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Ian Kinsler on umpire Angel Hernandez: “He needs to find another job.”


Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler and manager Brad Ausmus were both ejected by umpire Angel Hernandez in the top of the fifth inning of Monday night’s game against the Rangers. Here’s what went down:

Kinsler, who wasn’t happy with Hernandez’s strike zone that evening, looked back at Hernandez after a pitch that was way out of the strike zone was called a ball. You can imagine the implication. Hernandez immediately ejected Kinsler. Ausmus was ejected just as quickly when he came out to defend his player.

Kinsler followed up with the media about the situation on Tuesday. Per’s Jason Beck, Kinsler hasn’t heard anything from Major League Baseball about the incident. Kinsler then said, “It has to do with changing the game. He’s changing the game. He needs to find another job. He really does.” He added, “I’m just saying it’s pretty obvious that he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”

He’s not wrong. Hernandez has been notorious over the years for having a short leash and ejecting players and managers certainly does influence the outcome of the game. It’s impossible to say that the Tigers would have won Monday’s game if Kinsler had taken three more at-bats instead of Dixon Machado, but the Tigers would certainly rather have him at the plate.

There is a power imbalance between umpires and players. It’s a tight rope to walk between anarchy and a dictatorship because players who fear no repercussions can step on umpires the same way umpires are stepping on them now. But a player giving an umpire a look, even having a few words with an umpire, over a strike zone judgment shouldn’t result in an ejection. Fans pay to see players like Kinsler play and umpires like Hernandez rob them of that opportunity. Perhaps we could have the rules outline specific behaviors that will result in an ejection, lessening the one-sided power that umpires currently hold. Hurting an umpire’s ego shouldn’t be grounds for an ejection.

Dbacks outfielder Steven Souza injured his right shoulder last night

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Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Steven Souza dove for a ball in a spring training game last night, missed, and ended up injuring his right shoulder.

It looked bad, too. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson stood over him, frantically waving to the dugout for a trainer as Souza kicked his legs in apparent pain. Souza held his arms awkwardly as he walked off the field. At the moment the Dbacks are calling it a right shoulder strain, but he’ll get an MRI on it today after which a more specific diagnosis will come.

If Souza is out for a while it’s a pretty big blow to Arizona’s 2018 plan. Souza was acquired to help cushion the blow of losing J.D. Martinez in free agency. While not the hitter Martinez is, Souza hit 30 homers in Tampa Bay last year, stood likely to at least match that in the more hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field and, of course, plays superior defense.

Potential replacements for Souza include moving David Peralta from left to right and inserting Yasmany Tomas in left or having fourth outfielder Dyson, or perhaps a platoon of Dyson and utilityman Chris Owings, handle right. Socrates Brito is another internal option.

Obviously the Snakes will wait to hear the results of the MRI before going too deeply into replacement plans, all the while hoping that Souza’s injury is far less serious than it appeared to be last night.