Former MLB umpire Ángel Hernández’ Calls of Shame

Much-maligned umpire Ángel Hernández is retiring from Major League Baseball.

News of the controversial umpire’s retirement was met with almost universal glee from baseball fans who were tired of Hernández’s repeated missed calls (Hernandez worked only 10 games during the 2023 season because of a back injury, but he missed 161 calls, according to Umpire Auditor. That’s bad!).

As Hernández escapes further scorn from fans, players, managers and TV analysts alike, here’s a look at some of the most memorable infamous moments of Hernández’s career as a major league umpire:

Kyle Schwarber goes off

Game: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Milwaukee Brewers on April 24, 2022.

What happened? Schwarber had had enough, and his frustrations boiled over after a ninth-inning strikeout. Schwarber threw down his bat and helmet, then proceeded to gesticulate wildly at home plate in front of Hernández.

Steve McMichael calls out Hernández

Game: Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies on Aug. 7, 2001.

What happened? Hernández made some questionable calls that went against the home team, and former Bears player Steve McMichael — the guest singer for “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” during the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field — had some choice words for the umpire, who responded with a death stare up at the press box where the man nicknamed “Mongo” was standing.

Hawk Harrelson loses his mind

Game: Miami Marlins vs. White Sox on May 24, 2013.

What happened? The White Sox had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning when Alex Rios hit a soft ground ball that would plate the winning run — unless the Marlins could turn an improbable double play. Rios clearly beat the relay throw to first (instant replay was not yet in effect), but Hernández called him out, sending White Sox broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson over the edge: “Oh no. No. No. No … He is safe and ANOTHER blown call by Hernández!”

Bryce Harper: ‘Same thing over and over and over again’

Game: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates on Sept. 28, 2023.

What happened? A year and a half after Schwarber’s dramatic moment with Hernandez, Harper earned an ejection after going off on Hernández when his check swing was called a strike. Unlike with Schwarber’s ejection, Hernandez was working as the third base umpire rather than behind the plate. After Hernández rung up Harper, the Phillies star walked up the third base line to confront the umpire. He was promptly tossed from the game.

Three overturned calls during Game 3 of 2018 ALDS

Game: Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees on Oct. 8, 2018.

What happened? Hernández, working as the first base umpire, had three calls overturned by video review.

“Ángel was horrible,” Hall of Fame pitcher-turned-analyst Pedro Martinez said on TBS’ postgame show. “Major League Baseball needs to do something about Ángel. It doesn’t matter how many times he sues Major League Baseball. He’s as bad as there is. That’s the main reason we’re sitting here so late.”

CC Sabathia, the Yankees’ starting pitcher in the next game, stopped his postgame press conference to criticize Hernández.

“He’s absolutely terrible,” Sabathia said. “He was terrible behind the plate today. He was terrible at first base. It’s amazing how he’s getting jobs umpiring in these playoff games.”

Lance Lynn’s double-ejection in spring training

Game: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals on March 8, 2024.

What happened? Hernández was working the plate during an exhibition game in Palm Beach, Florida, when Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn questioned a call in the third inning. The two exchanged words and when Lynn thought his next pitch also should have been called a strike, Hernández ejected him.

With his outing over before reaching his pitch count for the day, Lynn retreated to the bullpen for a little more work. No dice. Hernández tossed him out a second time.

Unbelievable third strike call on Gleyber Torres

Game: New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays on April 7, 2024.

What happened? The Yankees’ Gleyber Torres got called out on strikes on a pitch outside the zone after Blue Jays pitcher Bowden Francis had disengaged and then quickly stepped back on the rubber.

Rangers broadcaster: ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’

Game: Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros on April 12, 2024.

What happened? Not even a week after his botched call(s) at Yankee Stadium, Hernández had another doozy down in Texas. The umpire had three straight called strikes on pitches from the Astros’ JP France that were outside the zone with the Rangers’ Wyatt Langford at the plate. The Rangers’ broadcasters were beside themselves.

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