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WilsonFlyer

Kicked Call-What do you do?

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While I'm still relatively new enough here and can still (probably LOL) get away with asking, I'd like to know some answers to this question. I'm a relatively new official but I played/caught for 15 years so I'm not new to the game, but I've always wondered about this. Let;s see who will confess with real answers.

We've all kicked calls. (Except Mav,of course. I'm pretty sure he never has! :D

Have any of you ever apologized to a coach for booting a call? After the play when the argument ensues? What about after the game? Later at another game if you didn't realize it until afterwards? Not at all?

I'm talking about both judgement (that you rethought after it happened) AND rules applications or bad interpretations.

How do YOU handle this? Do you just learn from it and move on? To me, that leaves that coach to forever wonder about your competency to do the job. Where's the happy compromise or is there even one?
 

Good luck with this one guys. :)

 

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2 minutes ago, WilsonFlyer said:

Have any of you ever apologized to a coach for booting a call? After the play when the argument ensues? What about after the game? Later at another game if you didn't realize it until afterwards? Not at all?

1) No, I don't "apologize", but I have been known to admit the mistake during an ensuing "conversation" about the call.   The manager's demeanor towards me goes a long way in determining how I will respond to him.

2) After the game?  Emphatic "NO".   

3) At another game?   No only "NO", but "HELL NO".   

4) Yes, of course, learn from it and move on.    My approach to this avocation is that I am not there to please Manager / Coach Whomever.  My goal is to please the Game of Baseball.  I am just a mere caretaker of the game for the time I am on the field.  

 

"Never make the same mistake twice.  There are plenty of new ones available."

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happened just a couple weeks ago ....

both teams good, both coaches I know well and they know me ......

visiting team coach goes out to third base for the top of the 2nd and says ...that first runner that scored was a strike out Jeff .......  and he looked away and kept walking ....I said (insert coaches name here [which I used]) ....   "you're absolutely correct" .........     he stopped, thought about it and said ....   thank you, I appreciate that! :) 

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Booted a call 2 weeks ago, a catch call that was really a no catch when I was PU. In my head, i got it right (can see the full catch and retain iny memory), stuck with it at the time, did not go for help even though the coaches were asking (we pregamed a signal if my partner had any info for me, and i correctly read by his actions that he did not see it).
Now I had a few games over the past few seasons with this head coach, and i knew by his and his assistants' reaction that i must have booted it. He stayed respectful while he let me have it. I waited two innings then went over to him and his coaches and told him that they never react like that, so i know i booted the call, and i will hang my head in shame after the game. They all laughed and said they appreciated the honesty, and gave me some good natured ribbing. Replaying it in my mind, I'm sure I took my eyes off the fielder for a split second, because i can remember seeing my partner rotating in from the A. That bit of info i missed probably caused me to boot the call.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

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28 minutes ago, WilsonFlyer said:

Have any of you ever apologized to a coach for booting a call? Apologize, no. But I will admit if I was wrong.

After the play when the argument ensues? No, because once an argument begins, it's no longer about the call, but rather about the way the coach behaves. I may be as wrong as the day is long, but the more the coach argues (and the way he argues) is going to move him closer or further from disciplinary action.

What about after the game? No.

Later at another game if you didn't realize it until afterwards? Not at all? Not at all. Ever.

 

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During a game........I have.....

 Probably the most blatant one was  0 outs, runners on second and third, a batter hit a hump backed liner over third baseman's head........I failed to clear the catcher far enough to keep the very tall catcher from momentarily blocking my view. I picked up the ball just as it bounced foul...........and called it foul........

Problem was everyone in the park, including the hot dog vendor, saw it hit fair first..........then foul.......costing offensive team at least 2 runs.

Took tons of heat over that one......but foul it stayed.   I admitted I missed it.....

After a game- Not so much

At another game- No 

(BTW baseball gods bailed me out.....batter returned to plate....next pitch doubled into the gap scoring both runs.)

 

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There are differences between an incorrect judgment call and misinterpreting a rule.

A blown call? If a coach or catcher hasn't been a jerk, I might say something during the game, like "I might have missed that one."

A rule misapplied is another story. I work several kids leagues, with different rule sets and variations within each league for different ages. Although I go over the relevant rules before each game, it gets confusing, dealing with rules arcana. About a month ago, I had a "no fake bunts" issue in a 10 y/o game. The coach argued about my ruling and lodged a protest. (He won the game, so the protest became moot.) When I checked the local rule later, I saw that I had misapplied the rule and the penalty, so I emailed the coach, whose conduct was otherwise impeccable throughout the game,  to apologize and to clarify the actual rule. He was quite gracious and said that in 25 years of coaching, no umpire had ever done such a thing and that it was a classy gesture on my part. Not something I'm likely to do often, but on occasion, it might seem the right thing to do.

 

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A few weeks ago I have the plate. I'm having a pretty good game, but the VTHC, a chronic whiner, starts chirping about a few pitches (ironically in the inning his team has committed two errors to let in the go ahead runs :rolleyes: ).  Two outs and I ring up the next home team batter on a pitch that may have been off the outside corner..(OK, it WAS off the corner). HTHC walks by on his way to the dugout and says "You let him get to you on that pitch." I looked at him and said, "No [coaches name}, not true. I've heard [VTHC's name here] plenty times before. He's not influencing anything....Maybe I missed that pitch, but [VTHC] had absolutely no influence."  He looks at me and says "I appreciate that...Oh and by the way, nice call on my guy in the 2nd inning. You were right"

 

*Side note* Earlier in the game, I called a HT runner out at the plate on a close call on a passed ball. HTHC came out and questioned me, (civily) asked me where I had the tag, I told him F1 got the tag on the shin in time.  He said something like "he got in there ahead of the tag" and returned to the coaches box.

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A judgement call, no, not really. I often admit that I could have made a mistake, but will never straight up apologize to a coach for a judgement call. At this point in my career I can't think of a time a have kicked a judgement call, that couldn't be rectified, so bad I couldn't at least make an argument that I was correct. (and yes, I  know that since I said this it will probably happen this week at regions.) There are tons of things about most judgement calls, Positioning being the main one, that will effect they way you see it compared to everyone else. When a coach comes out that often my biggest point, and normal they understand and leave.

At the plate, however, with my catcher and batters I will let them know when I missed a pitch, if the mood calls for it. If I speak to one about it i speak loud enough for both to hear. I might tell a batter that, "I should have got that one, so don't let it pass again" or the catcher, "to throw it there again and I'll give it to you."

A kicked call on a rule interpretation, I do think its our job to man up at take responsibility  for our mistake. We are suppose to be the ones that know the rules and apply them to the game. In the past I have emailed, texted, or spoke to a coach at a later time to apologize for a rule mix up. I think it make them appreciate the fact that you are going home and looking things up, and that you will hopefully not make that mistake again. 

I think the main thing with talking to coaches about mistakes is being able to judge when then appropriate time to approach them, which takes a few years to figure out. 

I'm not sure why some people are so against, letting coaches and players know that they made a mistake. To me it gives you more credit with the coaches, players and fans. (unless, you do it a ton, that changes things.)

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20 hours ago, BrianC14 said:

1) No, I don't "apologize", but I have been known to admit the mistake during an ensuing "conversation" about the call.   The manager's demeanor towards me goes a long way in determining how I will respond to him.

2) After the game?  Emphatic "NO".   

3) At another game?   No only "NO", but "HELL NO".   

4) Yes, of course, learn from it and move on.    My approach to this avocation is that I am not there to please Manager / Coach Whomever.  My goal is to please the Game of Baseball.  I am just a mere caretaker of the game for the time I am on the field.  

 

"Never make the same mistake twice.  There are plenty of new ones available."

I agree with Brian here. 

 

One other thing is things have gotten a lot better over the past few years when the focus has been changed to getting the call right and conferring with our partners, so there is less need for apologies, etc.... 

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I feel bad for all you guys who actually miss calls.  I can't imagine what that's like. :rolleyes:

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10 minutes ago, lawump said:

I feel bad for all you guys who actually miss calls.  I can't imagine what that's like. :rolleyes:

You know what we lawyers say about judges: "often wrong, never in doubt."

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Two-step process:

Step 1.  If it's fixable (partner provides info, rule misinterpreted, etc.), fix it.

Step 2.  MOVE ON.

If you find yourself thinking about the call later, REPEAT STEP 2 as needed.

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6 hours ago, CJK said:

Two-step process:

Step 1.  If it's fixable (partner provides info, rule misinterpreted, etc.), fix it.

Step 2.  MOVE ON.

If you find yourself thinking about the call later, REPEAT STEP 2 as needed.

Easier said than done. I had a game last year where I kicked a call (mostly due to poor timing), and even though it probably only delayed the run-rule by 1 batter, it still eats me up that I missed it.

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No doubt easier said than done, but most of our job is that way, right?

I just don't think it can possibly be emphasized enough that we need to be locked in for the next play and (especially during the game) can't afford to dwell on things.

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16 hours ago, lawump said:

I feel bad for all you guys who actually miss calls.  I can't imagine what that's like. :rolleyes:

Pithy and on point.  Well done, sir.

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A few years ago I brain cramped a call that was rule related and had nothing to do with judgement.  The two 12u travel teams involved were "regulars" at our complex.

I made sure to e-mail both teams as to what should have happened so there would be no confusion should this play happen again.  I received email back from both coaches.

This was from the coach who the call went against.  "I'm watching you, you are watching the boys and the boys are watching all of us, parents included.  The players must learn how to argue a point without incident, on and off the field.  I think they saw a good example of that last night.  After the game, I spoke with the boys and several made comments about the call.  I explained that you admitted to your mistake and it takes an honorable man to admit such a thing.  The boys clearly got the message, especially after I had to admit I made a coaching error by having a player bunt with 2 outs.  Live and learn, the best we can do is to try and limit our repeated mistakes.  Although this is 'Just Little League Baseball', it is a big deal to those involved and I appreciate you treating it as such.  I will pass along your comments to the boys and parents.  I promise you, I harbor no hard feelings in this matter."

This was from the coach who benefited from the call "Awesome. Thanks for the follow up. That's very humble and professional of you. I actually thought you were just feeling sorry for us since we were playing so poorly :-)."

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1 hour ago, stl_ump said:

A few years ago I brain cramped a call that was rule related and had nothing to do with judgement.  The two 12u travel teams involved were "regulars" at our complex.

I made sure to e-mail both teams as to what should have happened so there would be no confusion should this play happen again.  I received email back from both coaches.

This was from the coach who the call went against.  "I'm watching you, you are watching the boys and the boys are watching all of us, parents included.  The players must learn how to argue a point without incident, on and off the field.  I think they saw a good example of that last night.  After the game, I spoke with the boys and several made comments about the call.  I explained that you admitted to your mistake and it takes an honorable man to admit such a thing.  The boys clearly got the message, especially after I had to admit I made a coaching error by having a player bunt with 2 outs.  Live and learn, the best we can do is to try and limit our repeated mistakes.  Although this is 'Just Little League Baseball', it is a big deal to those involved and I appreciate you treating it as such.  I will pass along your comments to the boys and parents.  I promise you, I harbor no hard feelings in this matter."

This was from the coach who benefited from the call "Awesome. Thanks for the follow up. That's very humble and professional of you. I actually thought you were just feeling sorry for us since we were playing so poorly :-)."

This is what I'm Talking about. There's more to baseball then just balls, strikes, safes, and outs. there's also more to life then just baseball. Life is about something much bigger. 

Way to be an awesome role model for kids, coaches, and fans. 

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My last game... had a play that I kicked but not for the reason the coach thought... R1 and ball hit to F6. F4 coming across the bag for the throw leaps as R1 comes sliding in BUT he did not come in straight; he went to the inside of the bag... I should have grabbed FPSR but failed to do so, to my everlasting shame. What I did have was F4 off the bag so I safe signaled and banged out B/R on the tail end of the play. I did come back and signal safe, off the bag.

Coach comes out and argues not about FPS which in retrospect I should have grabbed, but that EVERYONE in the yard expected that to be a double play and that I should have called the double since the ball was there in time etc... Now R2 did not in my opinion cause F4 to leap, that was the throw from F6 so my explanation to the coach what F4 was demonstrably off the bag so I had to call what I saw.

3 pitches later after replaying all of this in my head is when the light for FPS came on... Next batter grounded out and there was no hit to the defensive team as far as scoring runs however there is no way I was going to say something to the coach in the box. If asked by the coach in the box I do not think I would have engaged in that conversation as this was a tight league game in the later innings.

 

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35 minutes ago, Rulekeep said:

Just curl up in the fetal position on home plate and cry. 

Usually I go to the right field foul pole

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2 hours ago, JSam21 said:

Usually I go to the right field foul pole

That's not nearly as dramatic. If you're not going to games intending to make the paper, why are you going at all?

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2 hours ago, Rulekeep said:

That's not nearly as dramatic. If you're not going to games intending to make the paper, why are you going at all?

Because no where else will have me?

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2 hours ago, HokieUmp said:

Because no where else will have me?

Transit companies are always hiring. 

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Pretty obvious here that we officials have some diverse opinions on this OP. (That is, all of us except Lawump :rolleyes:) For me there are several factors that feed into what my response/no response is when I know I kicked one. Most have been mentioned in this thread but I will list them beginning with most important to less import factors.

  1. What Level/Age/Class game it is
  2. Attitude demeanor of the coach/players (Never the fans)
  3. Impact on the game... Possibly very high or very little  

Ones that have already been mentioned that I employ: 

  • "If he throws it there again its a strike". Yes, loud enough for both F2 and batter to hear 
  • Occasionally use email, especially to clarify rules or interpretations
  • NEVER at the next game. Move On

 

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