%C3%81ngel Hernandez (umpire)
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%C3%81ngel Hern%C3%A1ndez Umpire

Ángel Hernández
Angel Hernandez baseball umpire April 2015.jpg
Hernández in 2015
Born: (1961-08-26) August 26, 1961 (age 59)
Havana, Cuba
May 23, 1991
Crew Information
Umpiring crew2
Crew members
Career highlights and awards
Special Assignments

Ángel Hernández (born August 26, 1961) is an umpire in Major League Baseball (MLB). He worked in the National League from 1991 to 1999, and has worked throughout MLB since 2000. In July 2017, Hernández filed a federal lawsuit against MLB, alleging racial discrimination led to him being overlooked for World Series games and crew chief promotions. He has since umpired in the 2017 All-Star Game, 2017 American League Division Series, and 2018 American League Division Series in addition to regular-season work.

Early and personal life

Hernández was born in Havana, Cuba.[1][2] In 2015 he returned to Cuba for the first time since he left to spread the ashes of his father. A few months later he returned to umpire the first game in the country involving an MLB team since 1999.[2]

Hernández does charity work for disabled children, including hosting a celebrity golf tournament every year.[2] He lives in Loxahatchee, Florida.[3]

Umpiring career

Hernández umpired in the World Series in 2002 and 2005, as well as the All-Star Game in 1999, 2009, and 2017. He has officiated in seven League Championship Series (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2016), and in eleven League Division Series (1997, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2020). Hernández also worked Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS as an injury fill-in for Derryl Cousins. For the second half of the 2011 baseball season, Hernández was moved from the umpiring crew of Joe West to the crew of Gerry Davis.[4]

Hernández wore number 5 while in the National League, but the number was taken by Dale Scott when the umpires were consolidated under MLB in 2000, so Hernández took number 55. After Scott's retirement in 2017, Hernández regained his number 5 for the 2018 season.[5]

In 1999 Hernández was ranked 31st out of 36 umpires in the Major League Baseball Players Association survey.[6] He was retained for the 2000 season ahead of 13 of his National League colleagues, which the Philadelphia Inquirer termed one of the "surprises" of the 1999 purge.[7]

Hernández in 2011

In 2006 and 2011 he was listed as the third-worst baseball umpire in Sports Illustrated player polls.[8][9][10] A 2010 ESPN survey showed that 22% of major league ballplayers asked identified Hernández as the worst umpire in the major leagues.[11] In 2016, Hernández' lawsuit against MLB stated that MLB rated Hernández' accuracy behind the plate at 96.88 percent in 2016 (up from 92.19% in 2002), and said he did not miss any calls on the basepaths.[2]

During the 2016, 2017, and 2018 seasons, Hernández's calls at first base were overturned in 14 out of 18 video reviews, for a 78% overturn rate, exceeding the 60% overturn rate for all first-base calls by all umpires during that time period.[12]

On April 8, 2019, Boston University published a study on 11 seasons of Major League Baseball data, almost 4 million pitches analyzed, to determine the accuracy of balls and strikes called. The study found that Hernández performed stronger in 2018 than his average for 2008-2018. He averaged 19 incorrect calls a game, or 2.2 per inning. Even with this high error rate, compared to his peers, he performed better than others, escaping the 2018 Bottom 10 MLB list.[13] During spring training 2019, Hernández claimed he gets four wrong calls per game.[14] The BU study shows that his error rate is almost five times higher.[13]

In 2020, after a dozen umpires elected to sit out the season as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Hernandez was made an interim crew chief.[15]

The Sporting News journalist Tom Gatto wrote in 2020 that Hernández "has earned a reputation for being one of MLB's worst umpires," similarly Andrew Mahoney writing for The Boston Globe reported that Hernández "has a reputation as one of baseball's worst umpires," and Zach Braziller of The New York Post wrote that he was the "worst umpire in baseball."[16][17][18]

Notable games

Hernández was behind the plate for the final game at the old Yankee Stadium on September 21, 2008. He was umpiring at third base when Jered Weaver threw a no-hitter on May 2, 2012,[19] and Hernández was the third base umpire on September 28, 2012, when Homer Bailey of the Cincinnati Reds no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates.[20]


In 1998, Hernández was behind the plate for a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves, the day before the All-Star break was to begin. In the 11th inning Braves runner Michael Tucker tagged up on a fly ball to left. Replays showed the throw to catcher Mike Piazza clearly beating Tucker, and that Tucker never touched the plate, but Hernández ruled Tucker safe. After the game Piazza called the call the worst he had ever seen in his baseball career, and other Mets opined that Hernández may have been in a hurry to get the game over with so they could all start their break.[21]

In 2001, Hernández was blamed for ejecting Steve McMichael, a former Chicago Bears football player, who had taken a shot at Hernández's umpiring over the Chicago Cubs PA system after being introduced as the guest singer for "Take Me Out to the Ball Game".[22] It was later revealed crew chief Randy Marsh had ordered the ejection.[2]

Hernández in 2007

On July 17, 2006, Hernández was the third base umpire and ejected Dodgers' first base coach Mariano Duncan. When Duncan came out of the dugout to argue the ejection, he tossed his cap onto the ground in anger. After Duncan was removed from the field, Hernández picked up the cap and tossed it to a fan in the stands. The next day, Duncan taped his cap to his head before delivering the Dodgers' lineup to the umpires.[23] Duncan was suspended for two games and fined by Major League Baseball as a result of the incident.[24]

On May 8, 2013, Hernández served as the crew chief for a game between the Oakland Athletics and the Cleveland Indians. In the ninth inning he and two other umpires ruled a long hit by the Athletics' Adam Rosales as a double following a video review.[25][2] Oakland's manager Bob Melvin argued the call, and Hernández ejected him from the game. The Athletics lost the game 4-3.[26] MLB later acknowledged that the hit should have been called a home run, but said that it was too late to overturn it.[27][28] Several umpires argued that the replay system did not provide clear enough pictures, and the system was later changed.[2]

In August 2017, Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was fined $10,000 by MLB, for critical comments he made about Hernández. Kinsler had said that Hernández was a bad umpire, and "needs to find another job".[29]

On October 8, 2018, Hernández was the first base umpire for Game 3 of the 2018 American League Division Series between the Yankees and Red Sox. Four out of five plays that he called at first base which were submitted for video review were overturned.[12]TBS analyst and Hall of Famer Pedro Martínez said after the game: "Angel was horrible. Don't get me going on Angel now. Major League Baseball needs to do something about Angel. It doesn't matter how many times he sues Major League Baseball. He's as bad as there is."[30] Pitcher CC Sabathia said: "I don't understand why he's doing these games.... He's always bad. He's a bad umpire".[31] Hernández declined to comment after the game, a blowout win for the Red Sox, but MLB issued a statement through a spokesperson: "There were several very close calls at first base tonight, and we are glad that instant replay allowed the umpiring crew to achieve the proper result on all of them."[12]

MLB removed Hernández from the position of acting crew chief after accusing him of eavesdropping on an MLB investigative call in July 2019, which focused on Hernández's 20-minute game delay due to umpire confusion over league rules.[16][32] Hernández did not hang up his phone when his interview ended, and instead continued listening to the subsequent questioning of another umpire that he knew was intended to be separate. Joe Torre, MLB's chief baseball officer, wrote him: "Simply put, we find your asserted justifications for remaining on the line to be implausible, internally inconsistent, premised on facts that are incorrect and not credible.... we have concluded that you remained on the line in an effort to intentionally and deceptively eavesdrop on a confidential conversation in order to hear what [umpire] Hickox would say .... This is an egregious offense." Hernández was also chastised for asking pitcher Homer Bailey for 11 autographed baseballs after Bailey's no-hitter, making three incorrect calls that were later overturned on the basis of video replay in the first four innings of Game 3 of the 2018 ALDS, and angrily throwing his headset during a different game when his call was overturned by replay.[33]


In July 2017, Hernández filed a federal lawsuit against MLB, alleging racial discrimination led to him being overlooked for World Series games and crew chief promotions.[2] He also cited a long-standing feud with Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, dating back to Torre's managerial career.[34] Hernández asserted that prior to Torre's arrival in 2011, Hernández's evaluations were consistently positive, but since then evaluations had turned neutral or negative.[35] Nearly a week after he filed the suit, Hernández was named to the 2017 All-Star Game;[36] he was also selected as first base umpire for the 2017 and 2018 American League Division Series.[37][12] In September 2018, the case was moved from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in New York City, where Major League Baseball is headquartered.[12][38] As of October 2020, the case was in the pretrial stages.[39]

See also


  1. ^ "Ceremonial first pitches, umpires for historic Cuba game announced". MLB.com. March 20, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Who is Angel Hernandez? Umpire who's sued MLB in middle of many kerfuffles". USA TODAY. July 7, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ "COMPLAINT, WITH JURY DEMAND" (PDF). July 3, 2017.
  4. ^ "Umpire Ejection Fantasy League: Say It Ain't So, Joe". Close Call Sports. July 2011.
  5. ^ "Umpires: Roster". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 7, 1999
  7. ^ Philadelphia Inquirer, July 30, 1999
  8. ^ Sports Illustrated, June 20, 2006 SI Players Poll
  9. ^ Jordan Kobritz (July 11, 2017). "Column: MLB umpire sues league for racial discrimination". The Daily Courier.
  10. ^ Adam Kilgore (October 10, 2018). "Under-fire umpire Angel Hernandez likely done for playoffs, but not for reason you think". The Washington Post.
  11. ^ "Tigers' Kinsler: Angel Hernandez is a bad umpire". FoxSports.com. AP. August 16, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c d e Blum, Ronald (October 9, 2018). "Umpire Angel Hernandez had 3 of his 4 calls reversed during Game 3 of the ALDS". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ a b Mark T. Williams (April 8, 2019). "MLB Umpires Strike Zone Accuracy". www.bu.edu.
  14. ^ Hunter Atkins (March 15, 2019). "Astros Manager A J Hinch Gets Ejected". www..chron.com.
  15. ^ "Umpire Angel Hernandez, who is suing MLB, will work Dodgers-Padres NLDS". CBS Sports. October 5, 2020.
  16. ^ a b "Yankees curse out Angel Hernandez after umpire blows key call". The Sporting News. August 5, 2020.
  17. ^ "Umpire Angel Hernandez in ALDS Game 4 spotlight". The Boston Globe. October 9, 2018.
  18. ^ Braziller, Zach (September 23, 2020). "Angel Hernandez had another terrible game, took it out on White Sox". The New York Post.
  19. ^ "Angels' Jered Weaver tosses second no-hitter of season". ESPN. Retrieved 2012.
  20. ^ "Reds' Homer Bailey throws no-hitter against Pirates". ESPN. Retrieved 2012.
  21. ^ New York Daily News, July 6, 1998.
  22. ^ "McMichael booted from Cubs game". USA Today. Retrieved 2015.
  23. ^ "Duncan suspended for two games and fined". ESPN. July 22, 2006. Retrieved 2017.
  24. ^ Elkins, Ashley (July 22, 2006). "Bonds relieved not to be indicted". Daily Journal. Retrieved 2017.
  25. ^ "Hernandez gaffe highlights MLB flaw". Fox.
  26. ^ Withers, Tom (May 8, 2013). "Indians edge Athletics 4-3 on controversial call". Associated Press via Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2013.
  27. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (May 10, 2013). "Errors part of game, but it shouldn't be with replay". MLB.com. Retrieved 2013.
  28. ^ "MLB: Umpires made 'improper call'". ESPN. May 10, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  29. ^ "MLB fined Tigers' Ian Kinsler $10K, warned umpires for protest". ESPN.com. August 21, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  30. ^ Schrock, Joshua (October 9, 2018). "Pedro Martinez Slams Umpire Angel Hernandez After Horrific ALDS Game 3". NESN. Retrieved 2018.
  31. ^ "Yankees renew feud with umpire Ángel Hernández, coach showers him with expletives". Yahoo. August 5, 2020.
  32. ^ Katherine Acquavella (June 8, 2020). "MLB says umpire Angel Hernandez eavesdropped during 2019 investigation, per report". CBS Sports.
  33. ^ Kussoy, Howie (June 9, 2020). "Notorious umpire Angel Hernandez in more trouble with MLB". The New York Post.
  34. ^ Bieler, Des (July 3, 2017). "Umpire Angel Hernandez sues MLB for racial discrimination, cites Joe Torre's 'animosity'". The Washington Post.
  35. ^ Imber, Gil (July 3, 2017). "Angel Hernandez Sues MLB for Racial Discrimination". Close Call Sports & Umpire Ejection Fantasy League.
  36. ^ Perez, A.J. (July 6, 2017). "Umpire Angel Hernandez, who's suing MLB for alleged discrimination, to work All-Star Game". USA Today.
  37. ^ Lancaster, Marc (October 5, 2017). "MLB playoffs: Umpires for AL, NL Division Series". Sporting News. Retrieved 2018.
  38. ^ Pilcher, James (October 1, 2018). "MLB umpire's race discrimination suit moved to New York court". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2018.
  39. ^ "Umpire Angel Hernandez, who is suing MLB, will work Dodgers-Padres NLDS". CBS Sports.

Further reading

External links

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