Major League Baseball umpires are rising up.
Following Ian Kinsler’s controversial lashing of umpire Angel Hernandez on Monday, some of the game’s umpires wore white armbands Saturday to show solidarity for the fact Kinsler merely was fined, rather than suspended. Two days after ripping Hernandez, the Detroit Tigers second baseman seemingly squashed the feud.
Here’s a shot of Joe West, MLB’s longest-tenured ump, wearing the armband before Saturday’s game between the Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays:
But the umpires aren’t upset about just one incident. The World Umpires Association on Saturday released a statement about the protest, which it says is based on MLB’s failure to take appropriate action on a perceived rise in verbal attacks.
“This week, a player publicly and harshly impugned the character and integrity of Angel Hernandez — a veteran umpire who has dedicated his career to baseball and the community,” the WUA said in a statement. “The verbal attack on Angel denigrated the entire MLB umpiring staff and is unacceptable.
” … The Office of the Commissioner has failed to address this and other escalating attacks on umpires … It’s ‘open season’ on umpires, and that’s bad for the game.”
Read the full statement in the tweet below:
Interestingly, West had a controversial moment during Saturday’s Cubs-Jays game, when he called Cubs left fielder Jon Jay out on strikes. Jay clearly was upset with what he felt were poor calls, and West stared him down as he went back to the dugout.
Umpires, like all game officials in sports, oftentimes face excessive and unfair criticism. Their response to said criticism, though, could cause quite a headache for Major League Baseball.
Thumbnail photo via Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports Images
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