Vet­eran um­pire who’s su­ing MLB gets nod for all-star game

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - MATT BONESTEEL The Wash­ing­ton Post

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 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.

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