Anything less would do the game a great injustice, given that Hernandez rung up Andrelton Simmons on a similarly terrible call that was so bad that Phillies catcher Humberto Quintero threw the ball back to Cliff Lee instead of around the horn.
“I may have went too far, but you only can take so much,” Laird said on ajc.com. “And after watching (Simmons’) first at-bat taken … It’s uncalled for. When the catcher throw it back to the pitcher on strike three, obviously he’s saying one thing: That it’s not even close. Us being catchers, we know what strikes are, and we throw it back to the pitcher if it’s not a strike. He threw it back to the pitcher and he rung him up. If you look at that, it just goes to show you what kind of night (Hernandez) had.”
This isn't the first atrociously blown call for Hernandez this year, either. He was the acting crew chief in May when he couldn't even get a review right on a home run for the Oakland A's, leading to their one-run loss to the Cleveland Indians. That was so bad that MLB even came out and condemned the call.
To make matters worse, mopupduty.com notes that the Major League umpire correct strike call average is 80.6 percent. Hernandez sits at 73.7 percent. To put that in perspective, the Major League total batting average this season is .254. If the difference between Hernandez's strike calls was subtracted from the league batting average, he would be hitting .185.
Hernandez even made famously bad calls in the minor leagues as far back as 1991. Check out this snippet from the Buffalo News.
"Miller was entrapped in a rundown, and that prompted Redfield to break for the plate. Shortstop Brian Guinn dismissed Miller and threw home to catcher Erik Pappas. Redfield slid but was tagged on the shoulder clearly a foot shy of the plate. Hernandez ruled otherwise, permitting the tying run.
"Pappas immediately began jumping up and down in a classic tirade. Within the next few minutes, Pappas, manager Mick Kelleher and relief pitcher Steve Wilson all were ejected from the game.
"Pappas surely got the most for the fine money he will be assessed by the league office. He made an obscene gesture in the face of Hernandez and repeatedly screamed at the umpire from the dugout. The climax came when Pappas flung his shin guards onto the field. He and Wilson, who may have bumped a member of the umpiring crew, are candidates for suspensions."
That came after Hernandez had already called a phantom balk on Rick Sutcliffe, a 13-year big league veteran at the time. He was even noted as being "reputed around the league to be an umpire who yearns for the spotlight."
This is more proof that the umpires union is far too powerful, since MLB simply doesn't hold them accountable. It may take an extreme measure such as teams refusing to work with Hernandez's crew until the situation is remedied.Tags: Angel Hernandez, Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Baseball, Cliff Lee, Fredi Gonzalez, Gerald Laird, MLB