Angel Hernández, arguably the most disliked umpire among active MLB players, has already shown on Friday that he’s in midseason form. Hernández ejected Astros manager A.J. Hinch just one pitch into the bottom of the first inning of his team’s game against the Cardinals. Hinch reportedly had to be restrained by a coach and George Springer before he was tossed.
On the description alone, it’s fair to believe that Hinch was a bit aggressive towards Hernández, but it appeared he had a good reason to be at least annoyed at what the umpire had just called. What supposedly set Hinch off was the first pitch to Springer being called a strike. A quick look at the game’s play-by-play shows that Hernández blew that call by quite some margin.
As for the confrontation itself, there was no television feed of the game to pull a clip from but thankfully a fan recorded the moment on their phone.
Hunter Atkins of the Houston Chornicle noted what was ultimately said between the two guys:
Hinch said he and Hernández had a disagreement during a game earlier this spring. Hinch said Hernández admitted then that “he gets four wrong a game.”
On Friday, Hinch took issue with the balls and strikes calls on Astros starter Forrest Whitley and got angriest with the first call against Springer in the bottom of the inning.
From the dugout, Hinch brought up what Hernández had told him and shouted: “You’ve used all four.”
Hinch did more to demonstrate his frustration with Hernández than just take the long way off the field through the left field fence instead of using the dugout. He called the umpire’s decision to toss him “ridiculous” and claimed that Hernández said “condescending and unprofessional” things to him. Hinch then added that the team would be in touch with the league about what had happened.
You would think a league so hellbent on constantly making adjustments to a sport that doesn’t really need it would be more concerned with one individual’s prolonged history of poor officiating, but that kind of move would just make too much sense for MLB to do.