Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler has had it with umpire Angel Hernandez, and apparently, the feeling is mutual.
After exchanging words with the referee throughout an August 14 game against the Texas Rangers, Kinelser was ejected mid-at bat when he turned around and hit Hernandez with some snarky words regarding his calling skills.
After getting chucked — he was later fined by Major League Baseball, the sport’s ruling body — Kinsler decided to open up and tell Hernandez what he really thought.
The instant replay seemingly shows some choice language on Kinsler’s part, but the second baseman insists he didn’t use profanity.
“I said, ‘You need to reevaluate your life, man. Just go home right now. Get out of the game. Just leave the game alone, please,'” Kinsler later told reporters. He also said that Hernandez needs to “find another job.”
“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.
Umpires across the league struck back by wearing white wristbands in solidarity with Hernandez and in protest of what they say is a rising amount of tough talk from players.
The league has not suspended Kinsler, but the $10,000 fine he faces is symbolically high and could serve as a warning to other players that the league is beginning to take verbal escalations more seriously.
It’s rare for players to be fined so much — the last five-figure fine was seven years ago and involved a major two-team brawl.
Still, the fine is not likely to affect Kinsler, who will earn $11 million in this final season of a five-year, $75 million contract.
Following Kinsler’s ejection from the game, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, a former Israel national team manager, stood up for his player and was tossed out himself.