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NLWC game, PU JIm Reynolds puts every dead ball w/runners into play with a point and sometimes a verbal. I've rarely seen that in my rare viewing of MLB games. Is he a minority or majority  of MLB umpires? I do the same as him but if my partner doesn't I won't make an issue of it. But the TV does not show the start of an inning. I'm hoping he does not point that to start after the first. Anyone know?

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Why wouldn't you point to start after the first? That's a mechanic that unfortunately goes away as you move to higher levels. Why though? I still put every dead ball back into play as I was taught in pro school. Are people getting dinged and looked at as rookies for doing this? 

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This is one of my pet peeves, partners who are lax on putting the ball back into play. 

IMO it's always important to do, but with a runner(s) on it is critical. 

And I do put the ball in play at the beginning of each half inning.  ;)

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I see it at least once every two or three games. Foul ball out of play, throw the pitcher a new ball, and he throws to a base to pick off a runner before engaging the rubber and I say play. I make it a point to put each and every dead ball back into play. When my PU partner doesn't do it, I cringe, because I KNOW there's gonna be a pickoff attempt before the pitcher engages, and we're headed for a $*^t storm. 

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might be going out on a limb here, but from what I am led to believe, at the Major League level, the ball is live as soon as the F1 engages the rubber; a mechanic or vocal “Play” is not necessary.

We would need a AAA or AA umpire to verify if this was the case at that/those levels too. In the extended Spring Training games we did, with R, A, and AA players, we continued our habitual point mechanic (always), combined with an audible “Play” when Runners were on base. No one – no coaches, players, staff members, or fellow umpires – gave any of us grief over it, or rolled their eyes thinking we were “over the top”. I did a AAA vs. MxPL game with a former MLB umpire as PU, and even he did the mechanic and uttered an audible “Play”... although he didn’t consistently do it. I wasn’t going to elbow him over it, and nothing occurred in the game that challenged whether or not the ball was live. The sense I got is that the guys just “knew”. At those levels, ball changes are frequent, so with a runner on, the F2 would secure possession of the ball, either vocalize to the PU to change the ball or give that “Time request” mechanic himself. PU would either vocalize or mechanic “Time” had been called, a new ball sent to the F1, he’d re-engage the rubber, and away we’d go. The PU would either mechanic, vocalize, or omit doing so (occasionally), but the ball was presumed Live.

We should be mechanic’ing (pointing) the ball Live at the start of every half inning. Was that 5th warmup pitch Live? How about the 4th one? How about if the F1 is tossed the ball from the F6 catching the “come down” throw, stands atop the rubber, visibly rubbing the baseball up, and drops it? Are we really going to call an illegal pitch?

Another example highlights what could be a potential mess. NFHS rules make the hybrid stance illegal. If a new pitcher climbs on the mound to start a half-inning, in the hybrid stance, I’m not going to make the ball Live until that is corrected and he is in a legal stance. Once legal, get your other components in place, then mechanic / point, and the ball is (now) Live.

 

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1 hour ago, MadMax said:

might be going out on a limb here, but from what I am led to believe, at the Major League level, the ball is live as soon as the F1 engages the rubber; a mechanic or vocal “Play” is not necessary.

We would need a AAA or AA umpire to verify if this was the case at that/those levels too. In the extended Spring Training games we did, with R, A, and AA players, we continued our habitual point mechanic (always), combined with an audible “Play” when Runners were on base. No one – no coaches, players, staff members, or fellow umpires – gave any of us grief over it, or rolled their eyes thinking we were “over the top”. I did a AAA vs. MxPL game with a former MLB umpire as PU, and even he did the mechanic and uttered an audible “Play”... although he didn’t consistently do it. I wasn’t going to elbow him over it, and nothing occurred in the game that challenged whether or not the ball was live. The sense I got is that the guys just “knew”. At those levels, ball changes are frequent, so with a runner on, the F2 would secure possession of the ball, either vocalize to the PU to change the ball or give that “Time request” mechanic himself. PU would either vocalize or mechanic “Time” had been called, a new ball sent to the F1, he’d re-engage the rubber, and away we’d go. The PU would either mechanic, vocalize, or omit doing so (occasionally), but the ball was presumed Live.

We should be mechanic’ing (pointing) the ball Live at the start of every half inning. Was that 5th warmup pitch Live? How about the 4th one? How about if the F1 is tossed the ball from the F6 catching the “come down” throw, stands atop the rubber, visibly rubbing the baseball up, and drops it? Are we really going to call an illegal pitch?

Another example highlights what could be a potential mess. NFHS rules make the hybrid stance illegal. If a new pitcher climbs on the mound to start a half-inning, in the hybrid stance, I’m not going to make the ball Live until that is corrected and he is in a legal stance. Once legal, get your other components in place, then mechanic / point, and the ball is (now) Live.

 

What makes the ball dead between innings?:P

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16 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

As long as we don't introduce whistles...

There is a certain Division 1 coach who uses whistles during his practices.  He fall scrimmages are the fastest around.  He blows the whistle and the players sprint to their next spot.  Its great.

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We were taught at umpire school to point and say "play" every time the ball became dead with runners on base, and at the start of every half inning.  Now, when I'm evaluating rookie umpires, I ding them if they don't do this.  With that said, when they get to MLB...where they change out the baseball after every pitch (ok, not quite that much)...it may be different.

Some umpires make it to the majors and they continue to do what got them to the show.  That is, they continue to use textbook mechanics.  Others, however, get to "the show" and either get an ego or go on "cruise control" and they stop doing the things that go them there.  Long time MiLB umpire evaluator Dick "Sarge" Nelson used to tell us, in the locker room after a game in which he had evaluated us, that proper mechanics were so, so important.  I remember him telling my partner and I once that he would get so frustrated with some MLB umpires who would call him and ask, "did you see me last night (on tv)?  What did you think?"  and he would be forced to respond, "you looked like sh!t.  You stopped doing the things that got you to the major leagues!" 

I don't know if that is what is going on with putting the ball back in play or not, I have no idea.  But, I'm sure it is driving Sarge crazy!

 

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I asked Ted Barrett the question about MLB and here was his response:

"The plate guy is responsible for putting the ball back in play, many don’t point it but they have it."

Very succinct.

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On 10/4/2017 at 7:37 PM, Jimurray said:

But the TV does not show the start of an inning. I'm hoping he does not point that to start after the first. Anyone know?

 

On 10/6/2017 at 7:53 AM, lawump said:

We were taught at umpire school to point and say "play" every time the ball became dead with runners on base, and at the start of every half inning.  Now, when I'm evaluating rookie umpires, I ding them if they don't do this.

Huh! Imagine that! Every half inning. If the ball wasn’t dead during the changeover, why would a PU have to make the ball live again? Hmmmm. 

Thanks, @lawump.

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1 hour ago, MadMax said:

 

Huh! Imagine that! Every half inning. If the ball wasn’t dead during the changeover, why would a PU have to make the ball live again? Hmmmm. 

Thanks, @lawump.

Good question. What makes the ball dead at the end of the inning? If a third out was made and the defense threw to get a fourth out would you have to reset and make the ball live? Currently the pro school teaches a point for runners on or the start of an inning. Why not without runners on? I think some of the old school umpires don"t point because they ascribe to an interp from earlier years, ball is live when pitcher takes the rubber with it. Which is also when the rule says you should make it live. Current interps require you to wait for batter and, I think, a catcher. Personnally, I point balls live with runners. Inning start or no runners I don't. But as a segue, I've noticed that batters from non professional leagues, south of the border, seem to wait to be beckoned to the box by the umpire. I have always signaled 2 and had a batter approaching the box after the throwdown. Is there some protocal where we should beckon the batter?

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On 10/8/2017 at 12:31 AM, MadMax said:

 

Huh! Imagine that! Every half inning. If the ball wasn’t dead during the changeover, why would a PU have to make the ball live again? Hmmmm. 

Thanks, @lawump.

About 10 years ago on another umpire message board, there was a LONG discussion of whether or not the ball was dead between innings.  The discussion was getting pretty animated.  As this was when there were really only two recognized rules interpretations manuals (JEA and J/R), I reached out to Chris and Rick in an attempt to get an answer.  One of them wrote back (I don't remember which one), and I posted his response.  As I post this reply some 10-years later I do not remember his reasoning or analysis, but I am 100% sure that he concluded that the ball was dead between innings. 

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1 hour ago, lawump said:

About 10 years ago on another umpire message board, there was a LONG discussion of whether or not the ball was dead between innings.  The discussion was getting pretty animated.  As this was when there were really only two recognized rules interpretations manuals (JEA and J/R), I reached out to Chris and Rick in an attempt to get an answer.  One of them wrote back (I don't remember which one), and I posted his response.  As I post this reply some 10-years later I do not remember his reasoning or analysis, but I am 100% sure that he concluded that the ball was dead between innings. 

What ramifications would there be if the ball was not considered dead between innings other than not having to point it live? Maybe we need it dead to allow subs. The rule book only mentions the end of an a half-inning in defining when to allow an appeal. Obviously we still have a live ball after a third out if the defense is allowed to appeal an advantageous fourth out. Maybe the ball should be considered dead when the pitcher and all infielders have left fair territory.

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1 hour ago, lawump said:

About 10 years ago on another umpire message board, there was a LONG discussion of whether or not the ball was dead between innings.  The discussion was getting pretty animated.  As this was when there were really only two recognized rules interpretations manuals (JEA and J/R), I reached out to Chris and Rick in an attempt to get an answer.  One of them wrote back (I don't remember which one), and I posted his response.  As I post this reply some 10-years later I do not remember his reasoning or analysis, but I am 100% sure that he concluded that the ball was dead between innings. 

Seems reasonable to me that the ball becomes dead as soon as the defense loses their right to appeal, which would be:

OBR:  When the defense leaves the field of play.
FED & NCAA:  When the pitcher and all infielders have left fair territory

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13 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

Maybe the ball should be considered dead when the pitcher and all infielders have left fair territory.

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That's pretty much always been my answer.

 

And, the "point" at the beginning of the half-inning doesn't need to be very emphatic, nor does there need to be much of a verbal -- just a quiet, "Here we go, guys" to F2 and the batter.

 

For that matter -- neither does the point at the start of the game -- except for tradition.

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Last week, with R1, F1 on the rubber, I put the ball back in play. Point and say "play". It was like the word "play" meant "Go". No sooner did the word leave my lips, RHP F1 spins, fires and picks off R1. Very cool. 

I don't see how putting the ball back in play can be assumed without some mechanic.

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8 minutes ago, ricka56 said:

Last week, with R1, F1 on the rubber, I put the ball back in play. Point and say "play". It was like the word "play" meant "Go". No sooner did the word leave my lips, RHP F1 spins, fires and picks off R1. Very cool. 

I don't see how putting the ball back in play can be assumed without some mechanic.

Had a JV team a last year (2x) with a pitcher who would do this almost every time I put the ball in play, exactly the moment I put it in play.

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I get almost the exact opposite reaction.

Me: "Play"

Batter: (Turns around) "What???"

 

OK, so that's more at youth levels than high school, but still...

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4 hours ago, kylehutson said:

I get almost the exact opposite reaction.

Me: "Play"

Batter: (Turns around) "What???"

 

OK, so that's more at youth levels than high school, but still...

I've only had it a couple times. Most of the confusion is when I'm holding up my hand as the Pitcher starts to get on the rubber, then stops to see why I'm holding him up.

 

Then, there's the time I said "Time" as I pointed play and confused the batter.

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I’d like to clarify something that Mr. grayhawk said earlier about the appeal rule in OBR. The rule does state the following:

“5.09(c) Any appeal under this rule must be made before the next pitch, or any play or attempted play. If the violation occurs during a play which ends a half-inning, the appeal must be made before the defensive team leaves the field.”

But just a little further in the same rule it explains (interprets) what the expression defensive team leaves the field means:

“5.09(c)… For the purpose of this rule, the defensive team has “left the field” when the pitcher and all infielders have left fair territory on their way to the bench or clubhouse.”

So, in that regard, the OBR appeal rule is the same as the Fed and NCAA.

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