Ian Kinsler to veteran umpire Angel Hernandez: Stop ruining baseball games

Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler unloaded a series of grievances against Angel Hernandez on Tuesday, one day after the veteran umpire ejected him for arguing balls and strikes.

Speaking to reporters, Kinsler said that Hernandez, who has been a major league umpire since 1993, "needs to re-evaluate his career choice" because he's "messing with baseball games."

"I'm surprised at how bad an umpire he is," Kinsler said, according to the The Detroit News. "I don't know how, for as many years he's been in the league, that he can be that bad. He needs to re-evaluate his career choice, he really does. Bottom line.

"If I get fined for saying the truth, then so be it. He's messing with baseball games, blatantly."

Kinsler was tossed while batting in the fifth inning of Monday's 6-2 loss to the Texas Rangers. Kinsler questioned a strike that was called on the first pitch of his at-bat, telling Hernandez it was a strike only because he called it a strike. After the second pitch was called a ball, Kinsler turned to Hernandez and said, "What about that one?"

Hernandez ejected Kinsler. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, who ran onto the field in Kinsler's defense, was also tossed.

"This has to do with changing the game," said Kinsler, who claims he has had problems with Hernandez since his rookie season in 2006. "He's changing the game. He needs to find another job. He really does."

Asked if he and Hernandez had a personal issue, Kinsler said, "I'm not mad at him. He just needs to go away."

Kinsler told reporters he believes that Hernandez missed eight obvious calls against both teams in Monday's game.

"Not just borderline calls here and there," Kinsler said. "There's arguments on those every game. There are pitches every game where if you call it a strike, the hitter's going to be mad; and if you call that same pitch a ball, the pitcher's going to be mad. Umpires have to deal with that every game.

"But when it becomes blatant like this, there is a problem. ... What is he doing on the field? What is he doing out there? It's pretty obvious he needs to stop ruining baseball games."

Hernandez was the third-base umpire Tuesday in Texas after working home plate Monday. Kinsler started at second base for the Tigers.

A normal rotation for the umpires would put Hernandez at second base when the teams play again Wednesday night.

After the Rangers' 10-4 win Tuesday night, when Hernandez worked third base, Hernandez said he didn't know about Kinsler's criticism. When told in general what Kinsler said, Hernandez said, "It doesn't matter.''

"I'm not at liberty to discuss tit-for-tat what's going on. As a matter of fact, I don't even care what he said," Hernandez said. "What I care about is going out there and doing my job, to the best I can do."

Hernandez, 55, has worked two World Series (2002, 2005) and last season was part of a League Championship Series crew for the seventh time.

In 2010, an ESPN survey revealed that 22 percent of players who were asked called Hernandez the worst umpire in the majors.

A native of Cuba, Hernandez filed a lawsuit against Major League Baseball last month alleging that racial discrimination, as well as a long-simmering personal vendetta between him and MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre, has hindered his career advancement. A few days after filing the suit, Hernandez was named an umpire for the All-Star Game in Miami. The suit is pending.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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