Long-time umpire Angel Hernandez is suing Major League Baseball on the grounds of alleged racial discrimination. The Cuban-born Hernandez, 55, filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati. Among the complaints are Hernandez not having been promoted to crew chief and his lack of World Series assignments under MLB chief officer Joe Torre.
Via the Associated Press, Hernandez alleges that Torre's issues stem from a 2001 confrontation between the two while Torre was managing the Yankees. Torre is alleged to have said, of Hernandez, "I think he just wants to be noticed over there."
Also via the AP:
The complaint alleges Hernandez received positive evaluations for most of his big league career, which began in 1993, but says "following Torre's arrival in Major League Baseball's front office in 2011, the notion that Hernandez `just wanted to be noticed' permeated Hernandez's yearly evaluations, as did Torre's general negative attitude towards Hernandez."
The lawsuit cites that in Torre's tenure, Alfonso Marquez -- who worked the World Series in 2011 and '15 -- is the only non-white umpire to be assigned to the World Series. The other 34 umpires who worked the World Series in that time were white.
Further, Hernandez notes that he has applied to become a crew chief and been denied. Since 2000, the lawsuit says, there have been 23 umpires promoted to crew chief and all have been white.
When Torre was asked why Hernandez hasn't yet been promoted to crew chief, Torre's response was that Hernandez needs to "gain greater mastery of the official playing rules and replay regulations, continue to improve situation management, and display an ability to refocus and move forward after missing calls or receiving constructive feedback from the office."
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages and an injunction against discriminatory conduct by MLB.