Angel Hernandez was a “controversial” umpire in the minor leagues two decades ago

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Even before blowing a replay call last night umpire Angel Hernandez had a long track record of, well, let’s call them “sketchy” performances, but did you know he had a negative reputation back in his minor league days too?

We’re talking two decades ago, but Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News uncovered this article from way back in 1991, which notes that “Hernandez is reputed around the league to be an umpire who yearns for the spotlight.”

Here’s more, from Triple-A:

He attracted notice in Saturday’s series opener by calling a phantom balk on 13-year big-league veteran Rick Sutcliffe. Hernandez attracted more attention Sunday with a call at home plate that replays proved blatantly incorrect.

In that Sunday game Hernandez ejected the manager, the catcher, and the pitcher involved in his botched call, but not before this happened:

Pappas surely got the most for the fine money he will be assessed by the league office. He made an obscene gesture in the face of Hernandez and repeatedly screamed at the umpire from the dugout. The climax came when Pappas flung his shin guards onto the field.

I’m not sure what the recording devices were like 22 years ago, but I’ll assume like last night Hernandez refused to let reporters record his explanation afterward.

Report: Red Sox, J.D. Martinez close to a deal

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.

Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.

The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.

The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.