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Report: Umpire Angel Hernandez files discrimination lawsuit against Major League Baseball

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James Pilcher of the Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that umpire Angel Hernandez has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Major League Baseball.  He also claims that there is racial discrimination in baseball’s promotion and post-season assignment policies. Hernandez claims that, despite being rated highly in evaluations, he has been passed over to work the World Series.

According to Pilcher, Hernandez hasn’t worked a World Series since 2005. He was also made a temporary crew chief in 2005 and 2012 but his four applications to become a permanent crew chief were denied.

As for racial discrimination, Pilcher notes that there are only 10 African American or Hispanic umpires of the nearly 100 umpires in Major League Baseball. The lawsuit says, “The selection of these less qualified, white individuals over Hernandez was motivated by racial, national origin and/or ethnic considerations.”

In the lawsuit, Hernandez says that MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre has held a grudge against him. Torre called out Hernandez publicly in 2001, disagreeing with some calls he made. Hernandez says his reviews were based on public perception rather than objective analysis.

Hernandez reportedly filed two discrimination charges in June with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

While Hernandez doesn’t exactly have the best reputation among umpires, there’s no reason to outright dismiss any of the claims he’s making here as an outsider. MLB has also had diversity issues with front offices and coaches, as they are by and large made up of white men. To think that those practices would also extend to umpires is not a great leap.

Video: Jaime Garcia hits a 399-foot grand slam

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Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.

The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.

Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.

As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:

Ryon Healy exits game after taking a ground ball to the face

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Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.

Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.

Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.