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Ángel Hernández was a trending topic on Twitter Sunday afternoon in a surefire sign that baseball is indeed back.
The umpire is constantly under fire by fans and even players for bad calls. He is largely perceived as the worst umpire in all of baseball. To open the spring training slate, he was assigned the St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals matchup in the Grapefruit League in Florida.
And it appears the Cardinals announcers have been itching all offseason for a moment to deliver this joke:
"And the 1-1 ... Ángel Hernández is in midseason form," Cardinals play-by-play announcer Dan McLaughlin joked on a ball call.
"Let's not make this game too fast, Angel," his partner chimed in.
The jokes are easy and Hernández is the simple target for fans. But this pitch by the Cardinals Jack Flaherty might have been the wrong time to break it out. The pitch appears low and is logged as low in MLB's Gameday system graphic. It's a close one to make the joke on.
In the top of the third would have been better with Hernández calling a ball high that was actually just inside the zone.
Umpires are going to miss calls and make bad ones. You hope their misses aren't too terrible and it doesn't impact the game. But when it's Hernández, and he has a history of doing that, be prepared for a social media fandom that is always in midseason form.
Welcome back, baseball.
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