Impetus: umpire Angel Hernandez loses lawsuit against Major League Baseball, accusing them of racial discrimination
If you’ve watched a season, or at least a regular month of steady baseball, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the name Angel Hernandez. He’s an MLB umpire, and there’s a very good chance that he’s blown multiple calls for the team you’re rooting for. In all fairness, he holds no bias against any particular team, as he has been consistent in the sense that he fucks everyone over at some point, regardless for whom they play for.
Also consistent, is that he is widely regarded as the worst umpire in all of Major League Baseball, and it’s not just my opinion; he’s literally been voted as such and for other (dis)honors for years at this point. A cursory Google search will return not just links to stories about how he’s the worst umpire in MLB, but there are all sorts of video montages, memes and various forms of mediums that frustrated baseball fans have created throughout the years to share their opinions justify the notion that Angel Hernandez is the worst umpire in all of Major League Baseball.
It’s not even that he’s one of those stereotypical blind umpire who misses calls all the time; to me, it’s mostly because most of his decisions seem like reflexes, but the instant he’s challenged, he buckles down and absolutely refuses to change his mind, and the act of challenging his decisions is a personal attack to which he will hold a grudge for the remainder of the game as well have a harshly reduced trigger when it comes to ejecting players and coaches from the game.
This is nothing really out of the ordinary for all umpires in general, it’s just the perception is that Angel Hernandez relishes in it, seems to instigate incidents that have actual impact on the outcomes of games, and as Chipper Jones once opined, he tends to occasionally try and make the game about himself, instead of baseball.
Basically, it’s not hard to find evidence that Angel Hernandez is a pretty detested human being, but as long as he’s physically capable of doing his job, it doesn’t seem likely that he’s going to be going away any time soon, much to the dismay of fans and baseball players and personnel alike.
Anyway, just because he wasn’t content with everyone hating him as an umpire, Angel Hernandez decided to wander a little out of his realm to try and stir up more shit, and decided to sue his employers, Major League Baseball, and accuse them of racial discrimination, specifically towards him, because he is Cuban by birth. He cited the fact that he was repeatedly overlooked to work World Series assignments as well as be promoted to crew chief status as means for discrimination, not considering the fact that World Series assignments are typically reserved for umpires that don’t suck at their jobs so that umpiring doesn’t impact the most important series of the year, and that MLB umpires literally go until they die, and there are still multiple guys with more seniority ahead of him for crew chief status.
Well, it only took four years because America’s legal system is fucking efficient, but the U.S. District Courts wrapped things up and sided with Major League Baseball, giving baseball fans and probably all sorts of MLB personnel and players a shit-eating grin of a victory against an asshole everyone wanted to stick it to for years but couldn’t, because umpires are given such absolute power on the field. But frankly Hernandez made a huge mistake taking this battle off of the playing field, where he would be vulnerable and by god did the legal system capitalize on it.
Hernandez’s handful of cherry-picked examples does not reliably establish any systematic effort on MLB’s part to artificially deflate Hernandez’s evaluations, much less an effort to do so in order to cover up discrimination
The use of the phrase “cherry-picked” leads me to believe there’s a hint of vitriol in the judge’s remark, and seeing as how the judge is a man originally from Lexington, might’ve been a Reds fan, whom at one point witnessed a game (or many games) where Angel Hernandez turned the screws to his team, so he had a very easy opportunity to return the favor. Completely coincidentally, the photo I used just so happened to be Angel Hernandez in action doing just that, to a Reds player.
I think the best part to me is that this wrapped up the day before the regular season was to begin. There’s something about it that feels like MLB saw an opportunity to get this shit rushed and concluded right before a season was to begin, and give Angel Hernandez a humiliating loss, but at the perfect time where he wouldn’t have time to lament about it, since he has to get right back to fucking work on Opening Day no less, and take the field after being slapped with a defeat where he wasn’t omnipotent.
I can’t commit that I’ll actually watch any real amount of baseball this season, as I am a terrible fan plus I will have two kids by the time the playoffs roll around, so most likely I’ll be one of those guys that’s invisible throughout the entire regular season, and only show up in October when the Braves go back to the usual status quo of getting bounced in the NLDS, if they even make the playoffs at all.
But as far as the start of the season goes, Angel Hernandez getting bitch-slapped and put in his place by Major League Baseball, that’s a great way to start it, no matter how you look at it.