Bryce Harper has had just about enough of Ángel Hernández.
The Philadelphia Phillies superstar sounded off about the notoriously controversial umpire after finding himself at the center of an incident with Hernández during Thursday’s game at Citizens Bank Park.
Harper thought he had drawn a walk in the third inning, only to discover that Hernández – who was manning third base – had called him out on a check-swing strike three. Harper was ejected moments later and the two-time MVP lost it on the arbiter, having to be held back by manager Rob Thomson. He then flung his helmet into the stands in frustration as he left the field.
Bryce was just ejected for being correct pic.twitter.com/NUDPF9OOOB
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) September 28, 2023
Harper was still steaming at Hernández postgame and took the opportunity to deride the veteran umpire.
“Just Angel in the middle of something again. It’s just every year, it’s the same story, same thing,” Harper said, according to Alex Coffey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I’m probably going to get a letter from Michael Hill (MLB’s senior vice-president of on-field operations, who oversees umpires), and I’m going to get fined for being right, again. It’s the same thing over and over and over and over again. It’s just not right.”
Hernández, who recently returned for his 33rd season after missing most of the year because of back surgery, has developed a reputation as one of the most disliked umpires in baseball. He’s known around the game for what many perceive to be a litany of mistakes and blown calls.
The 62-year-old Cuba native also made headlines when he sued MLB in 2017, alleging discrimination because the league had passed over him for a promotion to crew chief and high-profile assignments. His case was again dismissed by an appeals court last month.
Harper saw Thursday’s check-swing call as yet another example of Hernández failing to do his job properly.
“I mean, it (the call) was just bad. Just all around,” he said. “You’re grinding out an at-bat, facing a guy I’ve never faced before, I get to a 3-2 count, I take a slider down and in, obviously didn’t go, and wasn’t even thinking about it in that situation. Just taking my stuff off and I heard the crowd’s reaction and I was like, ‘There’s no way (he called a strike).'”
Without Harper, the Phillies lost Thursday’s game 3-2.
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