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  1. 18 likes
    Not sure the phrase "machine pitch"and "umpire" should be in the same sentence.
  2. 17 likes
    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.
  3. 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.
  4. 13 likes
    148 words and says nothing... written like a true lawyer.. @lawump
  5. 13 likes
    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.
  6. 13 likes
    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!
  7. 12 likes
    Cue the resounding THUD! as @VolUmp's jaw hits the floor.
  8. 12 likes
    I think I have isolated the problem.
  9. 11 likes
    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!
  10. 11 likes
    Tonight I had the most ridiculous balk I'd ever had in my life. F1 let's just say - thought very highly of himself. He strutted on and off the field. Gave any number of obnoxious facial expressions. When he struck out a batter he brushed off his shoulder. He's roll his eyes at my partner if he disagreed with a pitch call. Just an obnoxious prick. Through the game F1 kept blowing bubbles with his gum. Now we have runners on 2nd & 3rd. F1 (a righty) in the set position comes set and starts dicking around with the runners turning his head back and forth and giving them a wise-ass smile. Then while staring down R3 he starts blowing a bubble with his gum and then spits it out accidentally. The dufus then tries to catch his gum. And I come up from the C position with one of the biggest balk calls I think I'd ever done and forcibly pointed R3 home then R2 to 3rd. Karma...
  11. 11 likes
    Another update: Last year went really well, I had a great season. I Went to see the doctor again for another checkup and the first thing he said was "congratulations on being cancer free for 2 years" . I thought that last year would be my last year umpiring and that I would retire. I feel so good that I am going to give it another shot again this year. Did a high school game today and did not feel out of place, so begins my 56th year of umpiring. I got a phone call tonight asking me to umpire a college tournament (softball) on May 1. Of course I said yes. Just like the energizer bunny I keep going and going. Don't think that I don't appreciate all the encouragement from everyone here, it's been great. Thank you all. Tony
  12. 11 likes
    Pant oversaturation? Depends.
  13. 11 likes
    Guys, call the freakin' high strike!!! The NCAA is adamant about getting it. If they expect it, you should be calling it regardless of your level. If you're balling pitches at the belly button, you won't advance. Sternum high is a good pitch. Get it early and often!!!
  14. 11 likes
    I don't have any personal animosity towards Dan Dada or +POS. They've had some excellent products but I just do not understand the utter lack of competence in customer service. I also do not understand why some of you idiots keep ordering from them. I'm hopeful you get your gear but for cripes sake STOP ORDERING from them unless and until he/they fix their SH*#ty ordering system and lack of customer care. My two cents. Edit: Dan, please get your SH*# together man. Answer the F*#King phone. Hire a damn customer service rep. Return an email in a timely manner. WTF man! Your parents were like gods or saints in this industry. Do it to uphold their legacy. Right now +POS is synonymous with SH*#ty service and maybe you'll get your purchases. Eventually. Maybe. You can't want to keep that kind of reputation. Damn man, even Ump-Attire.com and @JimKirk tried to help you out and buy lots of your products and be a distributor and you couldn't or wouldn't be honest and communicate with him. It's a damn shame. A goddamn shame.
  15. 11 likes
    Let's be honest, post-games are really about evaluating each other. As such: First, remember the three Golden Rules about post-game conferences: (1) Don't ask unless you really want to know. [Don't ask your partner(s) "how'd I do," or "did you see anything," with the expectation that you are going to have heaps of praise thrown at you. You may, but you may not. If your ego can't take negativity, don't ask.] (2) If asked, tell the truth. [Don't blow smoke up the other guy's a$$. Tell him the truth. If (s)he doesn't hear the truth, (s)he will never get better. If I don't know the person who is asking very well, I might reply with, "do you really want to know? Because we have an unwritten rule in our association that if you are ask, we are going to tell you the absolute truth." This let's them know that you're not about to sugar-coat anything. I've had some guys say, "yes, please! I need to get better." I've had other guys say, "nah, I was just making small talk." (Of course, if my feedback is going to be all praise...then I don't need to give them this "warning".) (3) Do not volunteer to give an evaluation. Wait to be asked. If they want your feedback, they'll ask. (The exception is if you're an assigned crew chief. Then it becomes your job to do a post-game crew evaluation. When I have been a crew chief at an American Legion regional, I have conducted informal crew reviews at the end of each day. (Usually in a restaurant over beer.)) Second, as for me personally and by way of example, if I'm working a college game with two power-5 conference umpires...I'm going to ask them. Period. It shows two things: first, that I respect them and their opinion and second that I care about learning and improving. Now, if the role is reversed and I get asked by someone (say one of my high school umpires) I tell them honestly what I saw and what they can work on. Third, if the person asking is a "newbie" who has a lot to learn/work on, try not to overload them. Just try to give them 2-3 things that they can really work on. If you overload them, they will forget everything you have said which results in the post-game evaluation becoming worthless.
  16. 11 likes
    I teach this footwork at camps/clinics year after year after year...so, I feel compelled to reply. First, understand that this is hard. Probably the hardest thing a base umpire has to do in a two-man system...mechanically speaking. Most NCAA umpires don't know how to do this properly. Second, understand what the footwork is trying to do. It is trying to get you in the best possible position (from your initial starting position) to see the "money play". The "money play" is the play at first base. Usually (not always, but usually) the play at second base is not that close, but the backend at first base is often a "whacker"....and often that backend can determine whether a run scores or an inning ends. So, we need footwork mechanics that gets the base umpire into the best position to see the play at first. The biggest mistakes new/untrained umpires make are: (1) Their initial starting position in "B" or "C" is too deep. The proper depth is halfway between the back edge of the pitching mound and the dirt/grass line in the second base cutout. (It is not halfway between the back of the mound and second base.) If you start too deep, it doesn't matter how good your footwork might be. You will have no chance to get a good angle for the play at first base. (2) They chase the play into the second base cutout. If you do this, you have no chance to see the pulled foot/swipe tag at first base. (The pulled foot/swipe tag is the BASE umpire's call...not the plate umpire's call. The plate umpire can HELP after the play is over (after you have made a call) if you elect to get help...but this is the base umpire's primary call.) (3) When starting in "C", they get lazy and do not bust behind the back of the mound (to get to the first base side of the infield) while the ball is being fielded. You should come set to see the play at second base from the first base side of the mound. (4) They don't see the release of the ball by the middle infielder as he throws to first. As soon as they see the play at second, they turn too quickly to first. This will get you into trouble when the ball ends up on the ground, the throw to first is never made, and you have no clue how the ball ended up on the ground. (In fact, as an aside: I often set up this exact play in camp when I'm ready to introduce "handling situations" because I am very confident that most inexperienced umpires will turn their head too soon and not see how the ball ended up on the ground. Then, I can play the role of "angry coach". LOL) (5) They get so worried about #4 above, that now they keep their head on second base too long and by the time they turn to first base, the play explodes on them. The key to handling #4 and #5 is to watch the release of the throw by the middle fielder...as you're beginning to move toward the 45-foot line...and once you see the release AND see that the throw is "true" then you focus on first base. There is a "magic window" to properly turn your attention away from second base and toward first base. Do it too early...you'll missed a dropped ball by a middle infielder. Do it too late, and the play at first will explode on you. (6) They signal and vocalize their call on the play at second base while standing still...rather than while they're moving to get into position for the play at first base. You must be stopped and set to see the play at second base, but you vocalize and signal your call on the play at second as you're moving to get into position for the play at first. If you wait, the play at first will explode on you. (7) When they move to get into position for the play at first base (after having coming stopped to view the play at second base), they move toward first base rather than toward the 45-foot line. If you move toward first base, you will have no angle to see the pulled foot/swipe tag. Anyways, that's my two cents.
  17. 11 likes
    Celebrating the memory of my friend MST on my plate game today at PONY World Series....gone but not forgotten...
  18. 10 likes
    Umpiring with my son, 2001-last night
  19. 10 likes
    I'm glad the word is getting out. I'm not sure that everyone understands the benefit of our new free returns policy. The free returns policy is NOT JUST that we don't hassle you about giving you a full credit on the price of the item when you return it. The returns policy (in the contiguous U.S) is: We WILL credit you for the price of the item and; WE'LL PAY FOR THE SHIPPING COST BACK TO US In other words, the risk of something not fitting or not being to your liking is ON US, not you. You guys get nickled and dimed enough. So take my new friend @SAEJohn and his situation as an example. He could order all 3 of the items we carry, try them all on in the comfort of his own home, pick his favorite and send the other 2 back. We pay for the shipping. He can easily print in less than 1 minute right from our returns page. And it's not just gear. It's shoes...shirts...pants...you name it. Not sure which size pant will fit best? Order 2 sizes and send the other one back. We know many of you don't have a store in your local area. So we want to bring the store to you. It's already on your mobile device, and now with free returns it's now at your home.
  20. 10 likes
    The phrase "machine pitch" and word "ejection" should never be in the same sentence.
  21. 10 likes
    We haven't had one of these threads in a while: (1) Poster presents a scenario and asks for advice. (2) Members of this message board provide near unanimous advice...even if said/advice went above and beyond simply answering the specific question posed in the OP. (3) Original Poster doesn't like the unanimous advice so he (a) decides everyone else is wrong, (b) proceeds to tell everyone else they're wrong, argue with everyone else and/or belittle those who have offered advice suggesting he make a change, and (c) proceeds to double-down by rationalizing why his way is correct OR demands that we stop addressing the specific issue altogether. All of you (the posters who "replied" in this thread) have shown a lot more patience than would have been shown such an original poster had this occurred on one of the umpire message boards that existed in the early days of the internet. (McGriff's anyone?) VolUmp, many posters have tried to give you sound advice. When I read your original post (before I had read even a single reply), I thought to myself, "why did he tell the coach that the runner was safe?" And, I'm an umpire with a lot of experience. Imagine most coaches' reactions. If you don't want to take the advice that has been given...that is your right. This is America after all. Please continue to answer the "Did he not make it" (or variations thereof) question any way you want. But please promise that when you have that huge sh!thouse (and you will...its only a matter of time), where they're burning down the dugout, that you will post the YouTube video on this site so we can all watch.
  22. 10 likes
    When I saw the thread title, my first thought was "What did the GHSA do this time?"
  23. 10 likes
    Okay, It's been a rough few days. And of course it happens at the worst possible time. I'll start from the beginning... You may have noticed earlier last week the site was running pretty slow. I put in a support ticket in and was told of a brand new update which would solve the issue. I run the update Friday morning as work was pretty light and I thought I could get it done pretty quickly. Just as you always should I made a complete back up before starting.However fate had a different plan. We ran into a cacophony of errors. They first identified error was that a manual sql query I had to do timed out and caused chaos between the system and the database. The problem was identified, but the solution was eluding all. Now I must say I was given excellent support by both the company I lease my server from and the forum's software company. They kept fighting for a solution while I was saying lets just start from scratch and I'll manually upload all the various tables to rebuild the database. They continued to persuade me work things through and get to the root of the problem. I was getting impatient but trusted their expertise. Then this afternoon someone new from one of the software team found one tiny file that became corrupt. Fix the file, reload and now we're back in business.
  24. 10 likes
    Can I just say that why not give props to Greyhound Aggie for posting the situation, instead of bashing him and his partner? We can all learn from each other's mistakes without having some holier than thou attitude, right? Or perhaps you guys have never made a mistake before? In many locations, baseball is starting back up. We all have some rust on us and some have all heck of a lot more rust than others. No need to put guys down. What does that possibly solve? Wait for it.......... Take it easy on folks or nobody's gonna wanna post their "mistakes". Geez....no respect around here!
  25. 9 likes
    When I voluntarily quit pro ball, I also quit chasing any plum assignments. I now umpire for fun; because I love it. If I wanted it to be an all-consuming career, I would have stayed in pro ball...not to pat myself on the back, but I certainly had the evaluations to stay in MiLB for many more years. I find that umpiring for oneself and for the game, and not giving a f*ck about "making this conference," or "getting this assignment," ...or playing politics...to be very liberating. Now, I enjoy umpiring a good high school game just as much as I enjoy working a non-conference game between two power five conference members. I'm just true to myself: I respect the game, I give back by working with newer umpires, give 100% when working a game at any level, and I'll call out bullsh!t when I see it.
  26. 9 likes
    We take turns calling balks. My partner missed the first one.
  27. 9 likes
    Carl was my brother Jimmy's best friend in high school, sort of a protective big brother to Jimmy, who was a year younger. Carl was the captain of the football team his senior year. An offensive lineman and linebacker, Carl was a natural born leader, and my brother Jimmy desperately wanted to be as good and more like Carl, in spite of Jimmy's smaller size. Carl was his idol in many ways. Despite the times (Carl graduated in '67), he volunteered to enlist in the Marine Corps, and of course was sent to Vietnam. May 19, 1968 was a fateful and terrible day. When Jimmy got the awful news, he would go to Carl's parents house nearly every day after school, asking "Is Carl home yet?" Carl was buried in our local cemetery. I don't remember much of the events of those days (I was only 10 years old), but I recall that Carl's death seemed to make Jimmy a more somber person. Just a few weeks' later, Jimmy would graduate high school, and was planning to head to a local college to being working on a degree. A little more than two months after graduation, and exactly three months to the day that Carl was killed, we lost Jimmy when his motorcycle was hit head on by a drunk driver. Those events I remember as though they were yesterday, even after all these years. On the day we buried Jimmy, my Mother was inconsolable. She walked away from the grave site service, and moved along the gravel road just beyond a short hedge, and stopped to look at the first gravestone that was there. She called out to my Father, who went to her side. There they stood, not believing what they were seeing. It was Carl's grave. Jimmy's grave was located just to the opposite side of the hedge; they were buried head-to-head; friends for eternity. This Memorial day, let us remember the real meaning of the day. Take just a moment, if you would, before the barbecue grills are lit, before the first beer is opened, and remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Here's to you, Carl. Semper Fi. Never forgotten.
  28. 9 likes
    I wish someone would have told me about this a long time ago. If you have a dangling throat protector mounted on the upper/inner rung, you've noticed it CLACKS against the lower bar. Now I've put a small rubber bumper on each one to eliminate this annoying noise. Home Depot/Lowes has these little dots.
  29. 9 likes
    I have seen a bunch of posts inquiring about the +POS Cobra CP. The only information I found online was not good at all. So I went ahead bought one and wanted to share my review with everyone that might interested in purchasing one. Please keep in mind this is my first video review of anything ever. Hope it answers some questions about it. Tha
  30. 9 likes
    Dear Penthouse Forum, there I was, getting ready for my game.....
  31. 9 likes
    B*%% $h*t. He got an unnecessary throw from a 9 year old F2 and scored a bush league run. Hope he's proud of himself. If half these Daddy coaches spent half the time they spend on trick and bush league plays on teaching baseball fundamentals, .......ah never mind...I feel rant coming on..better I stop here.
  32. 9 likes
    Once again, Tony L at MaskIt is a master artisan of masks. And like any art, he cannot be rushed, because the end product is worth every moment of patience. This past Monday, I stepped behind the plate for a AAA/AA/A intersquad game, with a good friend and fellow Vulture (more on that later) as my base partner, wearing TOC Bermuda blues (best atypical color IMO) and carrying my newly arrived, freshly re-coated +POS ZRO-G mask. Both starting catchers, despite being completely clad in brand new All-Star gear and being paid a modest entry-level contract, took one look at my mask as I threw it on and said, "That's a badass rig, Blue". It better be. I chose this color to complement the 2016 Sky Blue, the 2010 TOC Bermuda blue, and the 2010 Sky Blue shirts. Due to some pathetic coordination by the color supplier (not MaskIt's fault), they went with my second choice – Bay Blue Metallic. Look at it sparkle!
  33. 9 likes
    I was blessed to experience college baseball for the first time as an actual umpire yesterday, as opposed to a candidate, working a D2 intersquad with 2 other brothers. I was also blessed to have 2 experienced and willing teachers. I've got a ton to learn, but it sure was good to get out there! I only wish I had seen some pitches prior to yesterday, I gotta be more diligent to find some cage work before these opportunities present themselves. I've had better days on the dish, but it was the first of the year.
  34. 9 likes
    I know in one sense I'm comparing apples to oranges here, but look at Cooperstown Dreams Park. (Which I know nothing about...except what I read on this site and what I went and looked up on their website in order to write this post.) In 2017, each team will have to pay $995 per person (coach or player) to attend CDP. There is a 13 person (11 players & 2 coaches) minimum requirement per team. Let's assume each team brings the minimum. That's $12,935 per team. It appears that 104 teams play each week. That's $1,345,240 per week. They have 13 weeks. That's $17,488,120 per year. Plus, I see on their website that they have corporate sponsorships (and I understand why companies advertise with CDP...that's a lot of families spending a week there!). Plus, CDP apparently sells shirts (and a bunch of other clothing), photos, videos, souvenirs and concessions which all generate revenue. Plus, I believe I read in one on-line newspaper story that they get a kick-back from the hotels. Now I know CDP has overhead (although it appears that a lot of their labor overhead is reduced by the fact that a lot of their work force appear to be low-paid or no-paid college interns), and I have no idea the amount of their overhead. But, you're telling me that with that type of gross revenue they can't pay the umpires? (I don't consider lodging and free sandwiches/grub to be "pay". Nor do I consider the "free" umpire shirts and caps with the CDP logo on them (so they can't be used anywhere else) to be pay. Those are marketing items for CDP). Little League, I'm sure earns way, way more in revenue than CDP from corporate sponsorships and television rights fees, alone. I'm sure Little League makes more gross revenue during their regional and world series tournaments alone than CDP makes all summer. And they can't afford to pay their umpires? The answer is that, of course, both entities can afford to pay their umpires. The reason neither pays is because they don't have to pay. If all umpires boycotted and refused to work for them, they would pay real fast. If all umpires were to boycott ("strike"), do you think the boycott would last long? Do you think either organization would refuse to pay, thus prolonging any such boycott, due to some idealistic grand principle ("it's for the kids,") they have as an organization? Hell no! They'd pay right away because they would never walk away from that kind of revenue. Paying umpires would put such a tiny dent in these two entities' revenues that either entity would quickly pay if ever faced with the situation of all umpires refusing to work their games. I'm guessing that paying their umpires the same game fees these umpires are normally paid when working comparable games in other organizations would put a smaller dent in these two organization's gross revenues than the size of the dent all MLB umpires' salaries puts in MLB's nearly $10b in annual revenues. Yet, these two entities don't pay because they don't have to pay. Why? Because there is a steady supply of umpires who: (1) are willing to work for free (whether they work for free because they drink and believe these two entities' Kool-aide that "it's for the kids," or whether they do it for some other reason...I have no idea); and, (2) possess a (umpiring) skill set that is acceptable to those two organizations (in other words, these two organizations feel no need nor any pressure to pay for "better" umpires). If you're mad at these two organizations for not paying umpires, I think your anger is misplaced. They are acting the way many corporations/businesses (even non-profits) act in a capitalist system. They're refusing to voluntarily increase their overhead when they feel no pressure to do so. (And I am NOT anti-capitalist. My last two sentences are not a value judgment. I'm not attacking corporations. Hell, I'm a business owner and I do the same thing). If you are angry, be mad at us umpires (at least those among us who work games for these non-paying organizations). We umpires could end volunteer umpiring tomorrow if we refused to work their games for free for the reason I stated above: if faced with the choice of losing all of that revenue or losing a tiny, tiny fraction of their net revenues due to having to pay umpires...they would clearly go with the latter and not the former. But, that will never happen because too many of us enjoy (or at least tolerate) working for free. Do you know why high schools in my state pay umpires? Because if they didn't, they would not be able to get anyone to umpire their games (at least not anyone who possesses an umpiring skill set acceptable to the coaches, athletic directors and principals who run high school baseball.) For Little League to start paying umpires, one of two things would have to happen: (1) the development of a severe umpire shortage (presumably because umpires refuse to work for free); or, (2) some external, third-party force would have to be applied to Little League to cause Little League to change its opinion as to what it deems is an acceptable umpiring skill set that it requires its umpires to possess in order to work the regionals and/or World Series AND Little League also determining that it has to pay umpires in order to secure the services of those umpires who possess this new, higher umpiring skill set. Anyways, that's my theory as I lay in bed on a late Friday evening after a long work week.
  35. 8 likes
    I feel bad for all you guys who actually miss calls. I can't imagine what that's like.
  36. 8 likes
    While Tony and MaskIt were working on my +POS ZRO-G to apply the Sky Blue Metallic, I puttered around with some other masks, and stumbled upon another Honigs K-4. This one is decidedly older than the current version, which sports the extended crown guard, huge ear guards, and stubbier chin guard. Of course, I got it for a steal because it was navy. For some stupid reason, certain states cling like barnacles to the traditional-style navy shirt, but think it looks perfectly okay to pair up a navy shirt with black gear (masks especially) and a black hat. Based on how many states refuse to update, you'd think there'd be far more navy-colored masks in circulation. So I decided, if these states want to be so stubborn patriotic, let's go all-out. I ordered up some All-Star bicolor leather pads in scarlet and tan, and here's what I came up with: Cooperstown Dreams Park, here I come. I would also fit in for a HS tournament visit to Ohio, or Indiana, or Wisconsin, or Virginia, or Pennsylvania, or...
  37. 8 likes
    I won't speculate about your motivation in posting this. Perhaps you really believe it. Perhaps you're a troll. Perhaps you're a coach who feels aggrieved by an umpire's good game management skills. It doesn't matter; it's all bunk. The plate umpire handles all substitutions, coach conferences, and CR's. All game notes belong on the lineup card. This situation is comparable to a messed up substitution in basketball, when a team has 6 players on the court. That's nothing until we put the ball in play, and we don't do that until they figure out that they have six and fix it. We'll hold for a moment, then say, "hey, you've got six, somebody has to go off." That one time in a hundred when none of the 3 officials sees 6 and we make the ball live, the technical foul must be called and the team penalized — they are ultimately responsible for the infraction, but we do what we can to prevent it. Same for CR's and any other substitution infraction. We prevent problems before they become illegal by refusing to record it. To willfully take an illegal substitution is a "gotcha" call that will prevent an official from moving up. Fairness requires treating both teams the same: I'd refuse an illegal substitution from either team equally. Good game management requires this approach: it is not optional, and it does not depend on the area of the country.
  38. 8 likes
    I automatically put one on all my mask....don't know if it keeps sun out as have not try one without...plus...it looks cool as hell....oh and yes for sun glasses on the plate...I need my eyeballs relaxed in all situations-not squinting
  39. 8 likes
    "I know this is just practice for the season coach so I'm going to practice ejecting someone and you can practice going back to your locker room."
  40. 8 likes
    I actually feel remiss not only for letting the member of the month slip by the way side again. But last time when I was individually selecting the winner this person was always on my short list. January 2017's winner is @MadMax! Max has been a member for for nearly 4 years and has proven himself a valuable member of the community by his contributions, but here's something most others do not know.... Several years ago when I decided to redesign the site Max volunteered to turn my old black and white logo to what it is today. He did fantastic work on this and I really appreciate it. So thank you Max!
  41. 8 likes
    The first post in this thread should read: "Umpire Evaluations from Coaches ...should be used as toilet paper."
  42. 8 likes
    I agreed to work a 10u scrimmage by myself last night for a friend's team. Other than the jack wagon who wanted to complain about the strike zone starting with the 2nd pitch, the night was fun. The best part was on a check swing and out of habit, the coach yells at the catcher to "ask for help" so when the catcher turned to me, I pulled off my mask, pointed to myself and said "Did he go?" And then I quickly said "NO!" Lots of laughs from the fans and the coaches too.
  43. 8 likes
    My advice to the announcer: Stop trying to explain rules when it's clear that you're making it up as you go along. Just default to the fact that MLB umpires apply the rules correctly 99.99% of the time. The batter's position in or out of the box is not relevant on this play.
  44. 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.
  45. 7 likes
    I know that some around here are reluctant to "judge," and I get why. But for me, this reluctance is "old school" and about something other than officiating. I can respect an official's competence, skill, and achievement, and still say (based on video) that he missed a call — hell, even he might watch it and say the same thing. Replay gives us a different angle and time to think and discuss, so it's not really a tool for "judging" an official (in any sport). If we watch video and think that a judgment call is missed, the question becomes: what could we have done differently in the same spot to get it right? That could involve mechanics: if we did something mechanically wrong, we can fix that and be in a better position next time to do it right. Or the mechanics might be great, and it was a timing issue. Also fixable. Or, we might have just made a bad call. And video is useful here too: the human brain is a pattern recognition engine, and it gets better the more patterns are uploaded. That's why we rely so heavily on "experience" to move up: we need to have seen a lot of different plays, including goofy ones, so we know how to rule when we see it again. When we watch a lot of training tapes, we benefit from the experience of other officials, including many who are better than we are. We can see what their judgment was and why they were right (as they usually are) or wrong (as everyone sometimes is). The goal is not self-aggrandizement, but self-improvement, and the guy who made the call usually aims for that as much as we do. "You can't judge me, you weren't there" is over. I'm not judging him, I'm trying to learn from his call (which in this thread, I think, was wrong). Here endeth the lesson.
  46. 7 likes
    We have a job to do. We should ignore obnoxious fans until we can't: when they start to become a distraction and to impair the performance of our duties, then they lose the privilege of shouting their mind. Ask game administration to warn, then eject. One of the reasons I stopped working youth baseball was my diminishing tolerance for asshattery from the stands.
  47. 7 likes
    Man, the season can't come soon enough...
  48. 7 likes
    Just shout from the dugout: "Billy you stay on first. There's no f***ing way that was ordinary effort and if this umpire has any balls at all he'll realize his mistake and change the call. If he doesn't, it's proof that either he's an incompetent moron or he's purposely cheating against us. Those are the only options."
  49. 7 likes
    You bet. Don't soil your integrity or the integrity of the game because the batter is showing you up. Deal with it with an ejection and let the game be played the way it should be.
  50. 7 likes
    Great question! Thanks for stopping by! I tend to agree with your theory here. The umpire and the catcher are at it all day long, ... you BEST get along, right? I think as with anything, there's a line that needs to be drawn for being too chatty, or too fraternizing, but .... their needs to be a rapport for sure! Let the umpire clean the plate off ... always. If it's covered and your catcher doesn't like it ...then a simple "Hey Jeff can brush the plate off real quick for me?" will always work! Also, maybe a quick question while getting acquainted during warm-ups sounds like this ..."Jeff, can I ask where pitches were if I think they're close?" Most guys won't have a problem with that at all, ..it's all about HOW the question is posed and your catchers delivery Instead of, "Jeff where was that one?" maybe .... " Jeff, was that 'in'?" [because he knows where it missed if it was close] come across better. Prior to a game, most umpires see a few pitches while the pitcher is warming up, this is my time to small-talk my catcher and ask him about the pitcher, small talk, etc, just to get a feel for his personality. I like this to set the tone, ..in my opinion it lets him know I'm a normal guy and not some hard-ass That's all I can think of now, but ...I'm sure you'll get a whole host of others chiming in. LOTS of experience on this board! Lastly ... remember, too much talking is indeed a distraction. As long as your catcher isn't a "caffeine laden chatty Kathy" ....he'll probably be fine