Home Sports Joe West thinks outgoing umpire Ángel Hernández got ‘a raw deal,’ was ‘good at’ his job

Joe West thinks outgoing umpire Ángel Hernández got ‘a raw deal,’ was ‘good at’ his job

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Ángel Hernández retires from baseball. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Ángel Hernández retires to the overwhelming approval of MLB fans and players across the league.

The much-maligned umpire who became the face of bad officiating not only in baseball but in all sports confirmed his pending retirement Monday.

This news inspired a series of reactions that largely consisted of celebration along with looks back at the lowest moments of Hernandez’s missed calls. The criticism is not directed at Hernández as a person. But the consensus around Hernández, the referee, can be succinctly summarized in two words: goodbye.

But there was one notable voice that defended umpire Hernandez: retired MLB umpire Joe West.

West joined Chicago’s Radio 670 “Parkins & Spiegel Show” Tuesday to talk about his former colleague. He believes Hernández received “unfair treatment” from his critics.

“I think everyone gave him a raw deal,” West said. “I’ll tell you this. He retired this week and issued a statement. And his statement was that he enjoyed what he did all these years. And whether you believe it or not, he was good at it.”

That last statement prompted a surprised reaction from co-host Matt Spiegel, who seems to have the consensus opinion that Hernandez was, in fact, not good at his job.

“You can say, well, he missed this shot or he missed that shot,” West continued. “You can do that with anyone. When you go on a rant like that, it’s easy to follow a guy and say, oh, he missed this shot.”

Ángel Hernández retires from baseball. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Hernandez failed to many launches. He repeatedly drew the passionate ire of players on the wrong end of his calls. Kyle Schwarber spoke for a lot of baseball during a particularly memorable 2022 interaction:

However, it is not surprising that West comes to Hernandez’s defense. West retired from baseball in 2021 after more than 40 years in the position. He did so as one of the few umpires in baseball who could rival Hernández in disdaining the players.

He was receiving his own share of rants from players and managers and was voted the second worst umpire in baseball via an ESPN survey of players in 2010. Hernandez came in third in that poll, led by CB Bucknor.

So West can probably understand what Hernandez might be going through if Hernandez is paying attention to the noise this week.

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