According to their statement, the umpires felt that Kinsler "publicly and harshly impugned the character and integrity" of Hernandez, who is suing the league in a separate matter, and that the Commissioner's office treatment of the matter amounts to "open season" on umpires. Kinsler and Hernandez wound up shaking hands on the field the day after, so most believed the issue had been resolved. "He needs to find another job, he really does".
The wristbands are a form of silent protest of "escalating attacks on umpires", according to a statement from the World Umpires Association, which represents Major League Baseball umpires.
An ESPN survey in 2010 found that 22 percent of players surveyed called Hernandez the worst umpire in the league. Ausmus called the fine "the biggest I've ever seen", but declined to say how much it was. The protest ended when commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpires' union to discuss increased disciple for players who verbally abuse umpires.
"We appreciate the Commissioner's willingness to engage seriously on verbal attacks and other important issues that must be addressed", the union tweeted. Instead, got far more lenient treatment. Speaking again Friday, Kinsler said he was fined for the comments, but that he had no regrets about what he said. Ausmus said, "To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for". The World Umpires Association released a statement via Twitter on Saturday that considered Kinsler's criticism as "unacceptable".
Back home: Curtis Granderson, a Detroit favorite who began his career with the Tigers, was in the starting lineup for the Dodgers this afternoon, just one day after the team acquired him in a trade with the Mets.
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There have been some bad feelings between players and umpires in August. Regardless, umpires apparently decided they needed to speak up on their own behalf.
Hernandez worked the World Series in 2002 and 2005 but hasn't done it not since. In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, the 55-year-old Hernandez, who was born in Cuba and lives in Florida, cited as evidence of alleged discrimination his lack of World Series assignments in the past decade and Major League Baseball not promoting him to crew chief.
As for the wristbands, Toronto infielder Darwin Barney said, "whether you're a player, an umpire, a scorekeeper, there's two sides to everything".
"I never questioned the integrity of an umpire".