Angel Hernandez to retire

Philip Jeff Frye

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2001
10,440
I gotta say, it's pretty interesting that most random, sort of competent umpires retire without a peep, but it's thread worthy national news when this guy does. I guess this just goes to prove that there's no such thing as bad publicity.
 

RG33

Certain Class of Poster
SoSH Member
Nov 28, 2005
7,396
CA
Getting big, obvious calls wrong — and doing it fairly frequently — is what makes an umpire “one of the worst”. Being super defensive and confrontational about those calls, then makes you “the worst”.

Good riddance Angel. The game was worse for him, despite his accomplishments from a DE&I lens, which says a whole helluva lot, to me.
 

Hyde Park Factor

token lebanese
SoSH Member
Jun 14, 2008
2,967
Manchvegas
....snip....

It was that he had so many memorable, just awful calls, and was so infuriatingly defensive about them. When players and managers react to Hernandez the way that they did -- even well-known "good guys" like Schwarber and Kuiper -- it says something.

Jim Joyce's blown call at 1st for Galarraga's perfect game was probably the most memorable blown call of my lifetime as an MLB fan, but Joyce's lifelong guilt and agony over the blown call and lack of notable other moments like it has protected him from a lot of the same scrutiny I imagine.

https://www.espn.com/espn/otl/news/story?id=5993137
Right, and he was a stand up guy who took full responsibility for his mistake. Show me Angel doing that even once.
 

BringBackMo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
1,401
Apologies for cutting your post - I think the “you’ve got to be shitting me” reaction is legit for something that smacks of BS like this, but I watched this guy for yrs and I actually think it’s genuine. My reaction was “I’ll bet (eyeroll).”

There is a kind of person strongly attracted “regal command” type of authority, where you can issue commands that are controlling in the moment with an enforcement structure in place to back it up. In my own lived experience, the roles where I’ve seen this (with others) would be police officer and trial court judge - where you can just give an “off with their heads!” style command and have it stick. Yeah, it can be appealed and overturned but in many cases the outcome from it isn’t reversible, even when there’s been an obvious error. People who are into that aspect of this kind of work suck at it. A careful and sober use of that kind of power is what is needed, and the ones who are into it can’t resist whatever authoritarian impulses they have.

So let’s say you’re a young kid who LOVES baseball, probably sees you’re not going to be one of the better players, but you also crave that kind of regal command authority - so yes, “baseball umpire” could be really appealing. And in Angel’s case this idea isn’t some random philosophical/psychological musing by me, but was manifest in his behavior. This guy clearly loved to flaunt his authority, reveled in it, and kicked and screamed yrs ago, like an adolescent losing car privileges, when MLB tried to limit his role and ability to do it on the biggest stages. The bad calls were reason enough to dislike his work, but the psychopathology he had surrounding his misuse of authority was the thing that made him insufferable.

“I wanted to do it since forever” could be BS like you say, but to me it’s just another piece of evidence to throw in the aggregator on why this guy was the worst umpire of his generation. Good riddance.
This…this is a really good post. I don’t know how much of what’s laid out here actually applies to seven-year-old Angel, which is to say that I’m not sure how much he intuited as a child the kind of power that he would someday hold over rich and famous athletes, but I think this post pretty well captures how and why he very quickly developed a taste for it.
 

AlNipper49

Huge Member
Dope
SoSH Member
Apr 3, 2001
45,207
Mtigawi
Getting big, obvious calls wrong — and doing it fairly frequently — is what makes an umpire “one of the worst”. Being super defensive and confrontational about those calls, then makes you “the worst”.

Good riddance Angel. The game was worse for him, despite his accomplishments from a DE&I lens, which says a whole helluva lot, to me.
That’s the thing about Angel. I’d propose that you could have worse ‘counting stats’ of total calls wrong and still be a better umpire than Angel. I’d rather have an umpire make consistent bad calls. At least then a good player can adjust. Angel’s shit was all over the place. He was pure chaos.
 

grimshaw

Member
SoSH Member
May 16, 2007
4,307
Portland
I've been perusing umpscorecards a bit.

Among 116 umpires who have had 30 or more games behind home plate since 2015, Hernandez ranked:
87th in accuracy.
103rd in consistency
96th in favor

However, since 2023, he was 4th worst in accuracy, 3rd worst in consistency, and worst in favor, so maybe the noise from teams to MLB finally got too loud.

As a side note, John Hirschbeck and Jim Joyce who were anecdotally at least, well respected umpires were 115th and 112th worst respectively in accuracy, and Hirschbeck was dead last in consistency.
 
Last edited:

Average Reds

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 24, 2007
35,620
Southwestern CT
Jim Joyce's blown call at 1st for Galarraga's perfect game was probably the most memorable blown call of my lifetime as an MLB fan, but Joyce's lifelong guilt and agony over the blown call and lack of notable other moments like it has protected him from a lot of the same scrutiny I imagine.

https://www.espn.com/espn/otl/news/story?id=5993137
I can think of at least one other completely inexplicable blown call from Jim Joyce that was (or should be considered, by this group) more memorable.
83310

Edit: Also, T&P for Angel.
 

johnmd20

mad dog
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2003
62,391
New York City
I do love that someone had to come into this thread and do the ye olde "well actually, he was pretty good, when you think about it" thing. If you can't stick up for a shitty umpire who was also an asshole, what kind of human being are you?

Meanwhile, he was ranked near the bottom in all the stats and he was a raging asshole about it, too.

Well actually, he did suck and he did make it about himself and good riddance.
 

Comfortably Lomb

Koko the Monkey
SoSH Member
Feb 22, 2004
13,239
The Paris of the 80s
I've been perusing umpscorecards a bit.

Among 116 umpires who have had 30 or more games behind home plate since 2015, Hernandez ranked:
87th in accuracy.
103rd in consistency
96th in favor

However, since 2023, he was 4th worst in accuracy, 3rd worst in consistency, and worst in favor, so maybe the noise from teams to MLB finally got too loud.

As a side note, John Hirschbeck and Jim Joyce who were anecdotally at least, well respected umpires were 115th and 112th worst respectively in accuracy, and Hirschbeck was dead last in consistency.
I don't even care about the ball-strike accuracy beyond some of those foot off the plate calls that made incompetence highlight reels. Angel's problem was he screwed up real big too often, escalated situations that he caused, and made himself the focus of far too many games. He was straight trash at his job.
 

dynomite

Member
SoSH Member
I can think of at least one other completely inexplicable blown call from Jim Joyce that was (or should be considered, by this group) more memorable.
View attachment 83310

Edit: Also, T&P for Angel.
Oh, the Bellhorn HR and the Buchholz/ARod slap are seared into the deepest recesses of my brain, but with thanks to all that is right and holy with the world and for the sake of my sanity and blood pressure, neither of those were blown calls.

Now, Country Joe West may get more of the credit for overturning the initial calls, and Joyce initially shook his head at Francona when he came out to contest the Bellhorn HR, but miraculously in an era before replay both fall squarely in the "No harm, no foul" category for me.
 

Average Reds

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 24, 2007
35,620
Southwestern CT
Oh, the Bellhorn HR and the Buchholz/ARod slap are seared into the deepest recesses of my brain, but with thanks to all that is right and holy with the world and for the sake of my sanity and blood pressure, neither of those were blown calls.

Now, Country Joe West may get more of the credit for overturning the initial calls, and Joyce initially shook his head at Francona when he came out to contest the Bellhorn HR, but miraculously in an era before replay both fall squarely in the "No harm, no foul" category for me.
I completely get it, but my point was that he blew that call (even as replays show him hustling to left field for the perfect view) so badly that the other umps wouldn’t allow it to stand in an era where there was no formal mechanism to correct the mistake.

The big difference between Joyce and Hernandez is that Joyce could admit he was wrong.
 

dynomite

Member
SoSH Member
I completely get it, but my point was that he blew that call (even as replays show him hustling to left field for the perfect view) so badly that the other umps wouldn’t allow it to stand in an era where there was no formal mechanism to correct the mistake.

The big difference between Joyce and Hernandez is that Joyce could admit he was wrong.
Oh, I see what you mean. Yes, agreed: one of many reasons Angel was the worst.
 

Steve Dillard

wishes drew noticed him instead of sweet & sour
SoSH Member
Oct 7, 2003
6,086
Getting big, obvious calls wrong — and doing it fairly frequently — is what makes an umpire “one of the worst”. Being super defensive and confrontational about those calls, then makes you “the worst”.

Good riddance Angel. The game was worse for him, despite his accomplishments from a DE&I lens, which says a whole helluva lot, to me.
Beyond confrontational: he brought a frivolous discrimination action claiming he didn't get selected to the playoffs because of his status. Seems like that invigorated the anti-DEI crowd.
As you say, its one thing to suck, another to resort to the worst excuses.