All we have in this world are death, taxes and Angel Hernandez being an absolute liability at his chosen profession, major-league umpiring. As a general rule of thumb for umpires, if casual fans know you by name—which is absolutely the case for Hernandez—you’re probably not doing a good enough job. Hernandez didn’t even need to be behind the plate to make his presence felt Saturday in Tampa, inexplicably calling Rays outfielder Brett Phillips safe on a throw that beat him by at least a step.
Pirates skipper Derek Shelton happily challenged the ruling on the field, which took seconds to overturn. Though his mistake was quickly rectified, social media let Hernandez have it, burying the embattled umpire for another gaffe in a long career of questionable calls.
MLB umpires have been increasingly under the microscope of late, with fans clamoring for an automated ball-strike system (ABS) that would prevent debacles like the one we saw in Chicago earlier this week with Doug Eddings missing an unprecedented 29 calls behind the plate. Whether it’s “robot” umps, an expanded replay system or a solution we haven’t dreamed up yet, there needs to be some accountability for umpires, who, despite frequent mishaps, continue to face little in the way of consequences.