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About ElkOil

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    PONY, Premier, High School, MSBL
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  1. As a old-timer told me, "When in doubt, bang the out."
  2. At that level of ball, I think it's only right to address gamesmanship. Legal, yes. But bush league and in the interest of good game management and keeping things smooth, I don't have an issue with going to the coach about it.
  3. There are lots of things that we don't immediately address at that level of ball. For example, a pitcher may be balking with every delivery, but instead of calling it, we'll talk to the coach about it. I'd rather do that than risk escalating a situation with a coach who is obviously ratcheting things up anyway. I doubt by doing so I'm causing much harm. Neither the players nor coaches are too highly skilled at that level, so there are plenty of opportunities to practice preventive umpiring, or at least letting some things slide in favor of taking care of them in a more low-key fashion. Because once we address it, if it still happens, it becomes a different story -- much like my balk example. First tell the coach about it. If it continues, enforce it. In the case of the OP, the coach is participating in gamesmanship and I believe it warrants a quick, non-confrontational conversation.
  4. When I doubt myself it's because I thought I could have had a better angle, or picked up on some other cues if I couldn't see the play due to being straight-lined or something. Or maybe I was too close. Or whatever. The bottom line is this: You can only do the best job you can do, and at the end of it, only your judgement matters. Could your judgement be better in some cases? Well, sure. Everyone's can. But for me, what made me more confident is taking ownership of all my calls and realizing that I can only call what I can see and piece together based on my position on the field. Last week, I was BU in B. R1 stealing 2B. The throw was high and to the 1B side of 2B. Runner slides as F4 jumps to catch the ball. As the runner was sliding by F4, F4 reached down and tagged him on the helmet. Or so I thought. I bang the out. Everyone trots off the field and the 1BC mutters that I missed the call. I absolutely may have missed it. 1BC had a much better angle than I did and may very well have seen daylight between the glove and helmet. But I didn't have his perspective. I could only make the call based on what I had where I was, and I had to live with it. And I was good with that.
  5. This statement is intended to prevent a pitcher from throwing to F3 when he isn't in proximity to 1B and therefore doesn't have a play on the runner. From what I understand of your description, F3 wasn't near the throw, which went into foul territory before being recovered by F3. I wouldn't balk this. There isn't a rule against the pitcher putting his own team in jeopardy by throwing the ball away.
  6. I agree. Which is why is bothers me when I see batter runners at all levels of the game running when they're not eligible. It's certainly a mix of coaching and simply not knowing the situation. In the case of the OP, it's the former (well, both, really), but in so many other cases, it's the latter. In the OP, if PU is yelling that the batter is out and the catcher throws the ball anyway, seeing has how they're nine and 10, if I let the play stand, I'd have a chat with the HC between innings about it.
  7. +1
  8. Or I'll keep them and apply for a job on an aircraft carrier.
  9. HA! Classic!
  11. In my left ball bag, I carry a trench shovel. If a coach starts to come out, I rely on my years of military training to quickly dig a fox hole, stealthily crawl in and hope he didn't see anything. I'll wait in there for as long as I have to until the coach -- feeling the awkward silence -- is compelled to slink back to his dugout in the shame of having lost an argument he had all by himself. I only emerge once the catcher -- with whom I previously worked out an intricate set of signals -- informs me the coast is clear. Since adopting this approach two years ago, it's worked pretty well. So far, I haven't been scratched from any games, and I've only damaged two sprinkler heads and caused a small leak in a gas main.
  12. This may be the biggest thing I had to overcome, especially going from HS to Men's League. Like anything you do repetitively, it became easier for me to see the breaking balls sooner, so I wasn't taken by surprise.
  13. I guess I read it differently than you did. In the OP, it seemed to me like the question addressed a simple mistake. I read your post to mean the player was more deliberate and making an effort to abandon his at-bat, despite the coach, fans, umpire and players all telling him to return to the plate. The former I have a hard enough time seeing happen, considering I'll be the first one to tell the batter that it's only two strikes. The latter, I can't ever see happening.