Social Media Celebrates Controversial Umpire’s Retirement

Angel Hernandez

Getty Former MLB umpire Angel Hernandez

Fans, observers and even corporations jumped at the chance to get their jokes off on X after Major League Baseball‘s most controversial umpire, Angel Hernandez, announced his retirement on May 27.

“We tried to give Angel free LASIK but he missed the call,” tweeted Lasik, referring to Hernandez’s reputation for being the worst umpire in the majors.

“Angel Hernandez is out. Or, as he’d say, safe,” tweeted Kyle Clark, of Denver’s 9News/a>.

Jomboy Media, in a thread containing clips of some of Hernandez’s most infamous moments, recalled the time in 2021 when he ejected three Kansas City Royals in one inning.

“Say what you want about Angel Hernandez, but he brought us all together,” tweeted Jessica Kleinschmidt, the Oakland A’s team reporter.

One fan tweeted a clip of Chicago Bears great Steve McMichael calling out Hernandez during the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field. “Don’t worry, I’ll have some speech with that home plate umpire after the game,” McMichael told the crowd as Hernandez glowered at him.

“Me at my house tonight, upon hearing that Angel Hernandez is retiring,” 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen tweeted.

Angel Hernandez Will Retire Effective Immediately

Hernandez will retire, effective immediately, the longtime Major League Baseball umpire confirmed on Monday, May 27.

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale first reported the news.

“Starting with my first Major League game in 1991, I have had the very good experience of living out my childhood dream of umpiring in the Major Leagues,” Hernandez said in a statement. “There is nothing better than working at a profession that you enjoy.  I treasured the camaraderie of my colleagues and the friendships I have made along the way, including our locker room attendants in all the various cities.

“I have decided that I want to spend more time with my family.

“Needless to say, there have been many positive changes in the game of baseball since I first entered the profession.  This includes the expansion and promotion of minorities.  I am proud that I was able to be an active participant in that goal while being a Major League umpire.”

Fans knew Hernandez as one of the more controversial umpires in the majors, with his missed calls making for frequent social media fodder. One of his most notable — or notorious — games came in the 2018 American League Division Series between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. Hernandez was the first base umpire for Game 3 of that series and had three calls overturned.

“I don’t understand why he’s doing these games. He’s always bad. He’s a bad umpire,” Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia said after the game.

Lawyer: Angel Hernandez ‘Was Not Forced Out’

Shortly after Hernandez released his statement, Sam Blum of The Athletic reported that Hernandez’s lawyer, Kevin Murphy, said the umpire was “NOT forced out” by MLB.

In addition to routinely making headlines for his missed calls, Hernandez drew plenty of attention in 2017 when he sued Major League Baseball, alleging the league passed him over for crew chief positions and World Series assignments because of his race.

US District Court dismissed the lawsuit in 2021 and the 2nd Circuit US Court of Appeals upheld the decision in 2023.

“Hernandez has failed to establish a statistically significant disparity between the promotion rates of white and minority umpires,” the decision read. “MLB has provided persuasive expert evidence demonstrating that, during the years at issue, the difference in crew chief promotion rates between white and minority umpires was not statistically significant. Hernandez offers no explanation as to why MLB’s statistical evidence is unreliable.”

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