< Back to 68k.news US front page

Polarizing umpire Angel Hernandez immediately retiring from MLB

Original source (on modern site) | Article images: [1]

Ángel Hernández, one of MLB's most infamous umpires, announced he is retiring from baseball.

"Starting with my first Major League game in 1991, I have had the very good experience of living out my childhood dream of umpiring in the major leagues," Hernandez said in a statement. "There is nothing better than working at a profession that you enjoy. I treasured the camaraderie of my colleagues and the friendships I have made along the way, including our locker room attendants in all the various cities.

"I have decided that I want to spend more time with my family. Needless to say, there have been many positive changes in the game of baseball since I first entered the profession. This includes the expansion and promotion of minorities. I am proud that I was able to be an active participant in that goal while being a Major League umpire."

Umpire Angel Hernandez is set to retire from MLB. Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The surprising news ends Hernández's 33-year umpiring career which has been marred by controversial calls and constant complaints about the job he had been doing. 

Major League Baseball and the Hernández were negotiating a financial settlement over the past two weeks and came to an agreement during the holiday weekend, according to USA Today. 

Hernández, 62, worked his last game back on May 9 as the home plate ump in a game between the White Sox and Guardians in Cleveland and hasn't umpired a World Series game since 2005. 

Manager Torey Lovullo #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks questions a called balk with umpire Angel Hernandez #5 of the Colorado Rockies in the sixth inning at Coors Field on April 09, 2024. Getty Images

Hernández has been a lightning rod for controversy and is universally viewed as the worst umpire in the game by players, managers and fans of the sport. 

The poor reputation he has dates back almost two decades with player polls by Sports Illustrated in 2006 and 2011 ranking him as the third-worst umpire and an ESPN poll in 2010 putting 22 percent of the respondents as viewing Hernández as the worst in MLB. 

Hernández umped just 10 games during the 2023 season because of a back injury, but he got 161 calls wrong, according to Umpire Auditor. 

The controversial ump once again found himself in the spotlight earlier this year on April 12 when Rangers rookie Wyatt Langford struck out on three straight pitches that were clearly out of the strike zone, and seven other pitches were called strikes that were outside of the zone in that game.

Hernández, a Cuban-American, had previously sued for racial discrimination back in 2017 claiming that he had been passed over World Series assignments and a crew chief position due to his race. 

That lawsuit was dismissed in 2021 and an appeals court upheld that ruling last year. 

Yankees manager Aaron Boone argues with umpire Angel Hernandez, Bill Kostroun/New York Post

"Hernández has failed to establish a statistically significant disparity between the promotion rates of white and minority umpires," the appeals court wrote in its ruling. "MLB has provided persuasive expert evidence demonstrating that, during the years at issue, the difference in crew chief promotion rates between white and minority umpires was not statistically significant. Hernández offers no explanation as to why MLB's statistical evidence is unreliable."

Hernández began his career as an umpire at the age of 20 in the Florida State League and became a full-time MLB ump in 1993.

— Additional reporting by Joel Sherman

< Back to 68k.news US front page