Michael Kay blasts umpire Angel Hernandez, who missed 21 calls on balls, strikes

Umpire Angel Hernandez is seen during the Yankees vs. Astros game at Yankee Stadium on August 06, 2023.

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Error-prone umpiring by Angel Hernandez played a key role in the Yankees’ 9-7 defeat to the Astros on Sunday. This prompted Michael Kay to slam the umpire for changing the course of the game with his uncalled-for decision.

During the top of the sixth inning, the controversial umpire halted the game to call a balk on Yankees pitcher Wandy Peralta, which greatly upset Michael Kay. While it was to the first-base umpire to make such a call, Angel Hernandez, who was behind home plate, did it by stepping out of his role. This drew the ire of the Yankees commentator.

“Of course. Angel Hernandez is involved; he’s going to impact himself on the game,” Michael Kay announced in a clear sign of his displeasure over the umpire’s call.

In the sixth, Peralta made a throw to the Yankees’ Jake Bauers at first base to stop Chas McCormick from stepping out. However, Angel Hernandez called it a balk.

Peralta was a lefty and the first base umpire is the appropriate person for calling a balk like this against a left-handed pitcher. However, Angel Hernandez, who is a controversial umpire, felt confident enough to make the call himself violating set MLB practices.

Michael Kay’s ongoing frustration with Angel Hernandez remains a familiar sentiment among baseball fans for the past few years. So, are most other teams and announcers.

Apple TV wants Michael Kay

Following the runner’s advancement, Jake Meyers’ three-run homer became the decisive factor in the Yankees’ 9-7 defeat to the Astros. The Yankees’ downward spiral persists, with them now trailing the last AL wild card spot by 3 1/2 games.

Angel Hernandez, a child of controversy

Angel Hernandez’s long history of making mistakes has been a concern, highlighted by his removal from the 2018 World Series after a disappointing performance in the Yankees-Red Sox ALDS Game 3, where he missed three straightforward calls.

Before that incident, Angel Hernandez had filed a lawsuit, alleging that the MLB discriminated against him by not assigning him to work in a World Series.

Throughout the 2023 MLB season, the seasoned umpire was noticeably absent due to a back injury, but his return has been anything but subtle. In no time at all, he has reintroduced himself with a series of notorious and controversial calls. Recently, the Washington Nationals booth voiced their criticism and expressed their disgust with Hernández’s decisions earlier this week.

Umpire Angel Hernandez’s error-prone calls

Throughout the game, many Yankees fans expressed frustration with Angel Hernandez due to his debatable strike calls. Even his awful umpiring didn’t go down well with the Astros.

Amidst a divided culture, finding common ground between two teams is rare. However, one thing unites Americans— the belief that Angel Hernandez is an awful MLB umpire. On Sunday, his controversial decisions united fans of both the Houston Astros and New York Yankees.

Achieving such a challenging task is no small feat, and Angel Hernandez seems to be the only person capable of pulling it off. Let’s review some of his erratic calls during the game.

#1: In the opening inning, there was this controversial strike call against Yankees batter Gleyber Torres.

#2. An evident swing by a Houston Astros batter went unnoticed. While not solely Angel Hernandez’s responsibility, it highlights the incompetence of the umpire crew.

#3. A contentious balk call was made against Yankees left-handed pitcher Wandy Peralta.

Likely a balk, but a challenging call for the home plate umpire to make. Usually, the first-base umpire is responsible for making that decision.

#4. The most contentious call of the game came next.

The pitch was incredibly close to the middle of the strike zone, not just brushing the edge. Positioned above the knees and directly over the plate, yet incredibly, it was called a ball.

Despite the slight advantage given by the break, it was evident that the Yankees dugout was far from pleased with Angel Hernandez’s umpiring display during the game.

As reported by Umpire Strike Zone on Twitter, a staggering 21 calls on balls and strikes were missed by Angel Hernandez during the game.

Amidst all the challenges, there was a brief moment of levity that brought some relief.

The Astros emerged victorious with a 9-7 score. To our knowledge, Angel Hernandez remains part of Major League Baseball’s umpire roster.

Moreover, it’s worth noting that Angel Hernandez previously filed a discrimination lawsuit against MLB, alleging that he was denied the opportunity to umpire postseason games due to his Hispanic heritage.

However, the judge’s ruling stated that Angel Hernandez was not denied the opportunity to umpire postseason games because of his ethnicity, but rather because of his poor performance as an umpire.

Today’s game could serve as compelling evidence if Angel Hernandez decides to pursue his discrimination suit once again in the future.

When Nationals’ commentator speaks against Hernandez

Tensions rose in the broadcast booth during Wednesday’s afternoon game between the Washington Nationals and the Milwaukee Brewers, not due to player actions, but due to the presence of veteran umpire Angel Hernandez.

Once again facing scrutiny from fans for his umpiring decisions, Angel Hernandez found himself in the spotlight. During the second inning, while officiating behind the plate, he made a debatable call on a pitch that resulted in a ball. Shortly after, the Brewers’ Tyrone Taylor hit a home run in the same at-bat. The Nationals’ commentators expressed their discontent with the entire sequence.

“Here’s the bad call,” Nationals color commentator Kevin FrandsenAng said as they went to replay. “You know what the difference between 1-2 and 2-1 is? Well, let’s try about 200 points on the average and over 340 on the slugging percentage. Literally, with a horrendous call by Angel Hernandez yet again.”

Frandsen’s frustration persisted as the struggles on the field continued. Umpire Auditor diligently gathered clips throughout the game, and the displeased commentator’s audible scoffs highlighted his annoyance with the umpire’s decisions.

It’s a rarity to witness commentators openly criticize umpiring or officiating to such an extent. Commentators typically keep in mind the need to maintain a positive relationship with broadcast partners while calling a game, leading to more restrained criticism. However, this particular instance was an exception, as the criticism was notably sharp and unreserved.

The clear discontent expressed by Frandsen towards Angel Hernandez and his umpiring was undoubtedly sensed by viewers at home. Although local announcers are occasionally criticized for showing bias, understanding the audience’s sentiments is crucial. Recognizing that fans share similar frustrations with the calls, if not more, voicing that dissatisfaction can resonate with the viewers watching from their homes.

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