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  1. 18 likes
    Not sure the phrase "machine pitch"and "umpire" should be in the same sentence.
  2. 16 likes
    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.
  3. 7 likes
    Working an Intermediate (50/70) LL State Tournament last week w/6 umpire crew. Had a great week getting to know players and coaches from across the state. R1, R2, 1 out. F9 was playing a little deep and had to run and dive for a fly ball. I'm U1. Apparently, when the runners (and BR) saw that F9 had made a miraculous catch and had the ball in his glove, I watch R2 tag to advance to 3B, R1 retreated to 1B, BR retreated to get his bat and headed for the dugout. THEN......F9 hits the ground and RF umpire (U6?) comes up with "no catch!". It would appear that the impact of hitting the ground had dislodged the ball from his glove. I hear him and give a quick glance to see the mechanic as well. F9 gathers himself and throws the ball in to F4. This particular F4, realized what had just happened. He stepped on 2nd for the force and U2 declared R1 out. He then jogged over to 1B and stepped on it, I called BR out. He tosses the ball towards the mound and heads for his dugout with the rest of the team. AC (at 1B) says to me very politely "Blue, do you mind if I ask you a question?". I replied, "absolutely not coach". He then asks "what just happened?" I offered up a quick "after 3 outs, you switch sides"...........and with the deer in the headlights look, I knew I had to explain the whole situation.
  4. 7 likes
    #1 isn't a mechanics issue, it's a rules issue. And he's wrong. #2 is a mechanics issue, and he's still wrong. He also sounds like an arrogant, ignorant jackass.
  5. 7 likes
    We have launched our redesigned website for 2017. The Mid-American Umpire Clinic will be September 7-10 & The Mid-American Advanced Umpire Clinic will be September 14-17. Both will be held in Springfield, Missouri at the international award winning Oasis Hotel & Convention Center and the full-turf US Ballpark in Ozark, Missouri. For details, registration and payment, visit our website at www.midamericanumpireclinic.com
  6. 7 likes
    It's here! Finally after almost a month and a half of waiting. Guess my Wilson Ti is going to have to find a new home. My Mizuno isn't going anywhere.
  7. 6 likes
    This past weekend, I was acting as onsite UIC, and as I was rolling the cooler full of ice, water, and towels from one field to another, replenishing the guys between innings, one of my crews had a situation happen right in front of me which I was very proud of how they handled it... without botching it or consulting me or the TD. R1, R2, 2 outs, X-2 count (balls not relevant). Swinging strike, pitch makes contact with the bat, and ends up... in the F2's armpit, trapped there. F2 gets up, flips the ball towards the mound, and starts trotting towards his dugout while the DT fans applaud his outstanding catch... ... but was it a catch? The 3BC (OTHC) starts bellowing, "That's not a catch! That's not a catch! Get the rule right!" while the PU steps back, and instead of making an Out mechanic, motions and calls, "Time!". I refrained from saying anything, as much as my younger umpire-self would have liked to, instead leaving it to this crew to determine. The PU motioned in the BU, and they met just in front of the mound. At this point, both the OTHC and the DTHC are on the field, and the PU has to signal to both of them to back off and return to their dugout areas, before he resumes discussing with the BU. Of course, the DT parents are, to a person, clamoring, "But it didn't hit the ground! He caught it!" I'm standing right next to the Field Marshal (FM, an employee of the TD), telling him, "It has to be the glove first for a foul tip. If it hits anywhere else on the catcher's body, like his mask or CP, it's a foul ball." At that moment, the PU disengages from the BU, heads back towards the plate, and announces, "Foul ball." DTHC approaches PU while his players resume their positions, and PU gives him a brief explanation, ending with, "My UIC is standing right there (points at me), he'll tell you the same thing." "Play!" Next pitch is a line-out to F5. Oh well. Nicely handled, Blue!
  8. 6 likes
    Got them today man are they cool! The one pic is next to F3 shins that are size 16.5. They look around the same size as them.
  9. 6 likes
    I have been thinking about your post. I think it hints at an even bigger issue. Too many of us umpires feel the need to "talk" during an argument...to the point where we start arguing/discussing/talking before the coach even opens his mouth. That is, we don't wait to hear what the coach has to say before we feel compelled to open our mouths and start talking. Hell, some of us start talking/yelling while the coach is still walking/jogging toward us. We don't even wait for him to arrive at our location. Those of us that do this (and I used to be one of them) really need to stop doing this. We need to hear what the coach says/argues before we even open our mouth. When we feel the need to be the first one to start talking/yelling we are doing so only after having made an assumption that we know what the coach is going to say...and we all know what happens when we ass-u-me. On more than one occasion I have been on the field when a head coach came out to "argue" (either with me or a partner) and the first words out of his mouth were, "I know you got the call right, we're just playing like crap so I'm out here to show my team that I'm fighting for them," (or something similar) (I'm not making that up...this has happened multiple times in my career). If my partner or I had started yelling/talking to/at the coach before listening to the coach, we wouldn't have had the chance to realize that the coach wasn't even coming out to argue! Additionally, there have been other times when I was 100% sure I knew why the coach was coming out to argue...only to find out that I was wrong. For instance, I once had the Vanderbilt head coach come out and I was sure he was going to argue that the second baseman had come off the bag too quickly in turning a 6-4-3 double-play. I wasn't feeling great about my call. However, lo and behold, his argument was that the batted ball had hit R2...which I knew was not even a remote possibility. If I had opened my mouth first instead of waiting to hear what he had to say...I would have just given the head coach another thing to argue! Anyways (now that I'm off my soap box), if the coach comes out to a standard safe/out play at first base, I'll listen to them. I'll tell them, "I had the ball just beating the runner," or "the runner just beat the throw." I'll let them reply and then I'll say "We'll have to agree to disagree. Now, we need to get the game going." They'll usually give a parting shot (coaches love to have the last word.) Then we go on. I have never had this happen, but if a coach told me, "Well, we saw it differently," then I would probably reply with, "Okay, then we'll have to agree to disagree. Now, Its time to get the game going."
  10. 6 likes
    Good day, Ken. Please give us a little more context. Is this baseball? Softball? Both bat sports? What level of play does this entail? Little League only? Travel / Academy ball? Are you drawing your umpires from an association, or are you the coordinator for umpires-as-independent-contractors? There is certainly more advice to give you, based on your answers, but some immediate, general points come to mind: Know your ruleset(s) backwards and forwards. You will not only be counseled by League Directors, Tournament Directors and coaches, but by your contracted umpires. And yes, working a game for you is a contract. Suffer naivety, but never suffer ignorance. There is a difference. Never assign a game to an umpire that you yourself are unwilling to do. In the same vein, you will likely have a value system based on skill sets, personalities (works well with certain partners, works well with certain coaches), and experience. However, don't assign games based on favoritism, as you will culture grudges. Don't give a championship game to an umpire simply because he's your nephew. By all means, support and defend your umpires to the Nth degree. However, when at a game venue, never step on the field to give your resolution, insight, or judgement on a play uninvited. If your umpires (for that game) are unclear about a Rule interpretation, and seek you out to get it right, then that is acceptable, and you should advise them based on the Rules. Judgement calls are non-Negotiable. In fact, if you are called in by your umpires to consult, you should let them describe the situation to you as if the fences were opaque walls and you saw nothing, even if you "saw the whole thing". Remember, you are just referencing Rules knowledge, not judgement. You may have to step in (or summon another stand-by umpire to do so) if one of your umpires gets injured, isn't feeling well, or his/her attention is impaired by a personal issue (divorce, death in the family, car accident notification during game, etc). Never dock the umpire in this situation – give him the full game fee. Resist the temptation to remove an umpire if he's "blowing calls". You may need to remove him from further games for the day (LDs & TDs should discuss this with you), but do not remove him from that game underway. Do not dock his pay, and do not let a TD or LD dock his pay. Even if you have an umpire storm off the field in disgust and abandon the game, and you're now in a pinch to find a replacement, make sure you pay him for that game. It covers your butt. Set up an evaluation system, a feedback and accolades structure, and some sort of instructional or training system, no matter how basic or advanced you're able to implement. Umpires rarely get recognition or accolades, and as such, some seek appreciation by direct coach feedback, or lingering around to shake/slap hands with the game participants. Don't foster this mentality! Encourage them to get off the field and get among other umpires (yourself included) to review the game and identify points of praise and opportunities to improve.
  11. 6 likes
    Stan, do you find that you see and call more Balks when you're wearing them?
  12. 6 likes
    Make sure I've got the key to my car door. Make sure I've got the key to my car door. Make sure I've got the key to my car door.
  13. 6 likes
  14. 5 likes
    FPSR is especially perilous, as the Runner may drown. If you see a splash, it's not a catch. Catchers may have to have snorkels attached to their masks. Kayaks, as seen at such waterfront venues as San Francisco, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh, are allowed in the outfield. While we do want to keep to a brief Plate meeting, the ground rules may take awhile to explain. The phrase "fishin' for a call" becomes, suddenly, very appropro.
  15. 5 likes
    We talk about it at the Mid-American Umpire Clinic, September 7-10 in Springfield, Missouri where there are only a few spots available. (Was that too shameless of a plug?)
  16. 5 likes
    "Ball, Outside. Outside, Ball. How's that?" (the ",asshole" after the last question is implied)
  17. 5 likes
    Send it to Douglas. They will create a custom pad for you. It will be half as thin as what Wilson makes.
  18. 5 likes
    Oh that's not so bad... just get the Diamond Dry. It's somewhere in the shed... which now seems to have floated away....
  19. 5 likes
    Pay for a second umpire and let HIM assist his partner.
  20. 5 likes
    1)Sitting at desk at work, look at clock: "Dammit, I should have left work already!" 2)Hit every GD red light on my way to the freeway. 3) Get stuck in traffic on freeway because some a-hole decided to go 80 when everyone else was going 60, and rear ended someone. 4) Arrive at ballpark 20 minutes later than I wanted to, but not too worried because I still beat my partner. 5a) While getting things ready at the car, get greeted by some dad walking by, saying something he thought was funny and original, the only thing is that it was not funny, nor original, the other 57 times I heard it before. Politely smile and force a chuckle, then go back to getting ready. 5b)Rush to get dressed due to circumstances listed above. Get halfway to field before I realize I forgot (fill in the blank here), turn around and walk all the way back to the parking lot to get said item. 6) Hit the bathroom for one last pregame. 7) Get paid if it's a game that is paid at the field and not a RefPay game. Yes, always get paid before. Sometimes, the last place you want to be after a game, is hanging around the concession stand waiting for a the person with the checkbook. Especially when you just banged out the tying run for the home team on a close play at the plate to end the game. 8) Grab a bottled water from the hot mommy running the concession stand. "How ya doin?" 9) Enter field, talk sh** with the home team players and coach for a moment. 10) Ask for baseballs, get baseballs, tell them that's not enough baseballs, listen to coach say: "both pitchers each have one baseball as welll." Thank coach for that info then restate: "still not enough baseballs, (coach's name here." Hear coach make some comment about their skinny budget while handing you two more baseballs. Thank coach with a smile, then head to plate meeting with coach. 11) Upon arrival at plate, listen to coaches tell (lie to) each other how tough their seasons have been, and how they have no idea how they are going to make it through the rest of the season, even when both are playing above .700 baseball. 12) Start plate meeting. Point out to one of the coaches that he has two players with the same number. After his surprise, watch as he has to yell at one of the players several times to get his attention. Once he does, get ready for the confused look on the player's face when he is asked what his number is. The mystery is finally solved, but not until we have that player turn around so we can see what his number is. 13) Line up for anthem, hoping it's going to be the standard band rendition that lasts all of 45 seconds, but instead getting a recorded rendition of some pop star singing it at some big event in the past, that ends up going well past 2 minutes, because the dad in the press box thought it would be so awesome! 14) Say goodbye to the partner, greet the catcher, take a look at some warm up pitches, start the game 5-10 minutes late due in large part to the Case of the Duplicate Numbers, and Daddy DJ in the press box. 15) An hour and a half later: BOOM! OUTTA HERE! (If we're lucky) Somewhere in there, a real pre-game was probably mixed in, provided it wasn't someone that I've worked with a hundred times before. In between balls, strikes, and puts, a couple of silly questions from coaches were answered, and several funny things were heard coming from the stands from fans who came to the game fresh out of clues. Oh, I almost forgot! I also heard John Fogerty's "Centerfield" for the 4,357th time at some point during the game. Or was it the 4,358th time? I think that pretty much honestly sums up a day in the life of an amateur umpire in the middle of July.
  21. 5 likes
    What will be funny is if the MLB guys start wearing them, then all the guys on here who bashed them, will jump on the band wagon just because the Big guys wear them.
  22. 5 likes
    Somewhere in the 30-40% of pants purchased by all umpires are heather grey. I would encourage you to try a pair of the charcoal, if you want. We'd be happy to pay the returns shipping back if they don't work for you or aren't close enough to doing so. If after looking at them (and the female heather grey when they come out next month if you want there as well), feel free to send me a PM with suggestions for any changes for a female fit, and I will share them personally with Joe DeRosa at Smitty.
  23. 5 likes
    I thought I posted this but it may not have 'taken' ..... however .....here's the final iteration and my goal from the start: I wanted a navy trim mask (MHSAA is still navy required) so here it is: Original West Vest Mask (pre Dyna Lite I think) ...I had Tony at Maskit take the vertical bars off of the throat extension so it looks similar to a Riddell Power mask ....and had him powder coat it in "primer gray" with a clearcoat over top. Pads are my favorite, All-Star LUC, in navy, Honigs sunshield, WV harness, and WV patch from old WV pads velcro attached over the All Star logo.
  24. 5 likes
    I'm honestly more shocked that I don't see this mentioned more often around these parts... Stretching is probably the EASIEST thing anyone can do to improve their life. Dedicate 5 SOLID minutes to stretching out your back and legs at the start of the day and maybe once more in the middle and it makes a world of difference. Take those 5 minutes before a game and the results are fairly obvious. My recommendation (I work in fitness): If you really can't dedicate 5 minutes, then take this one stretch and do it for 1 WHOLE minute: Stand with your feet about as wide as you can spread them. Then extend your arms out, bend at the waist and put your arms between your legs with the goal of touching the ground as far behind you as you can... You probably my won't be able to get there when you first start. But keep the goal in mind and try for it.. This will give a REALLY good stretch to your hammies. If you keep doing it consistently, your will notice you can go further and lower and with that will come increased mobility and stamina in your legs... Not bad for one minute before each game.
  25. 4 likes
    I don't think that box was calibrated properly to that batter. People don't like the human element in umpiring? Enjoy the human element of the intern in the truck setting the calibration.
  26. 4 likes
  27. 4 likes
    Post the final result
  28. 4 likes
    Maybe, but for me it was learned through experience. When I first started umpiring, I fell for the old "nothing can happen without the ball" adage that traps many of us. As I grew more comfortable on the field (and also as I got caught missing things), I learned the rhythm of when to quickly shift my eyes to see a touch and when to peek ahead at the "lower priority" runner to make sure he's not cutting a corner by ten feet. I learned how to recognize a fielder that was about to camp the inside corner of a bag to obstruct a runner. Mostly, I made mistakes, I hung around at the park after my games to watch other guys work and ask questoins, and I read stuff on this site about other people's mistakes, and I learned what I could from all kinds of goofs
  29. 4 likes
    Even that's too weak: almost never is contact nothing, during a batted ball (the last part is important, as that brings in the fielder's protection). This standard sets the bar too high. The fielder is protected from hindrance, not only from contact or from being prevented from making a play. IOW, it's INT if the runner has any impact on the play, not only if he prevents the play. As described, this play is almost certainly INT. It's also a cautionary tale about how not to officiate with rules of thumb, such as "they're both doing what they should be doing."
  30. 4 likes
    I was enjoying this thread more when it was tPOS.
  31. 4 likes
    No need, we'll have @lawump take care of it.
  32. 4 likes
  33. 4 likes
    Spot on Max Plan is to work on a cp here by using my pals who are building hockey gear. Once I have the rig I want it will be sent to one of my many contacts in China where I will have 20-30 samples made. Test those samples and make any changes and do a limited run of 200 units to test the water. It ca be done and I believe I can find a price point that works for the end user.
  34. 4 likes
    @Umpire in Chief If my timing is correct, this should be right about the 337th post in this string. I think that speaks VOLUMES for @JimKirk and the new pants. Is this some kind of record for discussion topic threads? Just curious. Topic has been hot for quite a while now.
  35. 4 likes
    I ask Jobu to come ... take away bad timing. I offer him cigar and rum ... he will come.
  36. 3 likes
    You (and I do mean you personally and collectively, as a group of parents and coaches) need to broach this topic to your local LL board, your Pony LD, and your USSSA TD!!! Umpires need to be reminded that this is not an official rule in any code. This is a concocted, made-up, fantasyland "rule" that is the result of butt-hurt, embarrassed coaches grasping at straws to get a HR taken off the board just because of a perceived lack of "sportsmanship", and they'll get naive umpires to buy into it as an "anti-assistance rule". This fabrication gets applied, and suddenly, it spreads like a virus from one game to the next. It is imperative that LDs, TDs and UICs actively stamp out this viral "rule", and others like it (does the "Flung a bat, that's an Out" sound familiar?) by encouraging umpires to know their rulesets thoroughly, and to resist coaches beseeching them and confusing them with concoctions like this. It's likely too late for your friend to protest, but inactivity on your part, collectively, is what allows these sorts of rotten things to take hold and spread.
  37. 3 likes
    Guys, I've worn and own all three if the HSM mentioned in this string. All of them are hot, all of them are heavy, but once you get used to it you stop noticing. Unlike my buddy[mention=2599]MadMax[/mention], I am unwilling to take the extra risk. With bats flying around, balls coming in from other fields, balls bouncing off short backstops, some of the pitcher/catcher mismatches along with the number of games I work I just feel safer with a helmet on. We can debate if any HSM protects better on balls that hit you from the front but there is no debate about them protecting you better from a bat in the side of the head like Segal get hit with. Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk
  38. 3 likes
    for you guys that wear a bucket... PLEASE TAKE THE F*&^%$# thing off your head.. looks lazy and I'm bored as sh%t
  39. 3 likes
    1. You are correct that this type of interference (not all interference) is an immediate dead ball. 2. BU is responsible for INT before the throw. PU is responsible for INT after the throw.
  40. 3 likes
    My approach is that life is too short to suffer fools.
  41. 3 likes
    Where's the sensitive material button to have this removed?
  42. 3 likes
    Say what, now? I bristled when I first read this. So I took a breather and re-read it. I bristled a second time. Then a third. Basically, there was a lot of bristling. You have neither the right nor the responsibility to proclaim yourself an assistant umpire. The only person on that field with the authority to be the arbiter of the rules and official of the game is someone who is not you. Allow that person to do his job without your meddling. Believing you will help the umpire correct calls takes an audacity I can't fathom. Your job is to coach. Period. If you want to be an umpire, put on the gear and do it. But you can only do one thing at a time: coach or umpire. There is a significant degree of separation between those roles. Should an umpire proclaim himself an assistant coach and assist you with developing your players' skills during a game? Absolutely not, and you should be rightfully indignant if any umpire were to do so because he'd be over-stepping the bounds of his role. You coach eight year old kids. There is nothing that happens on the ball field that necessitates anything but shrugging off a missed call.
  43. 3 likes
    This broken record drives me, as a UIC of a youth association trying to develop young umpires, nuts. 1. We, as umpires, do not umpire to the court of public opinion; we umpire by interpreting what we saw. 2. Unless all of you at the game have 10-12 cameras and a control centre in New York, what makes you think you saw the play any better? Did you see what happened or what you wanted to see? HTBT. 3. This is not a misinterpretation of the rules, this is a judgment call. No umpire by her/himself is going to overturn a judgment call after listening to the peanut gallery. That is just a nightmare waiting to happen. 4. If it is a misinterpretation of the rules, protest the game. As an association UIC, I don't want any coach or parent or spectator telling a developing umpire (who are usually working this level) what the call should be. 5. To #4, at this level, we have our entry level umpires who are probably 12-13 years old and in their first year. At this level, I don't care if they call your batter out on a Scooby Doo, the play stands. In protecting younger umpires from being bullied or intimidated, our provincial code states all calls on the field stand at this level. The coaches should contact the UIC of the situation if it is such a misinterpretation of the rules. It is my responsibility to tell the young umpire there is no Scooby Doo in the rule book, not the coach. 6. This situation in the OP is probably due to bad positioning or mechanics, again that is something a UIC should work with the umpire, not the coach. Bottom line is this. I don't tell your infielders how to field after they booted five ground balls and turned a inning in 34 C (92 F) into 30 minutes of horror. Don't tell my 13-year-old umpire that in a rundown between 1st and 2nd and the ball gets thrown out the play, R1 should be on 2nd base (1+1).
  44. 3 likes
    Do the make floaties in mlb blue? Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
  45. 3 likes
    I'm actually making my own vest. I bought a memory foam mattress pad, some wicking sports material, and some wicking mesh. I'm going to re-engineer my padding altogether. If you can wait a few weeks, I'll tear apart the interior of one of the vests I'm cutting apart and will let you know what's possible. Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
  46. 3 likes
    Lately he's posted mostly questions. How do you agree with a question? (noumpere will be along shortly, quote my question, and post: "I agree!")
  47. 3 likes
    I use the UDC indicator. Love it.
  48. 3 likes
    If you do I think there's a lot of members here that'd love to know how you did it.
  49. 3 likes
    But the upside is that shirts will be at UA prices. Oh, wait.... darn it.
  50. 3 likes
    *sigh* If only they could be had. UA, and pretty much everyone else, is out of all sizes in the blue. They do have most sizes in the black though. The irony in the smitty shirts, is they come out with the most breathable umpire pants to date, but the material for their shirts is still not up to par. What I would like to see is for the companies to get away from "jersey type" materials, and start using the types of material used in real golf shirts. I'm sure people will bring up the durability factor, but if they last a few seasons (normal seasons, not @MadMax seasons ), then I'm happy. And cooler too! Bottom line, I'd like to see, softer, thinner, more breathable and moisture wicking material, with crisp collars that don't curl up, or look frumpy.