Umpires in Major League Baseball have ended the protest they referred to as “abusive player behavior,” after MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpires’ union governing board.
The majority of umpires were wearing white wristbands during games on Saturday after Ian Kinsler, a second baseman with the Detroit Tigers was handed down a fine but not given a suspension for his verbal tirade on umpire Angel Hernandez.
On Tuesday, Kinsler called Hernandez a bad umpire who needed to just go away.
On Sunday, the World Umpires Association announced through a number of tweets that the commissioner proposed holding a meeting with the union to discuss the concerns it had.
The organization, via Twitter, said that in order to demonstrate its good faith, the umpires would remove their white wrist bands as a sign of protest pending the meeting that the commissioner had requested.
Kinsler was thrown out of last Monday’s game in Texas by Hernandez after the umpire called him out on strikes. The following day, Kinsler criticized Hernandez by saying that the umpire had been messing with games in a blatant manner.
Kinsler added that he was surprised at to what extent Hernandez was a bad umpire as he did not know than since he had been around for so many years in Major League Baseball, how could he be so bad. Bottom line said the Detroit second baseman Hernandez should re-evaluate his career choice.
Kinsler was subsequently handed down a fine by Major League Baseball. However, the umpire’s union was of the opinion that the comments made by Kinsler merited a suspension.
The World Umpire’s Association released a statement on Saturday that said the Commissioner’s office had given lenient treatment to the player for his abusive actions which sends an incorrect message to other players and managers. The statement added that it was now an open season on umpires which was in turn very bad for the sport.
The umpire’s statement also said that the umpires hold themselves to the highest of standards. They are held accountable for their performance each game and the most important duty they have is uphold the integrity of the sport, and as group the umpires will continue doing that each day, but the Commissioner’s office must protect the umpire’s integrity when they are attacked unfairly simply due to carrying out their jobs.