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MadMax

Appeal vs. Force, Scoring, and Why Someone Needs to Leave

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This could easily be filed under Ejections, but the Situation is one that novice umpires are more likely to find themselves, thus I'll file it here...

R1, R3, 1 out, bottom of 3rd between Gold team (Visitor) and Red team (Home). 18U tournament championship. I'm PU, and my BU is (properly) in B. Fly ball to RF, caught by F9. R1 was going on the pitch, and by the time of the catch, is standing on 2B. R3 properly tags, scampers home, and touches HP. Meanwhile, R1 is still standing on 2B, already taking his batting gloves off, already conceding that he's not going to beat a throw back to 1B. F9, F4, F6 and F3 are all gloating already, and F9 throws a lazy lob to F3, some 6 feet off the bag at 1B, who turns and lazily walks over to touch 1B... at least 3-4 seconds after R3 had touched HP. My BU registers the Out, and I spin on my heel towards HP and the scorekeeper's desk at the backstop and declare, "Score that run!"

The entirety of the 1BS dugout comes un-freakin'-glued.

Gold HC is a Varsity HC for an area HS, while his "AC" is actually the travel team's true HC and director (but decided to waive coming to the plate meeting). I have both of them, plus the F1 and F3, in my close proximity, beseeching me as to why that run scores.

"It's a force out!", is the repeated statement.
"Not a force out, Gold (subbed for Gold HC's real first name, which I knew well). It's a time-play appeal. Caught fly ball retired Batter-runner for the second out. Force is off," I found myself saying more than a few times.
"But the runner has to go back, so it's a force! You can't score when the third out is at first base!"
"Gold, you know how this works!", I said, trying to reference his longstanding tenure at the local HS Varsity program, "the Batter-runner is removed from the equation when your RF'er caught the fly ball for the 2nd out. Not a force out any more. The runner doesn't have to go back, but you can put him out on an appeal, by touching 1B with the ball..."
"Which my first baseman did!"
"Right. After the runner from third scored!"
... "But you're wrong! That doesn't matter!"...
"Gold! You _know_ how this works..."

Yeah, a bit intense, but civil, at least. I wasn't concerned about the behavior of any on-field participants, despite them being rather thick-skulled about it. No, instead, the discussion was interrupted by a fan/parent banging on the fence, genuflecting and giving me his opinion. Suddenly, he rips off an expletive, in Spanish, and ends it with, "... Blue!". It was so loud, the Red parents and fans all recoiled in shock, no doubt most of them were bilingual and knew what was said.

I snapped my gaze towards the fan, and said, "Sir, I may not know Spanish, but I don't need that!". I then turned to find Gold HC, and said, "Gold, I need you to quiet your fan. That fan must be quiet." While I'm addressing Gold, the Facilities Manager of the complex we're playing at, with the TD's Field Marshal in tow, is audibly telling the fan, "Sir, you have to leave right now." Of course, the fan doesn't take the FM seriously, and sits back down, brooding and defiant. I get Gold's assurance he'll deal with the fan, but when I walk to the HP circle to recommence the ball game, I notice the guy still sitting there! Having heard the FM, I find the FM through the fence, and ask, "Didn't you direct him to leave?" "Yeah, we did." I locate the fan again, point right at him, and say, "You're done! Please leave.", and I get the ol' double-deuce for my efforts.

Between Innings, the two FMs catch up with me through the fence. The Facilities Manager remarks, "Wanna know what he called you? A M'er-F'er", while the Field Marshal opines, "I don't know what their problem is. That rule is painfully obvious. Good thing you're on this game, because I don't think many guys would have caught that, or managed that very well."

So my Ejection Total for Participants still stays intact at 1, but now I have to start a new column on the chart for fans.

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Everything handled well.

 

Except, stay out of the stands, you have no jurisdiction in the stands.

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Formally, that umpire required game management to remove a fan from the facility. We have the jurisdiction to stop the game and refuse to resume until order is regained.

He just decided to do it with a little more show. Did Gil give him credit for that ejection? Haha

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5 minutes ago, ALStripes17 said:


Formally, that umpire required game management to remove a fan from the facility. We have the jurisdiction to stop the game and refuse to resume until order is regained.

He just decided to do it with a little more show. Did Gil give him credit for that ejection? Haha
 

so by the transitive property umpire can eject a fan....  ;)

 

:cheers:

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so by the transitive property umpire can eject a fan....  
 
:cheers:

Now you're speaking my language.

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Thanks for posting this, it makes me laugh every time l hear it. You know I think we shouldn't provoke the monkeys on the other side of the fence. I think I'd have ejected the Gold HC prior to confronting the fan because I'm not sure of my authority when it extends to fans.

 

Regarding your situation, most of the time when you are as confident as I know you were with your ruling and can explain it clearly and consistently, the good baseball guys we have for coaches here are going to figure you're right. The fans? Not so much, they can let how they want things to be interfere with rational thought.

 

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4 hours ago, catsbackr said:

Except, stay out of the stands, you have no jurisdiction in the stands.

I coached when my son played 14U ball. In that league the umpires absolutely do have authority to eject fans. I saw it happen when a parent in the stands loudly questioned a strike call.

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Show me in the rule book where the umpire has authority over the stands.

 

Mussgrass, in your case, I believe you completely, but your umpires had zero jurisdiction in the stands.  None.  They just saw fit to insert themselves because a fan said something about one of their calls.  Rabbit ears?  Ask yourself this, would a game ever be completed if we (umpires) stopped the game to address every fan that objected to one of our calls?

 

We have ZERO jurisdiction in the stands.

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1 hour ago, catsbackr said:

Show me in the rule book where the umpire has authority over the stands.

 

Mussgrass, in your case, I believe you completely, but your umpires had zero jurisdiction in the stands.  None.  They just saw fit to insert themselves because a fan said something about one of their calls.  Rabbit ears?  Ask yourself this, would a game ever be completed if we (umpires) stopped the game to address every fan that objected to one of our calls?

 

We have ZERO jurisdiction in the stands.

It's a league administration issue, not a playing rule, so you (probably) won't find it in the rules book.  Many (primarily youth and recreational) leagues / tournaments do give this authority to the umpires (perhaps / often shared with others).  If yours doesn't, then, yes, you should proceed with caution when doing so -- but sometimes (perhaps rarely), it's the best course of action.

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1 hour ago, catsbackr said:

Show me in the rule book where the umpire has authority over the stands.

 

Mussgrass, in your case, I believe you completely, but your umpires had zero jurisdiction in the stands.  None.  They just saw fit to insert themselves because a fan said something about one of their calls.  Rabbit ears?  Ask yourself this, would a game ever be completed if we (umpires) stopped the game to address every fan that objected to one of our calls?

 

We have ZERO jurisdiction in the stands.

Jurisdiction and authority can come from administration, regulation and opinion.  If someone believes you have authority, you do.

 

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3 hours ago, noumpere said:

It's a league administration issue, not a playing rule, so you (probably) won't find it in the rules book.  Many (primarily youth and recreational) leagues / tournaments do give this authority to the umpires (perhaps / often shared with others).  If yours doesn't, then, yes, you should proceed with caution when doing so -- but sometimes (perhaps rarely), it's the best course of action.

Yep. Here in the sticks, there's often not any other administrator on-site other than the umpire. By default, the umpire gets to take care of this kind of business.

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6 hours ago, catsbackr said:

Show me in the rule book where the umpire has authority over the stands.

 

Mussgrass, in your case, I believe you completely, but your umpires had zero jurisdiction in the stands.  None.  They just saw fit to insert themselves because a fan said something about one of their calls.  Rabbit ears?  Ask yourself this, would a game ever be completed if we (umpires) stopped the game to address every fan that objected to one of our calls?

 

We have ZERO jurisdiction in the stands.

Ah, with all due respect, not necessarily; see FED 10.2.2 and the old standby OBR 8.01(c), NCAA also has coverage.

In fact I sat in the stands at Progressive Field on July 4 when crew chief Joe West stopped the Indians-Padres game, called a policeman out on the field and demanded a fan who reached over the fence to snag a bouncing fair ball be ejected. The policeman did exactly what was requested of him. If I saw things correctly it wasn't much of reach over the railing to get the ball, but whether he leaned all the way over the fence to the ground to trap the ball or not, the umpire demanded his ejection and got it. 

Obviously for us on the HS/college/summer ball level it is not a good idea to acknowledge the fans, even when they are being abusive. IN FED it is our job to call game management and direct a person to be removed from the vicinity of the field if they are causing problems in the stands. What if game management is not available?

Last week I was the PU in a high school league summer game.  A man didn't like a pitch call I made while he sat in the stands. The pitch was so far inside at waist level it almost doubled the batter over. I was called a cheater and other things, and my base partner saw who it was. The next inning on a wacker play at 2B on a Force the same man started on my partner, with 4 letter words included, and my base partner correctly dumped him. Excuse me; that is wrong, My base partner recognized the man did not want to stay and watch the game so he fulfilled the man's request to eject himself. :cheers:

The point of the matter is there are times when an umpire has an obligation to take care of fans in the stands, especially in lower levels of baseball or when game management is not available. I'm sorry I've seen too many young umpires get trashed so badly by people in the stands or by coaches that once they leave that game site they don;t come back. And if Baseball is a game to teach kids how to act and to allow them to have fun then it is an obligation of an umpire to eject people.

Are you really saying that an umpire who hears a fan calling them or someone on the field an MF in a HS summer game can simply get away with it? If so, why are we playing Baseball? What are we teaching or condoning?  :no:

 

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For what it's worth, Max didn't tell the guy to leave. At least, not initially. The Field Marshal was the one who told the fan to kick rocks, and it's his field. The fan clearly didn't respect the demand of the FM, but Max provided some "authority" and repeated the instructions for the fan to leave. Even though the Field Marshal had the power to remove the fan, it carried some extra weight coming from the umpire. :2cents:

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17 hours ago, catsbackr said:

Show me in the rule book where the umpire has authority over the stands.

 

Mussgrass, in your case, I believe you completely, but your umpires had zero jurisdiction in the stands.  None.  They just saw fit to insert themselves because a fan said something about one of their calls.  Rabbit ears?  Ask yourself this, would a game ever be completed if we (umpires) stopped the game to address every fan that objected to one of our calls?

 

We have ZERO jurisdiction in the stands.

It is actually in the league rules. They use FED rules with some mods.

Any player, manager, coach, fan, who is ejected from a game by an umpire will be penalized $50 and suspended for the next game (not allowed at game) on the 1st occurrence (players not fined); Penalties increase for additional occurrences; Fines are paid by the Organization of which the person ejected is a member; Organizations can decide whether to be reimbursed for the fine from the member who was penalized.

It probably helps that the league makes money off of the ejections.

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On 7/7/2017 at 7:01 AM, catsbackr said:

Everything handled well.

 

Except, stay out of the stands, you have no jurisdiction in the stands.

Oh really?  Ask Bob Davidson  (MLB Retired)

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On 7/7/2017 at 9:20 AM, stkjock said:

 

On 7/8/2017 at 10:29 PM, BrianC14 said:

Oh really?  Ask Bob Davidson  (MLB Retired)

 

6 minutes ago, catsbackr said:

Yeah, I don't think Bob went into the stands and dumped a fan.

Hmmm, I think he sort of did. 

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Here is my problem with not talking to fans or ejecting them. We have the 3 P's to eject a coach so why should the 3 P's not be also for the fans? A coach says you suck, your zone is a joke and you are horrible he is ejected but a fence protects a fan? I have asked the HC several times to please speak with his fans about sportsmanship and reminded him he is responsible for his players, coaches and fans, and it usually works but not really fair to the coach. I had a guy behind plate one time crying every pitch but I caught the UIC between innings and he showed him the gate after standing there hearing how he was talking to me. The UIC told me after the game the guy was drunk out of his mind. I would have no problem dumping a fan but just never had that fan that gave me a real reason.  

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I think to say we have "no jurisdiction" is clearly false.  But I also think it is imperative to use that jurisdiction carefully. The higher levels I go the less I react to what fans say.  

I was doing a 15U tournament game a few months ago.  AA level at best.  Many fans not knowing rules or appropriate demeanor.  Early in the game there were a few bangers on the bases that went against Team A.  Coaches were theatrical but not very verbal.  Fans were more verbal.  All of it was ignored.  Then in the late innings of what was a tight game.  I rang a kid up on a pitch on the inside corner for Team A.  Coach asked where the pitch was, fans complained quite loudly.  Answered the coach with "in the strike zone" and ignored the fans. A few pitches later more chirps from the fans, and some unnecessary body language from one of the players.  Then another pitch comes in fat of the plate right at the news I call a strike and a fan screams "You've got to be kidding me".  I call time and tell the coach that he needed to control his fans because if I hear anymore he will be ejected (this has never failed to work for me.  Fans do not want to be responsible for the coach getting ejected).  The coach argued that he doesn't have to control his fans and that they can say anything they wanted and I was just to ignore them.  I explained that allowing their conduct was starting to effect the conduct of the players and I was not going to allow them to cause the game to get out of control.  He adamantly disagreed with me, but it didn't matter as the fans got the message and shut up.

The coach came up to me after the game and said "you know you are a really good umpire but you will never umpire at any level higher than this is you don't learn to ignore the fans". I simply said I do umpire at level higher than this.  And most often do ignore those fans.  But it is my job to promote sportsmanship and control the game.  Your fans were impacting the game and the conduct of the players.  At higher levels players are not so easily influenced by what their parents and the fans say.

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Yeah, I pretty much disagree with almost this entire post.

 

You call a pitch a strike, a fan has a comment, and you stop the game, bring the coach in and tell him to control his fans?  Then you tell the coach that unless he controls his fans, he will be ejected?  Now you're just making up rules.

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After an umpire was assaulted by a fan, Oregon passed law that does give the umpire the ability to remove fans. A couple years ago, we had 3 squad cars show up to a game to aid in the removal process. Every year, it's the first thing listed for inter-league rules set forth by our LL District. 

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48 minutes ago, Mister B said:

After an umpire was assaulted by a fan, Oregon passed law that does give the umpire the ability to remove fans. A couple years ago, we had 3 squad cars show up to a game to aid in the removal process. Every year, it's the first thing listed for inter-league rules set forth by our LL District. 

Really?  In Little League?

 

I stand corrected.  Maybe I should have prefaced my posts with "in the levels I work..."

 

Like I said, I stand corrected.

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IIRC, the umpire was assaulted after a HS game. We did have the squad cars at a LL game, although it was non-violent. A parent let loose a barrage of 4-letter love words on the umpire after a close call at HP. The umpire, then asked the parent to leave, the coaches asked the parent to leave and then finally, the cops got the parent to leave. 

To his credit, the umpired finished the game explaining to the kids that he was there so they could play baseball, and that language like that has no place at a LL game. 

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On ‎07‎/‎07‎/‎2017 at 3:10 PM, catsbackr said:

Show me in the rule book where the umpire has authority over the stands.

 

We have ZERO jurisdiction in the stands.

That's hilarious.

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