AJ Hinch Calls Umpire Angel Hernandez 'Arrogant' After Spring Training Ejection

Megan ArmstrongContributor IIIMarch 16, 2019

Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch motions to the bullpen as he walks out to the mound to make pitching change during the third inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Washington Nationals Sunday, March 3, 2019, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and home plate umpire Angel Hernandez were in midseason form during the Astros' spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.

Hernandez ejected Hinch following the first pitch in the bottom of the first inning. Per Alyson Footer of MLB.com, Hinch told Hernandez, "We have technology to help you get better and that these pitches are strikes. He had kind of an arrogant attitude about it and didn't want to hear it."

Hinch thought it was "pretty ridiculous" for Hernandez to make such a spectacle at a spring training game but reasoned it by adding Hernandez is known for "overreaction a little bit."

Footer posted a separate video to Twitter in which Hinch further detailed the fallout of his disagreement with Hernandez:

The debacle, from Hinch's perspective, may have boiled over from Hernandez's comments last week. Hinch said the umpire admitted to him that he gets four calls wrong per game.

In Friday's game, Hunter Atkins of the Houston Chronicle overheard Hinch shout to Hernandez from the dugout that he had "used all four [calls]." 

Hinch stated Hernandez said some "condescending things that are inappropriate, unprofessional" but did not elaborate any further. "We'll let the league know," he added.

Hernandez, who was born in Havana, has served as a major league umpire since the early 1990s, and he has seen his calls overturned before.

Last season, in Game 3 of the American League Division Series between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, Hernandez was serving as the first-base umpire, and he had three out of four calls overruled after video review. 

Following Game 4, Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia ripped Hernandez to reporters.

"He's absolutely terrible," Sabathia said after New York's defeat. "He was terrible behind the plate today. He was terrible at first base. It's amazing how he's getting jobs umpiring in these playoff games." 

For what it's worth, on Friday, the Astros managed to win 11-2 over St. Louis.

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