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Ethics: Informing Ump of Incorrect Call To Aid Opponent?

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Guest NJ Coach   
Guest NJ Coach

9u summer league game last evening.  Only 1 ump (carded/HP). Runner on first base. Batter swings and ball bounces off the plate and back into him, then ball trickles a few feet toward pitcher.  Obvious foul ball to almost everyone except the umpire, who did not see the ball deflect off the batter.

Hitter doesn't run, R1 doesn't run...catcher picks up ball and throws back to pitcher.  Hearing no call by the umpire the defensive team's coach shouts to pitcher to throw to second base.   R1 is called out by PU on the force.

Batting team manager asks defense mgr to basically "do the right thing" and inform the ump it was a foul ball.  Defense mgr declines, saying it's not his responsibility to help the umpire in that spot, thereby also helping the other team.

What is "the right thing to do" in that situation, keeping in mind this is a 9u game ?

 

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Rich Ives    956
3 minutes ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

9u summer league game last evening.  Only 1 ump (carded/HP). Runner on first base. Batter swings and ball bounces off the plate and back into him, then ball trickles a few feet toward pitcher.  Obvious foul ball to almost everyone except the umpire, who did not see the ball deflect off the batter.

Hitter doesn't run, R1 doesn't run...catcher picks up ball and throws back to pitcher.  Hearing no call by the umpire the defensive team's coach shouts to pitcher to throw to second base.   R1 is called out by PU on the force.

Batting team manager asks defense mgr to basically "do the right thing" and inform the ump it was a foul ball.  Defense mgr declines, saying it's not his responsibility to help the umpire in that spot, thereby also helping the other team.

What is "the right thing to do" in that situation, keeping in mind this is a 9u game ?

 

Would you tell the ump he was wrong on any other play - like if your catcher missed a tag on the other team's winning run but the umpire called the runner out?  Would you tell him a HR your player hit was really foul.

Stuff happens. Play the bounce.

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ALStripes17    556
9u summer league game last evening.  Only 1 ump (carded/HP). Runner on first base. Batter swings and ball bounces off the plate and back into him, then ball trickles a few feet toward pitcher.  Obvious foul ball to almost everyone except the umpire, who did not see the ball deflect off the batter.
Hitter doesn't run, R1 doesn't run...catcher picks up ball and throws back to pitcher.  Hearing no call by the umpire the defensive team's coach shouts to pitcher to throw to second base.   R1 is called out by PU on the force.
Batting team manager asks defense mgr to basically "do the right thing" and inform the ump it was a foul ball.  Defense mgr declines, saying it's not his responsibility to help the umpire in that spot, thereby also helping the other team.
What is "the right thing to do" in that situation, keeping in mind this is a 9u game ?
 

Coaches wanna help us in every other spot. At this point, the umpire should just let it lie. Adults getting into that sort of argument across the field is still none of my business if it doesnt take away from the game continuing.

Sounds like a good teachable life moment for those 9U youngsters, as is any other call where a team feels/is wronged.

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CJK    80

If everybody involved would tell the truth and do the right thing, they wouldn't need an umpire in the first place.

But they won't, so here we are.

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Guest NJ Coach   
Guest NJ Coach

I was a spectator at this 9u game but noted the dialogue between managers on that play. 

Myself, I do manage an 8u team and I do inform both the other manager and the 1 ump we get for each game that as a base coach I will assist the ump and correct any obviously wrong calls at the expense of my own team if need be.   It's certainly not cheating to benefit from a bad call, but I think if the call is clearly wrong...it should be corrected even if by the team that benefited from it.

 

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maven    3,880

The rules of baseball do not require "ethical" behavior. A coach who recommended that an umpire change a call against his team's interest might be a good sport.

But umpires have to rule on what they perceive, not take a poll of all those present. Sometimes we miss one. Oh well.

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Guest NJ Coach   
Guest NJ Coach

That's a very good distinction....baseball rules don't require ethics but all youth organizations and leagues do emphasize sportsmanship.  I'll have to remember that.

 

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Rich Ives    956
28 minutes ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

Myself, I do manage an 8u team and I do inform both the other manager and the 1 ump we get for each game that as a base coach I will assist the ump and correct any obviously wrong calls at the expense of my own team if need be.   It's certainly not cheating to benefit from a bad call, but I think if the call is clearly wrong...it should be corrected even if by the team that benefited from it.

 

So you would do as I asked in my examples?

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Guest NJ Coach   
Guest NJ Coach

Rich....if in a much better position to see and make an obvious call than the PU, yes.  If coaching first and see a ball 10 feet foul that PU calls a home run, then yes.More than winning, my priority is to leave the field after a game knowing that both teams, incl coaches and families go home w/o any hard feelings.``

Your homer scenario hasn't happened yet but at 8u there's a relatively common rule that a play is dead when the ball is returned to the pitcher.  baserunners return to last base held unless more than halfway to next base when pitcher receives ball. If there's any legit question whether a baserunner is more than halfway, i always send my runner back and i always let the other team's runner advance.   At 8u, arguing over such things seems silly.

With just one ump in our games,who is usually watching the ball and the B/R, ump rarely sees where the other runners are at the time the pitcher receives the ball.   We've played teams that have claimed their runner was just a few feet from a base (say home plate) when not actually even being at the prior base yet (third) knowing that the umpire didn't see.   The umpire allowed the run in that scenario once, and I was very close to taking my team off the field and leaving when that happened. That's just outright dishonest.

If there's any legit question whether a baserunner is more than halfway, i always send my runner back and i always let the other team's runner advance.  

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Rich Ives    956
19 minutes ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

Rich....if in a much better position to see and make an obvious call than the PU, yes.  If coaching first and see a ball 10 feet foul that PU calls a home run, then yes.More than winning, my priority is to leave the field after a game knowing that both teams, incl coaches and families go home w/o any hard feelings.``

Your homer scenario hasn't happened yet but at 8u there's a relatively common rule that a play is dead when the ball is returned to the pitcher.  baserunners return to last base held unless more than halfway to next base when pitcher receives ball. If there's any legit question whether a baserunner is more than halfway, i always send my runner back and i always let the other team's runner advance.   At 8u, arguing over such things seems silly.

With just one ump in our games,who is usually watching the ball and the B/R, ump rarely sees where the other runners are at the time the pitcher receives the ball.   We've played teams that have claimed their runner was just a few feet from a base (say home plate) when not actually even being at the prior base yet (third) knowing that the umpire didn't see.   The umpire allowed the run in that scenario once, and I was very close to taking my team off the field and leaving when that happened. That's just outright dishonest.

If there's any legit question whether a baserunner is more than halfway, i always send my runner back and i always let the other team's runner advance.  

Johnny's Mom will get vengeance if you change his HR to foul. Trust me on this.

Stuff happens. Pitchers give up home runs. Fielders make errors. Batters strike out. Umpires make mistakes. Teach that you have to deal with failure, learn from it, and move on.

BTW - Make up a rule - suffer the consequences.

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ALStripes17    556

I can't believe Sandy Alomar, Jr. didn't tell Jim Joyce it was the wrong call in Armando Galarraga's 'Imperfect Game' .... Just unethical. Should be banned for life...

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beerguy55    180
1 hour ago, maven said:

The rules of baseball do not require "ethical" behavior. A coach who recommended that an umpire change a call against his team's interest might be a good sport.

But umpires have to rule on what they perceive, not take a poll of all those present. Sometimes we miss one. Oh well.

It is an interesting distinction and paradox.  Because most coaching certifications do require ethical behavior to varying degrees.  For mine, half of my evaluation and accreditation was focused on ethics - more than fundamentals, strategy and understanding the rules combined.  My assumption is some portion of your certification as an umpire also requires ethical behavior.

I am, by nature, a pragmatist, so it's easy for me to deal with the failures of the game, and to remember that all umpire mistakes even out in the end.  The ethics lie in letting nature take its course, not in undoing a non-random portion of those mistakes.  The coach who puts too much focus on fairness doesn't understand what it really means.

Sometimes umpires screw up an "obvious" call.  And sometimes by luck of where regional boundaries are drawn, or by a child being born a week early or late, you end up with a superstar once in a lifetime phenom pitcher on your roster, and your opponents don't.

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Stan W.    543
2 hours ago, LRZ said:

Pay for a second umpire and let HIM assist his partner.

And teach all the players to run unless they hear the umpire call foul...............

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kylehutson    296

All this being said...

If I were in your shoes, I'd tell the umpire. He may choose to ignore it, and he may not. That's his prerogative. And back when I was coaching, I did do this a couple of times. Personally, my ethics are more important than the outcome of a game, and I'd say something if only to assuage my own conscience.

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Rich Ives    956

Ethics is behaving as expected.  As expected here is the umpire makes the call. In fact the rules say you can't object to a judgement call. So "correcting" the umpire is breaking the rules.

8.02 Appeal of Umpire Decisions
(a) Any umpire’s decision which involves judgment, such as, but
not limited to, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a
pitch is a strike or a ball, or whether a runner is safe or out, is
final. No player, manager, coach or substitute shall object to
any such judgment decisions.

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kylehutson    296

Fine, my "morals" are more important than the outcome of a game...

If (again, back when I was coaching) an umpire chastised me for arguing against my own team (which, in the few instances it came up, didn't happen), I'd shrug and leave. Not my problem at that point. I'm not going to belabor the point.

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Rich Ives    956
12 minutes ago, kylehutson said:

Fine, my "morals" are more important than the outcome of a game...

If (again, back when I was coaching) an umpire chastised me for arguing against my own team (which, in the few instances it came up, didn't happen), I'd shrug and leave. Not my problem at that point. I'm not going to belabor the point.

The you correct every call you think was wrong?  Ball/Strike? Really?  Pardon me if I don't buy that.

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kylehutson    296
2 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

The you correct every call you think was wrong?  Ball/Strike? Really?  Pardon me if I don't buy that.

Don't be ridiculous. I'm talking about a gross miss that is easily correctable.

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Guest NJ Coach   
Guest NJ Coach

and that's what I'm referring to.   a call that everyone but the ump noticed clearly.    something far beyond judgment.

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ALStripes17    556
and that's what I'm referring to.   a call that everyone but the ump noticed clearly.    something far beyond judgment.

All gray area... Everyone sees everything differently...

The umpires are there to call the games. As stated before, ish happens, and it creates a perfect life lesson for the youngsters at play.

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beerguy55    180
59 minutes ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

and that's what I'm referring to.   a call that everyone but the ump noticed clearly.    something far beyond judgment.

Over the course of a season (sometimes even the course of a game) umpire errors will even out and rarely favor one team over the other.  The best practice is to let them all go and let them even out.

If you start selectively correcting the "obvious" ones you actually start affecting that balance.

The fact is, these "obvious" errors are rare, and even rarer are the obvious errors that impact the result of a game.   Let them go.  

I had one scenario where Blue called BR safe when she was out by a full step.  I went to ask Blue if he could get some help (it was a DP, and he just didn't turn in time to see the second play at first base - it was like he forgot there was another runner - he was new, crap happens)...as I passed BR she said "Yeah, she got me".  They ended up not changing the call, and as I walked past BR back to the bench she said "I must be faster than I thought."  We had a laugh and life went on.  Never in a million years would I expect her to tell the ump she was actually out. 

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The Flush    9

The OP was about a judgement call.  What about a rule misapplication?

Son's team had bases loaded with less than 2 outs when R2 was hit by a fair batted ball.  Umps called R2 out, but allowed R3 to score.  I am just the scorekeeper, but I thought that R3 should return to 3B.  I told our coaches I what I thought, but did not say anything to the umps.  Opponent coaches said nothing. Our coaches said nothing. Run counted.  Game ended in a tie.  We get a first round bye and end up winning the tournament.

Do umpires want outside info in this situation?

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Rich Ives    956
2 hours ago, The Flush said:

The OP was about a judgement call.  What about a rule misapplication?

Son's team had bases loaded with less than 2 outs when R2 was hit by a fair batted ball.  Umps called R2 out, but allowed R3 to score.  I am just the scorekeeper, but I thought that R3 should return to 3B.  I told our coaches I what I thought, but did not say anything to the umps.  Opponent coaches said nothing. Our coaches said nothing. Run counted.  Game ended in a tie.  We get a first round bye and end up winning the tournament.

Do umpires want outside info in this situation?

One umpire can indicate to his partner that he has info for him but doesn't have to and the partner doesn't have to agree with getting it or the info itself. 

The only way to require a discussion is for the offended manager to indicate a  protest in the required time period. Mom in the stands  (or you) can't issue that request.   The manager can be informed but it is the manager's decision as whether or not to protest.

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Sut'n Blue    54

A few years back I was working with an umpire about 18 years old with no training but had been a good player through high school and did a pretty good job on the bases - he never worked the plate. R1, ball hit to F3 who goes for a tag on R1 as he runs by. My partner said no tag. F3 looks pretty upset and seems a little mystified (this is 12u). DC questions my partner but partner stands by his call. OC who was coaching first jogs over to me and discreetly tells me that F3 did make the tag. 

I was not going down that potential slippery slope: "thanks coach, but let's play" he nodded and jogged back. I was grateful he was discreet about it and to this day am not sure how I would have handled it if he yelled it out to me from across the field. 

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