NEW YORK — Angel Hernandez was on course to referee the 2018 World Series before flipping three times at first base for video reviews during Game 3 of this year’s MLS series between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, the MLB wrote in response to its latest legal filing.
Cuban-born Hernandez was hired as the league’s senior referee in 1993 and filed a lawsuit in 2017, alleging he was discriminated against for not being named to the world championships since 2005 and abandoned as chief of staff.
U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken issued an expedited ruling to MLB in March 2021, and Hernandez asked the Second U.S. Court of Appeals in February to dismiss Oetken’s decision.
Hernandez served as interim chief of staff from 2011 to 2016, at the start of the 2020 season which was delayed by the pandemic and for part of the 2021 season, but he was not appointed as permanent chief of staff.
“Hernandez has not provided, nor does the record contain, an iota of evidence that the MLB’s actions were based on his race or national origin,” the MLB wrote in a 58-page filing on Wednesday.
The MLB said Hernandez has no legal basis for claiming that he does not need to show statistical discrimination due to the relatively small sample sizes involved in his case.
Kevin Murphy, an attorney for Hernandez, did not respond to an email requesting comment.
In its response brief on Wednesday, the MLB wrote that then-chief baseball officer Joe Torrey selected Hernandez for the AL Division Series in 2018 “with the goal of giving him a chance to referee in that year’s World Championship.”
“Hernandez did not take advantage of this opportunity and did not rise to the occasion,” the MLB wrote. “This was the first time since the appearance of the extended instant replay in 2014 that three referee calls in a post-season match had been disqualified. Based on his performance during that Division Series playoff, Toure was not confident Hernandez would be able to effectively perform at the end of the season. A more intense stage, which is why I didn’t choose him for the World Championship that season.”
The MLB also cited Hernandez’s failure to reverse the Oakland Athletics invitation Adam Rosales He doubled down and failed to clear the wall with what would have been a groundbreaking 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 remodeling equipment,” the MLB said. “Hernandez’s inability to put the Cleveland incident behind him – and his constant insistence that others were wrong for his wrong decision – was emblematic of why Toure deemed him unsuitable for world championship duties and a permanent role for the crew. The issue was not the bad call per se, but Hernandez’s reaction to his mistake.” .
Citing the 2011 to 2016 seasons, Hernandez’s attorneys told the Court of Appeals in a June filing that “MLB manipulated Mr. Hernandez’s year-end ratings in order to make his job performance appear worse than it actually was.” Mr. Hernandez’s year-end ratings for the 2011-2016 seasons It doesn’t even come close to summarizing the actual performance of Mr. Hernandez in those seasons.”
MLB wrote on Wednesday that “Hernandez was quick to fire managers, which inflames tensions on the field, rather than issuing warnings that would likely defuse these situations. Hernandez also failed to communicate with other referees in his staff, which led to confusion about on the field.” and unnecessary delays in the game.”
MLB also alleged that Torey noticed Hernandez throwing his headphones after a video review of one of his calls in 2014 overturned and abused a substitution rule, resulting in a 14-minute delay and protest during a game between the Boston and Tampa Bay Rays on July 24, 2019.
“During this investigation, the MLB concluded that Hernandez deliberately and deceptively eavesdropped on a confidential conversation with another referee on his staff to hear what that referee would have to say about the incident; and when MLB asked Hernandez about it, he lied about his behavior,” the MLB wrote.
The MLB also reiterated a claim it made earlier in the lawsuit that Hernandez asked the Cincinnati Reds Jitcher Homer Billy For signing 11 baseball balls after a game in which Billy delivered a major hit in 2012.