Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler’s criticism of umpire Angel Hernandez led to MLB umpires starting their white-wristband protest over the weekend. But that’s not all that resulted from Kinsler’s sharp words about Hernandez.
Kinsler also received an “almost unheard of” fine from Major League Baseball for saying Hernandez needed to find another job. The fine was leveled upon Kinsler on Friday, but we’re learning the specifics today.
The price of that type of criticism on an ump? It’s $10,000.
Ian Kinsler's fine for comments about Angel Hernandez was $10,000. As Brad Ausmus said: It's a level almost unheard of in fines for players.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) August 21, 2017
Ausmus said Kinsler's fine from MLB was the biggest he has seen in his baseball career.
— Jason Beck (@beckjason) August 19, 2017
Now, $10,000 isn’t a great deal of money for baseball players — Kinsler himself is making $11 million this season and that’s not even a lot compared to many players in MLB. But $10,000 is a lot for an MLB fine. When the league announces its fines, it’s almost always “an undisclosed amount.” But usually, reporters find out the amounts and usually they’re a couple thousand dollars.
The biggest fine that we’ve heard about in the last couple years was Rougned Odor reportedly getting a $5,000 fine when he punched Jose Bautista (he was also suspended seven games). For a fine more than $10,000, you have to go back to 2010 when Nyjer Morgan got a $15,000 fine and an eight-game suspension for setting off a huge brawl between the Nats and Marlins.
Kinsler’s fine was a lot, but still not enough to make umpires happy, which is why they started their protest over the weekend. It’s over now, because Commissioner Rob Manfred agreed on Sunday to meet with the umpires’ union to talk about their concerns about verbal attacks from players.
It’ll be interesting to see whether heftier fines like Kinsler’s become the norm. Now that the umpire’s union is trying to gain leverage, it might lobby for bigger fines in hopes of deterring players from lashing out. Of course, players could also decide publicly criticizing an umpire is $10,000 well spent when they’re making upward of $10 million per year.
That, of course, would be the ultimate leverage.
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