therefump added a article in MiscellaneousAn Open Letter to my PartnerWriter's Note: My partner has been doing baseball since 1985 following in his Dad's footsteps. He's got a heart as big as California and wants to do this as good as anyone in the business. He's just got some idiotsyncracies (yes, I spelled it that way).
I love working with you when youâ€™re on your game. Your knowledge of the rules are 2nd to none. You ask very good questions when weâ€™re on the way to the game. Itâ€™s a great way oneâ€™s head on straight for the game rather than get aggravated over traffic. More importantly, discussing past situations weâ€™ve done and better ways to handle them is an excellent way to improve our game. We do strive to be the best. How many games have we done so far in 3 seasons? 250? 300?
However, there are some things I'd like to point out in our crew (2 man) relationship that need improvement.
First, donâ€™t yell about â€œhating to be lateâ€ when you show up 15 minutes late at my place for starters. Be happy that I know my way around the county and we can make up the time so that we're not late. Remember the games where youâ€™ve shown up 30 minutes late? Also, letâ€™s try to get to the field at least 15 minutes before game time. I'd be thrilled if we could make it 30 but I'll settle. It allows us to take our time getting dressed and get our game heads on straight. Thatâ€™s one way we donâ€™t have to break into your car to get your keysâ€¦..for the 3rd time. If I recall, it cost you a few game fees to get the window replaced on the passenger side when you broke it trying to get to your keys. If you had been patient, the police would have helped without breaking the window. Even better, you wouldn't have locked them in the car in the first place had you been taking your time.
However, there are things we need to address that will put us further on top of our â€œAâ€ game.
I would appreciate you parking away from the spectators and the field so we can dress without being watched. Dropping your pants to the ground and inserting your cup in your jock in full view of the momâ€™s is not very gentlemanly. I can understand that you want to drop your pants to put on your shin guards but do it behind the car door as well. You may think the MILFs like it but the faces I've seen indicate otherwise.
Speaking of pants down, we all have to relieve ourselves after a long car ride but please do it privately. I donâ€™t think people appreciate your peeing on your tire.
As far as uniforms, wearing a dark blue cotton tee shirt under your armor is part of the uniform. You seem to comply with that more often than not. Maybe too much. However, Iâ€™d appreciate it if youâ€™d wash the shirt before wearing it. The sweat stains are bad enough but the odor is not appreciated. Iâ€™m sure your catcher would appreciate clean undergarments.
Oh, speaking of old, I believe that you need to replace that 10 year old American Legion hat. Itâ€™s starting to look more white than black.
Please feel free to borrow my liquid black polish to shine up your shoes whenever youâ€™d like. Itâ€™s free and it makes you look professional.
One last note prior to our games, please donâ€™t get dressed behind the backstop anymore. I personally like to arrive on the field fully dressed. Iâ€™m sure the moms and girlfriends donâ€™t appreciate it either. Nobody wants to see your fat a**.
Prior to the game, letâ€™s stay together. I know you love baseball and want to talk with the players and coaches but when you talk at length with one team the other team might get the idea that you play favorites. I know you donâ€™t but they donâ€™t know that. Speaking of talking with the players and coaches, itâ€™s not a good idea to name drop. You do not need to show the coaches you know everyone in the league. Theyâ€™ve seen you around and know your name. Even if they havenâ€™t you should be able to get a name for yourself by your professionalism.
Now letâ€™s talk about technique since youâ€™ve been to Harry Wendelstedtâ€™s school with 100 other umpires and were taught by 4 umpires who are now in MLB as you've repeatedly told me. We should all be so lucky to take off 5 weeks to go to school. But I digress. :home:First, clean the plate properly. Using your shoe is not professional. Show your butt to the fielders when using your plate brush. The fans do not want to see you bend over with your butt facing them. â€œHere we goâ€ is not the same as â€œPlay Ballâ€ or â€œPlayâ€. Now, admittedly your strike zone is generally impeccable. Show the strike with some arm action like your vocalization. Some of us claim to be deaf. Donâ€™t mumble a called â€œBallâ€. Please, oh please, when stating the count of 2 balls and no strikes say that. Itâ€™s not â€œtwo and ohhhâ€. Itâ€™s also not â€œthirty-twoâ€, its three balls and 2 strikes plus showing the count with your fingers. Worse, I donâ€™t think itâ€™s proper to say â€œthe count remains the sameâ€. If you need to repeat the count then by all means repeat the count.
When doing the bases, your calls are generally excellent. I think that on those one or two occasions when the first baseman might have pulled his foot you could ask me just like Iâ€™ve gone to you. Remember? â€œDid he hold the bag?â€ Itâ€™s not a pride thing, itâ€™s getting it right. Remember, the PIAA mantra for us this year is to â€œget it rightâ€. I think our coaches would appreciate it.
Again, when doing the bases, please donâ€™t flirt with the fans in between innings. It makes us look bad as a crew. Worse, donâ€™t tell the coaches that WE enjoy checking out the MILFs. I admit that I will glance at them, after all Iâ€™m human, but weâ€™re there to do a job. Weâ€™re not there to do a job on the ladies though sometimes I would like....oh, nevermind.
On another issue, I have a question about your time in Florida with the Wendelstedt gang. Did they teach you a new position as a base umpire? Please explain to me the advantages of hiding behind the pitcher with the bases loaded. The â€œBâ€ or â€œCâ€ position seems much better. One day you're going to get smacked with the ball if the pitcher is successful in ducking out of the way of a line drive.
Other than the above, I love the fact that you keep in constant communication with me by flashing signs, etc. I can tell youâ€™re in the game. I like the fact that you hustle. I like the fact that when I ask very specific questions such as â€œDid he swingâ€ or â€œDid he hold the bagâ€ you answer loud and distinctly. Thatâ€™s when we show we can be professionals.
On the matter of coaches, letâ€™s discuss your approach to them when theyâ€™re wrong in your eyes. I really think they appreciate your explanations to them when youâ€™ve got to explain the ruling. However, it might diffuse the situation if youâ€™d allow the coach to give his side of what he saw. When you start shouting at him that heâ€™s wrong before heâ€™s got a decent chance to explain himself youâ€™ve lost your credibility and worse, youâ€™ve just put yourself in the position of having to eject him because youâ€™ve backed him into a corner. :fuel:What's the record so far this season, 15 games/6 ejections so far? Coaches have lots of pride so more often than not youâ€™re gonna have to run him. That would be ok but this is the really bad part. I have to come in and clean up the mess. Iâ€™ve got to separate the two of you. Finally, when Iâ€™m trying to get him to leave the field, please donâ€™t yell at me that heâ€™s gotta go RIGHT NOW or they forfeit. Trust me, I am getting him to leave. Youâ€™re just making me look like Iâ€™m not doing my job and worse, youâ€™re making yourself look like an ass. Lastly, on this subject, donâ€™t yell at me when I ask you not to demand that he leave the field immediately. I didnâ€™t get myself ejected. He did.
Lastly, itâ€™s ok to take criticism. Iâ€™m not sure why you donâ€™t like it but thatâ€™s part of being a better umpire. You donâ€™t have to impress me with your credentials. Youâ€™ve been doing this a long time and have had some great people school you on the game. Please show it.:smachhead:
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