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About JonnyCat

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    So Cal

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    West Coast Umpires, SDCBUA
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  1. Rich is right. A chainsaw is WAY too loud. You'd get caught. I recommend a battery operated Sawzall in a night operation!
  2. Yes, misreading A. The foul bunt results in the 2nd strike. Another example of a poorly worded FED question.
  3. Thanks Maven, and I get that. In reality, get one strike and be done with. I just need some clarification in order to bring some more info to the next meeting. However, my question is in theory, is this how FED would want it called? One strike for violating 7-3-1, and one for the legal pitch, assuming the pitcher did not stop or hesitate? The rule book does state that two strikes are to be called in situation (b). I'm guessing that is what FED envisions, but is not really practical. Thanks.
  4. Just got back from my HS association meeting and part of a rules presentation was a discussion of 6-2-4d(1), specifically situation (b) when a batter steps out of the box with both feet. The rule states that "If the pitcher, with a runner on base, stops or hesitates in his delivery because the batter steps out of the box (a) with one foot or (b) with both feet or (c) holds up his hand to request "Time," it shall not be a balk. In (a) and (c), there is no penalty on either the batter or the pitcher. The umpire shall call "Time" and begin play anew. In (b), a strike shall be called on the batter for violation of 7-3-1. (A batter must keep at least one foot in the batter's box throughout the time at bat. Emphasis mine.) In (a), (b), and (c), if the pitcher legally delivers the ball, it shall be called a strike and the ball remains live. Thus, two strikes are called on the batter in (b)." So the discussion/argument revolved around situation (b), calling two strikes on the batter. Some argued that in order to get 2 strikes, the batter had to cause the pitcher to stop or hesitate (strike one), and then the pitcher somehow still continued to throw the pitch, and that is how you would get the second strike. I don't think this is correct. My issue is that of a legal pitch thrown in order to get the second strike. If a pitcher stops or hesitates, then how is he allowed to throw a legal pitch? I interpret portion (b) of the rule as that stepping out of the box with both feet is an automatic strike (7-3-1), regardless if the pitcher stops, hesitates, or throws a legal pitch. If the pitcher stops or hesitates, then he can no longer throw a legal pitch. Therefore, if the pitcher stops or hesitates, then you can only call one strike in situation (b). However, if the batter steps out with both feet, and the pitcher does not stop or hesitate, and delivers a legal pitch, the pitch is called a strike no matter the location, and the batter is charged with 2 strikes. One for stepping out with both feet, and one on the legal pitch. Do I have that right, or am I missing something? Thanks.
  5. That's a good idea. Hadn't thought about that. I'm going to incorporate that idea in my proposal to the BOD this year. Thanks for the suggestion.
  6. A little over 100.
  7. Our HS association(largest one in the county) here in SoCal has a scratch list. I believe that coaches can scratch up to 5 officials. I don't like it, and I'm looking for a way to get our BOD to get rid of it. One of the biggest consequences to scratch lists is the failure of some umpires to eject coaches. Umpiring is a significant source of income for a number of members in our association. I think they are often reticent to eject for fear of loosing games. This breeds poor behavior and often makes things harder for other officials. I think the coaches in our area given far too much leeway from some of our umpires, and I think scratch lists are a big contributor.
  8. When I went to UTA in 2015, most wore traditional masks, but some wore HSM. Not a requirement either way. One of the students wore a HSM, and was probably the top rated umpire from our class. He is still in the minors, and working his way up quickly. Don't know for sure if he still wears it, but it didn't hurt him at all. Wear what you want and enjoy the training. It's awesome!
  9. It's not just the high number of pitches in one season that contributes to arm injuries. It's the constant pitching throughout the year with no off time to rest the arms that is one of the biggest contributors to arm injuries. Kids pitch HS, then travel-ball, then showcase, etc. From what I understand, as well, its not just pitchers suffering a surge in arm injuries, but position players, also. Pitch counts are great, but if they are not recognized by other organizations, then they can only be somewhat effective. Coaches of different organizations need to monitor what other teams their kids are playing on and adjust accordingly. Honestly, this whole playing one sport all year round has gotten out of hand. I mean realistically, how many future professional players can be produced? Most never play past high school, yet all our sports treat their programs as if every kid is going to get drafted. You have a better chance (albeit a small one) to play college sports. In San Diego County last year, only 3 kids were drafted onto MLB teams. Yet every Jack A$$ coach around here acts as if their whole team is going pro, and that's how the run their program. Some of them really believe that an umpires bad call could cost a kid a scholarship or pro contract. I'm not kidding, it's unbelievable how delusional and uber competitive the coaches and programs are here in SoCal. All right, sorry to get off track. I'm off my soapbox now! BTW, I know a young coach now in his 30's that can't even throw a baseball anymore. His college coach routinely threw him 120-150 pitches per outing. Sometimes the residual effects don't show up until years later.
  10. I hope it is, but 110 is still too many, IMO. While I am a huge proponent of pitch counts, it still can have negative effects. Often coaches look at the pitch counts as absolute numbers, not just as guidelines. I'll see coaches throw kids the max amount right at the start of the season, and not build up to it. They think, "Well it says I can throw him 110, so that's what I'll do." Pitch counts should come with some guidelines for some of these coaches I've seen. At least its a start in the right direction, although I would like to see the max as 90 for all levels of HS.
  11. Is that set by State, or by individual sections?
  12. GH. I heard here in California that the pitch count limit was going to be 120. Is that what you heard? I think that is way too many for HS.
  13. Haid, I went to Harry's in 2013 and UTA in 2015.I know they have made some changes recently, but this is how it was in 2013, and I know some of it still goes on. At Harry's, I though the field work was well run and the instructors worked really hard each day. I thought they could have done better about getting guys more reps, but overall, the field work was good. I though Brent Rice was a great teacher, and I emulate some of his methods when I teach at clinics. He's great at what he does and one heck of a good guy. The classroom work left a lot to be desired. How in the world does a pro school not have a PowerPoint presentation of the material? It was 2013, no excuse for not having one. Having the handycam that transmitted the lecturer on the two screens in the classroom was an absolute joke. Having a guy read straight out of the rulebook with no PowerPoint? And no classroom material? No handouts, no study material. All you got was a rulebook and some tests. Not exactly my idea of a "professional" school. Would it have killed them to take advantage of today's technology? The carpooling set up was disorganized and unprofessional. You basically saddled a guy for 5 weeks as being a chauffeur. "Make sure you give him some gas money", they said. Ridiculous. The lunch setup and roll call was straight out of the 1970's. Calling out role call everyday, and the way they took lunch orders, was disorganized and unprofessional. They couldn't come up with a better way of doing that? Everyone had a name plaque on their desk, would it be so hard to just have an instructor look to see who is not in their seat? How about filling out a lunch order for the week, or here's a novel idea, fill it out on line. Or here's a better idea, don't be such a cheapskate and have a better setup for lunch! Guys are there for 5 weeks and paid plenty for a meal plan. How about serving something decent? The fieldwork at UTA was better than at Harry's IMO, but Harry's was still pretty darn good. I would give UTA a leg up based on the number of reps and I thought the instructors at UTA were more personable and offered better critiques and instruction. As far as the classroom, living quarters, professionalism, structure, organization, camaraderie, and overall atmosphere, it wasn't even close. UTA was by far superior. Of course this is just my experience and opinions, so that and $4.00 gets you a latte at Starbucks!
  14. You can't go wrong with either school, it's just a matter of fit. I know guys that love Harrys and would go no where else, others will only consider UTA (Umpire Training Academy). For me personally, UTA was a great fit. I liked the structure, organization, and professionalism. I also like everything being on site. Although Harry's has made some changes, I didn't like their structure, and a lot of things just felt disorganized and not quite as professionaly run. Nothing wrong with how they do business, but it wasn't a good fit for me. Not to mention the hotel was an absolute dump. One thing I liked about UTA is they treated everyone the same. Even though all the instructors knew I wasn't aiming for a job, I got the same consideration from the first day to the last. Granted, I worked hard, took every rep seriously, accepted any feedback graciously, kept a good attitude even though Motrin was my best friend, and had a good rapport with the instructors. I think they appreciated my attitude and work ethic and worked me just like any other. To be fair, it was intimidating at first being with all these youngsters vying for a job, but UTA set the tone right off the bat that we were all the same and you helped your fellow umpire rather that put him down, no matter their skill set or ability. If you go to UTA, work hard and have a good attitude, they will work around any physical limitation and treat you just like any other umpire brother! It's hard and demanding, but they'll get you through it, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I wrote a daily blog about my time at UTA, (formerly TUS). I chronicled each day I was there, you may want to check it out for some day to day insight to pro school. Hope that helps.
  15. As one of those 50+ guys in reasonably good shape, I attended both schools recently. Wendelstedt 2 week abbreviated program in 2013, and the full 4 week PBUC school in 2015. I found Wendelstedt to be less physically demanding, less running, fewer reps, more stand around time. At Harrys, there was a larger cross section of ages and most seemed to do fine. There were more students, so more people to act as runners and fielders. You could take a break in the dugouts between your reps. At PBUC, it was more demanding and the student body is comprised of mosty guys under 30. There is a lot more physical activity with more running. We would run the outfield warning track each day before formation. Most of the older guys, myself included, opted out of this without ramifications. I chose to save my bullets for my reps. If you weren't doing reps, you were expected to act as runners or fielders for the drills. I ran as much as I could, and fielded sometimes as well. There were less students and more reps, so you ran a lot. Fortunately, the younger students were aware of us old guys limited ability, and they took on the lions share of the running and fielding. They were great about it and I always will be appreciative of what they did. PBUC also has a medical director on site, and a full training room. They also had a great stretching program and the training room was full of foam rollers and other materials. It was definately helpful. The days are long and very structured, but if you are in reasonably good shape, it should not be an issue. If I had to do it again, I would work on my leg strength in the months prior to attending. If you are already a runner, or like to run, it will be no problem. For me, it was well worth it. I did it mostly as a bucket list item, but also to bring back training methodology to my area. I can't say if it will make you a better umpire (every person has a different learning curve and skillset), but the skills and knowledge base you will learn are unsurpassed by any clinic or camp I have attended. Hope that helps!