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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.

Bryce Harper defeats Kyle Schwarber 19-18 to win the 2018 Home Run Derby

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Bryce Harper, who said he was tired after taking his cuts in the first round, certainly appeared gassed in the final round. So, too, did his dad, who was throwing to him. But Harper caught fire, going on a tear and tying Kyle Schwarber with 18 home runs before time expired in the final round of the 2018 Home Run Derby. Harper unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs at least 440 feet. With his second swing in bonus time, Harper homered to straightaway center field for No. 19. He tossed his bat in celebration, grabbed his trophy, then gave it to his dad before he was mobbed on the field by his All-Star teammates.

Harper hit 13 home runs in the first round, eliminating Freddie Freeman and advancing to the semifinals. In the semis, Harper topped Max Muncy 13-12 to advance to the finals. On Schwarber’s side of the bracket, he bested Alex Bregman 16-15, then defeated Rhys Hoskins 21-20.

Harper is the first member of the Nationals (or Expos) to win the Home Run Derby. Harper participated in the 2013 Derby but finished in second place behind Yoenis Céspedes. Harper is also the first left-handed hitter to win the Derby since Prince Fielder in 2012. The only players to win the Derby in their home park are Todd Frazier in 2015 and Ryne Sandberg in 1990.

As a spectator, the 2018 Home Run Derby was tons of fun. The four-minute clock adds a lot of tension and intrigue even to the initial rounds. Seeing teammates cheer and get excited for their teammates in the Derby is really fun. Of course, watching dinger after dinger is cool, too. Can’t wait for next year.