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Ron Washington blasts umpire: “Angel is just bad. That’s all there is to it.”

Jul 4, 2011, 8:44 AM EDT

Ron Washington, Joe West, Angel Hernandez

I know Angel Hernandez is a bad umpire. You know Angel Hernandez is a bad umpire. Heck, I presume that everyone affiliated with Major League Baseball in one way or another knows it too.

Thing is, you just rarely hear anyone come out and say it.

Well, Ron Washington came out and said it last night after both he and Rangers first base coach Gary Pettis were ejected in the seventh inning of last night’s Marlins-Rangers game after arguing that Marlins’ pitcher Mike Dunn had balked when Nelson Cruz was picked off first base and caught in a rundown:

“Angel is just bad,” Washington said. “That’s all there is to it.”

Here’s the whole exchange, including the no-call on the balk and the subsequent argument. I think it was a balk. If you watch the last replay of it toward the end of the video (the one with the overhead angle from the third base side) you can tell that he came way farther toward home with this front leg than is allowed before going to first. Of course, balks are some of the most inconsistently-called plays in baseball, so I imagine that if Hernandez had called it a balk there, there would have been an equally colorful argument from Jack McKeon.

But we can all agree that Angel Hernandez is a bad umpire, right?  We can also agree that Washington is probably going to get fined for the bill of his cap smacking the bill of Hernandez’s cap, right?  And that we’ll never hear publicly about Hernandez getting disciplined for bad calls?

  1. jnvh - Jul 4, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    The best part is watching Joe West try to separate Washington from Hernandez, trying to be the sympathetic intervention figure. I can’t come up with the exact bit, but Washington turning to West and saying the exact same thing he said to Hernandez seems about right.

  2. cur68 - Jul 4, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    Balk. Hernandez sucks.

  3. steve7921 - Jul 4, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    Players and managers must get a pit in their stomach when they see that West and Hernandez are the umpires for a series, knowing that there will be some truly awful calls. Umpiring is probably 75% respect and both of these guys have zero respect through-out baseball – time for Selig to assign these guys seats on the same train as McCourt!

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 4, 2011 at 10:53 AM

      It is strange that MLB seems to be unable to get rid of bad umpires.

      • schrutebeetfarms - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:42 PM

        They’re like the truly bad tenured teachers that continue to get a job because the union is too powerful. Apparently the umpire union is right up there with the teacher’s union.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Jul 4, 2011 at 11:36 AM

      Respect goes both ways. Did you see the part where Hernandez tried to walk away and Washington came after him, screaming his head off? That would seem to be a completed lack of respect from the manager. Why does Washington get a pass for being a douchebag when Hernandez wasn’t?

      I agree, it was a balk and Hernandez is a bad umpire, but the managers have a responsiblity to not act like children.

      • mornelithe - Jul 4, 2011 at 11:49 AM

        @ TBI: I would imagine it’s very difficult, if not, downright impossible to maintain your cool when someone is clearly influencing the game incorrectly, and that person isn’t a player on either team. Knowing that you can’t argue Balks, knowing that you can’t say anything about them after the game (without incurring a fine). Leaves managers and players very very little recourse, and I think it honestly encourages poor behavior from the umps themselves. They can get away with it, because nobody relevant can call them on it.

      • goforthanddie - Jul 4, 2011 at 6:03 PM

        Respect is earned, not given automatically. Apparently this joker deserves none.

  4. The Baseball Idiot - Jul 4, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    That’s the exact same move Mark Buehrle makes. When Joe West called a balk on him, everyone complained about what a bad umpire he is.

  5. The Baseball Idiot - Jul 4, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    Wow, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen someone commit a felony on a blog.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jul 4, 2011 at 11:42 AM

      I just deleted the comment you referred to, TBI, and have banned the commenter.

      What the hell is wrong with people?

      • The Baseball Idiot - Jul 4, 2011 at 11:48 AM

        Thanks, that kind of freaked me out. I agree completely there are problems with the umpires, but that was just wrong.

      • jimbo1949 - Jul 4, 2011 at 2:05 PM

        Incivility, when even the people we elect as our leaders can not be civilized we get these reactions from those who hide under the cloak of anonymity.

      • jimbo1949 - Jul 4, 2011 at 2:06 PM

        Incivility, when even the people we elect as our leaders can not be civilized we get these reactions from those who hide under the cloak of anonymity.


      • jimbo1949 - Jul 4, 2011 at 2:08 PM

        I keep trying to reply to Craig but it doesn’t work

      • jimbo1949 - Jul 4, 2011 at 2:09 PM


  6. deathmonkey41 - Jul 4, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Does anyone know if MLB has the ability to fire umpires or at least demote them back to the minors?

  7. spudchukar - Jul 4, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    Yeah, West and Hernandez have a whole intervening routine. Let’s face it they get a lot of practice.

  8. facebookuser111 - Jul 4, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Wow, I know you cant get through a Joe West/Hernandez game without a manager getting tossed but usually they are the quickest on the draw with balk calls.

  9. danberman4 - Jul 4, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    It’s absurd that MLB allows these guys to keep their jobs. And what about walks on three balls?

  10. kingjoe1 - Jul 4, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Can’t get rid of bad umpires, can’t get rid of bad teachers, American car industry in shambles…what do all of these things have in common? Yes Unions. Today, Independence Day, we need to free ourselves from the shackles of unions.
    De-unionize today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ari Collins - Jul 4, 2011 at 3:03 PM

      Yes. Because clearly the issue with our economy is that the working class in this country has too much power.

  11. fribnit - Jul 4, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    Hernandez and West on the same crew? How bad can a crew get?

  12. nathanontheshore - Jul 4, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    Craig, could you give us a rundown on the authority of the Commissioner to terminate an unpire, and the process he would need to go through to do that? Thank you.

  13. tellyspop - Jul 4, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    The last time MLB removed umpires occurred in 1999 when Richie Phillips talked most of the umps into tendering mass resignations and 22 were accepted. Some were brought back, but not all. All you union busters should giggle like Renfield at the thought of this if it were to happen again.

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