Umpires around Major League Baseball are now ‘taking a stand’ against the verbal abuse they are receiving from players. How are they combating this? By wearing a cute white wristband, of course.
This all escalated from last Friday’s match-up between the Tigers and Dodgers when Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler argued with home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez over balls and strikes.
Kinsler didn’t like the consistency of Hernandez’s strike zone as his lips read: “you’re (expletive) terrible at your job.”
Ian Kinsler ejected after dropping NSFW truth bomb on umpire. Angel Hernandez . ??pic.twitter.com/zhJwuaCze6
— MLB Memes (@MLBMeme) August 15, 2017
He later used the media as an outlet for his displeasure with the ump, saying he “needs to find another job” because “no one wants (him) behind the plate anymore.”
And upon hearing the news of the umpires protest of this Kinsler added:
“I really don’t think too deeply into it. I hope they wear the white wristbands for the rest of their careers. I don’t care. I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, that’s their problem.”
Major League Baseball fined Kinsler a costly $10,000 for this verbal assault on Hernandez. Which is pretty asinine considering umpires have been subject to worse criticism. Even Kinsler’s manager Brad Asmus – a former catcher in the MLB – thought the fine was astronomical.
“To act like Ian Kinsler just got fined. It’s the biggest fine I’ve ever seen Major League Baseball give a player,” Ausmus said Saturday. “So I don’t want to hear – I don’t want them to minimize – that he’s not being punished. I’m not going to put a number on it. It’s the biggest I’ve ever seen.”
A few umpires around the major leagues have been on a power trip recently. We have seen two well-respected veterans tossed from games in the last two months for actions that didn’t warrant an ejection.
Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was warned by umpire Gerry Davis for not standing in the on-deck circle (a rule players rarely follow) and then was ejected for moving the on-deck circle to where he was originally standing.
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) July 27, 2017
If you follow baseball, you know Beltre is like a little kid out there having fun. This was probably just a playful and funny gesture that Davis did not take kindly to. But that doesn’t mean Beltre needed to be ejected.
The second veteran to get tossed was Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley, who simply asked the field umpire Ramon De Jesus if he could shift over so Utley could see the ball coming off the bat better at the plate.
It’s pretty reasonable to give a player in the field full vision of the plate. After the game, Utley simply said: “I think that’s fair.”
Here’s a news flash for all umpires: no fans came to watch you eject players. In fact, fans get more annoyed when you eject star players like an Utley or a Beltre from the game.
So how do incidents like this get solved and how do we stop hurting umpires feelings?Get rid of them. Plain and simple.
It’s 2017, we now possess the technology to make baseball games more efficient. Introducing a set digital strike zone would take away the factor of human error. There would be fewer arguments from fans and players about balls and strikes.
Umpires won’t lose their jobs if more technology is introduced. Field umpires can still be utilized for plays on the bases. The rest of the umpires that are employed by Major League Baseball will be assigned to a booth for each game to review each play from every angle possible and ensure the right call was made.
It’s time to take the human error out of baseball. People want to spend less time talking about the officials and more time talking about the actual game.