Veteran umpire who’s suing MLB gets nod for all-star game
On Monday, veteran umpire Angel Hernandez filed a lawsuit against Major League Baseball alleging that he had been passed over for professional advancement because of his ethnicity and because Joe Torre, MLB’s chief baseball officer, has personal “animosity” toward him stemming from Torre’s days as manager of the New York Yankees.
On Thursday, the league announced that Hernandez will work first base at Tuesday night’s All-Star Game in Miami.
I know what you’re thinking: This seems a little too convenient. But according to an MLB.com story, umpires must be told of their all-star game assignment “not less than 30 days prior to the game,” so if the league was following its standards, Hernandez knew he would be working the Midsummer Classic before he filed the suit.
According to MLB, umpires are chosen for “special events” such as the all-star game by the Office of the Commissioner based on merit.
It will be the third all-star game for the Cuban-born Hernandez, who has been an MLB umpire since 1993. He contends in his lawsuit that he’s been passed over for promotion four times, despite receiving positive evaluations, and that Torre has let bad feelings from his managerial days colour his judgment of Hernandez since the former Yankees skipper joined the MLB front office in 2011.
For instance, Torre remarked that Hernandez “just wanted to be noticed over there” after a May 2001 game during which Hernandez made a call that went against New York. In his lawsuit, the umpire claims that “the notion that Hernandez ‘just wanted to be noticed’ permeated Hernandez’s yearly evaluations, as did Torre’s general negative attitude towards Hernandez.”
Hernandez also claims in his lawsuit that all 23 umpires promoted to crew chief since 2000 have been white and that only one minority umpire has been chosen to work the World Series in the six Fall Classics that have taken place with Torre as an MLB official. Hernandez has worked the World Series twice, the last coming in 2005.