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Giants broadcaster says Angel Hernandez “does not belong in the big leagues”

Jul 9, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 7.48.11 AM Getty Images

Angel Hernandez, widely considered to be one of Major League Baseball’s worst umpires, had home plate duties in last night’s Giants-Athletics game. And he was pretty much Angel Hernandez.

Based on the tweets, comments and blog posts of folks who watched the game, Hernandez had his typically inconsistent and wide-to-the-right-side strike zone, causing pitchers and hitters from both teams to shake their heads in frustration. Then Hernandez went to his signature move, turning a merely poorly-umped game into a game with an umpire-player confrontation.

Hernandez called an extremely questionable balk on Jean Machi in the eighth inning. Machi was upset and started yelling at Hernandez. You can watch the overall argument here. One thing you can’t see in that video — but which was relayed by several second accounts such as this one — is that catcher Buster Posey attempted to get between them and calm the situation, only to have Hernandez yell, “Don’t push me” at Posey, as if Posey were actually trying to escalate, rather than defuse the situation. Bruce Bochy argued for a long time, using a lot of colorful language, but did not get tossed. Which, oftentimes, is the sign of an umpire who actually realized he messed up and is letting someone blow off steam.

After the game, Giants announcer Duane Kuiper was unusually frank but 100% honest in his assessment of Hernandez, saying “Angel Hernandez is not a good umpire and, in my opinion, he does not belong in the big leagues. And I think Major League Baseball knows this, they just don’t know how to get rid of him.”

He’s correct about that. Perhaps if more people closer to the game such as broadcasters and influential folks in the media were more willing to say this as frankly as Kuiper did, Major League Baseball would do something about it.

103 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. chacochicken - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    Ump Fights featuring Baby Buster

    • crisisofinfinitephils - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      I chuckled.

  2. chip56 - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    Don’t you know fans come to watch the umpires?

    • gothapotamus90210 - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:23 AM

      Cowboy Joe, is that you?

  3. 1998yanks - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    Just let Chipper Jones take care of him.

  4. chc4 - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    They can’t fire one of the worst umps probably in the history of the game. Gotta love unions.

    • Old Gator - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      Yeah, you do. On one hand, they make it possible even for rank idiots like you to feed their families. Aside from which, protecting the rights of the vast majority of competent workers may require putting up with a handful of twits like Hernandez every so often. Or maybe you’d prefer to purchase your schadenfreude against the few bad apples at the expense of everyone else’s protection?

      • jm91rs - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:14 AM

        And they run big companies out of town to find employees that will do double the amount of work of the union employees that can only be woken up from their naps by the foreman….Sorry, blowing off steam from what would have been a pretty nice engineering job out of college were it not for some union members that wanted nothing to do with me trying to make things more efficient. I’m sure there are plenty of unions that don’t encourage that sort of thing (teachers, civil service, etc.), it was just amazing to me the kind of protection unions can provide for lousy workers.

      • soleman50 - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:25 AM

        Old Gator – Only idiot on here is you!! So we should put up with a bad apple that affect the game in a negative way because he is in a Union!! Really!! Why should anyone have too put up with any bad apples, no matter what they belong to union or mgmt!!

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:49 AM

        The protection of lousy workers is an unfortunate side effect of unions, but compared to the horrors of big business when they were allowed to dictate working conditions, wages, and fire anyone for any reason, that cost is tiny.

        Sadly, our country is run by a bunch of people that get richer faster (they would get richer, regardless) without unions. The same people that complain about immigrants and poor people are the same ones that hire them and refuse to pay them enough to not be poor.

        If people that don’t like unions and are not in a union think they would have the same salary and working conditions if unions didn’t exist, they are kidding themselves.

        Sweatshops like those in Asia and India used to exist here as well, and without unions giving workers a voice, those conditions would come back quicker than people think.

      • Old Gator - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:57 AM

        Thanks Paper. I love these right wing gulls who think the benefits they grew up with fell from heaven and were bestowed upon them as birthrights. They’re blissfully oblivious to the enormous toll in suffering and deprivation their forebears had to endure, not to mention the threats, intimidation and violence they were subjected to, if they dared to demand a decent wage for themselves – the same kind of dimwitted threats, historical myopia and incipient bullying these morons are expectorating above. The businesses the unions “drove out of town” in favor of workers who would, as they observe, labor in slavelike conditions in other countries or in retrograde red state sumps are busily returning our social world to the same conditions that made unions necessary in the first place – only these people are too blind or stupid to see where it’s all going.

      • devrydanspindeep - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:07 PM

        I’ve been working for 39 years, not once have I had to have a union put food on MY table. I work for a living and no union has ever told me how and what to do. Maybe people ought to start believing in themselves instead of unions and the government. You’d feel a lot better about yourself.

      • bh192012 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:10 PM

        Clearly letting business owners or unions get too much control is a mistake. This is a situation where the needle has gone too far in one direction. The solution is to negociate a fair process for fixing, or then removing unfixable bad apples.

      • RickyB - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:20 PM

        I have never been in a union, but I can appreciate the fact that without them, there are an enormous amount of workers (most of whom are honest, hard-working folks) that would be a lot worse off. Anecdotal evidence about how one person has not needed a union does not mean unions are unnecessary.

        All that said, Angel Hernandez is horrendous in pretty much every aspect of umpiring.

      • Old Gator - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:37 PM

        I love how jm19rs represents working twice as hard for the same money as evidence of social progress. That’s another patent absurdity that his ideological constipation keeps him from seeing through – and somewhere, playing with his tablet at his golf club, the owner of a business where people work twice as hard and longer hours for a pittance wage is thanking God for gullible fools like him.

      • arich1983 - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:34 PM

        You sir, old gator, win the award for biggest moron on the internet for the day.

      • indaburg - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:20 PM

        People have no idea how much a union benefits them, in ways they don’t even see. Unions in my industry, nursing, work hard to provide adequate nurse staff to maintain safe patient ratios. They promote quality patient care. Hospitals without unions, in their quest to squeeze every last profit (or bonuses for execs in the non-profits), will overburden nurses with patients, safety patient be damned. I once worked a night shift in an ER shorthanded with 2 other nurses and 34 patients. It was so dangerous–our ER should have gone on ambulance divert, but when I raised that point, the charge nurse said, “*I* don’t close.” Her ego and profits vs. safety. This would have never happened in a unionized setting. Unions also provide some whistleblower protection. When a nurse reports a patient safety issue in a non-unionized setting, she risks finding herself out of work (overwhelmingly, the nurse is a “she.”) There is no protection. When one of us speaks, that one stands alone.

        Yeah, Hernandez is an incompetent jerkwad, and sometimes unions do protect a few people who don’t deserve it, but I’d rather have the protection for the greater good.

      • jm91rs - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:33 AM

        Alright Gator, I’ll bite since you decided a personal attack was necessary (even though this thread is old enough that you likely won’t come back to it, nor will I). General Electric makes aircraft engines here in Cincinnati. I was an engineer there for 5 years. My job was to make the assembly line more efficient, I failed miserably because the union at that particular plant would not allow changes in process. My efficiency recommendations often were carried out at a non union plant in South Carolina. Efficiency often means layoffs, I get that fear. In this case however, the lack of efficiency cost the Cincinnati area thousands of jobs as many of the new engines were sent to a non-union GE plant, simply because they could turn out engines at a faster pace.

        So you want to tell me that unions are necessary in this country, I won’t disagree with you. But to say there aren’t enormous protections for lazy or poor workers (Hernandez being the example) because of unions is a downright lie. I’m married to a teacher, she has great protection and she deserves it because she works damn hard to raise other people’s little brats, but when I hear about the people she works with (always late, no plans prepared, terrible testing results, verbal abuse of students) I see another example of how many unions would rather protect their own than actually help them do the job better. If you’re going to get personal here (playing with my tablet at my golf club? I don’t own a tablet or the amount of free time it would take to golf), keep in mind that I am the owner of a business. My 10 employees work 40 hour weeks and enjoy a myriad of benefits. They get paid whether business is good or bad and as long as they work hard they get to keep their jobs. I work 60-70 hours and after making payroll and paying all the bills I have to decide how much I can afford to pay myself while still building the business. I’m proud to run a business that provides income to 10 families and for you to assume that those that work in non-union environments are being taken advantage of simply because they don’t have someone else to dictate their working conditions shows that you’ve spent many years working under the protection of a union. We’re going to have to agree to disagree here, I just wish someone many years ago would have taught you how to disagree without resorting to name calling. “Gullible fools”? You can certainly do better than that.

    • buddaley - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:39 AM

      Every large scale organization creates corruption of some sort. The issue is always trying to moderate (impossible to eliminate) the abuses and ultimately to answer the question whether something else is better.

      Unions are absolutely necessary for the economic system to thrive. They provide some balance to the power of corporate wealth to abuse workers and ultimately consumers. Without them we have the horrors of early industrialization.

      It is amazing to me that so many people who are so adamant about being patriotic and honoring the constitution are so ignorant of its most fundamental principle, the one that pervades just about every clause in the document. That is the need to balance powers so as to avoid concentrating too much power in any one person or group. Without unions, workers are powerless and at the mercy of the bosses.

      • Old Gator - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:54 PM

        Absolutely – the ones who cry loudest about the Constitution are the ones most assiduously wiping their asses with it.

        And in addition to corruption, there’s also incompetence. There have been corporations run so badly that even after shifting thousands upon thousands of jobs overseas and cutting their “expenses,” laying waste to entire American communities, couldn’t keep from going broke – I give you General Motors and Chrysler, ladies and gentlemen. All the sweatshops in northern Mexico couldn’t keep them from getting their brains beaten in by Japanese and Korean auto makers. And while you’re at it, go visit a Sears store some time or try explaining management decisions at Best Buy to a market analyst.

        In the same way, there are badly, stupidly run unions. I was in aviation for many years and as much as I detested Frank Lorenzo, whom the Federal courts banned from owning airlines because of the way he bled Eastern Airlines to death and damned near did the same to Continental, I detested Charlie Bryan, the stubborn, myopic president of the Eastern Airlines mechanic’s union even more. Given several golden opportunities to keep Eastern alive, Bryan’s intransigence and the foolishness of his members drove it into liquidation. Yes, there needs to be a balance.

        But clowns who think “unions are bad” are looking to eliminate the balance – especially the ones who think unions are no longer needed because “there are now laws to protect worker’s rights.” Right. I have two words for you: Wisconsin. Michigan.

      • Matt - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        But clowns who think “unions are bad” are looking to eliminate the balance – especially the ones who think unions are no longer needed because “there are now laws to protect worker’s rights.” Right. I have two words for you: Wisconsin. Michigan.

        ———————————

        Let me educate you since MSNBC seems to have done a poor job. The only union laws rolled back in Wisconsin was the right for collective bargaining for public sector unions. Even FDR opposed public sector unions and understood the danger and conflict of interest it posed. My wife is a teacher. In Wisconsin. Everything is just fine. Very little has changed. She has to pay more than she used to for her pension and she’s cool with it. This was blown way out of proportion by a willing media trying to take down Governor Walker before he could go national.

        P.S. Hernandez is the worst ump in baseball.

      • hunnymoney - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:26 PM

        Incredible…Old Gator seems to forget that it was the UAW’s refusal to renegotiate their contract with GM that forced GM into the financial straits it endured in the first place. The problem is that unions have far outlived their usefulness. They have become big-time political entities that are only concerned with increasing their own power base and extorting as much money as they can from companies and employees instead of actually caring about the workers they supposedly represent. Didn’t the SCOTUS just have to rule that labor unions don’t have the right to forcibly exact dues from non-union employees? Yeah, that sounds like they really care about the workers. Give me a break…if the labor unions really cared for the quality of the product THEY would take action to get rid of the “bad apples” as you so eloquently put it instead of doing everything in their power to defend and protect them. Instead Angel Hernandez and millions of employees like him all across the union spectrum are allowed to continue to steal money that they clearly aren’t earning. Unions were necessary at one point, but frankly they ceased doing what they were designed to do decades ago and it is the main reason that the US lags so far behind Japan and other industrialized nations in quality of manufacturing today.

  5. theskinsman - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    MLB is a joke for letting this mentally ill guy umpire a game. It’s a shame Angel didn’t live back in the days when ballplayers took matters like this into their own hands. I can’t imagine how much restraint players and coaches exercise to avoid pounding the crap out of Angel when he costs their team a game.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:35 AM

      1) Angel Hernandez is a poor umpire, that is hardly a sign of mental illness.
      2) Poor umpiring is not a good enough reason to attempt to injure someone.
      3) Wishing physical violence upon an umpire is a definite sign of mental illness.

      • Old Gator - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:41 AM

        Well said Unk. I like the way you construct a syllogism. If I were an old lady instead of an old man, I might even find your logical progressions sexy as hell.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:37 AM

        Err … thanks. All this logicking is making my head hurt.

      • Gamera the Brave - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:08 AM

        Uncle Moses should play Socrates in the new (imaginary) biopic coming out…
        Hey, that would be a GREAT movie!
        Let’s get Kickstarter going!

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:38 AM

        I know who can play my Gadfly.

      • Old Gator - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:13 AM

        A film biography about Socrates. Oh boy, I can’t wait to see the review of that one in the AFA Journal.

      • yahmule - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:32 AM

        Socrates had a supporting role in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, dude.

      • theskinsman - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:55 AM

        Reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit,is it?
        I don’t think he’s mentally ill, I think he’s ill because he clearly can’t perform his job…but attacks anyone who dares disagree with him.

        Where ,exactly did anyone wish violence on him?
        I’m sure Ty Cobb might have had a different way of expressing his displeasure with Angel, and adjusted his God complex for him.
        Poor umpiring to the extreme Hernandez performs can cause professionals to lose large amounts of money at their job. Try taking money from your co-workers and see if they sing you a chorus of “Kumbaya” or have a slightly less friendly approach.
        I DID commend what I consider an incredible amount of restraint shown by players, coaches and managers.

        But you carry on seeing that differently. You’ve got close to the same grasp of the facts as your hero Angel. carry on!

      • sabatimus - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:09 PM

        Um, you either do think he’s mentally ill, or you’re being disingenuous.

        “MLB is a joke for letting this mentally ill guy umpire a game”

    • basedrum777 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:15 PM

      ” It’s a shame Angel didn’t live back in the days when ballplayers took matters like this into their own hands.”

      That implies that you’d like him beaten to avoid umpiring more games.

      • theskinsman - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:19 PM

        Thank you for demonstrating an uncanny ability to read minds from your keyboard.

      • sabatimus - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:11 PM

        skinsman, you really think that’s a stretch? To me it just looks like you’re backtracking on key points and instead of owning it you’re being a jerk.

  6. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    The umpires union is apparently the strongest union in America. We should never forget this is the guy who ejected a guest SINGER during the Take me Out to the Ballgame. MLB has no CLUE how to get rid of this guy, and apparently will plague us all until he retires at the ripe old age of 135.

    • Old Gator - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:43 AM

      After umpiring the World Series during which the Chicago Cubs lose to the Cleveland Indians in seven games.

      • tmc602014 - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        You meant “…Cubs lose to the Houston Astros in seven games – in 2017″ SI

  7. sportsdrenched - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    I don’t know about anyone else that uses MLB.tv/Gameday Audio, but the I find the Giants Broadcast both TV & Radio to be one of the best in MLB.

    This story just makes me like it even more.

    • Gamera the Brave - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      The Duane Kuiper bobblehead on my desk agrees…

    • fabiani1233 - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      As a Giants fan who regularly watches the team on TV, I can tell you Duane Kuiper keeps it real. He doesn’t blow smoke up your butt. He’s not a shameless homer.

      Mike Krukow on the hand is another story.

      • normcash - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:09 PM

        I agree 100%. Kuiper is great….Krukow is perhaps the most overrated broadcaster in the country…he a master of the obvious who doesn’t know when to keep quiet. I’m sure I’m not the only one who fin ds himself shouting “Shut the f*** up!” when Krukow is blabbering on….

    • jbrundy - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      I totally agree. I listen to them whenever the Giants are playing.

  8. tigersfandan - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Didn’t take Craig long to fill his daily ump-bashing quota. Then again, it seldom does.

    • nbjays - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:50 AM

      If you are defending Angel Hernandez, then YOU have serious issues…

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:03 AM

      Didn’t take long for you to fill your daily Craig complaining post. Seriously, what did the guy steal your cab one day or something or is your life just so sad you have nothing better to do than to stalk the forums here to complain about someone who is successful at something you could never hope to accomplish?

      • tigersfandan - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:33 AM

        I have no idea what you are talking about (and neither do you). I write very few posts criticizing Craig, whereas almost everything he writes about umpires is derogatory. Seriously, there are over 70 MLB umpires and only a few of them are problem umps. However, the problem umps are the only ones who get talked about, leading to the belief that umps are subhuman and anyone defending them must also be an ump (which I am not). This is why fools like thekinsman feel comfortable suggesting physical violence against umpires. It’s a GAME, for crying out loud!

      • Bryz - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        “However, the problem umps are the only ones who get talked about, leading to the belief that umps are subhuman…”

        Um, no. The problem umps are the only ones worth talking about because they’re doing a poor job. They are not representative of the entire MLB umpiring crew and we all know that.

  9. mlbfan8898 - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Can you imagine if Hernandez and CB Bucknor umped the same game……

    • sabatimus - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      Don’t forget Laz Diaz. Who’s the fourth one to complete the crap-fecta? Not Bob Davidson anymore, since he’s been better after getting suspended.

      • johnseeder - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:15 PM

        Angel Marquez, Laz Diaz, CB Bucknor & Angel Hernandez, THE FOUR STOOGES !

        I saw that twit Marquez blow 2 calls on the same play in a Giants game and then blew another call later in the game against the Giants

  10. nbjays - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    I made this point the other day in the “Bautista thinks replay sucks” thread… until MLB gets their house in order and introduces consequences and sanctions for incompetent and confrontational umpires, we will continue to have incompetent and confrontational umpires. If there’s no will on the part of MLB to discipline these guys, then this crap will keep happening.

    • paperlions - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      If MLB cared, it wouldn’t be that hard for them to deal with umpire quality. Union or not, if reviews of performance saying a guy sucked year after year exist, dismissal wouldn’t be difficult. They really just don’t care that much about the quality of umpiring because it doesn’t affect the bottom line.

      • flamethrower101 - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:14 AM

        Either that or the umpire’s union is so strong – or at least MLB thinks it’s so strong – that they’ve threatened legal action against what they might (will) deem as an unfair termination.

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:22 AM

        Well, that is what I mean by “they don’t care”. The current quality of umpiring does not affect profits, so there is no reason for them to deal with it if it might be a hassle, which it could be. In other words, to them it isn’t worth the effort because fans don’t make spending choices based on umpire quality.

  11. bigump79 - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    In case anybody cares I am an umpire and Hernandez got it right he stood on the rubber in a wind-up position and you must step back off the rubber before you move to the stretch and he did not he simply turned which is the same motion as a pitch from the wind-up therefore we have a balk.

    • Old Gator - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      Are umpires all syntactically and punctuationally challenged as well as blind as hoarse bats?

    • tigersfandan - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:35 AM

      Don’t bother telling people you are an umpire. The average fan has already decided that umpires know nothing and are invariably wrong (and should therefore be subjected to all kinds of verbal abuse.) It’s really quite barbaric, but this is the way it’s always been and always will be.

    • paperlions - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      The problem isn’t really the balk call (IMO), it is how he responds. All he’d have to do is tell the pitcher why it was a balk and then let it go. Umpires are not supposed to seek out conflict or to escalate situations….and they should really be above getting emotional about a player or coach disagreeing with them…of coarse they disagree, they have a vested interest in the outcome.

      Those attitudes combined with the history of umpires being unwilling to follow MLB rules (e.g. calling the actual strike zone) and publicly saying so has soured many toward them as a group. The fact that poor umpires are allowed to have a job for life just exacerbates these attitudes….Hernandez, Bucknor, Balkin’ Bob….none of them have any business being MLB umpires.

      • bh192012 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        Hang on a sec. Watch the video. He did tell the pitcher why it was a balk. Then the pitcher kept complaining and walking towards the plate. At that point Angel started walking towards Machi, and Buster got in front of Angel and he attempted to stop Angel from advancing towards Machi.

        1. Buster sure as heck isn’t supposed to impede an umpire.
        2. If Angel says “get back on the mound,” Machi is supposed to do that.
        3. If Machi doesn’t get it, and Angel wants to walk over and explain it so he doesn’t have to “yell”, that’s his call.
        4. Angel did not get aggressive in any way, that’s about the calmest one could be with a buch of guys getting in your face, blocking you, pointing fingers in your face and yelling at you.

        5. Angel isn’t a very good umpire. The strikezone was sketchy. Brooksbaseball seems to show that Oakland suffered more than San Francisco in that regard ironically. The balk call and everything he did related to it was reasonable.

      • scorpiox1960 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        You mean the strike zone isn’t from the top of the thighs to the top of the knees?

    • blacksables - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      They don’t care about right or wrong, bigjump. They just want to criticize. 95% of the people here commenting on the umpires don’t even know the rules, and just make them up as they go along.

      Rule book balk, and the right call.

      The runner would have scored from second on the hit as easily as from third, so if the pitcher is upset, it should be at himself, not the umpire.

      In 40+ years of watching baseball, I’ve never seen a manager complain that long a balk call, which can’t be changed regardless.

      And if the pitcher was ejected, it was because he was an ass and went after the umpire already knowing the outcome wouldn’t change, and he was wrong.

      Not watch me get 10 negative comments and 57 thumbs down because I’ve stated the truth, but because the commenters here can’t be bothered to learn for themselves, they deny their ignorance by abusing me.

      If only they were smart enough to make it entertaining, instead of immature and childish.

      • markinchico43 - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:56 PM

        i agree…it was a balk according to the rule book though i dont think melvin would have been calling for a balk if it hadnt been called.

        that said…the discretion of an umpire to call a balk needs to be tightened up. clearly, this call and many others, the pitcher is in no way attempting to deceive a runner by his movements on the mound.

      • blacksables - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:05 PM

        Agreed. Call the lefties stepping towards home and throwing to first, stop that, then worry about the other areas.

  12. mlbfan8898 - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Tigersfandan has to be Angel

    • tigersfandan - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:39 AM

      And I suppose you are Duane Kuiper.

      I know it must come as a shock to your system that not everyone hates umpires as much as the frequenters of this blog do, but some of us baseball fans are actually quite decent people, too!

      • scorpiox1960 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:46 PM

        I don’t hate umpires. I dislike bad umpires and think they should be held accountable for incorrect calls/actions.

      • blacksables - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        scorpiox, according the ‘fans’ here, Angel Hernandez is responsible for the death of Jesus Christ, the Black Death, and the Holocaust.

        He’s also three of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

        If one of the ‘fans’ here needed a kidney, and Angel Hernandez donated his, commenters here would complain that he gave the wrong one, and then claim Hernandez got in their face when they said thank you.

        He’s also Lucifer-in-training. Which will be appropriate, once he starts ejecting people from Hell.

  13. Marc - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    Oh, fixing the umpire thing. I’ve thought about this for years, and I have some idea that it would work, but with great resistance from the umpire union, which is a big problem with Bud around.

    I’d like to see MLB set-up a relegation system with the umpires similar to the Premier League. Every year the five worst umpires from MLB go down to AAA, and the five best from AAA go up. You’d need to create an evaluation system that helps to identify the weakest umpires in MLB and the strongest in AAA. I believe that a three compartment panel of 3rd party observers, managers and coaches, and lastly players can put up to the task. Player union reps can poll the catchers on each team and then an equal number of position players and pitchers could fill out evaluations. AAA is full of lifer quad-A guys and other veterans that can give proper evaluations on their umpires in their leagues.

    The compromise to the union is that the union will expand, theoretically by a few members every year. No one will ever be asked to leave the union, and new members will be introduced with each fresh batch of AAA guys. Additionally, if an umpire is being forced down and his ego can’t handle it, maybe a buyout/large severance is offered as an option. Or maybe they are offered jobs as advisers to MLB, or some other behind the scenes job. Ultimately, I don’t really care what other compromises are made, whether it be higher wages, more benefits, etc., because I’m as sick as the rest of you with the Hernandez’s and Bucknor’s of the umpiring world.

    I do know this though, Bud Selig really hangs his hat on the whole “no labor strife” thing and stirring the pot with the umpires union won’t be happening on his watch. And that’s a problem because the umpire’s CBA expires 25 days before Bud Selig’s contract runs out as commissioner on January 24, 2015, and you can be certain that good old Bud won’t be leaving office with labor troubles being part of his farewell.

    • blacksables - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      It’s baseball, not soccer.

    • tmc602014 - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:11 PM

      Some of your idea has merit, but club people can’t be involved. Lets say some journeyman catcher has always hated a particular ump for some reason, justified or not. The chance of this would only increase for longer tenured umpires. There is room for peer evaluations, though.

  14. sisqsage - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    Some umpires do get fired in today’s MLB, but it’s the young ones who made too many mistakes to stick around long enough to get some seniority. Hernandez and West have too much seniority to get the heave-ho. If they were young and just out of AAA now, they wouldn’t last.

    • fabiani1233 - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      At least West can competently call balls and strikes. And his trolling of managers and players is amusing sometimes.

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:20 AM

        Yeah, he gets a lot of flack…but he is among the better at calling the zone….but he does seem to have a flair for the dramatic, sometimes missing what should have been easy calls. He was was fine last night until the 9th inning, when he called some clear strikes balls and some clear balls strikes.

  15. rcali - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    I watched this game and by the third inning I had no idea what was a ball and what was a strike.

    • blabidibla - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      Agree. It started with Belt on his first AB. Low outside curve called a ball, then 2 pitches later another even lower outside curve was called the 3rd strike.

    • scatterbrian - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      Sonny Gray seemed to have it figured out…

    • markinchico43 - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:59 PM

      strikes are the ones when the umpire raises his right hand. balls are the ones the don’t raise a hand

  16. ducksnort13 - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    I’ve heard a local legend that I’m not sure is true but I like to think it is. Back in the 80’s, Angel Hernandez ejected the organist of the local minor league team. He played the Mickey Mouse Club theme song while the manager argued a call.

    • bhlobos - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:30 PM

      that’s true… it’s on youtube…

    • bhlobos - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      Well, let me qualify that… an umpire tossed the organist for the Mickey Mouse song, but I don’t recall if it was Hernandez, just sounds about right ;-)

      • markinchico43 - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:15 PM

        i think that was a minor league game

    • deepstblu - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      Would you believe, “Three Blind Mice?”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilbur_Snapp

  17. fabiani1233 - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    Buster Posey bumped Angel Hernandez. Hernandez didn’t yell at Posey; he calmly warned him not to touch him. Posey was a bit aggressive in getting in between Hernandez and Machi.

    Still, his strike-zone was horrible. The balk call was a technicality; Machi appeared to stand on the rubber before going into the stretch.

    The whole Giants team seemed in a bad mood. They’ve been in a bad funk lately. Hernandez’s poor umpiring only made them more upset.

    • paperlions - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:27 AM

      Wait. Posey was aggressive? Posey just tried to stay between Hernandez and the pitcher, whom Hernandez had no business approaching. All Posey did was try to head him off and Hernandez walked into him. Just like players should leave their positions, an umpire had no business walking toward a player for the explicit purpose of yelling at him.

    • illuminancer - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      Hernandez initiated contact, poking Posey in the chest protector. Everything else aside, that was incredibly unprofessional.

      The problem isn’t that he makes mistakes. It’s that he constantly makes the same bad calls and faces no consequences aside from people bitching on blogs.

      • markinchico43 - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:17 PM

        no…he was bumped, then the finger

  18. stupidusername - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    “Perhaps if more people closer to the game such as broadcasters and influential folks in the media were more willing to say this as frankly as Kuiper did, Major League Baseball would do something about it.”

    You mean to tell me HBT comments aren’t influential enough? Because there’s been plenty of complaining for a long time about the awfulness that is Angel Hernandez.

    • yahmule - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      I confess I’ve never seen any tangible positive results from all my internet complaining. My solution: complain harder.

      • scorpiox1960 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        If you want your complaining to work, YOU HAVE TO COMPLAIN LIKE THIS!!!1!!1!3.14!!!

    • ron37inc - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      Does anybody else find the term “influential folks in the media” as full of self importance as Angel Hernandez seems to carry when he is on the field?

    • tmc602014 - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      If we keep it up, we’ll be sued for 10 million dollars

  19. jets82jets - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    Angel Hernandez is probably the only umpire I know by name for bad calls. I can name a few, specifically Jim Joyce for his extremely loud strike calls, but I know Angel Hernandez because he literally changes the dynamic of the game with his attitude and ridiculous play calling. I watched him call a Mets game a few weeks back where he made a fair/foul call for a ball over the third base bag in left field from behind home plate and didn’t even let the third base umpire make the call. Moreover, Hernandez clearly got the call wrong. Later in the game he called a ball at the top of the player’s cleats called strike three and ejected the player for getting angry. Chipper Jones and the Giants announcer are correct. When fans actually remember the umpires for specific plays in games it is probably time to evaluate the umpire.

  20. rawdog2013 - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    He’s a terrible ump, so you have you adjust. The A’s didn’t seem to have a problem with this, but the whiners across the bay did. Maybe put the ball in play and stop whining and your problem will be solved. I watched the game and he called terrible strikes/balls on both teams.

    Get your broom ready A’s fans!

    • ron37inc - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      As a lifelong, diehard A’s fan, we have been on the short end of Angel Hernandez many times. He is fair…he sucks for everybody.

    • 1rdd - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:38 PM

      I understand your point in that you must adjust but when you HAVE to adjust, it makes good hitters who know the strike zone look bad. And it makes good pitchers look bad too. Anytime you deal with Hernandez, he makes everyone look bad.

  21. scatterbrian - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    But that was clearly a balk. It was almost a deliberate demonstration of what can be called a balk. “If you’re standing like this, you can’t do this or you will be called for a balk.”

    • sabatimus - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      It really was a balk. Didn’t look like it at first; looked like Machi was casually getting settled on the mound–which I believe he actually was. The problem is that he had his foot on the rubber and then changed his stance, coming to a stop after doing so.

  22. 1rdd - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    Like the St Louis Cardinals announcer Mike Shannon once said about Hernandez is that he thinks that the people in the stands are there to watch him umpire. How many times have you seen a link about a horrible call in baseball and when you watched it, it was Hernandez? He is not a good umpire.

  23. snarkk - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Hernandez called Hunter Pence out on a called strike that was about 6″ wide. It wasn’t even close to a strike. Pence rarely, rarely gets ticked off at anything, he’s a good dude. He was incensed. My question is not how Hernandez stays up as an MLB ump, how did he ever GET promoted to ump in the major leagues?…

    • johnseeder - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      I agree and this boob called a strike against Belt in the first inning that was not even close to being a strike, it was 8 inches off the ground crossing the plate.

  24. dphins4me - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    Watched the first part of the game. Yes, his strike zone was all over the place. However, IMO he was correct to call a balk. The pitcher stood on the mound like he was going to wind up and then turned to go from the stretch, without stepping off the mound first. Giving the appearance of starting a pitch. That is a balk. Now I do not believe he was attempting to fool the base runner.

  25. sjsharks01 - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    One of the worst in the MLB

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