- Buster Olney, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
BOSTON -- Red Sox spent their Saturday aiming eye-rolls and pejoratives at plate umpire Joe West, in a game they would finish with one hit and 17 strikeouts. Most hitters in the lineup, in fact, had something to say at one time or another.
David Ortiz didn’t like how West handled a check swing, Daniel Nava was unhappy with a strike call, Jacoby Ellsbury was taken aback by West’s interpretation on a 3-1 pitch, Dustin Pedroia muttered as he walked away from the box and Shane Victorino barked at West from the on-deck circle, to the point that manager John Farrell felt the need to intercede between innings.
Generally, there is a feeling among players that West -- who doesn’t wear a shirt over the protective gear that he endorses -- likes to be part of the show, and in a Game 1 that lasted almost four hours and saw the Boston batters hit the ball to the outfield four times, the byplay between the Red Sox and the umpire might’ve been the most reliable source of contact.