Hernández sued the Major League Baseball in 2017, alleging racial discrimination and cited his failure to be posted to the World Series since 2005 and the failure of the MLB to promote him as a team leader.
The preliminary discovery documents and depositions were filed late Friday evening and early Saturday in the US District Court for Manhattan as part of Hernández’s motion for a partial summary judgment.
A member of the large league team since 1993, Hernández, born in Cuba, worked for the World Series in 2002 and 2005. He was not chosen after the hiring of Joe Torre in 2011 to direct the operations of baseball.
Steve Palermo, a referee supervisor, emailed October 16, 2015 to Referee Director Randy Marsh, recommending Hernández for the World Series with Phil Cuzzi, Gerry Davis, Marvin Hudson, Dale Scott, Bill Welke and Jim Loup. Palermo copied Torre and Peter Woodfork, the senior vice president of baseball operations.
Woodfork forwarded the email to Matt McKendry, Senior Director of Arbitrator Operations, and wrote at the top: “Four new umpires and the guy in the midst of the biggest debacle. “
Woodfork sent a text message to Torre, the chief baseball officer, on the afternoon of October 16: “Angel is going to be a no for Rob. “
Rich Rieker, director of referee development, emailed Woodfork later today, saying, “I don’t know the totals. These are just suggestions. Put who you and Joe want among the suggestions. Get out Ángel if you want. Any supervisor or director who has informed referees of any list should be penalized. “
Cuzzi, Hudson, Welke and Wolf had not worked in the world series. Hernández was involved in a controversy in 2013 when Oakland Adam rosales scored twice after a video exam rather than a home run. The replay system used at the time did not provide clear enough images for the New York control room.
Welke and Wolf were chosen for the 2015 series between Kansas City and the New York Mets, with their newcomer to the series, Mark Carlson. They were joined by Gary Cederstom, Mike Everitt, Alfonso Márquez and Mike Winters.
Woodfork testified on June 21 that he did not remember that Manfred told him he did not want Hernández in the World Series. Woodfork said, “I took a presumption about the situation.”
Another referee supervisor Ed Montague recommended Hernández for the 2012 World Series.
An MLB document referenced in the case indicated that only 7% of the arbitrators were minorities. Woodfork testified that Torre, who retired in February, “focuses on leadership” in the team leader’s decisions rather than in assessments.
The MLB has been using computerized evaluations of referees’ balls and strike calls for two decades. Manfred testified that in-person assessments of the arbitrators were requested by the World Association of Arbitrators during the negotiation.
“We accepted it in order to get an agreement on the rating system, but frankly, I don’t think anyone gives much weight to what he hands over,” he said.
Hernández was acting team leader but was not chosen as permanent chief. Kerwin Danley became the first African American referee crew chief in February, and Márquez was raised to the first Hispanic crew chief born outside the United States. Marquez is second overall after Richie Garcia, born in Florida. Márquez was the first Mexican-born referee to work in the majors.
“Ángel has won the opportunity to lead this team,” said Woodfork. “There are times when Ángel succeeds in this area, and there are other times when he seems to be struggling.”
The Hernández trial alleges violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, New York State and Ohio laws and the New York City Administrative Code. MLB declined to comment.
It has been announced that he will be working on the 2017 All-Star Game shortly after filing a lawsuit. He worked in the league championship in 2016 and in division in 2018 and 2019. During the 2018 playoffs, he was knocked down in three of the four video magazines when he worked in first base in match 3 between Boston and the New York Yankees.
The depositions revealed that Hernández was fined for trying to get a baseball for a colleague who called Homer baileyIs without a hit. Marsh, a former team leader, said he was suspended for three days for a similar offense.
Marsh also said that Richie Garcia was sacked as a referee supervisor in March 2010 due to a problem with Vic Carapazza, who canceled his first major league game a month later.
“His son-in-law was an umpire in the minor leagues, was highly regarded for promotion to the major leagues, and was told not to go to see him work, because of his connections to him,” said said Marsh. “He continued to do so. He had been told not to do it, and he continued to do it. “
Many documents have been filed under seal accompanied by highly redacted public versions.
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