THE STRIKE ZONE
Sometimes Sports, Sometimes Sportsmanship
In this three part series, we will examine some of the craziness of MLB umpires that took place during August 2017.
Ian Kinsler took it too far.
During a game in August, Kinsler was ejected by Angel Hernandez for arguing balls and strikes. Yes, Angel Hernandez is back. But this time, it wasn't over a lawsuit or an actual bad call.
When Kinsler was tossed (and Hernandez got the call right), he went on a tirade that included pointing his bat in Hernandez's face. His comments included suggesting that "nobody wants [Hernandez] here" and that he should "re-evaluate his career choice."
If you're that interested in finding an exact transcript, go search for it. It's so ridiculous that it doesn't deserve to be listed here. But Kinsler basically said Hernandez is "messing up baseball."
If Kinsler had been ejected for something he didn't do, especially if it was his first career ejection, I can understand an overreaction, even if it's wrong. It's equivalent of being wrongfully accused of a crime: if you didn't do it, you'd shout it from the rooftops.
But this isn't Kinsler's first rodeo.
Look, I know that those in baseball who don't understand umpires (read: players, coaches, managers, etc.) see Angel Hernandez and immediately assume it's going to be a long day. But enough is enough.
Hernandez was asked about Kinsler's comments and gave the proper response: he just wants to go out and do his job.
Before the end of the series, however, Hernandez was working second base when Kinsler came out for the bottom of the first inning. The two shook hands and made up. Hernandez went as far as putting his hand on Kinsler's shoulder during the apology.
Kinsler never publicly apologized for the comments and wouldn't elaborate on the exchange...probably because he's too proud and doesn't understand that real men can admit when they're wrong.
(Also, at the time of writing this, Kinsler was not suspended for the comments. But if we've reached a point where we are rightly suspending players for homophobic slurs, suspending players for comments such as these should be warranted. A suspension here makes more sense than suspending Joe West for good-natured ribbing.)