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Guest NJ Coach

Ump Clearly In The Bag ("didn't affect the play")

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I've seen some terrible calls over the years and always rationalized and coached that those are just part of the game.  I've never once felt that an ump was purposely boosting or favoring one team over the other....until this past weekend.

8u game with only one umpire, and yes a silly play as you often see but that doesn't make the calls any less ridiculous and biased. This example was the worst, but there were others in the same game.

Youth baseball two outs and opponent runner on second. Batter singles to left and R2 tries to score but throw to catcher is in plenty of time so runner turns runs back to third with my catcher in pursuit.    Rather than run straight to third, R2 runs toward third base dugout trying to evade and juke pursuing catcher.  Is just silly how far out of the baseline R2 veered to evade the catcher and the umpire actually chuckled.   Eventually the runner did fake out the catcher and ran around him to touch home plate without being tagged.  

I  called time, walked out to the umpire and said that R2 was way out of the baseline.  His answer was "yes, but it didn't affect the play. run counts."   And it gets worse.   The batter reached second when I called time and was speaking to the ump but third base coach shouted at kid to keep running so that kid crossed the plate during the stoppage and the ump let that run count too.

What a travesty...

Anyhow, excuse the above rant, but here's the question. Are there any rules that don't apply when in the umpire's judgment "it didn't affect the play?" In this case, running out the baseline with fielder in pursuit was the actual play...but is that legit logic in other situations for not enforcing rules ?
 

 

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34 minutes ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

I've seen some terrible calls over the years and always rationalized and coached that those are just part of the game.  I've never once felt that an ump was purposely boosting or favoring one team over the other....until this past weekend.

8u game with only one umpire, and yes a silly play as you often see but that doesn't make the calls any less ridiculous and biased. This example was the worst, but there were others in the same game.

Youth baseball two outs and opponent runner on second. Batter singles to left and R2 tries to score but throw to catcher is in plenty of time so runner turns runs back to third with my catcher in pursuit.    Rather than run straight to third, R2 runs toward third base dugout trying to evade and juke pursuing catcher.  Is just silly how far out of the baseline R2 veered to evade the catcher and the umpire actually chuckled.   Eventually the runner did fake out the catcher and ran around him to touch home plate without being tagged.  

I  called time, walked out to the umpire and said that R2 was way out of the baseline.  His answer was "yes, but it didn't affect the play. run counts."   And it gets worse.   The batter reached second when I called time and was speaking to the ump but third base coach shouted at kid to keep running so that kid crossed the plate during the stoppage and the ump let that run count too.

What a travesty...

Anyhow, excuse the above rant, but here's the question. Are there any rules that don't apply when in the umpire's judgment "it didn't affect the play?" In this case, running out the baseline with fielder in pursuit was the actual play...but is that legit logic in other situations for not enforcing rules ?
 

 

1) You care WAY too much about an 8U game.

2) Why do you think the umpire knew the rules - he's probably just as new at it as the kids.

3) Why do you think the umpire was "in the bag" rather than just amused and not clear on the rules?

4) Look up the meaning of "baseline" as used in a tag attempt..

5) BTW A runner in a rundown is supposed to make it last as long as possible so other runners can advance.

 

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1)yeah it's just 8u and I don't care if my team wins or loses, but what I do care about is integrity.  It was clear this ump was absurdly favoring one team.  We actually did  win the game, so this isn't a case of sour grapes.  We lost the next game to a different team with the same ump,  and that game was totally above board.  I feel a lot better about the loss than what transpired in the win.

2&3) Carded ump in his mid sixties at least. Probably 70 or more.  Faded attire. Sure he could be inexperienced and borrowed someone else's ump clothes but doubtful.

3) Running from 10 feet from HP right on the foul line toward a dugout 15 ft away from the line rather than reasonably directly back to third ?

4)  And what about letting a run score during our "time out" discussion ?

What this was, is an experienced ump trying to fix a game and thinking a bunch of dads coaching one of the teams don't know the rules.

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6 minutes ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

1)yeah it's just 8u and I don't care if my team wins or loses, but what I do care about is integrity.  It was clear this ump was absurdly favoring one team.  We actually did  win the game, so this isn't a case of sour grapes.  We lost the next game to a different team with the same ump,  and that game was totally above board.  I feel a lot better about the loss than what transpired in the win.

2&3) Carded ump in his mid sixties at least. Probably 70 or more.  Faded attire. Sure he could be inexperienced and borrowed someone else's ump clothes but doubtful.

3) Running from 10 feet from HP right on the foul line toward a dugout 15 ft away from the line rather than reasonably directly back to third ?

4)  And what about letting a run score during our "time out" discussion ?

What this was, is an experienced ump trying to fix a game and thinking a bunch of dads coaching one of the teams don't know the rules.

Well, you said you called time (which you didn't, since you don't have that ability.) Did he?

Also, if there wasn't a tag attempt, that runner can run pretty much wherever he wants.

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NJ Coach,

 

Relax, it's 8U baseball.  Also, remember, your kids are watching you and how you act/treat the umpire.  Those kids will act like you and generally give the same respect or lack of respect as you do.  Be a good example for your kids.

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1 hour ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

Anyhow, excuse the above rant, but here's the question. Are there any rules that don't apply when in the umpire's judgment "it didn't affect the play?" In this case, running out the baseline with fielder in pursuit was the actual play...but is that legit logic in other situations for not enforcing rules ?

Yes, many. Coach assistance that doesn't affect the play (helping a kid up from his slide, say), incidental contact between runner and fielder with no play, any kind of contact that does not constitute hindrance, and many, many more.

It's a truism of officiating that we are looking for infractions that affect play. In basketball, most fouls are judged on the basis of advantage/disadvantage, which is a way of applying "affects play." In football, holding away from the point of attack—holding that doesn't affect play—is not a foul.

This is all quite standard and a central part of all proper training for officials. Were it otherwise, games would take days, penalties, fouls, and so forth would number in the hundreds in each game, and the sporting world from 8U to pro would grind to a halt.

These remarks do not justify or condone the ruling that prompted your initial post, but rather address the more general (and interesting) question at the end of your post.

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20 minutes ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

2&3) Carded ump in his mid sixties at least. Probably 70 or more.  Faded attire. Sure he could be inexperienced and borrowed someone else's ump clothes but doubtful.

Why do you suppose an "experienced" umpire of that age would be working 8 & under games?

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14 minutes ago, BrianC14 said:

Why do you suppose an "experienced" umpire of that age would be working 8 & under games?

The other question is why he would have any reason to favor a team in an 8U game.

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Disclaimer; I was the Director of Umpire Training for many years, and had at least 40 Rookie Umpires (13-15 years old) working 8U games at any one time. So, the following is just my opinion;

The Umpire blew the call. The phrase “didn’t affect the play” is football, not baseball. Simple as that.

That’s no longer the issue. The issue is your statement that the Umpire blew the call deliberately.

My guess is that the Umpire was not a Division I NCAA Official; you couldn’t afford him. That Umpire was most likely a kid himself, or at least a brand-new Umpire learning a new skill; just like your kids. You could have treated it like your shortstop mis-playing a ball; fix it for the next time. Shoot an email to his UIC/assigner/League Director, and made sure he knew the rule the next time. Instead, you accused him of cheating, and assured him of one thing; he doesn’t want to Umpire anymore. Got news for you; when he quits, the next guy will have even less experience that that guy, and he’ll blow even more calls.

My humble opinion; your attitude is bad for Youth Sports and need to fix it or leave. Your kids are 8 years old; they’re there to (1) have fun, (2) learn the fundamentals of the game, and (3) acquire the values of sportsmanship. It appears you’re deficient in teaching at least two of them. You want to take the fun out of the game? Tell your kids that they can’t win no matter how hard they try, and when something goes wrong, blame the Umpire. Google Lavar Ball and see if you see any similarities.
 

Here’s an experiment; the next practice, get your kids together and ask them what they remembered about the game. My guess is that they’ll remember “the Umpire cheated”, but nobody will recall the final score. That’s what you’re teaching them. (BTW, I’ve done this; mostly I got “we went to McDonalds afterward”).

I’m sure this isn’t what you came here to us for; you wanted to know the rule, and we told you. My final advice to you; laugh more at these games. You ain’t Tito Francona and the Umpires ain’t Jim Joyce. Good luck.

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Brian....that is a good question.   This was in a tournament and I assumed that he'd have been assigned through official channels but that just my best guess.   The age, faded attire etc led me to believe he's experienced, and then his being near perfect in the next game that we did not win.

Another factor I didn't mention:  This happened with two outs in the bottom of the 5th innning with my team leading 13-6.   Tourney rules limit 5 runs per inning, even in the last inning.  The other team needed 2 runs to have a chance to win the next inning.

The two baserunners mentioned (the out of the baseline runner, and the "time out" runner) made the score13-8 and within range of catching up. The other team then scored 3 more runs with 2 outs to make the score 13-11 after 5 innings.

So it could be that the ump allowed those two runs to score to keep that team in the game within 5 runs and keep the 6th inning meaningful, or maybe he just flat out tried to fix the game for the other team. 

Maven...understood examples and that makes sense.  As you note though, that doesn't apply here.  He acknowledged the runner was far outside of the baseline as the catcher chased him to the dugout, but suggesting "it didn't affect the play" was outrageous.

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8 minutes ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

Brian....that is a good question.   This was in a tournament and I assumed that he'd have been assigned through official channels but that just my best guess.   The age, faded attire etc led me to believe he's experienced, and then his being near perfect in the next game that we did not win.

Another factor I didn't mention:  This happened with two outs in the bottom of the 5th innning with my team leading 13-6.   Tourney rules limit 5 runs per inning, even in the last inning.  The other team needed 2 runs to have a chance to win the next inning.

The two baserunners mentioned (the out of the baseline runner, and the "time out" runner) made the score13-8 and within range of catching up. The other team then scored 3 more runs with 2 outs to make the score 13-11 after 5 innings.

So it could be that the ump allowed those two runs to score to keep that team in the game within 5 runs and keep the 6th inning meaningful, or maybe he just flat out tried to fix the game for the other team. 

Maven...understood examples and that makes sense.  As you note though, that doesn't apply here.  He acknowledged the runner was far outside of the baseline as the catcher chased him to the dugout, but suggesting "it didn't affect the play" was outrageous.

You are getting WAY too wound up for an 8U game.  Chill.

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19 minutes ago, Matt said:

The other question is why he would have any reason to favor a team in an 8U game.

Yeah, I checked the Vegas lines and they weren't that great. ;)

 

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13 minutes ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

Brian....that is a good question.   This was in a tournament and ....

Another factor I didn't mention:  This happened with two outs in the bottom of the 5th innning with my team leading 13-6.   Tourney rules limit 5 runs per inning, even in the last inning.  The other team needed 2 runs to have a chance to win the next inning.

The two baserunners mentioned (the out of the baseline runner, and the "time out" runner) made the score13-8 and within range of catching up. The other team then scored 3 more runs with 2 outs to make the score 13-11 after 5 innings.

So it could be that the ump allowed those two runs to score to keep that team in the game within 5 runs and keep the 6th inning meaningful, or maybe he just flat out tried to fix the game for the other team. 

 

I thought you said you didn't care if your team won or lost?

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2 hours ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

I've seen some terrible calls over the years and always rationalized and coached that those are just part of the game.  I've never once felt that an ump was purposely boosting or favoring one team over the other....until this past weekend.

8u game with only one umpire, and yes a silly play as you often see but that doesn't make the calls any less ridiculous and biased. This example was the worst, but there were others in the same game.

Youth baseball two outs and opponent runner on second. Batter singles to left and R2 tries to score but throw to catcher is in plenty of time so runner turns runs back to third with my catcher in pursuit.    Rather than run straight to third, R2 runs toward third base dugout trying to evade and juke pursuing catcher.  Is just silly how far out of the baseline R2 veered to evade the catcher and the umpire actually chuckled.   Eventually the runner did fake out the catcher and ran around him to touch home plate without being tagged.  

I  called time, walked out to the umpire and said that R2 was way out of the baseline.  His answer was "yes, but it didn't affect the play. run counts."   And it gets worse.   The batter reached second when I called time and was speaking to the ump but third base coach shouted at kid to keep running so that kid crossed the plate during the stoppage and the ump let that run count too.

What a travesty...

Anyhow, excuse the above rant, but here's the question. Are there any rules that don't apply when in the umpire's judgment "it didn't affect the play?" In this case, running out the baseline with fielder in pursuit was the actual play...but is that legit logic in other situations for not enforcing rules ?
 

 

1. Runner makes his own base path.  He is only out for moving three feet to avoid a tag - and by this, I mean an imminent tag...not that the catcher is 30 feet away and chasing the runner to tag him.  If he is running away from F2 he can go any route he wants.   I have no problem with this call, especially at 8U

2. You don't call time, you ask for it.  Umpires call it.  Even if you "call" time and walk onto the field, and talk to the umpire, doesn't mean he granted it...play on.

3. If you think the umpire misapplied a rule you can protest.

 

How do you go from an umpire making a mistake, to that umpire being "in the bag", to that umpire cheating for the other team?   You've made a pretty significant progression of accusations, based on nothing more than your imagination.

 

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Brian...I don't care about that, so long as there's integrity and fair play.

In 8u games, there's usually a rule that a play ends when the ball is returned to the pitcher.   If a baserunner is half way to the next base when the pitcher gets the ball, he gets the next base. If not half way, runner returns to the previous base.

We've played several teams which always send runners to next base hoping the ump didn't see that they were clearly not half way, and then arguing that point. Once a team sent a runner home who hadn't even reached third when the pitcher got the ball because the umpire didn't see it.  I send my own runners back to the prior base whether the ump sees it or not.  Outright dishonesty really bothers me, and for the first time i saw from an ump the other day.

Is the same reason I can't stomach professional soccer...all that flopping and pretending to be injured to get a penalty call.  Disgusts me.

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yes I called for time....and the ump walked over to me to discuss. I don't think he shouted "time" to grant the request, but doesn't abandoning his position and view of the field to discuss the matter with me implicitly stop play ? isn't it outrageous to let the trailing runner advance and score while we are talking ?

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22 hours ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

yes I called for time....and the ump walked over to me to discuss. I don't think he shouted "time" to grant the request, but doesn't abandoning his position and view of the field to discuss the matter with me implicitly stop play ? isn't it outrageous to let the trailing runner advance and score while we are talking ?

No, it does not.  I've seen umpires move towards coaches who "called" time to tell them to get off the field because the play is still live.

Keep in mind you have two umpires.   You're suggesting that both umpires conspired to cheat against an 8U team to allow a team to score two runs on this particular play, one by making up a rule and the second by feigning a time out. 

You called time, you expected to get it...you've probably taught your players this too - and so when YOU called time, your players stopped.   The umpire should not have moved to talk to you.  But it's apparent to me that no umpire granted time.

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1 hour ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

Brian...I don't care about that, [winning or losing] so long as there's integrity and fair play.

In 8u games, there's usually a rule that a play ends when the ball is returned to the pitcher.   If a baserunner is half way to the next base when the pitcher gets the ball, he gets the next base. If not half way, runner returns to the previous base.

We've played several teams which always send runners to next base hoping the ump didn't see that they were clearly not half way, and then arguing that point. Once a team sent a runner home who hadn't even reached third when the pitcher got the ball because the umpire didn't see it.  I send my own runners back to the prior base whether the ump sees it or not.  Outright dishonesty really bothers me, and for the first time i saw from an ump the other day.

Is the same reason I can't stomach professional soccer...all that flopping and pretending to be injured to get a penalty call.  Disgusts me.

And yet you provided us with a detailed analysis of the score and the impact that was made when a couple of extra runs were scored against your team.     

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Look, you can argue all day whether he got the call right or wrong, and you'll probably get a bunch of us here who will agree with you. You say it was a tournament. Had you protested the ruling, you probably would have gotten it reversed. You didn't, deal with it.

(BTW, you say "there's usually a rule about the halfway runner"; You're playing in a tournament; you mean you don't know if they're using the rule?)

So far, you've demonstrated that you're not versed in; basepath violations, protest procedures, and local tournament rules. Or, are you deliberately throwing the game to the other side? (Sorry, just had to throw that in). 

Where you cross the line is inferring (hell, just coming out and saying), that the Umpire deliberately blew the ruling to adversely affect your team. You have absolutely no cause to say that. 

I've fielded more than my share of "he was out to get me" emails from coaches and parents. When I show them that (1) the Umpire in question had never worked the coaches' team before, and (2) when I talked to the Umpire later, he admitted he just had a brain fart and blew it, it still doesn't change their opinion. The kids make mistakes, that's baseball; a coach makes mistakes, that's "oops, my bad"; but when an Umpire makes a mistake, it's a conspiracy. Get a grip. He didn't give a monkey's who won or lost. Most times they can't tell you who won as they walk off the field. 

Once again, you are WAY too wound up to be coaching tournament ball. 

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Fine, one ump.  He had a brain fart.  How you made the leap to him actually deliberately benefiting the other team is beyond me.

In decades of playing and coaching 2000+ games I have seen ONE case where an umpire "might" have been cheating - it was a 15 year old where his younger brother pitched for one of the teams - a situation in which he never should have been placed.

Except for this guy possibly screwing up a call or two you have provided zero context or information to suggest why you came to the conclusion that he was cheating for the other team.

I know this is New Jersey and everything, but I don't think mob-based point shaving schemes have extended to 8U coach pitch ball.

 

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First, I want to say there is a lot of negativity in this thread. Here is a guy who has a question and came here for answers. As umpires, lets address that with class. That is what we are supposed to do. 

As to his comments. Most likely the ump blew the call, as it is want to happen. Not really likely he was cheating. Letting the losing team score runs will only extend the game, and to be honest, the last thing we umpires want to do is extend a 8U game....

The runner leaves the base path. Base path only exist when there is an attempted play on the runner. Depending on how close the catcher was to the runner, he might have been out.  As to the runner who scored during time, as stated, coaches/players don't call time, they request it, and umpire has to grant it. Unless the ump puts his hands up and yells time, game is still going. True, he might not have made the best move in coming to talk to you, but it what it is. 

You mentioned there are usually rules about when a play ends. That is not a rule in baseball, but a local rule....I have had several times when a rule bit me in the ass when I was coaching. Read the rules of the tournament, cause they change every time. 

As you said, you won the game, but more important, the kids had fun. Shake your head at the umpiring, take a deep breath, and let go. 

I have always said that coaches at 8u come with a certain set of issues. they tend to be more emotionally invested, as they tend to be newer. Its good to be passionate, just remember, at the end of the day, the kids don't really care, they just want to hit the ball and run around the base. 

hope you enjoy the rest of the season

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UH-UH, cj; if he'd have simply come out with a question of a base path violation, we would have answered politely, gave him the proper citation and wished him well.

However, he began the OP by questioning the integrity of the Umpire. Umpires are unbelievably sensitive about that, as it's generally the response of people who haven't the bloodiest inkling of what they're talking about. (Don't have the facts, question the motives). I can't let him get away with that unchallenged.

I've seen the whole periodic table of 8U coaches, and have an unscientific breakdown of them. The way I see it, 80% of them are great guys, understand why they're really there, and a joy to work with. 15% of them are usually great guys, but get caught up in close games and can occasionally try and pin it on the Umpires. (The judgement ,the hustle, the knowledge. Never the integrity.)

And 5%, (IMHO), have no business in Youth Sports. They're the "holler/scream guys that nobody wants to work with. Usually, they get run out of the League, (generally by request of the parents), and are never seen again, unless his kid ends up playing basketball for the Lakers. 

I don't know where this coach fits in, as I don't work in NJ. But, I've got  feeling his career as a baseball coach is going to be unpleasant for a lot of people.

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19 hours ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

yes I called for time....and the ump walked over to me to discuss. I don't think he shouted "time" to grant the request, but doesn't abandoning his position and view of the field to discuss the matter with me implicitly stop play ? isn't it outrageous to let the trailing runner advance and score while we are talking ?

No... No it doesn't

 

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19 hours ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

yes I called for time....and the ump walked over to me to discuss. I don't think he shouted "time" to grant the request, but doesn't abandoning his position and view of the field to discuss the matter with me implicitly stop play ? isn't it outrageous to let the trailing runner advance and score while we are talking ?

No.  It does not.

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