Major League Baseball is apparently admitting what baseball fans have known for years: Angel Hernandez is a horrible umpire. On Monday, The Athletic's Daniel Kaplan wrote about MLB's claims that Hernandez eavesdropped on an investigation into his conduct, but the piece revealed so much more.
On July 24, 2017 there was confusion and a 14-minute delay in a game involving the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox. The problem came when the Rays moved pitcher Adam Kolarek to first base. When a pitcher moves to a defensive position, the team moving him loses its designated hitter. Apparently, Hernandez had to be reminded of that rule by his crew and he screwed up another ruling concerning the batting order.
Obviously after that embarrassing screw up, MLB launched an investigation. It interviewed all members of the umpiring crew separately via telephone. When it came time for Hernandez to hang up and for fellow umpire Ed Hickox to be interviewed, Hernandez allegedly didn't hang up and instead listened in after expressly being told not to.
This has all been revealed as Major League Baseball is trying to get a lawsuit filed by Hernandez thrown out of court. Hernandez has alleged that he hasn't received good assignments (like a World Series spot) because he's been discriminated against. Based on MLB's filings, it's not discrimination, Hernandez is just a bad umpire. It's also plainly clear that Joe Torre and Hernandez don't get along and haven't for a long time. Torre used to be MLB's chief baseball officer and is now a special assistant to commissioner Rob Manfred.
MLB listed a number of incidents in its reasons why it hasn't given Hernandez plum gigs. First was in 2012 when Hernandez violated MLB rules by asking Homer Bailey -- who had thrown a no-hitter -- to autograph 11 baseballs for himself and the rest of the umpiring crew.
The other incidents listed follow:
-Hernandez had three calls overturned by replay in the first four innings of a playoff game between the New York Yankees and the Red Sox.
-Torre claims he observed Hernandez throw a headset after having a call overturned by instant replay.
-Hernandez also refused to change his mind on a replay decision from a 2013 Cleveland Indians game where he ruled a ball that should have been a home run was called a double. To this day Hernandez refuses to admit that mistake.
Frankly, those complaints don't even get into the heart of the matter with Hernandez. He's just terrible at his job. There are pages of videos on YouTube compiling his worst calls and they have to be updated constantly.
Here's just one:
Hernandez is terrible and he's been terrible for years. He's bad no matter what spot he occupies on the diamond and he's never going to get better. At least the league is finally admitting it. Now MLB just needs to fire him.