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

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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 MLB.com’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.

Robin Ventura, other familiar names come up in Mets managerial search

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Terry Collins is still the manager of the New York Mets, but all signs point to that state of affairs ending some time soon after Sunday afternoon. To that end, the New York Post reports a handful of familiar names being mentioned in connection with their impending managerial search:

Early persons of interest, according to industry sources, all have ties to the organization: Robin Ventura, Alex Cora and Kevin Long. Two others with ties to the organization — Bob Geren and Chip Hale — are also in the conversation, according to sources.

By the way: can we talk about how great it is that a term that is normally associated with criminal suspects — “persons of interest” — is being used in connection with potential future New York Mets managers? OK, we just talked about it.

These names, with the exception of Cora, all belong to former managers with Mets connections. Hale was the Mets third base coach and was passed over for the managerial gig when Collins was hired and eventually managed the Diamondbacks. Ventura, of course, played for the Mets for three seasons before retiring and becoming the White Sox’ manager. Geren was the Mets bench coach when they won the 2015 pennant but moved to the Dodgers to be closer to his family in California. He’s formally a manager with the Oakland A’s. Cora played a season and change with the Mets and has served as the bench coach for the Astros in the 2017 season.

In the recent past, as recently-retired players with little or no coaching or managerial experience were hired to manage teams, some people may have referred to these candidates as “retreads.” With Dusty Baker’s success in Washington after a few years of semi-retirement and with a number of inexperienced managers showing that they were not all that they were cracked up to be, however, the pendulum seems to be swinging back toward looking for experienced candidates.

Obviously the whole offseason will determine if I’m imagining that or if it does, in fact, becomes the trend. And, of course, the Mets actually have to formally let Collins go before hiring someone else. Not that I would put it past them to mess that up.

Pete Mackanin doesn’t know if he’ll be back as Phillies manager next year

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Back in May the Phillies gave Pete Mackanin a contract extension covering the remainder of 2017, all of 2018 and created a team option for 2019. Yesterday, however, Mackanin said he had no idea if the Phillies were going to bring him back as manager next season:

“I assume I’ll be here, but you never know. You never know what they’re going to do. So you just keep moving on. I just take it a day at a time and manage the way I think I should manage and handle players the way I think I should handle them. That’s all I can do. If it’s not good enough then … fine. I hope it’s good enough. I hope he thinks it’s good enough.”

Maybe that’s just cautious talk, though, as there doesn’t seem to be any signals coming from the Phillies front office that Mackanin is in trouble. If anything things have looked up in the second half of the season with the callups of Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams each of whom have shown that they belong in the bigs. The team is 33-37 since the All-Star break and is certainly a better team now than the one Mackanin started with in April. And it’s not his fault that they don’t have any pitching.

I suspect Mackanin will be back next year, but Mackanin has been around the block enough times to know that nothing is guaranteed for a big league manager. Even one under contract.