MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred conducts his annual #ASG Town Hall at #FanFest. 12 July 2016. Photo: Arturo Pardavila III via Wikimedia Commons (Arturo Pardavila III)
Who’s on first?
At tonight’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Miami, it will be umpire Angel Hernandez, who recently sued MLB and commissioner Rob Manfred for racial discrimination, working first base.
The Cuban-born Hernandez, 55, has been passed over several times for a chance to work the World Series despite high marks on evaluations, according to the suit. MLB has promoted only one minority umpire to permanent crew chief in the history of the game, a Hispanic, and that only one nonwhite umpire has worked a World Series since 2011, the suit claims.
“The selection of these less qualified, white individuals over Hernandez was motivated by racial, national origin and/or ethnic considerations,” the lawsuit said. Hernandez filed two discrimination charges in June with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Hernandez has worked in MLB since 1993. During that time, he has made two World Series appearances, most recently in 2005. He was also a part of the umpire crew for the 2016 National League Championship Series— his seventh time working a league championship series.
In an ESPN poll of 100 active MLB players in 2010, the players ranked Hernandez as the third-worst umpire in the league, behind C.B. Bucknor and Joe West. West has been assigned to be the home plate umpire at tonight’s game.
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati on July 3 by Kevin L. Murphy and L. Jeffrey Landen of Murphy, Landen & Jones. The attorneys for Hernandez were not immediately available for comment. MLB acknowledged the suit but in a statement declined to comment.