DETROIT — An incident between Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler and MLB umpire Angel Hernandez has sparked an unified protest among umpires, and manger Brad Ausmus doesn’t like it.
Some umpires across the league wore white arm bands on Saturday to indicate they were not happy Kinsler was not suspended for his harsh criticism of Hernandez earlier this week. The World Umpires Association released a statement via Twitter on Saturday that considered Kinsler’s criticism as “unacceptable.” The full statement can be seen below.
Ausmus was asked about the World Umpires Association’s statement following Saturday’s game, and considered it “completely wrong to single out one player.”
“I do care,” Ausmus said. “To single out one player is completely wrong and goes against what the sport is. I mean it’s a team sport. There’s often arguments between team players and umpires, managers and umpires, and coaches and umpires, that’s part of the game. To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for.”
Ausmus continued to express his anger with the statement by saying that “many things are said both ways” in player-umpire arguments. He went on to explain that while Kinsler wasn’t suspended the fine he received was an equally harsh punishment.
“To act like Ian Kinsler just got fined — it’s the biggest fine I’ve ever seen Major League Baseball give a player so I don’t want them to minimize that he’s not being punished,” Ausmus said. “I’m not going to put a number on it but it’s the biggest I’ve ever seen.”
Ausmus added that he felt it was ironic that the umpires were wearing white armbands when players aren’t allowed to wear those.
“This seems petty to me,” Ausmus said. “… Kinsler was acting emotionally at the time but this was thought out, planned and orchestrated.”
Kinsler ripped into Hernandez earlier this week after he was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with the veteran umpire. Kinsler was quoted the next day saying Hernandez is “changing the game” and “needs to find another job.”
On Saturday, Kinsler was also asked about the umpire’s latest statement and the wearing of the white armbands, but unlike Ausmus didn’t want to say much on the topic.
“I have nothing to say about it,” Kinsler said. “I don’t really care to be honest with you. … A white wristband protest has no effect on me.”
Kinsler did however mention his strike zone has gotten better since the altercation. Like Ausmus, Kinsler wouldn’t go into details on how much his fine was from Major League Baseball.
“I hope they wear the white wristbands for the remainder of their careers,” Kinsler said. “I don’t care. They can feel how they want to feel and I can feel how I want to feel. I said what I felt and what I thought, and if they take offense to that then that’s their problem.”