Angel Hernandez isn’t exactly the most well-loved umpire in baseball.
And it’s not just his questionable decisions on the field, though that’s certainly part of it. His inconsistency calling balls and strikes is no secret, and making matters worse, he seems to have a knack for raising tensions following unpopular calls, when he should be working to ease them instead.
In a 2010 ESPN survey, players’ dislike for Hernandez was evident, as 22 percent of respondents named him the worst ump in baseball.
Back in 2013, moreover, retired Atlanta Braves legend Chipper Jones went on a Twitter rant against Hernandez, even going so far as to call on fans to boycott games he officiates.
On Sunday night, during a game between the Yankees and Angels, Hernandez drew the ire of another veteran player — Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia.
In the bottom of the third inning, with two outs and runners on first and third, Sabathia threw a 1-2 fastball to the Angels’ Justin Upton. Sabathia felt the pitch should have been called a strike, but Hernandez disagreed.
Upton ended up grounding out to end the frame, and as he walked off the field, Sabathia couldn’t help but give Hernandez a piece of his mind.
Hernandez followed Sabathia as the pitcher walked back to the dugout, and apparently said something that drew Sabathia’s ire, according to USA Today.
“Don’t talk to me. Call f—ing strikes!” Sabathia yelled out at the umpire.
With it only being the third inning, the Yankees probably didn’t want Sabathia to get ejected. So, shortstop Didi Gregorius tried to direct his pitcher back to the dugout, and Yankees manager Aaron Boone came out to defend his starter.
After the game, when asked about the incident, Sabathia had a rather simple explanation.
“Thought I was throwing strikes,” he told the New York Daily News.
In the grand scheme of things, the inciden didn’t end up mattering a whole lot. Sabathia threw seven solid innings, allowing just one run on five hits, while walking just one batter.
The Yankees won the game 2-1. It was their ninth consecutive victory, though the Astros snapped their winning streak on Monday.
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