Denard Span has a temper tantrum, throws bat

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Denard Span angry.jpgThere were a lot of strikeouts in last night’s Twins-Tigers game, many of which were called third strikes. This is not necessarily surprising given that Fransico Liriano and Justin Verlander were pitching, but it’s also likely that the ump was being a bit generous with the zone too. It happens.

Not that Denard Span was all that understanding about it. After taking a called strike three in the eighth inning — which looked like a ball on TV but could have maybe caught a corner — Span, waved off home plate ump Paul Emmel, who promptly ejected him, more likely for what Span said than for the wave, because it was a really quick hook.  Once he did, Span tossed his bat towards the backstop. Here’s the video of the whole thing.  Span’s teammate Delmon Young thinks he’s an amateur.

Span apologized to Emmel, was reportedly mortified by his conduct and offered some seriously heartfelt “I’m sorry if kids were watching” words of contrition after the game, so my guess is that he won’t be disciplined for his little bat toss.

Clayton Kershaw could return on September 1

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Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain. He’s slated to throw a three-inning simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Plunkett adds that if all goes well, the earliest Kershaw could return is August 31 against the Diamondbacks, but September 1 is more likely against the Padres.

Kershaw, 29, hit the disabled list on a pace to win his fourth Cy Young Award. He’s 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers have managed just fine without Kershaw. The club is 19-4 since July 24. At 87-35, the Dodgers own baseball’s best record, well ahead of the second-best Astros at 76-48.

Ian Kinsler was fined for ripping umpires publicly. Brad Ausmus says it’s the largest fine he’s seen in 25 years.

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Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game against the Rangers after giving home plate umpire Angel Hernandez a look after a pitch was thrown outside for a ball. Kinsler was apparently unhappy with calls Hernandez had made earlier. Manager Brad Ausmus, too, was ejected.

After the game, Kinsler said that Hernandez “needs to find another job.” He added, “…he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”

Kinsler was fined by Major League Baseball for his remarks, Mlive’s Evan Woodbery reports. According to Ausmus, the fine levied on Kinsler was the largest one he’s seen in nearly 25 years in baseball. Kinsler said, “I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, then that’s their problem.” Ausmus said, “To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for.”

As Ashley noted on Saturday, the umpires wore white wristbands to protest “escalating attacks on umpires.” The umpires agreed to drop their protest on Sunday after commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpire union’s governing board, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports.