Major League Baseball has asked a federal magistrate judge to reject umpire Angel Hernandez’s request to eliminate confidentiality designations in his racial discrimination lawsuit against the league.
As we reported earlier, MLB umpire Angel Hernandez sued the league in July 2017, alleging that they discriminated against him based on his race. Hernandez has not worked the World Series since 2005 and, despite applying numerous times, was denied a promotion to crew chief. He alleged that these rejections were racially motivated and that chief baseball officer, Joe Torre, made negative comments about his performance, despite his personal belief that he has performed well.
In a letter to the court, Hernandez asked Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein to withdraw confidential designations for a number of documents and excerpts of testimony. He argued that MLB failed to identify any good cause or compelling reasons to keeping the information confidential.
MLB struck back on Tuesday, arguing that Hernandez’s request was overbroad and unwarranted. The league stated that the letter “fails to identify a specific document or snippet of testimony (or even categories of documents or testimony) that he claims has been inappropriately designated.”
The league further argued that it does not have the burden to demonstrate good cause for all documents designated to be confidential. MLB pointed out that many of its designations have been made in good faith, citing documents regarding umpire health and performance as examples.
Hernandez has made a number of requests to the court that MLB has opposed. He sought to have the court allow him to speak to the media without retaliation, which the league strongly opposed. Additionally, Hernandez looked to amend the lawsuit to include MLB executives’ deposition statements showing that the league promotes workers on an arbitrary and subjective basis. The league has also opposed this request.