Brad Ausmus said over the weekend Ian Kinsler’s fine for criticizing umpire Angel Hernandez was the highest he’s seen — and he was a player for a long time before becoming the Tigers’ manager. Monday ESPN’s Buster Olney put a dollar figure to it: $10,000.
I have a hunch that Kinsler will view that as money well spent — and probably earned a few steak dinners from his fellow MLB players in the process. Meanwhile the drama-istas in the umpires’ union decided to put a rest to wearing white arm bands for the time being while they meet with MLB commish Rob Manfred.
At Fangraphs, our own Ashley noted it’s neither in players’ nor umpires’ best interest to continue to have public strife. Brandon, meanwhile, stayed home to write about robot strike zones.
While we all have to acknowledge the job of an umpire is a difficult one — things happen fast, slow-motion replay and pitch-tracking cameras give fans and players reason to second-guess constantly — they should provide a little self-criticism and work to put an end to the “ump shows.” It makes them unsympathetic to everyone but their closest family members when they’re wrong and put forth an attitude about it.
Maybe then their ‘protest’ would be met with more than laughter and ridicule.
Who’s your Tiger ... again?
My column in the News this week is about the wisdom of bringing Curtis Granderson back to finish his career in Detroit. I deem it a pipe dream myself and provide plenty of reason it probably won’t happen.
But Granderson was a fan favorite before and the crowd gave him a nice welcome back to Detroit Saturday.
Bringing him back while the younger players develop could give fans a reason not to abandon baseball entirely for the next few years.
Speaking of Granderson, he hit a grand slam for the Dodgers on Monday, a day after ending Justin Verlander’s no-hitter with a home run in the sixth inning Sunday. He now has eight home runs in 17 games this month.
Also, there’s this stat:
Grosse Pointe won on Monday!
The Tigers were off on Monday. Grosse Pointe, after dropping its first two game at the Little League World Series, beat Italy 11-7. That’s Michigan’s first win in a LLWS since 1982(!), MLive’s Mike Mulholland notes. While the local kids might not be in the running for a championship, it’s still a great accomplishment they should be proud of.
Should Justin Upton opt out?
Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron asks just that. I think he should. Why waste your talents in Detroit when you’re going to be paid a lot of money by someone else? But Cameron uses a few more numbers that I did to reach the same conclusion.
So, yeah, if I was Justin Upton’s agent, I’d be preparing him to cancel the rest of his contract this winter. He won’t get a huge raise, most likely, but he’s played well enough to get this same deal with a better team, and that is a goal worth pursuing.
Big Sexy enjoyed the eclipse
Around the horn
Hunter Wendelstedt was hit in the head by a warm-up pitch. He left the game. ... Indians reliever Andrew Miller left the game after seven pitches. ... Clayton Kershaw says he could have pitched 10 games ago. Dang it, he would have been fun to see during the BYB meet-up Saturday.