As quickly as MLB’s umpires decided to try and do something about the unfair treatment they believe they’re subjected to, they’ve ended their ‘wristband protest.’
News broke Sunday that MLB umpires have decided to stop wearing white wristbands as a sign of protest and will meet with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. The umpires only wore the wristbands, used to protest “verbal attacks on umpires,” twice.
According to Evan Woodbery of Mlive.com, the decision to cease wearing the wristbands appears to be a ‘thank you’ to Manfred for agreeing to meet, rather than a demand made by the commissioner.
“On Sunday, the WUA (World Umpires Association) said baseball commissioner Rob Manfred had agreed to meet to discuss the issue. As a show of good faith, the union said, umpires would no longer wear the white wristbands.”
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A big issue the union had was what they perceived to be a double standard.
Umpire Joe West was suspended for three games earlier this month after trashing Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre in an interview with USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale. Meanwhile, Detroit’s Ian Kinsler was only fined for saying that umpire Angel Hernandez “needed to reevaluate his career choice” last Tuesday, per Chris McCoskey of the Detroit News.
The umpires certainly have a point. But there’s also a good counter to that argument—that the quality of umpiring has declined in recent years. And Hernandez is a terrible umpire. Players and fans have long rated him poorly, especially for a wildly inconsistent strike zone that he seems to make up from pitch-to-pitch.
Ultimately, Manfred and the umpires will work this issue out, and this will go down as nothing more than a minor incident in a long baseball season.