Angel Hernandez ejected Astros manager A.J. Hinch one inning into a spring training game
Hinch and Hernandez have had some ongoing disagreements this spring
Major league umpires have a bad rap. They are the best in the world at what they do. That said, some are better than others, and, fair or not, Angel Hernandez has a reputation for being a bad one. His strike zone is inconsistent (to put it kindly) and he's known to instigate arguments. That's the opposite of what an umpire is supposed to do. They're supposed to diffuse things.
On Friday, Hernandez ejected Astros manager A.J. Hinch one pitch into the bottom of the first inning during his team's Grapefruit League game against the Cardinals. Friday's game was not televised, but here is video of the incident from a fan in the stands. Looks like it was quite the shouting match:
After the game Hinch told reporters, including Hunter Atkins of the Houston Chronicle, that Friday's incident stemmed from a previous disagreement between the two. Hernandez has been an umpire since 1991 and Hinch has been in the big leagues in some capacity (player, manager, etc.) since 1998. The two have a history.
Here is Atkins with the details:
Hinch said he and Hernández had a disagreement during a game earlier this spring. Hinch said Hernández admitted then that "he gets four wrong a game."
On Friday, Hinch took issue with the balls and strikes calls on Astros starter Forrest Whitley and got angriest with the first call against (George) Springer in the bottom of the inning.
From the dugout, Hinch brought up what Hernández had told him and shouted: "You've used all four."
On one hand, that's a pretty good burn by Hinch. On the other, he was kind of asking to get run with a line like that.
Opening Day is still 12 days away and we're in the dog days of spring training. Maybe Hinch just wanted to get away from the ballpark for a few hours. Ducking out early and letting Hernandez take the blame qualifies as a veteran move in my book.
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