Umpire Angel Hernandez had a bad night in Monday’s Red Sox-Yankees game with three of his calls overturned on replay.
For some, Hernandez getting calls wrong was no surprise. He has a reputation as one of the worst umpires in Major League Baseball, which former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez referenced in no uncertain terms on TBS’s postgame show after Game 3.
“Angel is horrible. Major League Baseball needs to do something about Angel,’’ said Martinez, a member of the Hall of Fame. “It doesn’t matter how much he sues Major League Baseball. He’s as bad as there is. That’s the main reason why we’re sitting here so late.’’
Martinez alluded to the fact that Hernandez filed a lawsuit against Major League Baseball on July 3, 2017, alleging he has been the victim of discrimination because he is of Latino descent, with the league declining to name him a crew chief and preventing him from working World Series games.
Monday night’s game certainly won’t help Hernandez’s case, and it’ll put the spotlight directly on him as he moves behind the plate for Tuesday’s Game 4 between the Red Sox and Yankees..
What also won’t help his case is a compilation of some of Hernandez’s bad calls on YouTube titled “Angel Hernandez doing Angel Hernandez things.’’
Included in the montage is an incident involving Red Sox second baseman Ian Kinsler, who took issue with the umpire last season, when Kinsler was a member of the Detroit Tigers.
In an Aug. 14, 2017 game against the Texas Rangers, Hernandez called a strike on Kinsler on a pitch replays showed was below the strike zone. When Kinsler questioned the pitch, Hernandez said it was a strike.
The second pitch was outside and called a ball. When Kinsler turned to Hernandez and asked “What about that one?’’, he was ejected by Hernandez. Detroit manager Brad Ausmus left the dugout to argue and was also ejected by Hernandez.
Kinsler had plenty to say about the incident before Detroit’s game the next day.
“This has to do with changing the game,’’ Kinsler said. “He’s changing the game. He needs to find another job. He really does.’’
Asked if he felt Hernandez biased against him, Kinsler replied “No. He’s just that bad.’’
“I’m not mad at him,’’ Kinsler said. “He just needs to go away.’’
Hernandez and Kinsler eventually shook hands before the series in Texas was over.
Kinsler was fined, but not suspended for his actions, prompting umpires to wear white wristband to protest “escalating verbal attacks’’.
Why is he working the playoffs? According to MLB’s website, umpires are chosen for postseason assignments by the commissioner’s office.
How bad was Hernandez in Game 3 Monday? He had three calls overturned by replay, and that was just in the first four innings.
In his defense, the first two calls were bang-bang plays
The first came in the second inning when Didi Gregorius was ruled safe on a bunt. It was a close play, but first baseman Steve Pearce immediately signaled to the Red Sox dugout that they should have a look at the replay. Gregorious was ruled out.
The next play came in the third inning, when shortstop Xander Bogaerts made a nice defensive play up the middle, ranging to his left to field a Gleyber Torres grounder. Bogaerts’ momentum carried him to the right side of second base, where he threw across his body to Pearce, who managed to catch the ball and keep his foot on the first base bag.
Hernandez ruled it an out, but replay showed Torres beat the throw.
It was the third blown call that appeared to be the most egregious.
This was one also featured Gregorius. With a runner on first, Gregorius hit a grounder to second baseman Brock Holt, who pitched it to Bogaerts to force Giancarlo Stanton out at second base. Bogaerts fired to first in an attempt to get Gregorious for a double play. Hernandez emphatically signaled that Gregorius was out, but the call wasn’t even close. Gregorius never left the bag as the play was quickly overturned by replay.