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Major league umpires to protest 'escalating verbal attacks' on umpires by wearing white wristbands

Major league umpires will wear white wristbands starting Saturday to protest “escalating verbal attacks” on umpires and the umpires union’s strong objection to the penalty given to Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler for his criticism of umpire Angel Hernandez this week.

Kinsler had harsh words regarding Hernandez, who ejected him for arguing balls and strikes earlier this week. Kinsler said Hernandez should get out of the game, saying he told him, “You need to re-evaluate your life, man. Just go home right now. Get out of the game. Just leave the game alone. Please.”

The commissioner’s office fined Kinsler, but did not issue a suspension, prompting the World Umpires Association’s governing board to put out the following statement via Twitter:

“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 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. The player who denigrated Hernandez publicly said he thought he would be suspended. Instead got far more lenient treatment — a fine. He shrugged that off and told reporters he had ‘no regrets’ about his offensive statements calling for an end to Hernandez’s career

“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.”

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