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rzanew

Make the obvious call?

36 posts in this topic

Are there any times where you would make the "obvious" call, rather that what you actually see?  

In C. Childress' book "151 ways to ruin a baseball game", item #83 Make an unusual call on a routine play, Carl makes the argument that perception is reality and that "if he's gonna be out, he's gonna be out" and make the call accordingly.

My dilemma came recently in a 14U playoff game.  R2, 1 out.  B1 hits a fly ball to right-center.  R2 is tagging and goes as soon as the catch is made.  Good throw by F8, and F5 has the ball (way before R2 arrives) and puts the glove down right in front of the base.  It is expected that the runner slides into third, hitting the glove for the out.  Here, R2 slides (feet first) to the OF side of 3B, and, in my judgement, misses the glove, which never moved from in front of the bag.  The ball had beat the runner "by a mile", and I called him SAFE!  Quite the unusual call on a routine play.

Should I have made the routine call of out?  

Again from Carl: "If everyone sees an 'out', the umpire is generally better off calling the 'out'.  Only in the most unusual cases should the umpire insist on anything other than the routine call."  I'm not sure this play qualifies as one of the unusual variety.  

(Could be I've been watching too many MLB replays where the tag barely misses the runner.  Everyone thinks he should be out, but review shows the correct call to be safe!)

I'm trying as best I can to be right on every call.  Should I change the way I judge routine plays?  This one is bothering me a bit.

 

 

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Carl's book was written way before everyone had a cell phone camera.  The advice needs to be toned down a bit because of that.

And, in your play, the " R2 slides to the OF side of 3B " which makes this NOT a routine play (at least as I'm envisioning it).

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10 minutes ago, rzanew said:

Are there any times where you would make the "obvious" call, rather that what you actually see?  

In C. Childress' book "151 ways to ruin a baseball game", item #83 Make an unusual call on a routine play, Carl makes the argument that perception is reality and that "if he's gonna be out, he's gonna be out" and make the call accordingly.

My dilemma came recently in a 14U playoff game.  R2, 1 out.  B1 hits a fly ball to right-center.  R2 is tagging and goes as soon as the catch is made.  Good throw by F8, and F5 has the ball (way before R2 arrives) and puts the glove down right in front of the base.  It is expected that the runner slides into third, hitting the glove for the out.  Here, R2 slides to the OF side of 3B, and, in my judgement, misses the glove, which never moved from in front of the bag.  The ball had beat the runner "by a mile", and I called him SAFE!  Quite the unusual call on a routine play.

Should I have made the routine call of out?  

Again from Carl: "If everyone sees an 'out', the umpire is generally better off calling the 'out'.  Only in the most unusual cases should the umpire insist on anything other than the routine call."  I'm not sure this play qualifies as one of the unusual variety.  

(Could be I've been watching too many MLB replays where the tag barely misses the runner.  Everyone thinks he should be out, but review shows the correct call to be safe!)

I'm trying as best I can to be right on every call.  Should I change the way I judge routine plays?  This one is bothering me a bit.

 

 

 

Since you quote "151 ways to ruin a baseball game," was your game ruined?  Did you have an argument? Did you have an extended argument?  If your game was NOT ruined, then maybe the "out" call wasn't expected.

 

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15 minutes ago, lawump said:

 

Since you quote "151 ways to ruin a baseball game," was your game ruined?  Did you have an argument? Did you have an extended argument?  If your game was NOT ruined, then maybe the "out" call wasn't expected.

 

It was a close game, with each team struggling to get runs in.  We ended up tied after 6 innings, and played 9 until the home team won with a walk off.  Brief discussion with HTHC over the call.  They accepted it and moved on.

Had I called the out, we would have been done an hour earlier, with home team winning.

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42 minutes ago, rzanew said:

Are there any times where you would make the "obvious" call, rather that what you actually see?  

........  Here, R2 slides (feet first) to the OF side of 3B, and, in my judgement, misses the glove, which never moved from in front of the bag.  The ball had beat the runner "by a mile", and I called him SAFE!  Quite the unusual call on a routine play. .......

 

 

 

No, he got the tag on him.   Out.

 

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5 minutes ago, BrianC14 said:

No, he got the tag on him.   Out.

 

Are we to read your post to say you make the out call when you see the tag was missed?

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4 minutes ago, CJK said:

Call what you see.  ALWAYS call what you see.  Your integrity depends on it.

True, but only look for what you need to see.

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True, but only look for what you need to see.

His fingernail touch the bag a 1/5 of an inch to the left of the front left of the bag 1/8 of a second before the lace of the pinky fingers of the glove touched his ear lob on the right side about a 1/4 of the way up the ear after his helmet fell off rounding second of course.

How could you miss that!!!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

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32 minutes ago, stkjock said:

Are we to read your post to say you make the out call when you see the tag was missed?

He didn't miss the tag.   :)

Video killed the neighborhood play for MLB, remember?    

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6 minutes ago, BrianC14 said:

He didn't miss the tag.   :)

Video killed the neighborhood play for MLB, remember?    

The OP says the tag was missed......

 

yes i remember, it also killed the radio star......

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18 minutes ago, BrianC14 said:

Video killed the neighborhood play for MLB, remember?    

I thought video killed the radio star..........

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9 hours ago, rzanew said:

Are there any times where you would make the "obvious" call, rather that what you actually see?  

In C. Childress' book "151 ways to ruin a baseball game", item #83 Make an unusual call on a routine play, Carl makes the argument that perception is reality and that "if he's gonna be out, he's gonna be out" and make the call accordingly.

My dilemma came recently in a 14U playoff game.  R2, 1 out.  B1 hits a fly ball to right-center.  R2 is tagging and goes as soon as the catch is made.  Good throw by F8, and F5 has the ball (way before R2 arrives) and puts the glove down right in front of the base.  It is expected that the runner slides into third, hitting the glove for the out.  Here, R2 slides (feet first) to the OF side of 3B, and, in my judgement, misses the glove, which never moved from in front of the bag.  The ball had beat the runner "by a mile", and I called him SAFE!  Quite the unusual call on a routine play.

Should I have made the routine call of out?  

Again from Carl: "If everyone sees an 'out', the umpire is generally better off calling the 'out'.  Only in the most unusual cases should the umpire insist on anything other than the routine call."  I'm not sure this play qualifies as one of the unusual variety.  

(Could be I've been watching too many MLB replays where the tag barely misses the runner.  Everyone thinks he should be out, but review shows the correct call to be safe!)

I'm trying as best I can to be right on every call.  Should I change the way I judge routine plays?  This one is bothering me a bit.

 

 

You are hired and paid money to officiate baseball games, which includes applying your skill, knowledge and judgement. Why would you forsake all the time and effort you put in to learning, improving and making the time in your schedule to be an umpire if you're just going to make calls without using any of the skills, knowledge and judgement you've been hired to apply? If you only make calls you believe are "expected," why are you on the field?

It makes no sense to me. You're there to make calls that, at times, can be difficult and/or confusing.

In other words, it's your job. Do it.

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13 hours ago, BrianC14 said:

How many of you give the "neighborhood play"?

 

I only do games under FED and modified OBR, and since both rule sets prohibit illegal slides, there isn't the need for the neighborhood play, like there was in the not-too-distant MLB days. So if the fielder is off the bag, I call it. Having said that, I can't recall a time when I've seen the neighborhood play, per se. Fielders are either on the bag or off it.

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20 hours ago, rzanew said:

My dilemma came recently in a 14U playoff game.  R2, 1 out.  B1 hits a fly ball to right-center.  R2 is tagging and goes as soon as the catch is made.  Good throw by F8, and F5 has the ball (way before R2 arrives) and puts the glove down right in front of the base.  It is expected that the runner slides into third, hitting the glove for the out.  Here, R2 slides (feet first) to the OF side of 3B, and, in my judgement, misses the glove, which never moved from in front of the bag.  The ball had beat the runner "by a mile", and I called him SAFE!  Quite the unusual call on a routine play.

Should I have made the routine call of out?  

I'm trying as best I can to be right on every call.  Should I change the way I judge routine plays?  This one is bothering me a bit.

Story time! I can relate exactly to what you're experiencing. Please understand the context – in this story, I'm a 2nd (or 3rd) year umpire, without an association, and lacking any substantial school or camp training at that time (that came in years 5 and 6).

16U Dev baseball, OBR played by high school kids as tuning work after the summer, so Fall Ball. These are the kids who escaped football (wise choice), and are staying active. High School Head Coaches are not allowed in the dugouts, but may attend as spectators, while an assistant coach or a parent may act as a glorified bench coordinator. In essence, there shouldn't really be a need for a "coach" to come out of the dugout to raise an issue. Today, at this game, the League Director (we'll call him K) is the bench coach for the Blue Jays. My partner – and this is important – is a crusty veteran who, as I came to find out over the years – has a reputation, a persona, that is well-known among umpires and coaches alike for what you're about to read. We're call him Dub.

We're in the later innings, and Dub is PU, calling anything that gets anywhere near the plate a strike (part of his known modus operandi). We have R2, I'm in C, and we have a steal attempt of 3B by the Angels. I get myself in optimum position, see the slide and the reception of the ball... surely, the ball beats the runner there, but the runner foot-slides to the outfield side of 3B, and I don't see the tag touching the runner until that foot is already contacting the bag. I come up with "Safe!". 

"Coach" K comes jogging out of the dugout, directly towards 3B. For a moment, I thought there was an injury to F5. K instead approaches me and says, "Ball beat him there. Tag went down... how is it he's safe?" I replied with, "Runner went to the backside of the bag, tag didn't get him in time." K gives me a puzzled look, then says, "Eh, don't know about that, could you go for help?" Now, mind you, I'm a 2-3 year umpire, and a very affable guy, with the LD (the guy who signs my paychecks) asking me to consult with my partner. So I humored K and went down to ask my partner... 

... who is bolted behind home plate.

"Dub, I've got a slide to the backside of the base before the tag. What did you see?" Dub looks past me, towards 3B, then back to me and says, "Are you asking me to take the call?"

"Uhh, nooo, I'm asking you what you saw."

"Not how this works, if I'm telling you what I saw, then I'm taking the call", Dub stated. I was a novice umpire, weaned on the crap-sauce attitude of "I'm Plate Umpire, I'm the one in charge!", and not knowing how appeals and going-for-help really worked, so I conceded to Dub...

"He's oooouuuuut!", thundered Dub. I felt like a human shish-ka-bob, a lantern-post stabbed into my back. And as Coach K trotted back to the dugout, I couldn't help but notice this wry smirk on his face, as if he knew Dub was going to call it that way.

Oh sure, the OT "Coach" raised a bit of a gripe, but Dub acerbically stamped that out, and not much protest was pushed when the LD is the one who pulled the sham.

I went back to A, and contemplated my existence and purpose for awhile...

Needless to say, experiences like this one have caused me to bristle at the phrase, "That's my call!", especially uttered from old, stubborn, immobile powermongers stagnating behind the plate.

Call what you see and what you judge it to be. Don't let anyone's vocal input influence your processing and judgement of the play. 

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23 minutes ago, MadMax said:

Story time! I can relate exactly to what you're experiencing. Please understand the context – in this story, I'm a 2nd (or 3rd) year umpire, without an association, and lacking any substantial school or camp training at that time (that came in years 5 and 6).

16U Dev baseball, OBR played by high school kids as tuning work after the summer, so Fall Ball. These are the kids who escaped football (wise choice), and are staying active. High School Head Coaches are not allowed in the dugouts, but may attend as spectators, while an assistant coach or a parent may act as a glorified bench coordinator. In essence, there shouldn't really be a need for a "coach" to come out of the dugout to raise an issue. Today, at this game, the League Director (we'll call him K) is the bench coach for the Blue Jays. My partner – and this is important – is a crusty veteran who, as I came to find out over the years – has a reputation, a persona, that is well-known among umpires and coaches alike for what you're about to read. We're call him Dub.

We're in the later innings, and Dub is PU, calling anything that gets anywhere near the plate a strike (part of his known modus operandi). We have R2, I'm in C, and we have a steal attempt of 3B by the Angels. I get myself in optimum position, see the slide and the reception of the ball... surely, the ball beats the runner there, but the runner foot-slides to the outfield side of 3B, and I don't see the tag touching the runner until that foot is already contacting the bag. I come up with "Safe!". 

"Coach" K comes jogging out of the dugout, directly towards 3B. For a moment, I thought there was an injury to F5. K instead approaches me and says, "Ball beat him there. Tag went down... how is it he's safe?" I replied with, "Runner went to the backside of the bag, tag didn't get him in time." K gives me a puzzled look, then says, "Eh, don't know about that, could you go for help?" Now, mind you, I'm a 2-3 year umpire, and a very affable guy, with the LD (the guy who signs my paychecks) asking me to consult with my partner. So I humored K and went down to ask my partner... 

... who is bolted behind home plate.

"Dub, I've got a slide to the backside of the base before the tag. What did you see?" Dub looks past me, towards 3B, then back to me and says, "Are you asking me to take the call?"

"Uhh, nooo, I'm asking you what you saw."

"Not how this works, if I'm telling you what I saw, then I'm taking the call", Dub stated. I was a novice umpire, weaned on the crap-sauce attitude of "I'm Plate Umpire, I'm the one in charge!", and not knowing how appeals and going-for-help really worked, so I conceded to Dub...

"He's oooouuuuut!", thundered Dub. I felt like a human shish-ka-bob, a lantern-post stabbed into my back. And as Coach K trotted back to the dugout, I couldn't help but notice this wry smirk on his face, as if he knew Dub was going to call it that way.

Oh sure, the OT "Coach" raised a bit of a gripe, but Dub acerbically stamped that out, and not much protest was pushed when the LD is the one who pulled the sham.

I went back to A, and contemplated my existence and purpose for awhile...

Needless to say, experiences like this one have caused me to bristle at the phrase, "That's my call!", especially uttered from old, stubborn, immobile powermongers stagnating behind the plate.

Call what you see and what you judge it to be. Don't let anyone's vocal input influence your processing and judgement of the play. 

This year I was BU for a varsity scrimmage. R1, I'm in B. Runner goes. Throw comes down in plenty of time. R1 goes in head-first and short-arms the bag with his left, tagging it with his right. The tag missed. I call safe. Out comes the coach.

"The ball was there in time!"

"I know, but he missed the tag."

In disbelief, he asked, "How did he miss the tag?!"

"You'll have to ask your player. He didn't tag him."

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1 hour ago, MadMax said:

Story time! I can relate exactly to what you're experiencing. Please understand the context – in this story, I'm a 2nd (or 3rd) year umpire, without an association, and lacking any substantial school or camp training at that time (that came in years 5 and 6).

16U Dev baseball, OBR played by high school kids as tuning work after the summer, so Fall Ball. These are the kids who escaped football (wise choice), and are staying active. High School Head Coaches are not allowed in the dugouts, but may attend as spectators, while an assistant coach or a parent may act as a glorified bench coordinator. In essence, there shouldn't really be a need for a "coach" to come out of the dugout to raise an issue. Today, at this game, the League Director (we'll call him K) is the bench coach for the Blue Jays. My partner – and this is important – is a crusty veteran who, as I came to find out over the years – has a reputation, a persona, that is well-known among umpires and coaches alike for what you're about to read. We're call him Dub.

We're in the later innings, and Dub is PU, calling anything that gets anywhere near the plate a strike (part of his known modus operandi). We have R2, I'm in C, and we have a steal attempt of 3B by the Angels. I get myself in optimum position, see the slide and the reception of the ball... surely, the ball beats the runner there, but the runner foot-slides to the outfield side of 3B, and I don't see the tag touching the runner until that foot is already contacting the bag. I come up with "Safe!". 

"Coach" K comes jogging out of the dugout, directly towards 3B. For a moment, I thought there was an injury to F5. K instead approaches me and says, "Ball beat him there. Tag went down... how is it he's safe?" I replied with, "Runner went to the backside of the bag, tag didn't get him in time." K gives me a puzzled look, then says, "Eh, don't know about that, could you go for help?" Now, mind you, I'm a 2-3 year umpire, and a very affable guy, with the LD (the guy who signs my paychecks) asking me to consult with my partner. So I humored K and went down to ask my partner... 

... who is bolted behind home plate.

"Dub, I've got a slide to the backside of the base before the tag. What did you see?" Dub looks past me, towards 3B, then back to me and says, "Are you asking me to take the call?"

"Uhh, nooo, I'm asking you what you saw."

"Not how this works, if I'm telling you what I saw, then I'm taking the call", Dub stated. I was a novice umpire, weaned on the crap-sauce attitude of "I'm Plate Umpire, I'm the one in charge!", and not knowing how appeals and going-for-help really worked, so I conceded to Dub...

"He's oooouuuuut!", thundered Dub. I felt like a human shish-ka-bob, a lantern-post stabbed into my back. And as Coach K trotted back to the dugout, I couldn't help but notice this wry smirk on his face, as if he knew Dub was going to call it that way.

Oh sure, the OT "Coach" raised a bit of a gripe, but Dub acerbically stamped that out, and not much protest was pushed when the LD is the one who pulled the sham.

I went back to A, and contemplated my existence and purpose for awhile...

Needless to say, experiences like this one have caused me to bristle at the phrase, "That's my call!", especially uttered from old, stubborn, immobile powermongers stagnating behind the plate.

Call what you see and what you judge it to be. Don't let anyone's vocal input influence your processing and judgement of the play. 

So am I safe in saying that "Dub" is also known as Adam Henry ?     I see your story as more of a lesson (and it's a good one, and useful lesson) in standing up for your call.    In your shoes, at that point in your career, I would also have asked "Dub" what he saw, in order to placate the coach  (the "we want to get the call right" ideal).   These days, I'll politely tell the coach that there is no way I'm asking for help for someone who is 130 feet away from the play.   "Skip, I gave you what I got.  Let's play ball."   The situation you were in surely sucks, given the business relationship, but it says more about the 'coach' who effectively had you steamrolled.   

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8 hours ago, BrianC14 said:

"Skip, I gave you what I got.  Let's play ball."   The situation you were in surely sucks, given the business relationship, but it says more about the 'coach' who effectively had you steamrolled.   

I don't know umpiring from a generational perspective, so I can't say how the culture surrounding it has changed. I hope, though, that as guys come into the profession, the practice of calling what you see rather than what someone thinks you should call forces out the old guard's expectations. It reminds me of the time a young Melky Cabrera robbed Manny Ramirez of a home run. As Melky was trotting off the field, Ramirez said to him, "Hey, you've got to let that ball go out."

Cabrera said, "No, I'm trying to win."

While we're not trying to win anything, our integrity demands we use all our senses, training, skill and experience to call what we see.

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8 minutes ago, ElkOil said:

I don't know umpiring from a generational perspective, so I can't say how the culture surrounding it has changed. I hope, though, that as guys come into the profession, the practice of calling what you see rather than what someone thinks you should call forces out the old guard's expectations. It reminds me of the time a young Melky Cabrera robbed Manny Ramirez of a home run. As Melky was trotting off the field, Ramirez said to him, "Hey, you've got to let that ball go out."

Cabrera said, "No, I'm trying to win."

While we're not trying to win anything, our integrity demands we use all our senses, training, skill and experience to call what we see.

Did you just call me old?

weweresoldiers9.JPG

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I'll say this. I agree call what you see. However, if you have a play like the OP, and you have a runner making a great swim move or hook slide to the back of the bag, indeed, call what you see.....and come up BIG with the call... SAFE...MISSED THE TAG!! or something similar.

Had a game this week and my neophyte BU made a safe call on a  pick off at1B. Kid did a great swim move, and got back in, even though the throw beat him. He got a little crap from the OHC. In our post game, he told me he was 100% sure there was no tag, the swim move was made perfect. I complemented him on calling what he saw, but added, if he came up big on the call, he may have prevented the confrontation with the OHC.

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27 minutes ago, BrianC14 said:

Did you just call me old?

weweresoldiers9.JPG

I don't know. Did I? I'm not getting the Plumley reference. Didn't see the film.

Anyhoo... how old are you?

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6 hours ago, ElkOil said:

I don't know. Did I? I'm not getting the Plumley reference. Didn't see the film.

Anyhoo... how old are you?

I will refer to this:

"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were? "

- Satchel Paige 

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The Plumley reference didn't include a fairly pointed (some might think aggressive) .... advisement.   It has more to do with the lessons of the past that shouldn't be tossed away wholesale just because something else is "new".

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