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Baseball news: Why a referee lost his World Series job

NEWYORK –

Angel Hernandez was on his way to become a referee at the 2018 World Series before being overturned three times for the first time based on video replays during Game 3 of that year’s AL Division Series between the New York Yankees and Boston, MLB wrote. in response to his latest legal filing.

Cuba-born Hernandez was hired as a major tournament umpire in 1993 and sued in 2017, alleging he was discriminated against because he was not assigned to the World Series since 2005. and was transferred to the group leader.

U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken gave MLB a summary judgment in March 2021, and Hernandez asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in February to overturn Oetken’s decision.

Hernandez served as interim captain from 2011-16, when the start of the 2020 season was delayed by the pandemic and for part of the 2021 season, but has not been appointed permanent captain.

“Hernandez has not presented, and does not have, a set of evidence that MLB’s actions were based on his race or national origin,” MLB wrote in a 58-page filing today. Wednesday.

The MLB said Hernandez had no legal basis to claim that he did not need to show statistical discrimination because of the relatively small sample size associated with his case.

Kevin Murphy, Hernandez’s attorney, did not respond to an email seeking comment.

In a brief reply Wednesday, MLB wrote that Joe Torre, then the baseball director, selected Hernandez for the 2018 Division Series “with the intention of providing him with an opportunity to referee in the World Series of the year.” there.”

MLB wrote: “Hernandez did not capitalize on that opportunity and did not rise above it. “This is the first time since the introduction of extended instant replay in 2014 that a referee had three calls turned upside down in a post-season game. Based on his performance in that Division Series playoff, Torre was not confident in Hernandez’s ability to perform effectively on an even fiercer stage, and for this reason did not cast him. for that season’s World Series. “

MLB also cited Hernandez’s failure to reverse a call that Oakland’s Adam Rosales doubled down and failed to break the wall with what should have been a home game in the ninth inning in Cleveland. on May 8, 2013.

“For years, Hernandez refused to admit that the call he made was incorrect and instead tried to blame the quality of the playback equipment,” MLB said. “Hernandez’s inability to let the Cleveland incident happen – and his continued insistence that others were at fault for his bad decisions – is symbolic of why Torre considers him the wrong person. with World Series missions and the role of permanent team leader. The problem is not the bad call itself, but Hernandez’s reaction to his mistake. “

Citing the 2011-16 seasons, Hernandez’s attorneys told the appeals court in a filing in June that “MLB manipulated Mr. Hernandez’s year-end assessments to make his job performance looks worse than it really is. Mr Hernandez’s year-end assessments for the 2011-2016 seasons don’t even come close to summarizing Mr Hernandez’s actual form during those seasons.”

MLB wrote Wednesday that “Hernandez was quick to fire managers, which stoked tensions on the pitch, rather than issue warnings likely to defuse those situations. Hernandez also failed to communicate with the other referees on his team, which led to confusion on the pitch and unnecessary postponements of matches. “

MLB also claims Torre observed Hernandez throwing his headset after a video review flipped over one of his calls in 2014 and misapplied the substitution rule, resulting in a 14-hour delay. minutes and a rally during the game between Boston and Tampa Bay on July 24, 2019.

“In that investigation, the MLB concluded that Hernandez knowingly and fraudulently eavesdropped on a confidential conversation with another referee on his team to hear what that referee would have to say regarding the incident; and when MLB asked Hernandez about it, he lied about his behavior,” MLB wrote.

MLB also repeated an allegation it made earlier in the lawsuit that Hernandez asked Cincinnati Reds pitcher Homer Bailey to sign 11 baseballs after a game Bailey missed in 2012. .

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