With the 2023 baseball season cruising towards the summer, MLB umpire Angel Hernandez appears to no longer be umpiring MLB games. Famously, Hernandez was the MLB umpire who sued baseball a few years ago claiming discrimination as the reason why he was never elevated to the role of crew chief. Hernandez has also been seen by fans as a below average umpire, known for badly missed calls over the years.
With multiple sources confirming that Hernandez has yet to umpire a game, fans are left questioning if he has left the sport for good.
MLB Umpire Missing in 2023
Heading into the season, Hernandez appeared to be one of the MLB umpires on the crew led by James Hoye, a team also consisting of John Libka and D.J. Reyburn.
However, an automated twitter account called Umpire Crew has instead shown Edwin Jimenez as the fourth umpire. Furthermore, another automated twitter account called Umpire Scorecard has also shown results from games called by Jimenez, further pointing to a missing Angel Hernandez.
Adding to the confusing case of the missing MLB umpire, Hernandez did manage a game at the 2023 World Baseball Classic, where he once again drew the disdain of fans due to some questionable calls in a game between Team Venezuela and Team Nicaragua.
Outside of the diamond, Hernandez is most known for his 2017 lawsuit. At the time, Hernandez sued Major League Baseball and Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, claiming that racial discrimination was the only reason he was yet to be promoted an an MLB umpire to crew chief.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title VII protects employees from racial discrimination in the workplace, and Hernandez, who first became an MLB umpire in 1991, felt he had a case.
The case bounced around a few courts before finally making its way to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York where United States District Judge J. Paul Oetken ruled in Major League Baseballs favor in 2021.
The Controversial MLB Umpire
Despite the lawsuit, Hernandez was named an interim crew chief after multiple crew chiefs decided to sit out the 2020 MLB season due to the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions. However, Hernandez would soon return to just being an MLB umpire after it was confirmed that he eavesdropped on an investiigative phone call following an umpire delay.
During the game in question, a 2019 game between the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox, a nearly 20 minute delay occurred. Torre and Major League Baseball scheduled phone calls with Hernandez and fellow MLB umpire Ed Hickox to discuss what transpired. Despite finishing his part of the call, Hernandez stayed on the line to hear what Hickox had to say about the situation.
Outside of that incident, almost every MLB fan can find moments of aggravation caused by Angel Hernandez. From an inconsistent strike zone to seemingly not knowing the rules, Angel has drawn the scorn from fans and players.
During his playing career, Ian Kinsler was fined for stating his frustrations with Hernandez. In 2019, both C.C. Sabathia and Pedro Martinez took shots at the long time MLB umpire. In 2006, he threw a coach’s hat into the stands. In 2020, the Sporting News listed Hernandez as the worst umpire in the sport.
For now, it remains to be seen if Angel Hernandez is still an MLB umpire. Even guys like Joe West received a more proper sendoff, while Hernandez has instead seemingly disappeared. Most fans will simply not miss Hernandez but let us know your thoughts in the comments below about the missing MLB umpire.
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