Interesting new partner

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Posted · Report post

As President of our HS Assc, I work often with new recruits, to gauge their abilities, and to start training them. This past season, I worked with a guy who joined us after the season had started. He came to us with "several years of HS experience". The assigner and I decided that "Joe" and I would work a middle school single game, involving two not-so-talented teams, and coached by two coaches that I have known professionally for years.

"Joe" only made two real mistakes. On every call of ball 4, he would point the batter to first base. after the third inning, I went to briefly chat with him, and I addressed that one issue. In the top of the 4th, the lead-off batter walked, and "Joe" pointed him to first. As if I had set it up, the DHC came out of the dugout and asked my partner "Why is he going to first if that pitch was a strike ?".

But the wildest thing occurred in the fifth. runner is picked off at third, and caught in a run down. "Joe" removes his mask, and sails it to the fence, hat and all ! After a brief moment of dumbfoundedness, I was able to work the rundown. This happened as our assigner stood outside watching "Joe" work. When we discussed that particular play, Joe said "I guess it was just the catcher in me coming out". I replied "You better put keep that little b*stard inside you, lol"

As we all know, umpiring isn't for everyone, and I'm afraid it may not be for Joe.....

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Posted · Report post

We'll if he's got the heart, you may have a project which can yield great results. If he doesn't have the heart, then it might be a bigger project.

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Posted · Report post

It's ok Chuck. You can use Rolando's real name.

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Posted · Report post

I agree with warren here..........as I am often teamed up with our new guys as well....Im expecting them to come in with things that need work.....often the focus of my evaluation is not how they well they do, but how well they take instruction and how much re-training that needs to be done.....

over the years, we have had guys come in highly reccomended, experienced and turn out to be absolute train wrecks......and never measure up or change....then we have had problem children with a laundry lists the length of your arm of things to correct and they have turned around and become troopers......

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Posted · Report post

Until we have more umpires than games, we need to be able to take transfers who are approachable and coachable and help them get better.

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Posted · Report post

As we all know, umpiring isn't for everyone, and I'm afraid it may not be for Joe.....

Wow - pretty harsh after one game. The pointing thing is easily correctable, it may just take a few games.

As far as heaving the mask is concerned, maybe suggest a HSM.

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Posted · Report post

I have to agree with bam. Based only on what information you have shared with us, that is a very harsh statement to make. You say he only made two main errors. While those are important problems to fix, that is not worth saying umpiring is not for him. If his judgement and rules knowledge are good, he may just need, as Stan said, "re-training." Don't count him out after one game. Two things to keep in mind 1) old habits die hard and 2) he may have also been nervous about working with a new assoc. president. Give him a few more games before you rule him out completely.

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Posted · Report post

I don't know "Joe" but I know Chuck personally. He's the local rules guru and the goto guy with mechanics/positioning/situation/rules questions. Very knowledgable. I doubt he gave us more than a fraction of the things he saw. Chuck is an Ump's Ump and I respect him very much. He's not one to pass judgement without a good reason.

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Posted · Report post

I don't know "Joe" but I know Chuck personally. He's the local rules guru and the goto guy with mechanics/positioning/situation/rules questions. Very knowledgable. I doubt he gave us more than a fraction of the things he saw. Chuck is an Ump's Ump and I respect him very much. He's not one to pass judgement without a good reason.

I don't know if 1 game is "good reason". I don't know Chuck, but simplybased on those two examples, I'd be hard-pressed to pass final judgement. There may well be more to it than just this, and if he's the yoda of umpiring that you claim him to be then perhaps we'll just have to take his word for it and throw Joe out with the bathwater.

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Posted · Report post

I don't know "Joe" but I know Chuck personally. He's the local rules guru and the goto guy with mechanics/positioning/situation/rules questions. Very knowledgable. I doubt he gave us more than a fraction of the things he saw. Chuck is an Ump's Ump and I respect him very much. He's not one to pass judgement without a good reason.

I don't know if 1 game is "good reason". I don't know Chuck, but simplybased on those two examples, I'd be hard-pressed to pass final judgement. There may well be more to it than just this, and if he's the yoda of umpiring that you claim him to be then perhaps we'll just have to take his word for it and throw Joe out with the bathwater.

Not my call. I don't do evals.

He can't be Yoda... Too tall.

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Posted · Report post

I could have, and likely should have gone deeper in my story about "Joe". My last statement was based on the body of Joe's work for the season. The meat of the story was a minute part of the one assignment I worked with him. I also evaluated him independently three other times. Once with him knowing I was present, and invisibly the other two times.

Based on the years I have worked with new umpires, with and without experience, I would wager that Joe will never rise above the middle school level, and likely won't even be very good at that. As I said, this avocation isn't for everyone.

But I sincerely hope Joe proves me wrong, and I stand ready to continue to help him. I'm not throwing him out with the bathwater yet.

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Posted · Report post

I too work with the new guys for evals and training. We got a guy that has been after me for several years to get him our group. He has"several years" experience at the HS level. In short I expected him to be a MS/JV umpire at best. I was completely right. He works three sports and sucks at all three. He's lazy and will call off games every chance he gets. Another guy came in from still another group and was told he was one of the best they had, doing post season regularly. He did almost nothing right. He is willing to learn, and I think he will, but he has so many problems he is going to be a project. So one guy I will try to help but expect nothing. The other I will also work with and I fully expect a fair amount of improvement.

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