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.