course. Can’t get it back."
Once the inning ended, Pedroia walked back to patrol second base without looking at Nauert. But in between the Rangers' batters, he made one more sarcastic comment to Nauert, who wound up tossing the infielder.
Following the game, Pedroia had already left without commenting. Teammate Jon Lester, who was watching in the clubhouse when the second baseman was ejected, also criticized Nauert's decision-making.
"It was a bad call," Lester said. "He obviously told him he was wrong. He plays this game with a lot of heart, and for him to get that fired up, he obviously knew he was right. It was a bad call. I wouldn’t say a turning point in the game, but if he battles and gets a guy on there, maybe it’s a different game."
As a result of the loss of momentum, Valentine walked out onto the field and unleashed his wrath at Nauert. The skipper shouted and gestured with his arms, but it was to no avail.
"I was pretty angry and supporting my guy and probably said more to him than I said other times I’ve gotten thrown out," Valentine said. "He wasn’t going to throw me out unless I made a complete fool out of myself or punched him or something. And I don’t like staying on the field that long."
Pedroia clearly didn't, either.