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Everything posted by CJK

  1. Rookie Tips

    Getting bonked on the top of your head one time is a pretty good deterrent. Remember that almost all of your protection is on the front of your body parts. Whenever you set up or adjust, do it in a way that only shows the front of your body parts to the ball. Also, wearing a pair of glasses or sunglasses with help a ton. It will protect your eyes from the dust or sand or infield product or drying agent that comes through your mask when the ball is caught in front of your face. Equip yourself well and trust your equipment. That will give you the confidence to focus and relax so you'll feel comfortable staying still.
  2. Obstruction?

    The standard for obstruction in USSSA is as follows:
  3. I know you didn't write the content, but your link claims that this was "Hernandez at his worst." That's terrible reporting, because this wasn't anywhere close to the worst he's ever been.
  4. Plate Umpire Interference

    Correct. The specific language in the rulebook is "Note: The interference shall be disregarded if the catcher’s throw retires the runner." If the catcher's direct throw retires the runner, there is no interference, the ball remains live, and whatever happens happens.
  5. Plate Umpire Interference

    To expand, if the catcher's direct throw retires the runner, the runner is out and the ball remains live. If the catcher's direct throw does not retire the runner, the ball is dead and all runners return to TOP bases.
  6. I suspect @Rich Ives said this tongue-in-cheek, but high/low is also pretty easy to see from the bases. If you really are hearing it from both sides, sometimes your partner can help put into perspective on whether you're leaking below the knee or above the sternum, or whether the buckets just need to be re-calibrated.
  7. Corrected mound

    @Senor Azul, thanks for bringing this up. I forget that rulesets range far and wide, and I forget that while baseball and softball have significant overlap in their rules, they're not the same. USSSA fast pitch: "NOTE: Every effort should be made by the Umpire to obtain the correct dimensions. If the base distances or the pitching distance is found to be at the wrong dimensions during the course of the game, the error shall be corrected immediately, with no penalty. The game shall continue and shall not be protested for this reason." NSA fast pitch: "NOTE: If during the course of any game, the base distance or pitching distance is found to be in error, the error should be corrected immediately, and the game should continue. This is not a point to be protested." Once again, I should investigated baseball rulesets before posting, and I did not.
  8. Corrected mound

    << fast pitch softball rules >> You were correct to have it fixed immediately. The rules are clear. If you do not fix it immediately, you risk a protest that you will definitely lose. << fast pitch softball rules >>
  9. Is this BOO ?

    "Play 6" (cited above by @noumpereand commented on by you) is from the OBR -- Rule 6.03(b)(7) Comment -- and contains the specific text repeated here. I don't see how it could be more clear.
  10. Baseball Umpire

    Some other answers, which may apply to these or other questions on your test: R2 is ejected and the ball remains live. Enforce the penalty; the offense has the option to accept the result of the play instead. It's the name of the sled. Don't talk to the fence. This is a live ball appeal and a time play; score the run. Kill the rivet, reposition the shoulder flaps, and secure them with Chicago screws. Not a fumble, according to the Tuck Rule (which has since been repealed). I do not recall. Inform the head coach that his assistant has received a written warning and is restricted to the bench. Resist the urge to offer the assistant a binky. 42.
  11. I know you know this, but that ball is dead because it touched the batter, not because it was an uncaught third strike with first base occupied.
  12. Obviously nothing ejectionable, since he held his arms out, palms up, and made his incredulous "What? Who, me? Why? I'm shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you..." face.
  13. What if the uncaught third strike had gone to the backstop, and all the runners had moved up? Would the uncaught third strike be declared a dead ball and the runners sent back? Of course not. An uncaught third strike is a live ball, action continues, the batter/runner can run to first base (even though s/he is out), other runners advance/return with liability to be put out, and the catcher can start a snowball fight. The umpires aren't responsible for controlling or protecting anyone, they're responsible for watching what happens and translating it into outs/runners/runs at the end.
  14. First one this year

    My favorite part.
  15. Focus

    Keep a thing or two on your "I'd like to try this" list (like a different/adjusted stance, a particular stretch, a tweak to your timing, or working without an indicator or without looking at your indicator). You know, the kind of things you pick up from this site, things that only other umpires will notice. Try one of those things in games like this. You get to work on something new, which keeps you engaged. And you focus on the new thing, leaving you to trust yourself on the rest of your game, which enhances your comfort and confidence. Staying engaged and feeling comfortable and confident when you work will make you a better umpire. And you'll also find out whether to keep that change or cross it off your list.
  16. Force out

    Holding the ball in either hand and touching the base with any other part of your body or properly worn equipment is good enough.
  17. Rookie Tips

    RELAX. Remember to use the natural breaks in the action as your "down time," when you can roll your neck, stretch your fingers and back, clench your butt, squeeze your eyes shut, breathe deeply. You'll focus more clearly, you'll trust yourself more, you'll stay calmer and fresher, and you'll be better able to slow down your calls, all of which will make you a better umpire.
  18. The Devil

    And probably Ty Cobb.
  19. What is the Correct Call

    An experienced umpire asked me earlier this year whether he had a correctly officiated a play which started with R1, R2, 1 out. The ball was popped up on the infield, landed in fair territory between home and 1B, and rolled across the line in front on 1B, where the base coach picked it up while it was still moving. Of course, it wouldn't be an interesting story if had been correct. He ruled the batter out on the infield fly and R2 (the runner closest to home) out on interference by 1BC. He, like it seems many people do, allowed himself to be confused by the fact the fly ball landed fair, neglecting the fact that it still had not passed the base. I don't know why it's such a tough thing. It regularly confuses people when we discuss case plays in clinics, too.
  20. The Interference Call

    ... unless he visits the mound on the way there or the way back.
  21. Game Management - Ejections

    This is a pretty important point. If you work regularly in a local league, where there are a finite number of teams with accountability to a board, your ejections are more likely to be few, because there are longer-term consequences for the misbehavior. On the tournament and travel circuit, where TDs don't communicate with each other (and many are focused on growing numbers over anything else), there are often no consequences beyond tomorrow, and there are coaches who will exploit that fact.
  22. Sorry, it was you who talked up your vast viewing experience of college and pro baseball to back up your claim that 4-hole batters almost always get pitched to. Rich Ives was obviously making the point that they're not the same. Sometime in your amazing content consumption career, it seems like you'd have come across some footage of Barry Bonds in the early 2000's, particularly in 2004 when Bonds was IBB'ed 120 times in one season). Look it up. In fact, since 2000, Bonds and Josh Hamilton were both walked with the bases loaded, and both times their opponents won the game. Baseball is a game with two levels: at its root, players engage in a series of individual match-ups; in a wider scope, coaches try to optimize those individual matchups. In every sport, at every level, coaches use strategy to neutralize an outrageous 1-player advantage, usually saying they want to "make someone else beat us." They feel like it puts them in a better position to win, which is fun; in the immortal words of Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh: "I love winning, I [really] love winning! You know what I'm saying? It's, like, better than losing?" And as for the absolutely ridiculous juxtaposition of adding "with all due respect" before calling me an idiot, well, I think the other readers can draw a suitable conclusion.
  23. Obstruction at 1st base

    Of course. I forgot about the required award. Thanks, guys.
  24. Obstruction at 1st base

    What's the rationale here? The runner is entitled to run the bases without hindrance, but not entitled to overrun first base without hindrance? Not that it matters, or even that anyone would know for sure. It just seems like an interesting distinction.
  25. Field Condition Adjustments

    What about working from the fair side of the line at your normal depth?