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Controversial MLB umpire ripped after brutal strike calls: 'Fire this guy'

Controversial MLB umpire ripped after brutal strike calls: ‘Fire this guy’

Tooba Shakir 2 months ago 0 2

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Angel Hernandez has always had one of the worst reputations among MLB umpires, but Friday night, he took it to a whole new level.

Hernandez, who umped his first MLB game in 1991, was behind the dish Friday night for a rematch of the 2023 ALCS between AL West rivals the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers.

And it wasn’t pretty.

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Angel Hernandez

Home plate umpire Angel Hernandez during the first inning of a game between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium April 7, 2024, in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

The viral clip going around is of rookie Wyatt Langford’s strikeout looking on three straight sliders that were well outside the strike zone.

The called third strike missed the plate by 6.78 inches, according to the Umpire Auditor on X, formerly Twitter.

Of the last 53,000 called third strikes, it was one was the farthest off the plate, according to Codify, leaving the game announcers speechless.

“Well boys, better be swinging tonight. Angel’s got a dinner reservation,” Rangers announcer Dave Raymond said.

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That was just one at-bat though. Hernandez saw 53 more outs and hundreds of other pitches.

He called seven pitches strikes that were at least three inches off the plate.

According to Umpire Scorecards, Hernandez made the correct strike call 91% of the time, below the league-average of 94%. He graded well in “called ball accuracy,” and six of 150 called balls were true strikes (96%, with an MLB average of 97%).

Angel Hernandez behind plate

Home plate umpire Angel Hernandez works a game between the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium Aug. 6, 2023, in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

However, it was the pitches out of the zone he apparently couldn’t figure out. Of 55 called strikes, 12 were actually balls, and some were egregious. That’s a 78% hit-rate, which is much lower than the 88% average.

As clips of the umpire’s calls went viral, baseball fans let their opinions known.

“MLB seriously has to fire this guy.. Angel Hernandez just called strike 3 on a pitch that was in Narnia,” streamer Fuzzy wrote.

“I love that Angel Hernandez had a reputation as a terrible umpire back in the 1990s and 2000s and then people developed advanced methods of grading umpire performance and it turns out he stinks. Not many legends are able to adapt across eras like that,” added Rodger Sherman.

New York Post baseball writer Jon Heyman wondered if “one ump alone [can] hasten the implementation of the robo ump system.”

“The point of Angel Hernandez’s existence is to p— everyone off. I’m convinced. There’s no other explanation,” wrote one more user.

While some may argue batters should adjust to the ump’s strike zone, who knows what Hernandez’s strike zone even is? Of course, maybe Hernandez should adjust to the strike zone.

Angel Hernandez pointing

MLB umpire Angel Hernandez gestures during a game between the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals June 15, 2019, at Target Field in Minneapolis. (Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

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Hernandez once accused the league of “manipulating the performance of Mr. Hernandez and other minority umpires,” which in turn has prevented more minority umpires from becoming crew chiefs. 

In March 2021, Hernandez lost a lawsuit against Major League Baseball that alleged racial discrimination. In the lawsuit, filed in 2017, Hernandez claimed he had been discriminated against because he had not been assigned to a World Series since 2005 and had not been made a crew chief.

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