MLB umpires to wear wristbands in protest of ‘escalating verbal attacks’ from players

Saturday afternoon, the MLB umpires union announced umpires around the league will wear white wristbands to protest an increase in verbal abuse from players around the league. The protest comes after umpire Angel Hernandez was ripped by Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler last week.

Here’s the release from the umpire’s union:

The umpire crew for Saturday’s game between the Blue Jays and Cubs at Wrigley Field (GameTracker) are indeed wearing white wristbands as part of the protest. Here’s a look:

umpire-wristband.jpg

MLB umpires are wearing white wristbands to protest “verbal abuse.”
MLB.com/CBS Sports

Kinsler argued with Hernandez during Monday’s game and was ejected. After the ejection, he appeared to tell Hernandez “you’re (expletive) terrible at your job.” The next day, Kinsler continued to rip Hernandez while speaking to the media, saying Hernandez “needs to find another job” because “no one wants (him) behind the plate anymore,” among other things.

For what it’s worth, longtime big league pitcher and television analyst Jim Kaat recently noted players bark at umpires more these days than ever before.

Kinsler was fined for his tirade against Hernandez, but was not suspended. Veteran umpire Joe West, meanwhile, was recently suspended three days for comments made about Rangers third base Adrian Beltre.

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