Angel Hernandez

From BR Bullpen

Angel Hernandez

Biographical Information[edit]

Angel Hernandez went into umpiring straight out of high school. He worked in the 1981-1983 Florida State League, 1984-1985 Carolina League, 1986-1987 Southern League and 1988-1992 American Association before making it to the majors full-time as a National League umpire in 1993; he had earlier worked some NL games in both 1991 and 1992. He worked the 1999 All-Star Game, 2002 World Series, 2005 World Series and 2009 All-Star Game as well as season openers in both 1999 and 2000.

Hernandez was at the center of a highly controversial call on May 8, 2013. With the Cleveland Indians leading the Oakland Athletics, 4-3, in the 9th inning, Adam Rosales hit a ball that hit the first row of seats beyond the outfield fence and bounced back on the field. Even after the use of video review, however, Hernandez called the ball a double and not a home run, and Rosales was left stranded on second base while Oakland lost the game a few moments later. A's manager Bob Melvin argued long and hard that the ball was a home run, but was ejected without having been able to convince Hernandez to reverse the call. What made the play especially controversial was that the video evidence did not support the ruling, and that Major League Baseball Vice-President Joe Torre admitted as much the following day, although he also stated that the call would be allowed to stand, as perfection was impossible to achieve for umpires.

On July 3, 2017, it was revealed that Hernandez had filed a suit against Major League Baseball before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission arguing racial discrimination. His claim was that he did not receive the prestigious postseason umpiring assignments or the opportunity to become a crew chief he felt he deserved in spite of high marks on evaluations, because of MLB's alleged preference for non-ethnic umpires. He specifically pointed out the nomination of former manager Joe Torre as MLB's chief of discipline in 2011 as a turning point, alleging that the two had had a history of on-field disagreements that had tainted Torre's opinion of his work. Ironically, shortly after the lawsuit was made public, he was named to be part of the umpiring crew for the 2017 All-Star Game. Later that season, on August 15th, Ian Kinsler criticized him rather harshly, not as part of an emotion-filled rant, but in a measured discussion one day after having been ejected from a game for simply asking a question about the strike zone. As Kinsler put it, Hernandez should be reflecting on whether he still belongs on the field as a major league umpire, given his inability to take any form of criticism: "It has to do with changing the game. He’s changing the game. He needs to find another job, he really does.” The comments did not lead to prolonged animosity between the two, as in the game of August 16h, he had an on-field conversation with Kinsler which ended with the two shaking hands.

Source: MLB Umpire Media Guide`

Further Reading[edit]

  • Anthony Fenech: "Kinsler: Umpire 'needs to find another job,' messing with games 'blatantly'", The Detroit Free Press, August 15, 2017. [1]
  • James Pilcher: "Ump files racial discrimination suit against MLB", Cincinnati Enquirer, July 3, 2017. [2]

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