1. Angel Hernandez
Prior to this season, Bucknor probably would’ve taken the number one spot on the list, but after Hernandez’s performance in a four-game series between the Oakland A’s and Cleveland Indians, he distinguished himself as the very worst umpire in all of baseball.
Hernandez made mistakes in nearly every opportunity provided to him. In the series opener when he was behind home plate, he botched an obvious strike three with A’s reliever Chris Resop on the hill, and that led to a two-run single by Jason Giambi that effectively put the game out of reach for Oakland.
In the second game Eric Sogard appeared to tag out a baserunner, but Hernandez didn’t think so. A’s manager Bob Melvin argued the point to no avail.CLEVELAND, OH – MAY 8: Manager Bob Melvin #6 of the Oakland Athletics is ejected from the game by umpire Angel Hernandez #55 for arguing a call during the ninth inning at Progressive Field on May 8, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Athletics 4-3. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
By the third game Hernandez had already proved himself to be incapable, but when Adam Rosales hit a home run that was obviously above the wall on replay — which Melvin had to basically force Hernandez to look at — and then the umpire called it a double to the shock of everyone at the ballpark, that was enough for Oakland’s manager to go ballistic. All of baseball was buzzing about the call for days afterward, and Peter Gammons even went as far as suggesting that Hernandez blew the call on purpose to protest against instant replay. Because anytime you have something that can help you do your job better, you should get rid of it as soon as possible, right Angel?
It was an astonishing display of ineptitude, one that we’re not likely to see again in our lifetime. When Major League Baseball came out and publicly stated that Hernandez blew the call several days later, it became farcical.
The thing is, the league already knew how terrible Hernandez was. He’s ranked amongst the worst umpires every year. As Ron Washington put it, “Angel’s just bad. That’s all there is to it.” Well said, Ron.
So congratulations Angel. For your efforts, I’m naming you the absolute worst umpire in Major League Baseball. Try not to screw things up too badly in the future.