NEW YORK – Major League Baseball umpires have ended their protest of what they called “abusive player behavior” after Commissioner Rob Manfred offered to meet with their union’s governing board.
Most umpires wore white wristbands during Saturday’s games after Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler was fined but not suspended for his recent verbal tirade against ump Angel Hernandez. Kinsler said Tuesday that Hernandez was a bad umpire and “just needs to go away.”
The World Umpires Association announced Sunday in a series of tweets that Manfred had proposed a meeting to discuss its concerns.
“To demonstrate our good faith, MLB Umpires will remove the protest white wrist bands pending the requested meeting,” the organization posted on Twitter.
Kinsler was ejected by Hernandez last Monday in Texas after being called out on strikes. The next day, Kinsler sharply criticized Hernandez, saying the umpire was “messing” with games “blatantly.”
“No, I’m surprised at how bad an umpire he is. ... I don’t know how, for as many years he’s been in the league, that he can be that bad. He needs to re-evaluate his career choice, he really does. Bottom line,” Kinsler said.
Kinsler was fined, but the umpires’ union felt he should have been suspended.
“The Office of the Commissioner’s lenient treatment to abusive player behavior sends the wrong message to players and managers. It’s ‘open season’ on umpires, and that’s bad for the game,” the WUA said in a release on Saturday.