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Showing most liked content since 01/01/2011 in all areas

  1. 30 points
    Long story, but I think some will appreciate it. Working the plate on a VERY competitive 18u tournament under OBR. Everything's going fine through the early innings, and as the backstop is rather short, I'm eavesdropping on the conversations among a group of 5-6 guys just to my right. They're talking strategy, tactics, defensive positioning, pitch selection, etc...it's pretty obvious that these guys know baseball. Somewhere in the middle innings the other team was at bat in an obvious sacrifice situation. Batter squares and offers at a pitch that was well below his knees. Ball hits bat, plate, bat again then goes straight in to the catcher's glove. It all happened so fast, it took me a second for it to register. "FOUL BALL" I shout. Meanwhile the catcher has thrown a seed to F3 who tags R1 slowly returning. My partner is echoing my foul call, and makes no call on the 'play' at first. The reaction from the 'peanut gallery' is swift and loud. "He hit the ball twice...he's got to be out." My belief that these guys know baseball just took a nosedive. They're chattering on and on as I step out to dust off the plate, and as I'm standing up I see the DC approaching me from the dugout. He keeps looking over his shoulder at the gang of dads and nods in their direction, as if to say "yeah, I got it." DC: I'm not sure I understand what just happened here. Can you tell me what YOU saw? Me: Sure, the pitch hit the bat, then the plate then the bat again. DC: But didn't it then go sharp and direct to the catcher's glove? Me: Yes, BUT as soon as the ball hit the bat the second time it was foul and dead. DC: (looks back to his fans for guidance, they're shouting "OK, so the ball's dead, but the batter hit the ball twice, he got to be O-U-T.") DC nods in their direction and says to me "Yeah, what HE said" Me: That's not the way it works. The second hit was clearly unintentional, and the batter was still in the box. That's no different that if a batted ball hits the batter while he's in the box." DC: (looks back to fans for help...the loudest of the gang shouts "he's quoting a high school rule"). DC nods and says to me "is the MLB rule different? A couple of these guys played pro ball." Me: So did Rick Manning (Cleveland Indians broadcaster) but he STILL doesn't even understand the difference between a foul ball and a foul tip. (In a previous conversation I had learned that DC was an Indians fan, as am I) The peanut gallery is now howling with a combination of laughter and jeers. DC: Are you sure we've got this right? Me: Absolutely. Last shot from the leader of the gang "You've called a solid game, blue. But you kicked that one" The crowd is still murmuring, but nothing is out of control and the game continues. Several batters later, I hear a loud voice from the leader of the gang-o-dads "GOT IT, right here on mlb.com". At the end of the half inning, they try to get my attention. I pretended to not hear them, trotted to the far end of the other dugout to get a drink. There was nothing else said (directly) about this for the rest of the game. Their team went on to have a big inning on their next at bat and put the game away. Their team had to turn around and play the very next game, but I was not involved in that game. I went to our 'campsite' beyond the LF corner, got out of the gear and settled back to relax before my next game. About the 4th inning I see one of the dad's walking in my direction...my antenna immediately went up, as the rest rooms and parking lot were in the opposite direction. Dad: It's probably out of line for me to approach you like this, but I've got to share this with you. Me: Yes, it IS out of line, but you're already here, so what do you have? Dad: (looking at his I-pad) Rule 6.05 Me: 6.05h, I just finished re-reading it. Dad: "the batter is out...after hitting or bunting a fair ball, his bat hits the ball a second time in fair territory" The ball was directly over the plate, so it WAS in fair territory, right? Me: Read the REST of 6.05h, especially the last sentence. Dad: "If the batter is in a legal position in the batter's box..." Me: which he clearly WAS. Dad: "...and in the umpire's judgment..." Me: I LOVE that part. Dad: "...there was no intent to interfere with the course of the ball..." Me: There was clearly no intent. Dad: "...a batted ball that strikes the batter..." Me: "...OR HIS BAT shall be ruled..." WHAT? Dad: "...a f***ing foul ball" He stuck around for a few minutes and we talked about his son (pretty good player). He complimented me on the job we were doing and apologized profusely. When we arrived back at our campsite after the final game of the evening, we found a large garbage bag next to my chair. My first thought was "what a.hole mistook our camp for a dumpster" but we discovered the bag was full of ice and twelve cans of beer. There was a note on the bag's twist tie, it read "Nice work, signed Rick Manning and friends."
  2. 23 points
    I just wanted to share with everybody my relationship with Mike.    Unfortunately Mike and I never met in person, but we did try several times. It was always like, "oh we'll try again next time." Late last year we said we'd catch up at a Shorebirds game this summer.    Mike was the very first person I ever bounced the idea of Umpire-Empire off of probably 6-8 months before I launched the site. We had become friends from interacting on several other sites over the years. He and I first discussed the possibility of a site that would compete with the other established sites and the first thing we discussed was making sure there was a good environment and not have the issues that were much more prevalent on the sites than there is now. He helped give me the encouragement to go for it.    I knew if this Idea was going to be successful I was going to have to have the support of the best people and having Mike as major contributor was absolutely one of the things that made this site take off the way it did.    Mike and I regularly exchanged emails and PMs about anything and everything related to umpiring or not.   We would also talk on the phone occasionally. One time we spoke for nearly 6 hours. We spoke nearly the entire time while I was driving from my home to Charlotte  it made the long drive go by quickly.   Mike was also a trusted sounding board for ideas about the site. And this summer and fall when I has some things going on in my life where I couldn't be here as much as I'd like, Mike really stepped up and helped me out.    It's hard to say how much Mike meant to me and to all of the members of this site and how sorely he will be missed.  
  3. 21 points
    I actually was thinking the same thing too. And so the Member of the month award will be called the Michael Taylor Member of the Month Award. It is a proper tribute since he really exemplified what a Member of the Month should be. 
  4. 19 points
    Though I have been a little less active on the site over the last few months, some nice things have been happening from an umpiring perspective: - I was asked to be our HS association's rules interpreter - I was asked to be a classroom instructor for the same association - I was invited into the local college association and will start calling JUCO ball next season. It's my understanding that from a total pool of about 45-50 that applied, 14 were selected to be evaluated and 6 were then accepted into the association. I feel incredibly lucky that a few experienced umpires have taken an interest in helping me to improve and always seem to point me in the right direction on the best ways to find better baseball and to move up. It's going to be difficult to manage work, HS games and college games in the Spring, but it should be fun!
  5. 19 points
    I'm happy to report that FlaUmp22 has been invited to attend the 2014 PBUC evaluation course.. Great Job.
  6. 18 points
    Not sure the phrase "machine pitch"and "umpire" should be in the same sentence.
  7. 17 points
    As many of you get ready to head out for a three-day weekend of tournament baseball and eating 'burgers, 'dogs and Bar-B-Q, remember that a price has been paid for you to have this beautiful weekend. Two weekends ago my parents drove 5 1/2 hours from their home to my brother's home. They went there even though no one would be there: my brother was deployed in the middle east and his two children were with their mom, my brother's ex-wife, at her home. They did not go there to see anyone. Rather, they went to clean his house. They went to make it spotless: to put fresh sheets on the beds in all four bedrooms, fresh food in the refrigerator, new bars of soap in the soap dishes in the showers, and to mow the lawn. See, my brother was letting some of his brothers, and their families, use his house...so they wouldn't incur any hotel expenses...so they could attend the memorial service of their fallen brother who was killed in combat three weeks ago. My parents were giving up their weekend to make sure that these grieving sailors and their families would have a clean, spotless place to stay. A safe place out of the public's eye where they could grieve. This past Tuesday my day began the worst way possible. My phone rang at 5:00 a.m. It was my mom. I knew my mom wasn't calling that early to tell me good news. All she said was that my brother had been seriously wounded in combat on Tuesday night; he was shot twice. Luckily for us, the news got better as the week went on. Later on Tuesday we found out his injuries were not life-threatening. After two surgeries, the neurosurgeon today opined that the paralysis in his arm should go away over the next "few months". He even cleared him to return to the States this weekend and begin his rehab at home instead of in Germany or at Walter Reed. It is by the Grace of God...just a few inches to the left and it would have been a different outcome...that I will not be experiencing the worst Memorial Day weekend of my life. Instead, my parents...who often go to Arlington this weekend to visit my brother's fallen brothers...will instead meet my brother as he comes off a plane. And they'll be able to hug him. Soon, I'll be able to hug him and tell him he's my American hero. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many families. Too many parents, children, brothers and grandparents will be reminded this weekend that they cannot hug their loved one. That their loved one came home in a flag-draped coffin. A price has been paid for this weekend. It has not been paid by me. It has been paid for by the thousands who lay in eternal rest in Arlington and other national cemeteries. It has been paid for by my brother and thousands of other "wounded warriors" who have the one medal that no loved one ever wanted them to receive: a purple heart. It is paid for by the loved ones who must go on...often as single moms and fatherless kids...without their soldier, sailor or marine. Please remember that price, and remember our soldiers, sailors and marines, when you are enjoying America's greatest pastime this weekend.
  8. 16 points
    Now, that the press release has been issued I can state this: I think the biggest change you will find in 2018 is that the casebook will be updated to reflect runner designations that are used by all of the other organizations. That is, R1 will be the runner on first at the start of the play, R2 will be the runner on second at the start of the play, etc., etc., etc.
  9. 16 points
    Just bragging. I promise not to do too much of it, but last night was pretty cool. My two sons (15,17) rarely work together - it has been 14 months since they last worked a game together and they work about 60 games per year each. They were both just hired by two local associations which schedule LL and Pony games. They worked a LL 50/70 together last night, and I am telling you that they put on a real show. They did it all. Signals, hit their rotations, hustled, had great timing and their uniforms were crisp and pressed. I finished my HS game and got to the park in the third inning. 1. BU in A. Trouble ball down the RF line and BU goes out. F9 dives and drops the ball and BU signals no catch. BR circles and heads for 2B. PU is there; BR arrives three steps ahead of the throw and PU gives a sharp, but relaxed Safe signal. No big woop. But here is where I lost it - BU comes HUSTLING from RF to C and PU waits for him, hands off and PU HUSTLES to HP. Here is the thing - after that awesome display of umpiring, NOBODY CHEERED! They were still clapping for the Batter Runner. Unbelievable. 2. R1. BU in B. F1 fires to F3 and puts the tag down on a late R1 and the parents are cheering loudly. But instead of banging R1, BU's hands go up and 1BC is pointing to PU who is pointing at F1. "That's a balk! You - Second Base!" Oh man, that was sweet. 3. This was the "Late" game and as the other fields started shutting down, a couple umpires lingered and watched. The rest of the game was just baseball. They exited the field before you heard "2,4,6,8!. . . ", a few people complimented them, and Cam signed the scorebooks and they both disappeared to the far parking lot. I can die now.
  10. 15 points
    This is the first month I'm making a unilateral decision on the member of the month. I had a a difficult time getting a short list as we have so many people I want to recognize. However; the thing that made me select this person was the name of the award, "The Michael Taylor Member of the Month." Here's a few reasons why I chose this person... He's been a member for nearly 3 years He has become very well respected for his rules knowledge As an aside, I received a PM from another member not too long ago (and I'm paraphrasing here) thanking me for having members like this person (they specifically named him) who are knowledgeable, "doesn't have a holier than thou art attitude" and explains things well. As the person wrote, our winner is very approachable and not condescending. I personally like that this person will often cite rules backing up his posts. He has earned the ranking as one of the top reputations in the community. The membership awarded him Member of the Month several times. I feel he really embodies the the spirit of the award. He also embodies what I intend the site to be about. So I am very proud to announce @maven as the January 2016 Member of the Month. Congratulations, very well deserved and thank you for all that you do for Umpire-Empire.com and our members.
  11. 15 points
    On Saturday I was privileged to call my first official college games. Had the first game behind the plate. I felt completely comfortable from the beginning. It really helped that the starting pitcher and catcher for the home team were kids that I've called their games 10+ times as a high schoolers. My partner calls SWAC, OVC, and AAC conference games. He was great to work with. He called me Sunday to tell me how much he enjoyed working with me. I was surprised and flattered to receive the phone call. Great first experience. Can't wait to do it again.
  12. 15 points
    At least one person was willing to be seen with me after the game last night...
  13. 15 points
    In our USSSA tournament ball, we record the number of outs for each F1. New F1 comes into the game, so I go to his coach to get his last name, first initial. Coach: "Pitcher's name is Titsworth, Adam" Me:: "........." (I hesitate writing this on the scorecard and give him a suspicious look). Coach: "Really, Adam Titsworth, we call him A-cup." Coach: "I had his older brother, Doug, a few years back. We called him D-cup." Me: "OK" (my suspicion eases and I start writing) Coach: Their mom is named Cindy, Do you know what we call her? Me: " C-Cup ? " Coach: "NO, we call her Cindy...what's wrong with you, man."
  14. 14 points
    148 words and says nothing... written like a true lawyer.. @lawump
  15. 14 points
    I give location on close in or out pitches. Answer the question before it's asked and avoid a discussion. It's no different than safe, off the bag or on the tag, he's out. You're providing an explanation of your call. As you mentioned, it's something done more by umpires who work at a higher level where we're under a microscope.
  16. 14 points
    No, not ME. @johnpatrick has neither asked me to do this, nor does he know that I am, so I hope it's okay. He's way too humble to post this milestone. In any case, John was selected earlier this year to be a Little League World Series umpire in Williamsport. His trip there, and his (hopefully) multiple opportunities to umpire on ESPN will be the icing on the cake to a dream year for an umpire. He started the year at TUS Pro school and has been working as many LL games as his schedule will allow in preparation for the LLWS next month. My main reason for posting this is because as a new LL umpire a few years ago, John was largely responsible for teaching me proper pro (Evans) mechanics from the very start, and giving me opportunities within LL to work higher level games, including Sectionals and a Sub-Division game (the equivalent of State semifinals in other states). John is a dedicated LL umpire, student of the craft, and teacher. He has literally trained hundreds of LL umpires as a Lead Instructor, always willing to give his time to help others get better. Congratulations John, and THANK YOU for being a huge part of making me the umpire that I am today (let me know if you prefer not to take the blame for that and I will retract). Don't suck in Williamsport (you won't) and I hope it is all you want it to be. I will be recording all the games, and can't wait to see you on the dish!
  17. 14 points
    Here's me crossing the plate yesterday at Fenway Park. I ran 9K in full plate gear (except for the shoes) in 56:42 and raised over $1,000 for the Red Sox Foundation and the Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program, which supports veterans with "invisible" war wounds such as brain injuries and post-traumatic stress.
  18. 14 points
    I had a 12u game tonight. As my partner and I hit the plate for the plate meeting, both coaches come running up to me and ask if I'm Johns daughter. A little hesitantly I say "yeah", then they both start inquiring about my dad's surgery. My dad is an umpire also and just loves doing kids rec leagues. He's known for making the parents sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" before games, which drives UIC crazy. Yesterday he had heart surgery and won't be doing games probably for the rest of the season, which broke his heart. Both teams were so worried about him, said they were praying for him and want him back on their fields soon. I was just so touched and proud.
  19. 14 points
    wvumpire1807, my apologies for your frustration. We have received a couple calls on this issue, more than likely you were one of them. I contacted Smitty to see if I could get the specs for their poly-wools so I could compare what I have here to what they are supposed to be. Understandably, they wouldn't give me the specs but they did say that all of their pants are based off the same patterns, so a plate is a plate, a base is a base and a combo is a combo across all styles. So armed with that, I checked all of our poly-wools against a charcoal plate pant and I found that several of the poly-wools were not measuring up, in other words a combo cut labeled as a plate pant. Who's to blame? The factory? The supplier? The retailer? Everybody really, I have to rely on Smitty to send me what I order, they rely on the factory for the same. The majority of the time, we all get it right, but sometimes we don't. So please feel free to contact service@ump-attire.com and I will have Myra take care of your issue.~Paul
  20. 14 points
    How about we finish out this month like it is! Then make him the sole nominee for next month! I think it makes more sense to name the honor after Mike permanently. The Michael S. Taylor Member of the Month Award.
  21. 13 points
    Because umpires also have a rhythm when they work the plate. But you've never strapped it on so...
  22. 13 points
    Cue the resounding THUD! as @VolUmp's jaw hits the floor.
  23. 13 points
    Here are my suggestions for having quicker games (when you are the plate umpire): (1) Stock up on your baseballs between innings. At the time of the first pitch of the game, I have 6 baseballs (3 in each ball bag). I make sure I start each half inning with 6 baseballs. If I run low during in an inning, I look at the home dugout and say, "I need (insert number) baseballs, please." I then make sure that someone runs out to me with the baseballs during a natural break in the game. (2) Stand on the foul line a few feet up from the dirt circle between innings. Stand in front of the dugout of the team that is coming to bat. Except for the first inning (or when there is a new pitcher), quietly tell the catcher after the pitcher has thrown 3 warm-ups, "he has two more, (insert catcher's name)." After the pitcher throws his fourth warm-up, hold up your right hand above your head while giving the "number 1" signal, and look at the pitcher and say, "last one!" Then, turn to the on-deck batter and say "one more!". Usually when I do this, the batter immediately removes the weight from the bat and starts strolling toward the plate...even before the catcher has thrown it down to second base. Saying "one more!" usually causes the third base coach to start moving toward his coaching box, too. (3) If someone doesn't come out to warm-up the pitcher, sternly say to the coach, "coach, I need someone to warm-up the pitcher or your pitcher is not going to get any warm-ups this half-inning." Usually the coach turns to the kid who is supposed to take care of this and says, "Johnny, pay attention. Go warm up Mike!", or an assistant coach trots out. (4) Have a short-hand system for quickly notating substitutions. [All substitutes are required to be listed on the line-up card. So, if the head coach comes up to me and says, "I have number 14 for number 22 in the ninth hole,"...and this is his first substitution of the game...I go to the bottom of my line-up card (where the substitutes are listed) and I put an "A" next to number 14. Then, I go up to the ninth spot in the line-up and write the "A" again. I also make a "22" through the starter's number. If the starter re-enters later, I just strike through the "A" and write a "Re" next to the "A". For the second substitute, I write a "B", etc. However you do it, having a short-hand system for substitutions will shorten your game.] (5) We always say, "don't signal or verbalize obvious foul balls". (For instance, if the batter hits a rocket straight back to the backstop behind home plate, we shouldn't throw our hands up and yell, "foul!".) I suggest that you take this a step further: don't watch obvious foul balls! If a batter hits a towering fly ball that is going to land in the softball field behind the first base dugout and well out-of-play...don't stand there and watch it. I guarantee you that if you watch me (and most, if not all, pro and college umpires), F1 will have a new ball before the foul ball even lands. This can literally knock 5-10 minutes off of your game time. (6) If your state uses the FED batter's box rule (mine doesn't) enforce it. Even in my state, I will tell a batter, "let's go" if he is strolling between pitches. (7) Call strikes. I know that there are some games we all have (especially in high school) where neither team has an F1 who can throw it in the ocean standing knee deep at high tide...much less throw it in the strike zone. But, if you want quick(er) games, you must enter each game with the mentality that every pitch is a strike until it proves to you that it is not a strike. (8) Unless it absolutely gets buried in dirt, don't brush the plate off except when there is a natural break in the game (for instance, between batters.). The plate doesn't move. If you've been umpiring for more than a few games, you know where the corners are located. (9) Break up mound visits in a timely manner. Here is what drives me crazy: after deciding that it is time to go to the mound to break up the defensive conference, some umpires take an eternity to get to the mound. I watch some guys, when they start walking to the mound, walk up the first base foul line to the 45-foot line. Then they turn left and actually walk toward the mound, but they go to the back of the mound. Then, they walk up the back of the mound. It is like they are afraid to get to the mound; they take the most non-direct route possible while strolling. When a defensive conference occurs, I immediately note it on my line-up card. By the time I put away the card, it is just about time to break up the visit. I walk directly and with purpose in a straight line from the plate to the mound. Once I am sure that the coach and players (other than F1) are leaving the mound, I jog back to the plate area. As i am jogging back, I glance over my shoulder to make sure that the coach and/or catcher isn't trying to return to the mound. (10) Hustle. When you hustle, it will encourage others to hustle. If you are "popping out" from behind the plate and trailing the batter-runner on grounds balls (with no runners on base), or having a crisp first-to-third rotation...it encourages the game participants. This won't work for all teams, but it will work for many. This stuff works. I have the game times to prove it.
  24. 13 points
    Do you want to know the #1 thing a catcher can do (in all seriousness) to become my new favorite player? The answer: keep everyone else on his team off my back. Let me give an example. 2-2 count. The pitcher delivers a fastball that is either just on or just off the corner. Umpire calls it a ball. Dugout begins to make noise. Maybe the pitcher glares in at the umpire. At this point, if the catcher hops up, throws the ball back and says something such as, "Just bring it in a little and we're in business (or something similar)," he has just become my best friend for the day. Without throwing his pitcher under the bus, he has just told his dugout and his pitcher that the ball was just off the plate (even if it wasn't). He has just gotten everyone off my back. Afterward, if he wants to get back down in his crouch and before the next pitch he quietly says to me (while looking straight ahead), "Matt, we need one of those last two pitches. If you're not going to give us the inside corner, I need the outside corner. Otherwise, we'll be here all night," (or something similar) I am going to listen to him and seriously consider his request. Why? Because he just defused a potential volatile situation. He took all the heat off of me. (What coach is going to argue balls and strikes after his catcher just said, "bring it in a little"?) At that point, I want to work hard for that catcher!
  25. 13 points
    All ....just heard from @mjr_2013 ........ He's on his way to Vero Beach to see where he will be placed!! Congrats Matt! Keep us posted!
  26. 13 points
    On Monday I had the opportunity to umpire an exhibition game between the Fargo-Moorehead Redhawks vs the Texas AirHogs that play in the American Association. 9 innings. Final score was 11-2, AirHogs had 17 hits. The first base coach told my partner that I was very consistent. Awesome experience.
  27. 13 points
    Just slow your timing down, make your call, don't worry about it unless it's more arguing with you or making an obnoxious display rather than a flash of exuberance/wishful thinking. In all honesty, just between us girls? I kind of sadistically relish it when an overenthusiastic base coach (usually the asst at 1B) starts flapping his arms like an albatross and I'm watching, with slow timing, and come up and pound that out. A little bit of me smiles at the tortured anguish of the flapper.
  28. 13 points
    A local high school had a player pass away within the last couple days unexpectedly. Neither me or my partner had any prior knowledge of this heading into the game. (I don't want to pay for the newspaper). The HTHC comes to the plate conference and informs me that the starting first baseman has passed away and that he has placed him in the starting lineup and that he would start the game with eight players. He politely asks the VTHC if his first batter would take the first pitch, then he would substitute in a first baseman. The VTHC obliged and I said coach that this will all be fine. Than I (PU) requested that, for lineup purposes, the subbed in first baseman will be considered a starter. (FYI, this is not in the FED case manual), Before the first pitch, the players circle the mound and say a prayer and release balloons. After the first pitch I call time, throw the ball in, and the coach walks out to me in tears and announces 7 for 22. the game resumes. I just thought i would share this because it was a humbling experience. And it also follows the old saying that you see something new everyday. I hope I handled it in the correct way because I had no clue what was going on at first.
  29. 13 points
    You're right to point out that the game "slowing down" is a crucial part of "feeling comfortable" behind the plate (or on the bases, which sometimes takes longer for umpires who are used to working solo). It's not hard to explain, but the explanation requires a bit of brain science. The human brain is a pattern recognition engine, but it has to be trained up on the pattern. When we start umpiring, there's so much going on that our brains get overwhelmed trying to identify what is "pattern" or relevant and so worth our attention. As it comes to recognize pattern, it starts to treat everything else as "noise" or irrelevant and so to ignore it. The other part is our limited processing power. We can process about 100–110 bits of information per second. This limit explains a common experience: since the average conversation includes about 60–80 bits per second, we can almost, but not quite, listen to 2 conversations at the same time. The game slows down when we have trained up our brains sufficiently so that we filter out (ignore) enough noise that the remaining patterns are below our processing limit. You heard it here first: better umpiring through neuroscience!
  30. 13 points
    I like the new color of your van. It makes the lettering easier to read.
  31. 13 points
    So you're saying NFHS will adopt it next year???
  32. 13 points
    No way in holy hell am I balking that. Number one, it's a safety issue and I am killing it when the bat gets dropped (I don't know if the batter is going to try to reach down for the bat while the pitcher delivers). Secondly, the batter cannot cause the pitcher to balk:
  33. 13 points
    For our newer members:   Umpire-Empire.com has its own personality and its own personalities, and it can be overwhelming to the uninitiated. To help you get started here, we’ve created this cultural primer. This is a small group. The world of umpiring is not a large segment of the population, and the subset of umpires that frequent this board is even smaller. This group has everything from members that have been on various boards for the better part of two decades to people like you just coming on board. Because of this: Some relationships on this board are longstanding, and have the ups and downs of connections lasting that long. There are inside jokes that predate this board, there are ongoing discussions that get rekindled every now and then, and unfortunately, there are also grudges. There is a higher-than-normal rate of posters who know other posters in real life. There’s a significant chance that there are posters here who know you in real life. It is up to you how much of your background and personal information you want to share. Just beware, details can be pieced together—if you want to have some level of anonymity, keep that in mind. So, if you post things about partners, remember that very partner may be reading it, and figuring out that it is about them, and thus who you are. We are a diverse group with diverse personalities. Do not assume malice when there is a disagreement.  ​Some folks are in their first year officiating kiddie ball Some are current or former professionals, and most are in between. We even have (shudder) coaches here.  Our members ages range from 13 to ... well lets just say "very experienced"  As you frequent the site more you will get to know some of the personalities of our members so being more active (even if just reading) will help you put the personality context behind the post.  Because emotion cannot accurately be read into posts consider using a smilie/emoticon to help relay the emotion you are trying to convey. We have hundreds of smilies which you may find helpful.                     Some members will go out of their way to state their experience, others don’t. Some may be exaggerating or not telling the truth. You can decide for yourself how credible individual posters are. Umpires do not become successful by being overly sensitive. The more-experienced umpires are where they are because they are direct in what they say, are able to take criticism, and don’t suffer fools well. What may seem as an abrupt, rude, or condescending statement is most likely simply terseness or conciseness. If you think something may be out of line, please take it up with the person who posted it via PM, unless it is egregious enough to be moderated.  Because of the fraternal nature of our group, don't take offense to little jabs in the ribs. Even if that little jab crosses the line, just like when umpiring, sometimes you just have to let that personal pop shot go and not respond. There are a variety of styles that posters use to answer questions. Some will quote you the proper rules chapter-and-verse. Some will hint at concepts so you can try to find the answer on your own. If you don’t get an answer in a style you find helpful, please ask for clarification or additional help instead of getting in a huff. Remember that aside from that minority of trolls that are found on every board, everyone is here to help and be helped. People generally don't post here to waste time or get a rise from others--they have something substantive to say. You can neither dictate nor predict how threads will develop. You may start a thread asking about proper mechanics in a particular situation, and it will turn into seven pages on whether jackets should be tucked or untucked. We understand that this can be frustrating if your question hasn't been answered. If that happens, please feel free to reiterate what you are asking (our members are generally good at self-policing this.) If your question has been answered, just go with the flow. Also, understand that just like a face-to-face conversation, a topic may drift into several salient points that you hadn't considered each with its own set of relevant facts and opinions. If you feel a topic has swayed too far off topic, notify a Moderator. They may be able make the side-bar its own topic The search function is your friend. Please use the search function, if possible, before posting questions. Because of the characteristics  mentioned above, some of our more seasoned posters have heard the same questions hundreds of times and can be somewhat gruff in answering them. It may be difficult to find the proper terms to search on, but please give it at least a cursory try. For All Members Rules to live by: When starting a thread, please use as descriptive a title as possible. This not only helps you get the right answer from the right people, it also helps others down the line when they want to find answers about similar concepts. Similarly, in your posts, list the relevant rule set(s). There are differences between them that may play a role in developing the correct answer. Words mean things. In each rule book, there are definitions for words, and these definitions are important. We avoid using terms loosely or colloquially because that engenders confusion. If you use a word incorrectly, there will most likely be a correction. Understand why you are being corrected, learn from it, and move on. PMs work. If something goes over your head, you feel someone may have been out of line, you don’t get the inside joke, or anything in general, PM the poster in question. It’s best to keep one-on-one conversations to a minimum on the boards to allow other posters easier understanding of the threads as well as to minimize the chance of public spats. Don't assume a moderator is reading each and every post. For many years I was able to read each and every post made here. Now that task would be impossible. If you see something questionable please inform us. Re-read your posts before posting. I've confronted people about posts before and the #1 thing I'm told is that they didn't realize their comment would be taken in a certain way or intend for it to be taken the way it was. So re-read your post; you may intend one meaning, but deliver another. Give others the benefit of the doubt that what they are saying is not a personal attack and don't react assuming it is a personal comment. Never take anything posted here as the word of the Lord. Anybody can post here and say virtually anything no matter how ridiculous or true. Remember umpiring is filled with gray areas. If it weren't for this there would be no need for interpretation manuals or even this site. There are situations in umpiring where there is technically no right answer, but possibly better ways to come to a decision about handling those gray areas.  If you ask a question, be ready for responses, correct, incorrect, sarcastic ... It is often actually the weeding through all of the responses that actually help the most in deciphering and truly understanding the correct answer.  Don't go looking to be offended. If you are looking to be offended, you will find it. If you feel a poster is "trolling" don't feed the troll (reply to the post). Report the post and let the moderators handle it rather than giving the person what they may want. Just have fun This site is designed to be both informative and social. We will go off topic, we will discuss personal situations and our lives outside of umpiring. We are a fraternity, we not only support each other but like to have fun too. So expect an occasional jab in the ribs, a joke at your expense, and even some heated disagreements. These can be an overall sign of your inclusion and acceptance into the group. It does not mean you are not welcome or appreciated. Remember at the end of the day we are all on the same team. Even the members you may have a disagreement with, when push comes to shove will be in your corner. Share your accomplishments! Whether it is your local league's in house tournament or your going to Omaha you won't find a more supporting group to share your news with. For our Experienced Members:   Remember our membership changes on a daily basis. Besides the +/- 250 registered members who actually sign in every day, Umpire-Empire.com is visited by thousands of individuals everyday who never either log in or register.    I have been asked repeatedly about creating a "No Flaming Zone" for newbies. Of all the suggestions I've received over the years, this is the one I've been adamant about refusing because I believe this implies the rest of the site is open season for flaming. One of the principles Umpire-Empire was founded on is having a good environment where a rookie can get a legitimate answer from someone much more experience without the fear of being scorned or ridiculed.  Be welcoming to our new members.  Take a look at the members profile you are responding to take into consideration if they are one of our veteran members or a new member. Look at their join date and look at their post count. What do you know about their experience or personality Take that into consideration when responding  When someone asks a question If a topic has been covered ad nauseam, be kind give a brief answer and then direct the user to where it may have been covered (providing links are great). Please don't give the curt answer of it's been covered, use the search feature. Remember different people have different competency levels in using this site and the internet as a whole. Remember others may not have the same experience level as you and what you may consider simple or even a stupid question is not for them Also the person asking the question may be opening themselves up, admitting an embarrassing mistake or otherwise putting them self in a vulnerable situation. We've all been there to some extent. They're here for help so lets give them the help they are looking for. In Conclusion   Remember, that noobie who is asking the "annoying questions," uses the incorrect terms, makes seemingly simple mistakes or doesn't use the site effectively may become the next (insert your favorite member here). I was once that guy. I doubt 10+ years ago MSTaylor, @Majordave , @Stan W. , @LMSANS and too numerous other people to list who I met in similar forums would have thought then I have become what I am as an umpire and these people along with so many others I've met online have really helped develop me as an umpire. I can remember probably 8-10 years ago pretty much harassing Majordave about chest protectors for about a year. Boy I was annoying.   On the flip side of the coin, I received a personal message from a member here not too long ago who is moving up the ladder in their umpiring career and not only wanted to let me know but wanted to thank me for my role in helping them move up. This is such a rewarding feeling I want everybody to experience at some point.    So for our new members, welcome to the Empire! I hope you find the site interesting, informative and fun. For our veteran members, you have all done a terrific job in helping make this site what it is and I owe you an enormous debt of gratitude. Let's keep up the good work and not only help develop our new and future members, but new and future generations of excellent umpires.   Warren  
  34. 13 points
    Worked a HS Varsity regular season game yesterday at Angels Stadium and all I can say is, what a thrill! I got this game purely by luck of the draw. It was assigned to me 2 months ago as just another game that was scheduled to be played at the home school's field. Last week, I got the Arbiter notice that the game site had changed to Angels Stadium. To say the least, I was excited. I was originally on the bases for this game, but my partner was happy to switch because he already had done 3 plates for the visitors and had the opportunity to work a couple of games at Petco park a few years ago. We were told that we would not have access to dressing rooms, and we would have to dress at our cars, in the dugout, or in a bathroom. When we arrived, I went into the stadium to let the coaches know we were there, and someone that worked for the Angels greeted me and said that they had a dressing room set up for us, so I went back to let my partner know and we were escorted to a room below and behind home plate that had couches, a bathroom with a shower and water cooler. Got dressed and 15 mins before game time walked the short flight of stairs to the gate that enters the field directly behind the plate. They did full introductions and National Anthem. Had the plate meeting and it's time to play ball. It was cool that they had the scoreboards working and music between innings. The players did not disappoint! First pitch was hit down the right field line. My partner goes out and I take the BR towards second as F9 makes a sliding catch about 5 feet in foul territory. Lots of great defensive plays, great pitching and a few scattered hits including a one hopper over the short wall in left field. Both pitchers went the distance in a 1-0 duel with the only run scoring on a flare to left field with R2 in the top of the 5th. Here is the amazing part. There were 2000 fans in attendance! This was the third HS game they had at Angels Stadium this season and the largest previous crowd was about 600. We had a beach ball on the field, lots of great cheering and a few boos for me when I punched out a player on a pitch right at the top of the zone. My partner had a couple of bangers, but we didn't miss any rotations and I felt great about my zone all day - probably my best of the season. I have to say that I felt the pressure of 2000 fans behind me and I reminded myself to focus and concentrate all through the game. All in all, it was my best experience as an umpire, and one I will always cherish. I am so thankful for the opportunity and feel so lucky considering it was only 6 years ago that I was first pulled out of the bleachers to umpire my son's 9U fall ball game and here I was in Angels Stadium in front of 2000 fans. Here is the link to the photo gallery on the site: http://umpire-empire.com/index.php/gallery/album/97-angels-stadium/
  35. 13 points
    Found this on the Ump-Attire website. First you laugh THEN you say "I do that!" and your wife says “Yes you do" with an unpleasant look on her face. Mark D'Angelo - You have a clothes rod in your car Randy Huffman - You watch the Umpires more then the actual game you're watching on TV Philip Cavendish - Your wife considers tiling the floors of the house with home plates so that you sweep the floors at home Raquel DeBeltz Bushman - When one of the criteria for buying a new vehicle is that you have to be able to fit all your equipment and uniforms in it comfortably Derek Quigley - When you call strike while watching a game CJ Webb - When you are watching a game in the stands and track an overthrown ball to the fence and don't flinch, while everyone around you ducks Bill Knowles - You keep bottles of Febreeze in your car Russell Richardson - You turn your head whenever someone says "blue" John C. Leonard - The back seat of your vehicle looks like your closet and people ask if you are living out of your car Michael Harman - When you can publicly make a cup adjustment and not be considered a pervert Andy Herrington - You know Scrubbing Bubbles are made for shoes Neal Phadnis - You wish you could eject a manage at your day job Dave Bruhn - If your gear takes up more space in your closet than the rest of your clothing Erik Womach - If you start every argument with "In my judgement..." Paul Kent - You get boo'd in the grocery store Alex Pufhal - Directions are given based on where a field is located Mathew Mark Brundage - If you make a sale at your sales job and do your "strike three" mechanic Michael Royal - You work on your mechanics while looking in the mirror Corey Lee - If you own more than one pair of tights and/or extra long socks Harold Head - You have more umpire clothes than you do regular clothes Chris Linhart - You have bruises on your forearms and thighs at the same time and are not a UFC Fighter Mike Huff - You have 14 pairs of all black shoes all for different surfaces Mike Todd - Someone cuts you off in traffic and you refer to it as an "obstruction" Ron Metcalfe - You're obsessed with matching t-shirt, jersey and hat (like a woman!) Amber Danielle Searcy DeWald - You drive all night just to get to a game Chuck Knowles - You try to get the umpires autographs after a minor league game
  36. 13 points
    Carb up for 2-3 days prior to game day. Raisin bran, bagels and bananas game morning. Water and power bars all day long game day. UNLESS it is 8U- THEN it is Jack Daniels and morphine all game day.
  37. 13 points
    Im with Jeff and Greyhawk. Talk about a punch to the gut! @johnnyg08 add me to that list as well! @UmpireinChief, as a long standing member of this forum, I move that we name the "Member of the Month" award in honor of Michael Taylor.
  38. 13 points
    I've been meaning to weigh in on this...   One of the primary goals of Umpire-Empire is to help umpires. We are not all fortunate enough to have had excellent mentors, attend top tier camps or clinics, much less a 4-5 week pro school or even receive adequate local training. Do I think a forum is suitable for truly delivering training, absolutely not. But it is excellent for is sharing of ideas.    This sharing of ideas is what will make you a better umpire.    How???   On a forum like this you will be exposed to ideas you have either never heard of or run completely contrary to what you have been instructed or personally believe...and that is a good thing. It gets you thinking weather you accept it or not is a completely different thing. Nobody here is asking you to prostrate yourselves to anybody else based on their experience, post count or anything else.   I can personally say this site (as well as others before U-E) have helped me evolve as an umpire. Here's 3 quick examples... On a hit by pitch I use to exclaim "Dead Ball!" -- Now I use "Time!" I use to be an advocate of the FYC --- Not any more I've overturned a call by conferring with my partner to get additional info in the spirit of "getting the call right" that I probably wouldn't have a few years ago. I'm sure some of you have similar stories. Nobody beat me into submission, but with what others have said, I changed my opinions.   As someone who now mentors new umpires, I tell every one of them not to take anything I say as the word of the Lord. All I ask is that you listen, be open minded and take what I tell you and what others tell you see what works for you. Ask questions. Don't settle for that's just the way it is. Because if you understand the why's as you develop you can better put the pieces of the puzzle together that will make you a better more complete umpire.    I also tell them that if I tell you X and another umpire tells you Y don't completely dismiss either. While one of us may be completely wrong there may either be a nugget of truth in it or worse case scenario you give it enough thought that you can determine what is real and what is bunk.    Here's some points I wanted to make on this thread...   Arguing-- There is a big difference between Arguing and Discussion- I fully encourage discussion. Arguing can be tolerated up until the point it gets personal. Friends argue from time to time and that's fine. Just remember agree or disagree we're on the same team here. We catch enough grief from ignorant fans and coaches, we don't need to catch any here from our comrades.   I have noticed over the past few months a significant uptick to the number of "arguments" and I want to see that number drop back down. Here are some suggestions: Let things dye a natural death. Person A says ________, Person B says different. Unless you are adding something new, asking for clarification or clarifying your own statement let it go. Outright challenging another's statement puts things in an escalated state where an argument could ensue. Re-read your posts before posting. I've confronted people about arguing here before and the #1 thing I'm told is that they didn't realize their comment would be taken in a certain way or intend for it to be taken the way it was. So re-read your post you may intend one meaning, but deliver another. Plain text is awful for relaying tone. Consider using and emoticon/smilie to help convey tone or emotions. Give others the benefit of the doubt that what they are saying is not a personal attack and don't react assuming it is a personal comment. Use the ignore feature -  If there is another member you find you just prefer not to deal with add them to your ignore list. Go to the top right corner and click your username --> Select "My Settings" --> Select " 'Ignore' Preferences" from the left hand column. You will not see that user's posts, BUT you will see when a user you do not ignore quotes them. Report objectionable content. The moderation team will review and take appropriate action as necessary. ​ Social Content This is a social media site. I know others disagree that forums being true social media but IMO they are. I want this site to be a social media outlet for umpires to laugh, cry and overall share with one another - EVEN IF the content isn't related to umpiring. The only limitations to what I place on content are pornography, hate, drug, violence AND political postings. The others are pretty self explanatory, but politics is not in the scope of this forum and brings out such visceral reactions in people. It quickly becomes a moderating nightmare and nothing anybody posts about any politician or political party is going to change anybody else.   But as a social outlet I we develop friendships even if we never meet in real life. I've been fortunate to have met more than a few members her and a few have become what I consider true friends. I can only hope the same is true for others.    Going even further, as friends, we shouldn't be afraid to or get overly offended by busting each others chops every once in a while. Just friendly locker room/ frat house type antics.    Members Different people utilize the site in different ways. While the stats at the bottom of the page show we get between 150- 200 member visits a day, the site averages about 2000 unique visitors a day in the peak of the spring season and has a secondary peak around the World Series and stabilizes at about 1200-1500 unique visitors a day otherwise.   We have members from all walks of life. Young Little League volunteer umpires, mid level umpires in HS, College ... , seasoned umpires and even professional umpires.    Some members are very active and rack up high post counts - and that's fine.  Others don't post too often but have a very high like count - and that's fine. Still others post little to never post, but visit regularly and that is fine too.   When it comes to reading posts from others here, this is what I recommend. If you are new, get to know the other members a bit. If you visit regularly you can get a sense of their personality, style and ways they come to decisions, handle situations and more. Never take anything posted here as the word of the Lord. Anybody can post here and say virtually anything no matter how ridiculous or true. Remember umpiring is filled with gray areas. If it weren't for this there would be no need for interpretation manuals or even this site. There are situations in umpiring where there is technically no right answer, but possibly better ways to come to a decision about handling those gray areas.  If you ask a question, be ready for responses, correct, incorrect, sarcastic ... It is often actually the weeding through all of the responses that actually help the most in deciphering and truly understanding the correct answer.  Don't be looking to be offended. If you are looking to be offended, you will find it. When it comes to replying to others here's what I recommend Try to consider what you may know about the poster; their age, experience level, their online personality, and how they typically respond use this information to respond/not respond appropriately. Use emoticons/smilies to convey emotion since plain text can not do this. When practical while replying try to cite a source or give a little of the why behind what you are saying. If you feel the poster is "trolling" don't feed the troll. Report the post and let the moderators handle it rather than giving the person what they may want. If a topic has been covered ad nauseam, be kind give a brief answer and then direct the user to where it may have been covered. Please don't give the curt answer of it's been covered, use the search feature. Remember different people have different competency levels in using this site and the internet as a whole.
  39. 12 points
    My wife surprised me with an umpire uniform for my 11 month old son, Jacob. She searched photos of MLB umpires and found all the stuff on either Amazon and Target. Then ironed on the screen printed decals. Talk about SPOT with the design and such!
  40. 12 points
    My area of North Carolina got devastated by the snow storm. But my family made it through by the skin of our teeth. They had the snow plows out. And the salt trucks too.
  41. 12 points
    Consider the possibility that your partner is a dumbass.
  42. 12 points
    Do something like this.....
  43. 12 points
    Finally, a story that ends with beer.
  44. 12 points
    Like your called K3 mechanic. You've got to make it personal. Eff him and the horse he rode in on for judging your verbal like that. I've worked with former professional umpires who nonchalantly say strike and nonchalantly call K3. And D1 guys who burn the house down with their loud and demonstrative calls. Practice in a mirror and decide what works for you. I've modified mine over the years by stealing from partners I've worked with or umpires I've watched and liked. Just do what works best for you. My .02......others opinions may vary.
  45. 12 points
    Do NOT dump on this kid because he asks questions. He is smart to ask. He doesn't seem to have found a reliable local umpire mentor yet so he looks to us. If any member of this board busts his balls or takes unnecessary swipes at him ior asking us for our opinions and advice. So help me you will find yourself either warned or banned and start finding all your posts deleted summarily if I catch you. This is the only warning.
  46. 12 points
    This kind of ties in to an earlier post from @maineump on "Has anyone noticed" Bears a reprint and a great handout/post to coaches: How to work with umpires All of our youth umpires, ranging in age from 13 to 18, will be well trained, but we expect they will occasionally make rookie mistakes. We expect you to give each of these umpires the respect you would give an adult umpire, since they have exactly the same authority on the field. If they eject you, it WILL stand, and you WILL serve the mandatory 1-game suspension for an ejection, period. Please remember once the game starts, even though they may be 14 and you may be 40, they are in charge of the field. You should never use your age to assert authority over them. If there is a more senior umpire with them and you question a call, go to the umpire that made the call, not the senior umpire. If you spot an adult umpire in the crowd, do not appeal to them for help – they cannot by rule. If the junior umpire feels the need to confer with his partner (or that lurking adult umpire), he will, but he doesn’t have to. If not, and he sticks by his or her call, live with it. If you feel an umpire is in error, you have the right to protest. If you feel an umpire is not being fair or honest, contact either your Division Coordinator or the Umpire-in-Chief immediately, and let the League handle the problem from there. Key points to remember: 1. Listen for key phrases or actions: "In my judgment…", "Coach, I’ve heard enough on that. Time to play baseball" One hand up means you're getting too close or too agitated. Calm down. Two hands up means you are about to be ejected if you keep it up. Back off, or you may be watching this game from the parking lot and hearing about the next one from your assistant coach. Remember, ejections carry a mandatory one-game suspension from the next game played. Period. No exceptions. 2. You cannot argue judgment calls, i.e. balls and strikes, safe or out, catch or no catch, fair or foul. 3. You can and should discuss any rules you think are being misinterpreted. 4. When approaching an umpire do NOT argue. You are making a sales call: Ask for time and make sure it has been granted by the umpire before coming out. Leave the rulebook back in the dugout. If it’s needed, you’ll be asked for it. Speak in a normal tone of voice. Call the plate umpire by name, or by "Sir†or “Ma’amâ€. If you know an umpire doesn’t mind being called “blueâ€, then use it, otherwise don’t. 4. Ask the umpire, "What did you have on that play?" or “I have a question about that playâ€. 5. Listen to what he says, and think about it for a second. If it makes sense, then say “Thanks†and walk back to the dugout. If it doesn’t, then it’s your duty as manager to discuss it further. 6. Continue the sales call by saying something like "yes, but this is what I saw." Or “OK, but did you see …†or “Are you sure that’s what the rule says? I thought it was…†7. Listen to his reaction and think about it. 8. If you hear “in my judgment†that means “I know I got the call right. Let’s play baseball.†Unless he’s misinterpreting a rule, the discussion should be over. If you think he has the rule wrong, keep talking, but confine your discussion to the rules. 9. If you still aren’t satisfied with a rule interpretation, you should play the game under protest if you think that’s the right thing to do. You owe it to the kids to make sure the umpires have it right. 10. Just because the umpire refuses to accept a protest because he says “it’s a judgment call†doesn’t mean he’s right. That will not affect the validity of the protest. Just make sure to mention why you are protesting before play starts, and note the point of protest and the rule you think is being misinterpreted in your book and in your letter to the Protest Committee. Use the handy Protest Form at the end of this book. 11. Then, get back to playing ball. Let it go. It’s over. If you win, no protest (but report the incident)!
  47. 12 points
    They can do whatever they want. I'm not sticking around for it. JM
  48. 12 points
    I got to work the plate at an Intrasquad at University of Kansas this afternoon. Good weather- temp in upper 40's, windy, partly sunny. Saw severaf different pitchers. Most of them throwing in upper 80's and two in low 90's. Lots of different arm slots, lots of movement. Full turf field. Lights, My partner was 24 year old professional umpire awaiting spring training and 2014 assignment. He had some great advice for me from the PBUC perspective regarding what they are taught. For example: tracking pitches and fouls with my eyes and following balls hit on the lines . He thought my timing was quick in the first inning but I got it on track after the first. I thought so too but I'm sure it was adrenaline. I felt great with my zone considering it was the first outing and the velocity of pre-season Big XXII pitching. Awesome start to 2014 season! Yes I'm gloating and bragging a bit. Hope the rest of you get to have as good a start to your season. Cheers!
  49. 12 points
    Just be ware if one of the ladies fouls a ball off herself not to announce.. "Time! It hit her in the box!" 
  50. 12 points
    I just did a video I'm not completely satisfied, but will post it and maybe try again later. I know I said I'd do one last year but I just did it.    My daughter (11 y/o) was my camera operator, so it is what it is.   http://youtu.be/VhZJq7aKi0w
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