Court declines racial bias suit by ump Hernández

NEW YORK — A federal appeals court on Tuesday refused to revive longtime umpire Ángel Hernández’s lawsuit accusing Major League Baseball of racial discrimination.

In a 3-0 decision, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan rejected Cuban-born Hernández’s arguments that the league’s promotion practices, including its failure to promote him to crew chief, reflected unfair treatment of minorities.

Hernández, 61, had attempted to reinstate the suit, which was first filed in 2017.

He was sidelined by a back injury for more than three months earlier this season, but he has since returned to action.

Hernández had claimed then-MLB executive Joe Torre, who made key decisions over umpires, held animosity toward Hernández dating to Torre’s time as New York Yankees manager. The umpire’s lawyer, Nicholas R. Gregg, had argued that MLB should not have given Torre 100% authority to make crew chief decisions.

Hernández served as an interim crew chief from 2011 to 2016.

Kerwin Danley became the first Black crew chief in 2020, and Alfonso Márquez became the first Hispanic crew chief born outside the United States. Richie Garcia, who was born in Florida, was the first Hispanic crew chief, from 1985 to 1989.

Hernández has been controversial on the field at times. He had three calls at first base overturned in video reviews during Game 3 of the 2018 American League Division Series between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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