Parkins & Spiegel Photo Credit: Parkins & Spiegel Show Parkins and Spiegel interview retired MLB umpire Joe West on Ángel Hernández.

MLB umpire Ángel Hernández retired Monday, leading fans to post many of his worst umpiring disasters on social media. But the much-maligned Hernández has at least one person in his corner.

The Parkins & Spiegel Show on Chicago’s 670 The Score interviewed retired MLB umpire Joe West Tuesday about Hernández. West praised the controversial ump, and co-hosts Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel seemed to be listening in disbelief, with Spiegel even doing a cartoonish double-take at one point.

“I think y’all gave him a raw deal. … Whether you want to believe it or not, he was good at [umpiring],” West said, drawing that double-take from Spiegel. “You can say, ‘Well, he missed this pitch or he missed that pitch, but you can do that with anybody. When you get on a rant like that, it’s easy to follow a guy and say, ‘Oh he missed that pitch.'”

When West continued with his praise, Spiegel fired back.

“How about 2018 ALDS Game 3 … three calls were overturned by replay in the first four innings of the game,” Spiegel said. “That was kind of a rough one, Joe.”

Hernández’s bad calls, especially on balls and strikes, had become a running joke among fans, players and broadcasters. It certainly made for some interesting posts on social media.

West, who worked as an MLB umpire from 1976 through 2021, is acknowledged as one of the all-time greats. He umpired an MLB-record 43 seasons and 5,460 games. It’s understandable, even commendable, he stood up for one of his comrades by praising Hernández. He said Hernández faced unfair criticism on social media.

“I hate the fact that these people that sit behind a desk and get on their computer and send out all these social media things, they don’t know what they’re talking about,” West said.

Yet many of Hernández’s calls, when viewed against a pitch chart or the superimposed strike zone fans see on TV, spoke for themselves. They definitely got everyone talking. ESPN Radio host Evan Cohen even questioned Tuesday if Hernández’s retirement is a good thing, given he’d become the “face of the league” in some respects.

[670 The Score]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.