Polarizing MLB umpire Angel Hernandez retiring: report


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Longtime Major League Baseball umpire Angel Hernandez will reportedly retire on Tuesday.

USA Today reports that Hernandez, 62, will hang up his umpiring gear after 34 seasons in the majors.

Hernandez joined the MLB ranks in 1991 as a National League umpire and has been throughout the majors since 2000.


Angel Hernandez

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

Hernandez has grown a reputation as one of the worst in the majors, constantly going viral in recent years for some horrendous calls.

Most recently, last month Hernandez came under fire for making, quite literally, some of the worst calls the sport has ever seen.

Hernandez called Texas Rangers rookie Wyatt Langford out on strikes on three straight sliders that were way out of the zone; the called third strike missed the plate by 6.78 inches, according to the Umpire Auditor on X. Of the last 53,000 called third strikes up to that point, it was one was the farthest off the plate, according to Codify, leaving the game announcers speechless.

In that game, Hernandez called seven pitches strikes that had been balls by three-plus inches. According to Umpire Scorecards, of 55 called strikes that day, 12 were actually balls, and some were egregious. That’s a 78% hit rate, which is much lower than the 88% average.

Angel Hernandez behind plate

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


Last year, another viral moment saw him rank dead-last in correct-call rate at some point in August.

This season, Umpire Scorecards has him ranked 67th out of 85 umps.

Cy Young Award winner C.C. Sabathia once blasted Hernandez, saying that he should not be umpiring postseason games.

“He’s absolutely terrible … it’s amazing how he’s getting a job to umpire in these playoff games,” he said in 2018.

As umpires have been under the microscope much more closely, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said late last week that there is a “growing consensus” to using an automated balls and strikes system in the majors, which has been implemented in the minor leagues in some capacity since 2019.

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 said 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.

Angel Hernandez pointing

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


Hernandez umpired three All-Star Games, 12 ALDS, eight ALCS and two World Series.

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