Angel Hernandez lawsuit: Veteran umpire alleges MLB manipulated reviews

Angel Hernandez, MLB. (USA Today)
Angel Hernandez, MLB. (USA Today) /

Angel Hernandez’s lawsuit against MLB alleges the league manipulates reviews against umpires based on racial bias.

Hernandez filed a discrimination claim against MLB back in 2017, and this is just the latest chapter in what’s been a long court battle between the two sides. Meanwhile, Hernandez continues to be one of longest-tenured umpires in the sport.

The lawsuit covers the 2011-16 seasons, in which Hernandez claims that “Major League Baseball manipulated its internal umpiring metrics to disadvantage minorities, thereby excluding them from becoming crew chiefs,” per The Athletic’s Daniel Kaplan.

At the time of Hernandez’ filing in 2017, there had been only one minority crew chief in the 150-year history of MLB. Those numbers are revealing.

Angel Hernandez lawsuit: Appeal process underway

While his filing was initially dismissed, Hernandez’s appeal to the second circuit claims ““The District Court also failed to give appropriate weight to evidence of MLB’s disparate treatment of Mr. Hernandez, including evidence that MLB was manipulating the performance of Mr. Hernandez and other minority umpires to make their performances look worse,” the umpire argued in the court filing.”

The lawsuit itself aims to show bias based on MLB’s alleged racist tendencies towards umpires, it’s mainly focused on Hernandez himself, who claims MLB manipulated his year-end evaluations during the 2011-2016 seasons.

In the initial deposition, Joe Torre testified that Hernandez hadn’t shown the leadership necessary to receive high-profile assignments.

“Hernandez has not demonstrated the leadership ability and situation management skills in critical, high-pressure roles on a consistent basis,” Torre said.

More to come of this in the legal process, surely.

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