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Judge Rules Angel Hernandez Wasn't Discriminated Against, He Was Just a Terrible Umpire

Ryan Phillips
Division Series - San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game One
Division Series - San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game One / Tom Pennington/Getty Images
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Angel Hernandez lost his discrimination lawsuit against Major League Baseball on Wednesday, as the U.S. District Court in New York ruled against him. In the end, the court sided with MLB's explanation that it hadn't given Hernandez plum assignments simply because he wasn't good at his job.

U.S District Court Judge Paul J. Oetken said the following in granting MLB's motion for summary judgement: "The court concludes that no reasonable juror could find that MLB’s stated explanation is a pretext for discriminatory motive."

Further, Oetken wrote that if MLB was discriminating on the basis of race or national identity, it wouldn't have given fellow umpire Alfonso Marquez World Series assignments in 2011 and 2015.

Hernandez had claimed MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre hadn't liked him since 2001 and that he was passed over for crew chief and World Series assignments as a result. But the court ruled that Torre had rejected white crew chief candidates who had more seniority than Hernandez as well.

Oetken added the following:

""Hernández’s handful of cherry-picked examples does not reliably establish any systematic effort on MLB’s part to artificially deflate Hernández’s evaluations, much less an effort to do so in order to cover up discrimination. The evidence shows beyond genuine dispute that an umpire’s leadership and situation management carried the day in MLB’s promotion decisions.""

In the end, the judge agreed with MLB's assessment of the situation. He closed with the following:

""The explicit reason MLB offers — that according to Torre, Hernández ‘has not demonstrated the leadership ability and situation-management skills in critical high-pressure roles on a consistent basis’ — is presented in clear and specific terms.""

As most of us know, Hernandez is arguably MLB's worst umpire. He often goes out of his way to screw up perfectly good baseball games. See examples here, here and here. Now a court has agreed with that assessment after Major League Baseball explicitly spelled it out.

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