Ángel Hernández's lawsuit accusing MLB of racial discrimination rejected in federal appeals court

FILE - Umpire Ángel Hernández during the first inning of a baseball game between the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros, Friday, Aug. 4, 2023, in New York. Hernández lost again in his race discrimination lawsuit against Major League Baseball when a federal appeals court refused to reinstate his case on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
Umpire Ángel Hernández is back after three months of injury rest. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

Ángel Hernández's lawsuit accusing Major League Baseball of racial discrimination was rejected in a federal appeals court in New York on Tuesday, according to ESPN.

Hernández, who was born in Cuba, filed the case in 2017 after serving as an interim crew chief from 2011 to 2016. This came after he was passed over for a promotion to crew chief and not chosen to work the World Series. He filed the appeal in June 2022.

The 61-year-old claimed that former MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre prevented him from being promoted because he held animosity toward Hernández. Hernández claimed this tension went all the way back to Torre's tenure as manager of the New York Yankees. The umpire's lawyer, Nicholas R. Gregg, argued that MLB was wrong to give Torre 100% authority to make crew chief decisions.

In the years after the suit was filed, Hernandez also accused MLB umpiring executive Randy Marsh of making "disturbing" racial comments, while MLB claimed that Hernandez once improperly eavesdropped on one of the league's calls.

When Hernández lost the case in 2021, the judge said MLB made a compelling case that Torre had reason to believe Hernandez is simply not a good enough umpire to deserve a promotion.

His appeal accused MLB of manipulating internal evaluations against minority umpires. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan rejected that argument in a 3-0 decision.

Hernández missed more than three months of the season due to a back injury. His return to the diamond has featured some classic performances, including Saturday's Yankees-Marlins game in Miami. He missed 15 calls in the game as announcers made pointed comments about his work. He sits dead last in correct call rate this season, per Umpire Auditor.

Despite Hernández's questionable calls, Marlins ace Sandy Alcántara won the battle to pitch a complete game and get the win.

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