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Everything posted by kstrunk

  1. The importance of mechanics

    The guys I was referring to primarily, are some guys (not all) with '30 years' under their belt, but, as you said, were never REALLY trained, but they're still very passionate. And in their passion, coupled with their 'experience', not only reject instruction in many cases (not all), but insist on pushing their way as THE way in spite of new standards and philosophies that are required for guys to grow and advance. It's frustrating to go to a collegiate clinic, learn, implement, and then get rebuked (take that literally) by one of these guys in a high school game, and actually instructed to do something incorrectly. Our area has some good clinicians, with lots of experience, who are still eager to grow and learn, but they are far outnumbered by guys who think they've arrived, and will not hear anything that didn't come out of their own mouth. Again, I don't want to 'over-generalize', this isn't every 'experienced' umpire, but it's a bunch who simply fail to realize that things have changed. That said, I am the first one to submit to the older/wiser/more experienced, and I've made it a habit to ASK THEM for advice and counsel, as I truly appreciate their accomplishments and experience. Finally, to answer your question, my frustration is that there isn't much happening in our area in regard to training for HS umpires. When someone DOES put on a clinic, attendance is usually not great. And the philosophy of accountability in scheduling is non-existent for the most part. It's a function of numbers, and the numbers of umpires simply isn't there, I guess...
  2. The importance of mechanics

    That is, without a doubt, the difficulty in our region as well.
  3. The importance of mechanics

    I watched my son's first high school game on Friday, only a scrimmage, but a varsity baseball game none-the-less. It was so cold I was bundled up beyond recognition, so neither umpire, both of whom I've worked with in the past, could recognize me. First call at 1B by the BU was a banger, and he banged a guy out... with his LEFT hand. There were other moderate mechanical errors to go along with it. Plate mechanics were beyond horrendous and at times detrimental to the game (too quiet, or sometimes NO signal, not putting the ball in play, not making the ball dead when it was dead). But I should be fair. This is likely the first work they'd both seen this year, and it was beyond frigid. I didn't want to be there either. But as @grayhawk said, we ALL, should ALWAYS umpire as if someone who gets it is watching. It's clear to me though, that many, many guys are still using a very old standard for what is essentially a new game. Umpiring is NOT the same as it was even 15 years ago, and guys that act as if it is and refuse to grow and change, frankly should be weeded out. IMHO.
  4. What could it be?

    Watching a D2 game recently. R1, R3... RHP feints to 3B, quickly turns to look at R1 with hands together, never feints or throws to 1st. He does this twice in a row... after which PU calls time, runs out to the mound, says something to F1, then returns and resumes. Any ideas on what PU said to F1?
  5. My starter kit - need to decide on shins

    May you blessed in your career. I think you will be, as you've sought counsel from guys that have the experience and wisdom to know. Keep doing that, not just with equipment, but with EVERYTHING. You will get alot of advice, and it won't all be good. So be charitable and gracious, but don't hold on to anything to tightly unless it comes from guys that still trying to grow. For my part, I found that college umpires, and high level HS umpires that are STILL training and learning are the best guys to take advice from. However, there's exceptions to this as there is to most things. Read, practice, ask questions, and verify the answers. And HAVE FUN!!!
  6. I do not understand this

    Haven't read it, but it sounds like BR had been knocked down while 'over-running' 1B, not trying to advance or return to a base, therefore, it's nothing.
  7. New NAIA Brainshark Video

    While I like your thinking too, I'm guessing when they give the answer on 3/1, that thinking won't apply. But I'll rejoice if it does!
  8. New NAIA Brainshark Video

    7.11.f - A batter is out when: f. The batter intentionally or unintentionally interferes with the catcher's fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter's box OR making ANY OTHER MOVEMENT that hinders a defensive player's action at home plate;... I'd love to get off the hook on this one too, but not sure the rules will let us. Am I missing a note somewhere, or another rule that addresses avoiding being hit by pitch absolves a batter of interference?
  9. You might enjoy

    These folks have been putting quality training together for years, from youtube videos of cage work, live game evaluations, and awesome clinics, and have been instrumental in helping me learn our craft. Highly recommend them!
  10. Opening the Season

    First games of my season are tomorrow! D3 DH on turf, gonna be cool, wet, and slick! But it's baseball season fellas! Who cares about the weather! Can't wait!
  11. F3 in the MLB

    I've got some very experienced college ball brothers that swear by that CP. I just can't imagine spending that much money for something that isn't a hard shell. Not only that, it just looks like it has to be VERY hot in the summer.
  12. Strike Call

    I'm guessing I'm a bit more neurotic on this than many. I see the quality of strike calls, mechanics, and yes... ball calls as integral to preventative game management. Crisp, strong, authoritative, and maybe even LOUD verbals and accompanying mechanics lend to confidence, certainty, and stability, which in my experience, decrease issues. When we talk about MLB umps, or a 20 year D1 umpire, it may not be as essential for them, as they've developed impeccable credibility in many cases. But for guys who haven't, strong plate work, including calling balls and strikes (which begins with great timing that results from proper use of the eyes) accomplishes the same thing, but with greater impact than having a clean, crisp uniform and personal appearance. So it matters, and it CAN hold you back. Thus it is worthy of practice and experimentation until you get it so that it's right for YOU, and works to help you accomplish strong game management. At the risk of sounding arrogant, one of the first things my evaluator said to me at my collegiate tryout was 'That's how you call a strike! Well done!'. That proved to me at that moment how important this is. Also important to note, is the importance of calling balls properly, with good timing, strong verbals, from the crouch, especially on close ones, maybe even 'verbally mapping' to indicate you know WHY it was not a strike. Many very experienced umps don't like this, they say 'it's a ball because I said it was a ball, so there's no need to explain it...', but again, an excellent preventative game management technique is letting them know WHY, i.e... a firm and clear - 'BALL... it's outside'... again, only on close ones that are not obvious, and NO physical/hand mechanics. Now coaches have no need to ask their catcher, or make any comments, they have all they need to know. Likewise punchouts (called 3rd strikes), should be athletic and authoritative with a confident verbal and coordinated mechanic that doesn't make you seem embarrassed at what you just did. You'll know if you fidgit around afterwards whether or not you are comfortable with your punchout. If you fidgit, or short step around a bit, you should re-evaluate, you may not be comfortable with it. When you're through with the call, stand still, in certainty that you got it right, looking where you need to be looking( not at the ground, the batter, or the coach) and move on. In summary, all of this plate demeanor stuff is vital and should be given highest consideration.
  13. Slim-fit Pants

    If umpiring is something you want to learn to do well and do long term, remember that in most aspects of umpiring, there is a right way, and a wrong way, and most things in umpiring are NOT relative to personal preference. Even those that are have 'minimal standards'. This includes personal presentation and uniform. Your best shot at success is to find those standards in your area/group, and follow them exceedingly well.
  14. TCU - NC State balk

    @maven, that's disgusting!
  15. TCU - NC State balk

    The only thing I can find is a possible twitch/flinch in the hands at :11-12 that perhaps is more visible to the calling ump than anyone, particularly live. Video is a bit distant for us. Could've been very clear to him, while not even visible to his partners.
  16. Dan McDonnell Ejection

    Whatever he said, it had to be pretty bad to get tossed in that situation, UNLESS... I'm off the mark in thinking that as officials we should understand the overall situation and sometimes try a bit harder to keep a guy in a game. Not at all saying the umpire was wrong to eject because I don't know what was said, but using the example as an opportunity to inquire - do we work harder in those situations to keep a guy in the game (elimination game, close game, etc...)?
  17. Properly disengaging plate

    I've called this balk several times as well, and warned a coach once as a result. @maven's description was, and is most helpful. But that doesn't mean the coaches will concede or even understand. Good call though!!
  18. 3 batters in, 2 gone!

    This is the culture that so many umpires continue to perpetuate, call the game according to the expectations of coaches and spectators rather than according to rules and reality. The only way to change it is for the guys who do it right to teach and train, but even then it'll be difficult, because those guys are out numbered by alot.
  19. CWS - slide call at Second

    Not sure what you're referring to @Jimurray, but let's not leave out Heath Jones at 1st, flat out getting it done on some bangers tonight.
  20. CWS - slide call at Second

    It's why so many guys don't make the right calls in big situations (not at that level)... They fear being disliked more than they fear being incompetent. Not these guys!!!
  21. CWS - slide call at Second

    Love watching these guys! Perfect position, timing was excellent.
  22. 3 batters in, 2 gone!

    9u and he's 'f-bombing' the umpires, it's insanity. It doesn't sound like there was time for much chirping before the ejectable offense, but if there were, I practice nipping it as soon as it's loud enough for me to hear clearly. I call time, walk to a distance that keeps me from having to yell, and say calmly, "I'm done hearing about balls and strikes today, and I don't plan to have this conversation again." If the rule set prescribes a specific warning, i.e.. NCAA, I give it, and then get back to business. You could have warned the coach during the first at bat, but it doesn't sound like this guy was a quick study any way, it's not on you, he ejected himself.
  23. Umpire from Oregon

    Welcome @Thomas Mullaney! Because you want to advance, the best advice I can give you is resist the urge to work, work, work apart from observing and learning. Especially for a young guy, you'll learn quickly that you can earn cash in decent amounts by working like crazy. But working games at a crazy pace, WITHOUT learning will quickly help you develop really bad habits that'll be hard to break, and ultimately cost you time in reaching your goal. While you can't make money going to college or pro-games and watching GOOD umpires, and asking them questions, you CAN learn what you need to apply when you DO work games, and then develop good habits. Working games is certainly necessary, but working them wrong, especially with many partners who'll give you bad advice, will slow you down. Learn the RIGHT way first, then practice it. And be very careful who you listen to. Have fun Pal.
  24. Balk Questioning by nice (ignorant) coach

    This is EXCELLENT news to me, as I've killed a couple in summer OBR season because of that habit of calling 'time' first! I'm now fixed of it, but it's been an annual thing for me, I'm slow, ya know...