In a Major League Baseball season filled with complicated rule changes and unpredictable twists and turns, one thing has remained consistent: Ángel Hernández is not a popular person.
The embattled umpire’s latest run-in happened during Wednesday’s doubleheader between the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies. And thanks to the lack of fans in the stands, every last obscenity shouted from New York’s dugout to Hernández’s ears was broadcast for the world to hear.
Obviously, the exchange was NSFW.
To hear it all, click here.
Why the Yankees were upset at Hernández
The Yankees anger stemmed from Hernández’s seventh-inning strike three call on Mike Ford. The Yankees had already scored four runs in the inning and were looking to pull off a massive comeback when Hernández rang Ford up on a questionable pitch.
Here's the spot on that strikeout call to Mike Ford. Angel Hernandez thought it was a strike. Looks in.
It's one thing if that was a strike all game long, but look at the pitch that was called a ball in Aaron Hicks' at-bat just moments earlier. It's even further into the zone... pic.twitter.com/uiv0fQKskJ
— Max Goodman (@MaxTGoodman) August 5, 2020
The call halted New York’s momentum. They went on to lose game one 11-7.
Third base coach Phil Nevin started in on Hernández right away. That led to the barrage of not-so-nice words and an ejection.
Manager Aaron Boone confronted Hernández as well but was not ejected.
Players and coaches are not allowed to argue balls and strikes, meaning any ejection under these circumstances is justified from the league’s point of view. In Nevin’s case, he got his money’s worth.
Yankees have recent history with Hernández
If we’re being honest, Hernández isn’t on very good terms with the majority of MLB teams. In fact, the number could be as low as zero. He has a recent history with the Yankees though stemming from the 2018 American League Division Series and a missed call last season that haunted New York during a loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Former Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia famously ripped Hernández during that 2018 postseason over his “inconsistent” strike zone.
More CC Sabathia on Angel Hernandez: “He shouldn’t be anywhere near these playoff games.”
“He’s bad. I don’t understand why he’s doing these games.”
“It’s sad that he’s doing these games. It’s crazy.”
“He’s always bad. He’s a bad umpire.”
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) October 10, 2018
It was a questionable strike zone that frustrated pitcher Masahiro Tanaka last season as well.
Clearly, Hernández’s reputation within baseball circles is not good. He might be even less popular with fans. Hernández has been the subject of fan-led petitions calling for him to be replaced for several years. Despite that reputation, and despite Hernández being involved in a lawsuit against Major League Baseball, he continues receiving notable assignments.
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