Thursday, July 13, 2017

Angel Hernandez, MLB, and Discrimination (Part 2)

Our discrimination analysis of Angel Hernandez vs MLB  takes us beyond one umpire's race to religion, sex, color, and national origin—the protected classes of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 USC § 2000e-2).

Disclosure: This is Part 2 of the Hernandez v MLB analysis. As in Part 1, Part 2 continues with a discussion of themes, ideas, and theories that may be uncomfortable for some readers. Hernandez's suit alleges a severe charge of race discrimination, and this provokes analysis and a comprehensive overview of all that might explain its existence, as well as discrimination that occurs on the basis of other protected characteristics, all of which are, on some level, related.

Race Discrimination: First, to address the final point from Part 1, there is a real and statistically significant disparity in the racial makeup of the professional players' cohort and the professional umpires' cohort. Unfortunately, it's not as simple as looking at PBUC/MiLBUD hiring rates: the disparities still exist at the graduation level, and also exist in the schools themselves (it appears that there is more diversity at Wendelstedt than at The Umpire School, but I have no theory to explain this perception). On the whole, however, white (and other mainstream classes) are overrepresented even before the first classroom session at umpire school.

An umpire's journey formally starts at school.
Because umpire schools by-and-large don't review and rule on applications in the same way a college or university normally does, there are no meaningful "acceptance rate" statistics to consider. Instead, it would appear that minority and protected class individuals simply don't attend umpire school at a rate comparable to those racial minorities that play the game or try out for the minor leagues, much less comprise the national sample. This is best illustrated and confounded by the great disparity in foreign-born players vs foreign-born umpire school hopefuls.

Perhaps now we should consider a profession with a similar racial representation problem (though not to such a drastic extent): law enforcement.

Police Demographics: Whites comprise 67% of the US population and make up 75% of all police departments (2007). In cities with greater minority share in the general population, there exists a much greater disparity that led one sociologist to declare that certain police departments are "so out of sync with the racial composition of the local population." For instance, consider the following MLB cities' police departments. Baltimore PD features 20% more white officers than % of white residents, preceded by St. Louis (21% more white officers in the heart of the city), New York (+21%), Chicago (+23%), Arlington (+24%), Cobb County [Georgia] (+26%), Houston (+27%), Kansas City (+29%), Phoenix (+35%), and Anaheim (+42%).
Anaheim might have the most overrepresented police force in all of big league baseball.
Color: Where does that disparity come from? For one, non-whites are 12% less confident in the police institution than are whites, which would contribute to an ambition gap. Non-whites are more likely to report having negative interactions with police, exposure to media reports police misconduct, and to live in high-crime areas with a perception that the police cannot be trusted and/or counted on. Finally, like in any career, a police recruit, assuming successful training and probationary periods, ordinarily will spend a good 20+ years in the profession.

In Part I, we discussed it taking at least 10 years—usually a bit longer—for umpiring to catch up to player composition changes (e.g., Jackie Robinson broke the players' color barrier in 1947; Emmett Ashford broke the umpires' color barrier in 1966). In law enforcement, it similarly will take time—longer than 20 years—to catch up to demographic or immigration trends. People can move from one place to another very quickly, and this will ordinarily outpace the rate of new-hires into police departments, which helps perpetuate the disparity.

These factors contribute to a scenario in which whites are more likely to become law enforcement candidates, even if just because of a more persistently positive perception of the career. Why join something one does not trust?

A similar circumstance exists in umpiring, relative to the Hernandez lawsuit and claims of Latino underrepresentation. Are non-whites underrepresented in umpiring? Yes.

Is umpire school too white, and, if so, why?
National Origin: Bluntly put, umpires (of any race/origin/etc) officiating in the United States are respected to a higher degree relative to umpires officiating in the countries of Latin America. Umpires of any ethnicity that officiate Latin ball may be assaulted or simply demonized in a way that umpires in the USA are not: For example, in US ball, umpires generally will not (or shouldn't) entertain an argument with more than one person. In traditional Latin American ball, however, arguing with a group of angry players and coaches is far more prevalent. There is a similar disparity in soccer/fútbol referee treatment/perception in Latin America vs abroad, and an incredibly significant difference with how officials are treated in soccer vs, for instance, rugby, whose referees just might be the most respected officials in all of sport. The difference is primarily cultural.

Such a disparity in national decorum might serve to dissuade Latino prospects, for instance, from seeking out the officiating profession due to the negative treatment of officials they have witnessed, while, conversely, encouraging USA prospects to pursue officiating, due to the positive example they are shown.
Related PostUmpire Roberto Moreno Injured in Venezuelan League (11/26/16).
Related Video: Yorvit Torrealba shoves umpire Dario Rivero Jr (12/23/11).
Related Video: Jose Offerman throws a punch at DJ Reyburn in the Winter League (1/16/10).
Related Video: Compilation of rugby referees (11/10/16).

Sports Leagues players' racial diversity.
Finally, minorities become players at a greater rate and continue pursuing that athletic endeavor longer than American whites, who are more likely to pursue officiating as a more realistic way to stay in the game after an attempt at playing doesn't work out. Again, as this Undefeated article that examines the declining rate of American white players in basketball demonstrates, part of it is cultural.

The NHL perhaps best demonstrates what that means. Hockey requires a very specific set of conditions to play, namely smooth ice and an ability to skate on it. Add the significant cost of equipment to the cold temperature and resurfacing requirements, and you'll begin to understand why hockey is so often associated with Canada—white Canada (the present Canadian population estimate is 2.5% black)—as well as nordic Europe, and the northernmost US states, which are generally whiter and chillier than elsewhere in the country. Accordingly, professional hockey is very heavily white, with niche groups like TheColorOfHockey looking to track diversity in the sport.

NHL bias: French referees vs English players.
Interesting Stat: Though 13.2% of the full-time MLB officiating staff is of a racial minority group, that figure is just 3% in the NHL (NHL players are 93% white, including white European).

Meanwhile, hockey's version of racial bias is claiming that French Canadian referees call penalties at significantly faster rates on English Canadian players than do English Canadian referees.

NOTE: Under limited and narrow circumstances, discrimination along these lines is allowed, but only when necessary to the operation of the business (called the bona fide occupational qualification). For instance, discrimination when hiring an actor to fill a certain role where historically accuracy is a necessity (say, the role of George Washington) is legal discrimination based on the BFOQ. The BFOQ likely would not apply to officiating.
Are non-Americans underrepresented in umpiring? Yes.

Religious Discrimination in Baseball: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from requiring an employee to attend a religious service, while the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals additionally ruled that mandatory worship in the workplace is a violation of law. It is also illegal for an employer to coerce an employee to participate in a religious activity (though context is key...if the employer is a hospital and the employee is a chaplain, such participation is necessary for the job itself and may qualify for an exemption).

Is Calling for Christ all-inclusive?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (to which Hernandez first complained of MLB's allegedly discriminatory practices in June, and which issued Hernandez a right-to-sue notice) states that religious harassment—which occurs when an employee is coerced into adopting a religious practice as a condition of employment—is illegal. In other words, the EEOC holds that in a country where freedom of religion is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the US Constitution, in the workplace, no one employee has a greater right than another employee to express his/her faith, and to constantly push the subject on a coworker of a different religion may constitute unlawful religious harrasment.

The situation gets especially complicated and downright tricky when this coercion exists not as an explicit "condition of employment," but as an implicit expectation of getting on (or remaining on) the boss (or crew)'s good side through, for instance, camaraderie or cohesion.

Imagine, if you will, that an umpire did not want to participate in an on-field group prayer, as portrayed by the Calling for Christ graphic, above, which is a screenshot from a regional telecast on Fox Sports in Kansas City. Nowadays, CFC makes sure its umpires are comfortable and won't perform the prayer unless everyone opts in.

I refer below to a 2008 New York Times article about a Jewish umpire named Josh Miller, who worked in professional baseball from his Wendelstedt graduation in 1999 until his release in 2007, including a stint as a Wendelstedt School instructor (2001-06) and MLB Spring Training invitation.

Former professional umpire Josh Miller.
The article described the struggle of being a religious minority—a Jew—in professional umpiring: "From Day 1 it was uncomfortable," Miller, 31, said, "I was in extended spring training, and on Sunday there was a knock on the door. I thought it was a joke. This guy was coming to preach to us in our little locker room. He had two little handouts that said Baseball Chapel and prayer of the week."

With a message of, "Our purpose is to glorify Jesus Christ!", one can imagine how someone of a different religion would feel uncomfortable with the Baseball Chapel entering the locker room: "It was very uncomfortable. They’d say Jesus this and Jesus that. At the end they’d say ‘in Jesus’ name.’ Minor league locker rooms are small. It’s not like I could hide...I always stretched and got mentally prepared. You have a guy coming in and preaching to you about something you don’t believe in, it throws you off mentally."

Religion usually stays out of the workplace, but professional baseball is no ordinary line of work.

The Baseball Chapel, Pre-2008: The reason, naturally, that Baseball Chapel exists is to accommodate personnel who are unable to attend church due to, say, a Sunday day game, by bringing church to the ballpark. Yet, while players ordinarily leave the teams' locker rooms to attend Baseball Chapel in a larger meeting space, the ministry came into Miller's umpire rooms for their sessions. In other words, while players were free to stay behind in the locker room if they didn't want to attend Baseball Chapel, the umpires' Chapel took place in their locker room, meaning that if an umpire didn't want to participate or bear witness to the religious exercise, simply "staying behind" was not an option. The act of leaving the room, furthermore, only would serve to draw attention to the minority umpire's absence. Additionally, leaving would mean forfeiting the opportunity to be part of all activities that occurred during the religious session: for instance, missing out on "shop talk" or camaraderie that might fill the void between ceremonial actions.

Sometimes leaving wasn't even a physically practical option for Miller: "The umpires’ room [at North Carolina] was a shed in left field. If I left that shed, I’m in 100-degree heat and I don’t need to be standing out in 100-degree heat any longer than [necessary]." Another facility's umpire room opened up to a public area, and Miller—like many umpires—did not want to mix with potentially adverserial fans on the last day of a weekend series.

Said Miller, "One umpire I worked with [my] last year called me Jewie and I said I wasn't comfortable with it. It took a more senior guy to get him to stop."

Baseball Chapel's logo touts a Christian cross.
If there was a lawsuit to be had, Miller's portrayal of his time in baseball sure sounded like it was leading into one.

On the other hand, at the MLB level, if there are no or very few religious minorities to object to it, why suspend the Chapel service, given its positive message for a Christian audience?

Left unabated and without proper oversight, conscious restriction without explanation could breed resentment based on the colloquial saying, "to the privileged, equality feels like oppression."

Calling for Christ's mission is to "Reach, teach, and disciple," and since 2008, the ministry has grown beyond the cross.

CFC's Ted Barrett is routinely praised.
He has 3 UEFL Honorable Umpire Awards.
Calling for Christ and Baseball Chapel Post-2008: CFC is an extremely positive endeavor for its Christian umpires: it brings them together, united by faith, for a mutually beneficial ministry that augments the umpire experience. It even publicly portrays prayer with tens of thousands of witnesses. The only bump in the road, naturally, would be if an umpire did not subscribe to the Christian faith. Left unmetered, that could cause waves.

Would an atheist umpire have trouble finding work on, say, Rev. Dr. Ted Barrett's crew, given that Barrett's crew holds regular prayers? Barrett is one of the most decorated and praised umpires on this website—he has featured in six UEFL Awards (2014 Umpire of the Year2012, '13, '14 Honorable Umpire; 2014, '16 Crew Chief of the Year)—and as long as his crew is fully Christian, the prayers are a very positive part of working on the crew, but what if one of the crew members wasn't Christian or didn't want to pray?

The answer, explains Barrett, is that CFC's modern mission is one of spirituality and acceptance, no matter an umpire's path—be it Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, or otherwise. In forming a relationship with his 75 MLBU colleagues, Barrett estimates that about 15 are actively part of CFC, some are atheist, and all beliefs are respected. CFC has a relationship with a California-based rabbi, and could call up another religion's cleric if so requested. No prayer? No biggie.

As for Baseball Chapel, the ministry is no longer in the umpire room at the minor league level while the major league staff handles it on a crew-by-crew basis.

The impetus for change: These changes occurred as baseball re-evaluated its stance on spirituality in the workplace, in light of Miller's 2008 complaints. At the time, Miller had said, "You don’t want to be rude to them because it might get back to somebody and it could affect your chances. [One evaluator was] a very religious guy, so I was really uncomfortable leaving. He’d ask, ‘Why are you leaving?’ I’d tell him I’m Jewish, and who knows what that would do. It was something I didn’t want to have to deal with."

Dolly Stark was the first Jewish NL umpire.
As described above, Miller's was a situation of implicit coercion to participate or bear witness to a religious activity that runs in contrast to one's beliefs: Miller was afraid that speaking up "could affect [his] chances" in professional baseball.

Muslim ballplayer Khalid Ballouli—now an Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina with a PhD in Sports Management—echoed Miller's sentiment: "[I had] a very Christian coach who was very passionate about Sunday chapel and bible study...We had a tight-knit team, so we had a pregame meal, and one of the more awkward moments is when he would have players go around and give the blessing. He would go to players — and you could decline. But in some ways it was tough. It put the player in an awkward position, if he’s Jewish or Muslim or another religious minority. Even by declining, you’re calling attention to yourself. Or, if you agree to it, it calls even more attention to yourself, because they don’t know what you’ll do. I was probably the only person who was not Christian on the team to decline the prayer."

Umpires—including Angel—pray in St. Louis.
Miller reiterated that his complaint was never with the people running the ministry (the "messengers" so to speak), it was with the religious content: "They’re very friendly guys, for the most part. And the umpires don’t have too many friends on the road, so it’s always nice to have a friendly face come in." Still, it's one thing to see friends (or just friendly people), and quite another to be party to a religious service—of a religion that is not your own, preaching in contravention of your beliefs, and with no accommodation made for your beliefs.

Rabbi Ari Sunshine (who campaigned for Jewish ballplayers) told the story of harmful rhetoric in a diverse clubhouse, "In one case, an athlete was told that his girlfriend was going to hell because she was Jewish," stating, "the locker room of the Nationals is being used to preach hatred."

In 2005, Nationals outfielder Ryan Church had asked the Nationals' volunteer chaplain, Jon Moeller, whether Jews were "doomed" for eternity because "they don't believe in Jesus," to which Moeller apparently agreed by nodding his head. Church responded, "If only they knew. other religions don't know any better. It's up to us to spread the word."

Sunshine wrote to then-Commissioner Bud Selig (also Jewish) to complain about Baseball Chapel, noting that other Christian ministries don't "emphasize 'faith-based' salvation to a degree that denigrates legitimate religious alternatives."

Selig agreed that Moeller's comments were offensive and agreed to investigate Baseball Chapel; the team dismissed Moeller and Church apologized. Three years later, however, Selig said, "If players want to have that type of thing, they’re entitled to have them. I frankly think people are free to make that choice."

Though the origins of Baseball Chapel featured a minority of religious Christian players who felt uncomfortable around their gallivanting and hedonistic teammates—who were also Christian, just not religiously so—and campaigned for a ministry at the ballpark instead of at the teams' hotels to put such gluttonous behavior on hold, the program seemed to swing too far onto the other side of the pendulum until Miller's 2008 story, after which the ministries have returned to center in order to restore confidence and comfortability to all uniformed personnel.

For instance, born-again Twin Gary Gaetti and teammate Kent Hrbek had a public disagreement about religion in baseball during the 1988 season: they stopped being roommates and their close friendship dissipated: "He's Gary Gaetti on the field...but he's somebody I don't know off the field," said Hrbek, "It's almost like he passed away."

The boiling point for Hrbek might have been the 1988 All-Star Game, when Gaetti was named to the American League All-Stars, and during pre-game introductions, had written "Jesus is Lord" on his batting glove, where he also wrote, "Hi Rex," in a tribute to Hrbek's nickname. As the story goes, as soon as the not-as-religious Hrbek, back in Minnesota, saw Gaetti's glove on the broadcast, he turned the TV off.

Fellow born-again Brian Harper noticed the strain: "At first, Gary was outgoing about his beliefs. But you have to be careful of what you say and when you say it. The best witness is your life, to show you're happy and peaceful. It's not always the right time to talk about religion."

Given his 2007-era perspective, it's no coincidence that Miller didn't agree to an interview until after he had been released from MiLB: "There are so few spots that they basically look for reasons to get rid of you. So I thought that if this is something that I brought up, they would hold it against me...I didn’t know it was such a big deal and it was infringing on my rights."

Jewish Umpire Al Clark: The only Jewish umpire in American League history, Al Clark, famously wrote in his memoir of the anti-Semitism he faced while serving as a minor leaguer (e.g., player Denny McLain and Ray Busse's rant, "What the f* is a Jew doing in our game? You don't deserve to be here. Go the f* home, you k* m*f*").

Clark also dished on Hall of Fame umpire Al Barlick, who allegedly said of Judaism while working as an NL umpire supervisor and scout, "I’ll tell you one thing. As long as I’m alive, there will never be another f*n’ Jew umpire in my league."

Had Torre said to Hernandez something like Barlick's statement to Clark, that absolutely would prove Hernandez's discrimination case. As it turned out, Clark was hired by the American League, so he didn't have to deal with the NL's Barlick as a supervisor.

There's the story of Bruce Froemming, who referred to MLB Umpiring Department employee Cathy Davis as a "stupid Jew bitch."

Again, with the exception of Clark's player- and manager-related events, these are all incidents that occur against umpires at the hands of other umpires or the league itself. With Barlick, it was an umpire supervisor and future Hall of Famer making an anti-Semitic remark directly to a young Jewish umpire. For additional non-umpiring incidents, see also Marge Schott and Delmon Young.
Are non-Christians underrepresented in umpiring? Yes.

Sex Discrimination: To date, no woman has ever officiated a regular season Major League game. The only question is whether this is because women don't attend umpire school due to a non-discrimination-related ambition gap (see above) or whether there is discrimination once in the system.

Though women have historically comprised a very small portion of overall umpire school attendees, there have been a few notable cases of successful placements into professional baseball.

Pawol & Scott Molloy opted to stay together.
Photo: Minor League Baseball.
None, however, made it to the big leagues. Before continuing, it bears mention that the argument against intersex crews relies, at least partially, on facilities and accommodations. This is an easily solved logistical misnomer.

Last season, Jen Pawol gave an interview after her first year in professional baseball in which she stated that although some teams offered separate facilities, she had different ideas: "Scotty [Molloy] and I preferred, as a crew, to stay together as often as possible. We both felt comfortable. As long as he had privacy and I had privacy to change, we worked with each club with the facility they had. Sometimes they provided separate spaces, but maybe we just felt they were too far away on opposite sides of the building and we didn't feel comfortable. We stayed together in those situations. Because there's a lot we have to talk about."

Even so, the NBA—who has seen a handful of women in its refereeing ranks—contractually ensures dressing rooms and/or separate changing areas for both its men and women in stripes (well, technically in grey...). Again, cost is a convenient excuse, but isn't especially practical.

I'd also interject here that the issue of intersex crews never seems to be quite the issue in women's sports as it does in men's. Again, the double-standard is cultural and historical.

For example, the WNBA, NCAA Women's sports (basketball, softball, etc.), and NWHL routinely assign mixed-sex crews, and not many observers so much as bat an eye. Thus, in the spirit of equality, if a man who meets all officiating requirements can officiate a women's league, a similarly qualified woman can officiate a men's league.

In 1969, Bernice Gera graduated umpire school and received a contract to work in minor league baseball, or so it appeared. However, the very day before her first game, the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL) rescinded the contract. Gera took the case to the New York State Human Rights Commission, which ordered her reinstated. She finally got to work in 1972, and promptly resigned after umpiring just one minor league game: "I was physically, mentally, and financially drained...It is hard to get used to having people spit at you and threaten your life."

Bernice Gera fought for her right to ump.
Subsequently, two women did reach settlement with professional baseball as the result of sex discrimination litigation filed and settled decades ago. The first was Pam Postema, who worked in professional baseball from 1977 until her release from Triple-A in 1989.

Postema had been in position for a big-league gig during her final few years in professional baseball—working her final seven in the Pacific Coast League—but, according to her complaint, kept getting passed over in favor of male colleagues.

As this was a time when the AL and NL still had active presidents, the Major League Commissioner's power related to umpires generally was reserved for the World Series and similar events that brought the two leagues together. In 1988, the League invited her to umpire spring training and Commissioner Bart Giamatti invited Postema to officiate that year's Hall of Fame Game between the AL Yankees and NL Braves. Postema saw that as a sign of hope for a contract with one of the Leagues.

However, mere months after Giamatti suddenly passed away in 1989, Postema's minor league contract was not renewed. Giamatti had been seen as one of Postema's key allies and someone with significant influence over the league presidents. Giamatti's hand-picked successor, Fay Vincent, however, did not have the same clout as his predecessor, and Postema fell victim to a system that wanted her gone.

Unfortunately, it wasn't Postema's first brush with apparent sexism in baseball. As her story goes, she had to threaten a lawsuit to gain admittance to Al Somers' umpire school. When she did finally file that 1991 sex discrimination lawsuit against MLB, it took another six years before it was settled out of court in 1997.

The second woman to settle her discrimination lawsuit against professional baseball was Theresa Cox Fairlady, who joined MiLB in 1989 and was released from Single-A in 1991.

Under Bud Selig, Jim Evans Academy graduate Ria Cortesio advanced into Double-A and even drew a PBUC assignment to work the Futures Game at All-Star weekend in 2006. On the other hand, Cortesio was chosen to work third base at the Futures Game, even though she was the senior-most umpire on the crew. Cortesio ended up spending four years in Double-A—more than most umpires—before being invited to work a 2007 MLB Spring Training game (traditionally, higher-ranked Double-A umpires are invited to work one or two games during the final week of Spring Training).

John Tumpane, Cortesio & Jason Kiser.
Photo: Takeshi Hirabayashi.
2007 was Cortesio's final year in professional baseball, after which she said something that sounded quite similar to Miller and Clark's comments: "It was evident after two [years] that my biggest disappointment in the game was going to be the quality of people in it. And just within the umpire community, well, some treat you more horribly than others, but there's not one umpire who would stand up for me...You know that umpires call players rats, right? Well, hands down the biggest rats I've ever encountered in my life are professional umpires."

As umpire veteran Perry Barber put it, "Ria's rise to the top of the Double AA ranks was as close as baseball ever intended to allow her to get to the majors."

Jen Pawol and Emma Charlesworth-Seiler are presently the only two woman in professional umpiring; it remains to be seen whether baseball has changed its collective mind as to seeing a woman make it to the show, naturally, depending on the twosome's umpiring abilities.

In 2016, the University of Florida Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport released a Racial and Gender Report Card for Major League Baseball, giving the League a combined grade of B (82.4 points) for its racial (90.5%) and gender (74.3%) hiring practices.
Are women underrepresented in umpiring? Yes.

Orientation Discrimination: Since sexual orientation doesn't display in the same overt way as do the other characteristics (race, sex, religion), the literature on this brand of discrimination in umpiring is rather limited, but it certainly does exist.

Pallone: "The NL fired me because I was gay."
In his 1990 Behind the Mask book, former big league umpire Dave Pallone wrote about being gay in professional baseball. In 1988, Pallone was outed and, as he tells it, forced out of the game by a League that simply did not want a gay umpire amongst its ranks.

Like Miller, Clark, Postema, Cox-Fairlady, and Cortesio, Pallone waited until he was out of baseball—and perhaps out of the umpiring family—in order to air his grievance.

The national Civil Rights Act does not apply to orientation discrimination, though many states have since adopted sexual orientation as a protected class (in California, for instance, it is just one of 18 total protected characteristics, including race, color, ancestry, citizenship status, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, genetic information, marital status, gender identity/expression, AIDS/HIV, medical condition, political activities/affiliations, military/veteran status, and domestic violence/assault/stalking victimization).

By contrast, in Ohio, where Hernandez filed his lawsuit, sexual orientation is not a protected class.

Dale Scott says MLB has supported him.
Because sexual orientation doesn't especially pertain to officiating sports, or, more so, because Pallone's treatment essentially confirmed a keep-it-secret necessity (and, as stated, orientation discrimination is still technically legal in some jurisdictions)—in a Don't Ask Don't Tell policy-of-the-90s type of way—we have nothing to go by after Pallone...until Dale Scott came out as gay in 2014. By then, heteronormativity had begun to break down in more progressive locales, and acceptance of others had become more commonplace (yet not universal), as evidenced by the various major sports' pride-related initiatives...which are still not honored in all cities.

There is probably a case to be made connecting religious discrimination with orientation discrimination, but we'll wait for that specific suit to be filed first.

Conclusion: Hernandez's claims aren't the first against a sport that, like a great deal of the United States, hasn't always been all that diverse, nor all that welcoming toward underrepresented or protected classes—that's why they're called "protected classes" in the first place. If Hernandez is to win his lawsuit, the persuasive argument will rely on a comprehensive look at the objective evaluative criteria used by Major League Baseball to evaluate and promote its umpires.

If MLB can prove that its objective criteria justifies Hernandez's current position in the game, and that similar logic can account for the greater claim of Latino underrepresentation in on-field supervisory positions, MLB will stand a good chance at winning the suit.

Angel's skill level is culturally irrelevant.
If such objective criteria does not exist, or fails to support MLB's personnel decisions, a jury may side with Hernandez, not because of his own umpiring ability, but because of his racial composition and MLB's treatment of protected classes, including religion and sex.

Regardless of the result, the lawsuit paints MLB in a negative light—Hernandez, on the other hand, was perceived negatively by the fandom before the suit, so filing it won't necessarily change that perception...yet it sheds light on a factual underrepresentation of racial minorities on staff and in supervisory roles. If a fan wishes to dig a bit deeper, it also begins to peel the wound of religious minorities and women in baseball, where both histories are—and continue to be—black marks on the sport.

The idea of summary dismissal based on the perception that Hernandez is a "bad umpire" avoids the elephant in the room: Hernandez has accused MLB of unlawful discrimination, and such discrimination—race, religious, sex, or otherwise—is bigger than Angel Hernandez and bigger than baseball itself. An umpire can be both "bad" and a victim of discrimination.

Similarly, a too-quick settlement from baseball simply kicks more dirt under a rug which is beginning to tear apart. To brush that aside with the excuse of "bad umpire" is a rather short-sighted response to what is a much more significant issue in professional baseball. It may be unfortunate that an umpire of contested skill has filed this lawsuit, but other than in actual litigation, Hernandez's umpiring ability—as strange as it sounds—shouldn't actually matter.

Naturally, a settlement is important for the hope of saving Hernandez-and-MLB's employee-employer relationship. The best outcome for protected classes would be a settlement in which MLB publicly acknowledges its history of persecution, without admitting any wrongdoing in the Hernandez case. Hernandez introduced key facts in his Complaint relative to minority underrepresentation in umpiring: his numbers are correct, and should be addressed. There are potentially legitimate reasons out there to explain the various disparities, and baseball should not shy away from discussing them.

In Part 1, we discussed Alfonso Marquez's merits over five other (white) umpires promoted to crew chief. We cited both postseason experience and Replay Review RAP statistics. Marquez has also successfully served as an acting crew chief and "#2" backup crew chief. Though MLB surely evaluates umpires using many more metrics than just those publicly available ones, imagine our plaintiff was not Angel Hernandez, but Marquez.

Would summary dismissal still be appropriate?

Angel's lawsuit represents not only himself and not only Latinos. Standing with Hernandez are Miller and Clark, Postema and Cortesio, Gera and Pallone. It is part of a larger issue that unites several protected classes whose collective voice hasn't yet been heard.

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