Last Week, Tigers’ second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected in the middle of his at-bat in the top of the fifth inning in a game against the Texas Rangers. On a 0-1 count, Kinsler watched a ball low and outside go by and followed with a glare at umpire Ángel Hernández who tossed him in the middle of his at-bat, Brad Ausmus came out to argue the ejection and was also thrown out of the game. After the game, Kinsler stated that Hernández “needs to find another job” and that “he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”
Umpires across the MLB took a stand this weekend by wearing white wristbands to protest “escalating verbal attacks” following the ejection (the protest ended after Commissioner Robert Manfred agreed to meet with the Umpire’s Union to talk regarding increasing discipline regarding players that verbally abuse Umpires) and as a result, Ian Kinsler was fined an amount that turned heads across the MLB, that amount was $10,000. Now, of course, Kinsler is making $11 Million per year and $10,000 is roughly 0.09% of his yearly salary, but a $10,000 fine is “unheard of” for Major League Baseball players.
Most MLB fines are around $1,000-$2,000 and some don’t even get that high so it is clear that the MLB will no longer be tolerating such behavior as this is one of if not the biggest fines ever handed to a player for verbal abuse of an umpire.
Whether this hefty fine is the new norm for talking back to umpires or this is just a one-time thing players will most likely think twice before verbally abusing an umpire. I highly doubt that players will see the fine and be worried about it but the fine is definitely getting bigger and if this misconduct keeps occurring, the fine will likely get bigger and bigger until it truly does intimidate players.
Hopefully, this sort of conduct will stop across the MLB, but what kind of measures will the MLB have to go to to get to that point? Electronic ball and strike callers? Only time will tell.