Getty Images

Last Monday night, much-maligned umpire Ángel Hernández announced his retirement, effective immediately. He broke into the league in 1991 and became a full-time umpire in 1993. Hernández umpired his final game on May 9. A back injury sidelined him for most of the 2023 season.

"I have decided that I want to spend more time with my family," Hernández said in a statement. "Needless to say, there have been many positive changes in the game of baseball since I first entered the profession. This includes the expansion and promotion of minorities. I am proud that I was able to be an active participant in that goal while being a major-league umpire."

To say Hernández was unpopular with fans and players would be an understatement. He has long been regarded publicly as baseball's worst umpire even though the data shows he's merely below average rather than the worst in the game. Hernández did tend to be combative, however, and escalate things when his job was to deescalate. The man liked to wield his authority.

Although the data says he wasn't the worst umpire, Hernández had a knack for egregiously bad calls. It wasn't that he made more bad calls than other umpires. It's that the bad calls he did make were very, very bad. Look at these called strikes against Rangers rookie Wyatt Langford on April 13. This is as bad as it gets:

Here are a few of the most egregious incorrect calls during Hernández's career, listed chronologically.

1. July 5, 1998: Tucker misses home plate

We can reach back into last century for Hernández's hijinks. In the bottom of the 11th inning against the Mets, Braves shortstop Walt Weiss lifted a sacrifice fly to left field that brought Michael Tucker home for the game-winning run. The only problem? Tucker never touched the plate. His foot was elevated when the tag was applied. Hall of Famer Mike Piazza appropriately lost it.

"Anyone who wants to look at the replay or anyone who saw it live knows what happened," Mets manager Bobby Valentine said. "All I know is I've got more wounds on a catcher that was already wounded up -- marks five inches deep on his leg -- and another game that we lost. That's all I know. And it's a joke."

2. Aug. 7, 2001: McMichael calls out Hernández

The Rockies were visiting the Cubs and both teams had issues with Hernández's strike zone. Furthermore, Hernández called Ron Coomer out on a play at the plate that would have tied the game in the sixth inning. Replays showed Coomer was safe.

Later on, Chicago Bears legend Steve McMichael called out Hernández while in the booth to sing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" at Wrigley Field. "I'll speak the home plate umpire after the game," McMichael said to loud cheers. He then blew Hernández a kiss.

At the time it was reported Hernández had McMichael ejected -- yes, umpires can eject fans -- though Hernández and crew chief Randy Marsh later confirmed McMichael was never tossed.

3. May 8, 2013: Rosales loses a game-tying homer

With two outs in the ninth inning against Cleveland closer Chris Perez, Athletics utility man Adam Rosales lifted what should have been a game-tying solo home run to left field. The ball hit the railing above the yellow line at Progressive Field. Hernández, the crew chief, called it a double on the field. A's manager Bob Melvin asked for a replay review and Hernández ruled a double anyway. You can see the play here. The next day, MLB admitted the "incorrect call" was made.

"By rule, the decision to reverse a call by use of instant replay is at the sole discretion of the crew chief," MLB executive Joe Torre said in a statement. "... It was a judgment call, and as such, it stands as final."

Rather than being credited with a game-tying homer, Rosales had to settle for a double. He was stranded at second and the A's lost the game.

4. May 24, 2013: Hernández robs Rios of a walk-off

With the score tied 3-3, the White Sox had the bases loaded in the bottom of the tenth inning against the Marlins when Alex Rios hit a weak ground ball to short. The Marlins turned the inning-ending 6-4-3 double play, except they really didn't. Replays showed Hernández blew the call and Rios beat the throw at first base, which means the winning run should have scored. Iconic ChiSox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson summed it up thusly: "Oh no! No! No! No! He is safe and another blown call by Hernández!"

At the time, instant replay was used only for home runs. Replay was not expanded until 2014, so Hernández's call was final.

5. October 8, 2018: Three blown calls in ALDS Game 3

In Game 3 of the 2018 ALDS between the Yankees and Red Sox, Hernández had three -- three! -- calls overturned by replay at first base (a fourth call was challenged and upheld). Here are the plays that were overturned:

After the game, an MLB spokesperson said: "There were several very close calls at first base tonight and we are glad that instant replay allowed the umpiring crew to achieve the proper result on all of them."

Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez, working as a studio analyst for TBS, was less diplomatic. "Ángel was horrible. Don't get me going on Ángel now," he said. "Major League Baseball needs to do something about Ángel. It doesn't matter how many times he sues Major League Baseball. He's as bad as there is."

6. April 24, 2022: Schwarber goes berserk

This wasn't Hernández's worst incorrect call but it certainly led to the most memorable tirade. After getting rung up on a pitch off the plate in the ninth inning of a one-run game, Kyle Schwarber slammed his bat and his helmet, and let loose on Hernández. This is one of the all-time great ejections.

Josh Hader's face after the strikeout really says it all.  

7. Sept. 28, 2023: Harper's ejection

A year after Schwarber's tirade, Hernández ejected Bryce Harper for arguing a check swing call -- it was not particularly close to a swing -- and Harper let him have it. To the action footage:

"Ángel in the middle of something again. It's every year, same story, same thing," Harper said after the game. "I'm probably going to get fined for being right again."

8. March 8, 2024: Lynn's spring training ejections

Sometimes the temperature can run hot in spring training. This March, Hernández ejected Lance Lynn for arguing balls and strikes during a Grapefruit League game. Lynn went down to the bullpen afterward to get his pitches in, and Hernández ejected him from the bullpen too.

"(Hernández) started chirping at the dugout and I told him, 'They know it was a strike.' He told me, 'Let's go!' And I told him, 'I have five seconds on the pitch clock and I'll start whenever I feel like it,'" Lynn said after the game. "I threw the next pitch and I was like, 'There's a strike!' And then it was 'see you later.' I went and got another 20 pitches in the bullpen, so I'm in a good spot. I guess I got ejected out of play too, technically."