On the eve of July 4, Major League Baseball umpire Angel Hernandez launched some fireworks of his own on Major League Baseball, when he filed a lawsuit against the league, claiming he is the victim of “racial discrimination.”

In a story first reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer, the overarching claims of the suit state that Hernandez believes:

  • He has been passed over on postseason assignments, despite positive evaluations
  • He was made a temporary crew chief, it has never been permanently promoted
  • He is part of a larger, league-wide problem of racial discrimination, citing “only one non-white umpire has worked a World Series since 2011.”
  • Joe Torre has a personal “animosity,” a claim that Hernandez believes has unfairly prevented him from receiving permanent status as a crew chief

On the last issue, the lawsuit states:

“Torre took to the media to insult him and call into question his skill as a Major League umpire. Though it may seem as if Major League Baseball’s problems with Hernandez begin and end with some personal animus Torre and some other individuals in the Office of the Commissioner may have towards Hernandez, an overview of how Major League Baseball has treated minorities such as Hernandez shows a much deeper and more troubling trend.”

“The selection of these less qualified, white individuals over Hernandez was motivated by racial, national origin and/or ethnic considerations,” the lawsuit says.

In the suit, Hernandez states his performance ratings were solid but declined after 2011. That’s when former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre was named as MLB’s chief baseball officer.

Hernandez worked the 2002 and 2005 World Series.

The allegation of discrimination is a serious charge. Despite Hernandez’ past performance, he deserves a fair trial. That said, the League’s silence is conspicuous. This is big League news, but MLB has not reported anything. Go ahead, search Google. Search MLB. Nothing. Search social media. That’s another story.

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John Strubel

Hi. My name is John Strubel. Thanks for visiting my website. I write primarily about my passion: baseball. In addition, I occasionally publish posts and podcasts related to sports media, journalism and technology impacting the industry. You can also connect with me on social media @johnstrubel.

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