Alfredo Aceves’ Strange Exit, Cody Ross’ Displeasure With Umpire Highlight Feisty Night for Red Sox

Alfredo Aceves' Strange Exit, Cody Ross' Displeasure With Umpire Highlight Feisty Night for Red Sox

Editor's note: NESN.com is going to tell the story of the 2012 Red Sox in Bobby Valentine's words. Each game day, we will select a Valentine quote that sums up the day for the Red Sox.

BOSTON –– During Tuesday's walk-off win, the Red Sox displayed an outpouring of emotion. A day later, in Wednesday's 5-4 loss, the team endured various other emotions, with tempers even flaring.

It started in the seventh inning with Alfredo Aceves on the mound. Minutes after yielding a home run to Curtis Granderson and a double to Nick Swisher, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine signaled for a pitching change and emerged from the dugout. Pitchers typically hand the manager the ball before exiting. Due to Aceves' frosty relationship with Valentine, however, he offered the baseball to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, refused to look at the skipper and avoided bypassing Valentine on the way out.

For Aceves, it's one of multiple confrontations he's experienced with Valentine. Aceves slammed the skipper's door in Boston, waved Valentine away in the dugout in Oakland, and he's now disrespected him on the mound.

"I'll have to look at it," Valentine said of the replay. "Who cares if he showed me up? If I have to explain Aceves' actions, I'll wind up going across the river and work for Harvard."

Aceves, who was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team back in August, denied any friction with Valentine.

"I'm good," Aceves said. "Ask him if he's good. I don't know."

The Red Sox' feistiness was only amplified in the eighth inning, when home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez called Cody Ross out on a controversial third strike. The call, which replays indicated was close, prompted Ross to go ballistic.

Ross approached Marquez and launched into a tirade about the call. For a split-second, Ross held the bat over his head –– like a sledgehammer –– while eyeing Marquez, but he then managed to control his emotions.

Shortly thereafter, Marquez was on an ejection spree, tossing Ross, Valentine and third base coach Jerry Royster. By the end of the night, bench coach Tim Bogar was acting as the team's manager and third base coach.

"Cody was really upset," Valentine said. "I was just doing everything I could to get Cody away from him. He should be upset. He's battling his butt off and he's representing the tying run and winds up getting called out. So he's upset. He's trying, he's trying hard."

By getting tossed for the sixth time this season, Valentine set the record for most ejections in a season by a Red Sox player or manager in franchise story. Saltalamacchia appreciated his manager's passion.

"He's not quitting either," Saltalamacchia said. "He wants to win. He's taken a lot of scrutiny. He's taken a lot of bad publicity. He wants to win. He doesn't want to finish the season on a sour note either."

That fervor was contagious on Wednesday, even if the end result wasn't what the Red Sox were hoping for.