What’s the opposite of the gift that keeps giving, receiving a lump of coal in your stocking every Christmas? I think that’s what Angel Hernandez is the equivalent to. I find it infinitely entertaining when I watch an Angel Hernandez game. There’s genuinely nobody like him. You never know what you’re going to get. Don’t get me wrong, it’s embarrassing and pathetic, and he shouldn’t have a job as an umpire in Major League Baseball, but it is a fucking roller coaster ride when he’s behind the dish.
It takes a lot for me to even write about umpires. In general, nobody's talking about you if you're really good at your job. And I wrote a blog last week about how Hernandez had his worst day of the season last Sunday when the Astros and Yankees played each other. His worst day of the season lasted a whole six days because he was amazingly awful yesterday.
The biggest problem with Angel Hernandez outside of his massive ego and the fact that he's bad at his job, is that he's the worst kind of umpire. There are bad umpires across major league baseball, but typically you have umpires with really tight strike zones or umpires with really wide strike zones. Angel has neither. Pitches will cross the middle of the plate, and he'll call them a ball. The next pitch will be a foot outside, and he'll call it a strike. He has to be a nightmare behind home plate, both as a hitter and pitcher. I need to do more research into the data, but is he typically more of a pitcher or hitter umpire? He's a nobody umpire. ￼￼￼￼
Angel Hernandez and his amazing inconsistency make what Sandy Alcantara did for the Marlins yesterday that much more impressive. Alcantara got through a nine-inning complete game with Angel Hernandez behind the plate. In hindsight, I also think it makes Spencer Turnbull's no-hitter, which was the moment that changed my life, more impressive. It's hard to feel good about hitting your spots when you aren't sure if those pitches will be called for strikes. But against all odds, Alcantara was sensational yesterday. ￼
I know he'll never be willing to play ball, but I would love just one time to have Angel Hernandez go over one of his games and see whether or not these calls were correct. I doubt he would own up to it. I bet he'll stand by every single one of his calls. He is the Skip Bayless of Major League umpires. He will get under people's skin and have some of the most insane takes. But at the end of the day, you can't ignore them. I'm sure many people wish they could. ￼