MLB faces racial discrimination lawsuit from umpire Angel Hernandez

Umpire Angel Hernandez is suing commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB. (AP Photo)

Major League Baseball umpire Angel Hernandez is suing commissioner Rob Manfred and the league with a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination in the league’s promotion policies.

James Pilcher of the Cincinnati Enquirer has the details:

Cuban-born Angel Hernandez, 55, states in his suit that he has been passed over several times for a chance to work the World Series despite high marks on evaluations. The suit also charges that even though Hernandez was made a temporary crew chief, it has never been made permanent.

The suit accuses MLB of promoting only one minority umpire to permanent crew chief in the history of the game (a Hispanic) and that only one non-white umpire has worked a World Series since 2011.

Hernandez also filed two discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in June.

Of the 100 umpires working in MLB, “about 10 are African American or Hispanic,” according to the Enquirer.

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Hernandez has been an umpire since 1993. He says he received solid remarks on his performance until 2011, the year Joe Torre joined MLB as its chief baseball officer. Hernandez believes Torre has a vendetta against him after Torre publicly criticized Hernandez’s performance when Torre was the manager of the New York Yankees in 2001.

Hernandez has been assigned to work during the postseason the last few years, but has not worked a World Series since 2005. After being named a temporary crew chief twice, Hernandez has been turned down for the role on a permanent basis. He has applied for the job four times.

Crew chiefs are in charge of their group of umpires. The job comes with more responsibilities and more pay. Working the World Series also results in more pay.

Hernandez is seeking “back pay and unspecified compensatory damages.” A league spokesman told the Enquirer, the league is aware of the lawsuit, but did not offer further comment.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!