Ángel Hernández in an August 2023 game. Ángel Hernández in an August 2023 game. (Orlando Ramirez/USA Today Sports.)

As Ángel Hernández retires from Major League Baseball unceremoniously, the New York Mets TV crew bid the polarizing umpire an honest farewell.

Hernández ended his 33-year MLB umpiring career by announcing his retirement on Monday. The news was celebrated almost unanimously, but not in the manner a person hopes to be celebrated when they retire. Hernández was celebrated because fans were relieved to see a career that was marred by so many controversial calls come to an end.

“We no longer have Ángel Hernández to kick around,” Mets play-by-play voice Gary Cohen said on the SNY broadcast during New York’s Tuesday afternoon game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“We didn’t really kick him around, did we?” analyst Ron Darling asked, prompting Cohen to claim he thought everyone did.

And Cohen is right. Hernández was kicked around quite a bit in recent years by fans, broadcasters, players, and managers. Those who kicked him around will argue the veteran MLB umpire deserved it thanks to a career of bad calls, but there are few things sports fans unanimously rallied around more than ripping Hernández for a blunder.

“Is he going to make a checkers speech?” Keith Hernandez asked with a laugh, referencing the speech where Richard Nixon addressed his checkered past.

“I’ve never seen more reaction to an umpire calling it quits than the announcement that Ángel Hernández was retiring from umpiring,” Cohen said. “I mean, there are a lot of not very good umpires. He was just one of them.”

And that’s why the Mets have one of the best announcing teams in Major League Baseball. With one swift comment, not only did Cohen highlight the fact that Hernández wasn’t a very good umpire, but he also candidly noted the league is littered with not very good umpires.

“The vitriol,” Darling said of the seemingly over-the-top reaction to Hernández’s retirement, only to drop a vitriolic comment himself. “He’s on the board of LASIK, that’s where he’s going.”

Hernández had not worked a game since May 9 and called just 10 games last season, yet he was still Major League Baseball’s most recognizable umpire. MLB umpires be on alert, because baseball fans are now in search of their next target.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com