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.

Minor League Baseball eclipses 40 million in attendance for 14th consecutive season

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Minor League Baseball announced on Wednesday that, for the 14th consecutive season, the league has eclipsed 40 million in total attendance. 20 teams set single-game attendance records and seven teams set franchise records for single-game attendance in their current parks.

ESPN’s Keith Law, who has been covering the minor leagues for quite a while, did the math:

Minor League Baseball president and CEO Pat O’Conner, whose most prominent stint in the public eye involved him disingenuously justifying the underpaying of his players, said, “Minor League Baseball continues to be the best entertainment value in sports, and these numbers support that. For us to top 40 million fans for the 14th consecutive season despite the weather challenges our teams faced in April and May is a testament to the continued support of our loyal fan bases and the creative promotions and hard work done by all of our teams across the country.”

Major and Minor League Baseball are quite happy to make money hand over fist on the backs of their players, but are too cheap to pay them adequately for their labor.