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  1. 16 points
    Now, that the press release has been issued I can state this: I think the biggest change you will find in 2018 is that the casebook will be updated to reflect runner designations that are used by all of the other organizations. That is, R1 will be the runner on first at the start of the play, R2 will be the runner on second at the start of the play, etc., etc., etc.
  2. 14 points
    Because umpires also have a rhythm when they work the plate. But you've never strapped it on so...
  3. 14 points
    148 words and says nothing... written like a true lawyer.. @lawump
  4. 13 points
    Cue the resounding THUD! as @VolUmp's jaw hits the floor.
  5. 11 points
    Coach: Where is your zone? Umpire: For you or for them?
  6. 11 points
    I received my 2018 NFHS Casebook. And...R1 means runner on first at the start of the play, R2 is runner on second, etc. And it appears that all of the plays throughout the Casebook have been updated accordingly. We (NFHS) are now in agreement with all other casebooks.
  7. 11 points
    On his hands and knees gasping for breath....
  8. 10 points
    Yes, many of you are familiar with my SWMBO stories, and trust me, there are many MANY stories that don't make it to this forum. So the latest chapter unfolds as I'm going through the "end of summer" cleaning of the equipment bag and disposing of things that have been extended beyond their usefulness, as we get into "fall ball" mode. As I get to my (what I call) "ditty bag", I pull out 3 or 4 indictors, 2 plate brushes, some pencils, sun screen and a line up card holder (that has seen better days). Since SWMBO also wears the hat of my personal financial consultant, she also receives the emails from @JimKirk's team (because she has placed several orders for me). She mentioned that "our man @Scott Kennedy" just did a 2 minute review of a new magnetic line up card holder, and that I should order one. Well, needless to say, I just placed my order. Fella's, I wish that each and of you could have such a supportive SWMBO as I do (if the situation applies). Ladies, I just hope your "fella" is as understanding.
  9. 10 points
    Until 1965, umpires called "Stop." Then because of cultural events, they had to change it to "Time" as the Supremes became more popular.
  10. 10 points
    Working an Intermediate (50/70) LL State Tournament last week w/6 umpire crew. Had a great week getting to know players and coaches from across the state. R1, R2, 1 out. F9 was playing a little deep and had to run and dive for a fly ball. I'm U1. Apparently, when the runners (and BR) saw that F9 had made a miraculous catch and had the ball in his glove, I watch R2 tag to advance to 3B, R1 retreated to 1B, BR retreated to get his bat and headed for the dugout. THEN......F9 hits the ground and RF umpire (U6?) comes up with "no catch!". It would appear that the impact of hitting the ground had dislodged the ball from his glove. I hear him and give a quick glance to see the mechanic as well. F9 gathers himself and throws the ball in to F4. This particular F4, realized what had just happened. He stepped on 2nd for the force and U2 declared R1 out. He then jogged over to 1B and stepped on it, I called BR out. He tosses the ball towards the mound and heads for his dugout with the rest of the team. AC (at 1B) says to me very politely "Blue, do you mind if I ask you a question?". I replied, "absolutely not coach". He then asks "what just happened?" I offered up a quick "after 3 outs, you switch sides"...........and with the deer in the headlights look, I knew I had to explain the whole situation.
  11. 10 points
    Why? Would he umpire "better"? Differently? Maybe cleaned his shoes? Sorry but statements like that bother me. It's right up there with guys who's #1 concern is how quick the game was. Give your best effort every game, every level you accept to umpire. Any less is cheating the game. And yourself.
  12. 9 points
    To all the brothers here in Umpire-Empire, I wanted to thank you for all of the help over the years, ...YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!! I wanted to pass along that I was selected to work the MHSAA Semi/Finals this year. What an honor, privilege,.... and what an experience!!! One of the best things about it was that my crew comprised of 2 other partners that I work with regularly during the season, one of them being our own @Jeff C. I had 3 games ... 2 semi finals on Thursday, and one final on Saturday. My rotation was the plate first game out on Thursday ..... 10 innings later .... WOW! We rotated like normal as MHSAA goes 4 man from the Quarterfinals onward. The experience of learning the system quickly and catching on with the rotations was a blast! A special thank you to @Jeff C. also for being a great umpire, a great partner, and a great friend .... it was an honor to work with you sir!! My U-E brothers .......... Thanks again for the years of experience, knowledge, and of course, the comradery of the brotherhood!
  13. 9 points
    I would say you should contact your assignor and give him a heads up. Better to hear it from you than the coach first. I’m not sure (and I’d be curious) why he came to you in the first place if he wasn’t going to change the call. I probably would have asked him that when you huddled. I don’t know your experience level vs. his, but I would have a real hard time breaking that huddle without changing the call. I would tell him, “Either we’re changing this call or you’re taking the heat for this.” Finally, if the call didn’t get changed, I wouldn’t have talked to the coach. I would have directed him to go talk to the calling umpire. By simply telling him: “Nope, don’t talk to me. Go talk to the calling umpire” you’ve told the coach that you don’t agree with your partner without completely throwing him under the bus. I’ll stand with my partner every time I can, but I’m not going down with a sinking ship either. I mean, if my buddy wants to fight the cops, I’m not spending the night in jail with him. He’s on his own.
  14. 9 points
    Attention!!!! Effective 1/1/18 there will be some changes to the CDP forum. To create a new post you will need to purchase an advertisement -- The post will be active for up to 45 days. After 45 days the post will be deleted. If you still wish to advertise you will need to purchase another post. You may bump your post while it is active. You may not hijack another's paid post. All posts seeking a team or umpire should be in the appropriate section. Posts advertising for a team or umpire in other sections of the site will be deleted. The following groups are excluded form the requirement to purchase: Premium Members Members with over 100 posts Umpire-Empire Staff Do not post the price you are seeking or willing to pay. Save this for when you make contact. Umpire-Empire.com makes no guarantee expressed or implied that you will receive a response from your posting. No refunds
  15. 9 points
    I just want to put out a huge thank you to all of you for your support. January 1st marked out 10 year anniversary. Umpire-Empire wouldn't have made it without your support. So I want to thank all of you whether you were here for day 1 with me or just joined today.
  16. 9 points
    When I voluntarily quit pro ball, I also quit chasing any plum assignments. I now umpire for fun; because I love it. If I wanted it to be an all-consuming career, I would have stayed in pro ball...not to pat myself on the back, but I certainly had the evaluations to stay in MiLB for many more years. I find that umpiring for oneself and for the game, and not giving a f*ck about "making this conference," or "getting this assignment," ...or playing politics...to be very liberating. Now, I enjoy umpiring a good high school game just as much as I enjoy working a non-conference game between two power five conference members. I'm just true to myself: I respect the game, I give back by working with newer umpires, give 100% when working a game at any level, and I'll call out bullsh!t when I see it.
  17. 8 points
    I just finished my 2018 season with what I feel was a great way to end it. I was fortunate enough to be selected to work the Tennessee State baseball tournament this year. I also was fortunate to be selected for the Class A championship plate. One team had a Vanderbilt signee, probably top 10 MLB draft selection on the mound, throwing 91-95. The other team also had their #1 going, so I was looking forward to a good game. I was not disappointed. The game featured 23 strikeouts from both teams, went 12 innings and ended 1-0. MTSU stadium was packed, wonderful environment, crowd was loud and rowdy. I had two batters interference calls, one on each side, 2 runners on same base, both left base and were tagged out. It was just a great way to end my year. Folks that don’t umpire don’t understand why we do what we do, but I know you guys will be able to relate. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  18. 8 points
    I can't remember if it was on here or elsewhere (read that as Facebook) this same question came up... sans the story with it. The plate umpire, a very seasoned umpire, calls a pitch and hears it from the DHC about the foot being out of the box on a swing (mind you... no contact... JUST THE SWING). The next pitch is a cock shot right down the pipe that he balls. DHC wants to know where that missed. Umpire's response, "not sure... I was busy looking at his feet." The complaining stopped after that.
  19. 8 points
    Well the doc says I am still cancer free and he gave me the green light to umpire again this year. So begins my 57th year. Had a couple of High school game and a U14 softball tournament last weekend. Two college Softball coaches asked me if I am available to do their games. So I am back for another year!!
  20. 8 points
    Know why these customization options are available? Do you know why Douglas CP's are so expensive? It's the same reason Force3 gear costs so much too... They're both made in the USA.
  21. 8 points
    Inspired by all of the great ideas on this board, as well as that hideous American flag mask, I decided to try something unique. The funny thing is, while I waited for my mask to get done over the past several weeks, some of you all started sharing chest protectors that you vinyl wrapped with a carbon fiber print. I don't like to talk about something until I have it in hand. I guess I don't want to jinx it or something. So, I looked around locally for someone that could do this for me, and found a shop that did. For those that have never heard of it, it's a fairly recent method of coating a metal surface using film and actuator chemicals that forms a bond that is very durable. It's become very popular in the automotive (rims, engine parts, trim) as well as the firearms industry. My first thought was that I wanted to do a carbon fiber print. These guys did an amazing job. The pictures look pretty good, but they don't do it justice. It is an amazing looking mask, in my opinion. Anyway, I wanted to share it with you all, and see what you think. For those that are curious about the price, I'm sure it varies by the area you live, but I paid $100. I know, it was spendy, but I look at it as less than a doubleheader.
  22. 8 points
    I purchased a mask from Ump-Attire.com in March. Wore it maybe 25 times they spring/summer. Without going into the specs of the mask (though will say it was $100+), I recently noticed it had a 2 cracks after a game in which I did not take a direct hit. I was puzzled how it could have happened. I loved the mask and had taken several direct hits before with no apparent damage! So, I reached out to Ump-Attire.com's customer service and asked how strong they were about their 100% satisfaction guarantee on the site and further explained the issue with the mask. By the next business day I received a response that I could send the mask in for inspection and if it was deemed defective they would contact me with further instructions. I sent the mask in and received another email simply asking me if I'd like a replacement or another product free of charge. Within minutes and a few more exchanges, no questions asked, a replacement was ordered and on its way priority mail free of charge! 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE fulfilled by Ump-Attire.com! Thank You x a million!
  23. 8 points
    The comments were limited to mild protest like "C'mon"...suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure they were.
  24. 7 points
    You ever get that feeling at the plate meeting that this coach will not be here to see the end of the game? 14U boys I got plate. Call for head coaches for the plate meeting. Coaches are your boys properly equipped and ready to play? Both coaches say yes and HT coach ask where is your zone? I say over the plate. He says I only ask because it seems to be different every game. At this point I feel the need to stress to him we don’t argue balls and strikes and his response is yeah I know this ain’t my first rodeo blue. I break plate meeting and say let’s play ball cause I feel this heading in a bad direction and I don’t want to dump him at the plate meeting. During warmups pitcher throws one low and HT catchers yells get them up you know I forgot my cup....oh no here we go. I stop tell HT manager his catcher is required to wear a cup it’s in league rules. He tells me it’s fine and I say well it’s really not, I asked you in plate meeting if your players were properly equipped and you said yes, a catcher without a cup is not properly equipped. He says this is ridiculous and it’s really none of my business, I said look he either gets a cup on or you find a new catcher. He ask for white hat and we send for him. He comes down backs me up and coach is pissed but surprise find a cup for catcher. His pitcher struggles and gives up several runs and his team goes down in order. Second inning I call ball on a close pitch and he ask where it missed at and I ignore (I have found once you start the where was it at game it never stops) he is mad I would not answer him. He is talking loud in his dugout about it’s the rule I have to answer him but again I just ignore. Inning gets over and he comes walking out towards me, right as he gets to me I say coach one word about the zone and you are done and he walks away. VT catcher sets up inside and pitch is outside forcing catcher to reach over but clearly hits the corner and I ring him up. HT manager is furious and comes walking from 3rd base box toward me saying you have to be joking? I had enough and was not going to do this for another hour so see ya. He says how many games have you umped and I say coach this ain’t my first rodeo.
  25. 7 points
    Pardon the war story: I had a runner truck a catcher (rather more obviously with intent, lining him up, etc.). After I tossed him, his coach came out to see if the opposing player was OK. The runner had gone back to the dugout, and he said to me, "I wish he'd hit people that hard on the football field. He's our starting middle linebacker!"
  26. 7 points
    At my age it's refreshing if I remember my name.
  27. 7 points
    What's the first rule of Fight Club? NEVER talk about fight club! What's the first rule of Crossfit? NEVER shut the F*#K up about Crossfit! Hahahaha. You're welcome.
  28. 7 points
    ... a pig wanders on the field and eats the ball (inside the pork home run)
  29. 7 points
    Just in case some of you haven’t heard (read) this advice on ejections I’ll try to succinctly state how I was taught way back when. First, some great advice on here about pre-gaming with your partner. I’m a fan of even discussing it “in-game” if it’s important. Briefly of course. Now, the 3 P’s of Ejections. Personal- “You suck!” Gotta go. Profane- “That call effin sucked!” Again, gotta go. Prolonged- “Coach we’re done, let’s play ball now. No, we’re not, I’m not done. You haven’t explained your call well enough yet.” Aaaaaand, He’s done. Buh-bye! Gotta go. Works pretty well. May not cover every situation. I don’t get to work at one very choice venue anymore because I dumped a coach who ran at me from 3B dugout, without calling time, after I’d put my hand up and warned him to stop and not continue further on a whacker play at first. I’m content with that call and that EJ but the tournament director wasn’t. So, I don’t work showcase tournaments at that all turf Division I venue anymore. Oh well. That’s why some umpires don’t eject- they are afraid of the repercussions. I’d rather be able to live with myself. My .02...Your mileage may vary.
  30. 7 points
    Just wanted to give an update...
  31. 7 points
    I got to wear the brown and the powder blue during my stint....not the white. The powder is my favorite, the brown was combined with an olive color and it was awful. but hey, it was the MLB logo so i'd wear any combo during that time as long as the direct deposit was hitting the checking account
  32. 7 points
    Mizuno 122, striped and powder coated matte black w/ SSK tg also pc’d. Im playing around with the mask pad combo, but I’m probably gonna stick with this or the fonzie look
  33. 7 points
    So why you wrote. To let us know that you have a friend that is a MLB umpire and that makes you feel important and special. Big deal!!! Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk
  34. 7 points
    Could we please do two things to improve the Ask the Umpire segment? Request Moderators to re-title questions that are "Mr." or "Ms." or "Mrs." (or "Dr.", I suppose) to more relevant descriptions ("Interference at 2nd Base in a LL game?")? Could we change the default field format of the Ask the Umpire form to read "Question Title" or "Title of Article" or "Subject"? People are thinking that "Title" means "Mister" or "Miss"...
  35. 7 points
    With the season winding down, I thought I'd post the TOP THREE DUMBEST ARGUEMENTS I have heard this year (NOT including the usual suspects...hands are part of bat, etc) 3. DC: "But an infield fly is automatically a dead ball." 2. OC: "If a players requests TIME you MUST grant his request." 1. OC: Hey, Blue; Courtesy runner for my catcher. ME: But there's nobody on base. OC: That's my catcher batting. Can't I run for him? ME: Sure you can, AFTER he gets on base. OC; So I can't sub him out NOW? ME: If you had an available sub (which I knew he did NOT) you could pinch-hit for him. OC; No, you don't understand. I want HIM to hit, but someone ELSE to run. ME; Come on, Skip. Certainly you know you can't do that. OC; But once he reaches, then I CAN run for him? ME: Yes. Batter hits one to gap in RC. As he's turning the corner at first, OC start's shouting "TIME. TIME. Courtesy runner for my catcher!" ME; (sigh)
  36. 7 points
    I have been thinking about your post. I think it hints at an even bigger issue. Too many of us umpires feel the need to "talk" during an argument...to the point where we start arguing/discussing/talking before the coach even opens his mouth. That is, we don't wait to hear what the coach has to say before we feel compelled to open our mouths and start talking. Hell, some of us start talking/yelling while the coach is still walking/jogging toward us. We don't even wait for him to arrive at our location. Those of us that do this (and I used to be one of them) really need to stop doing this. We need to hear what the coach says/argues before we even open our mouth. When we feel the need to be the first one to start talking/yelling we are doing so only after having made an assumption that we know what the coach is going to say...and we all know what happens when we ass-u-me. On more than one occasion I have been on the field when a head coach came out to "argue" (either with me or a partner) and the first words out of his mouth were, "I know you got the call right, we're just playing like crap so I'm out here to show my team that I'm fighting for them," (or something similar) (I'm not making that up...this has happened multiple times in my career). If my partner or I had started yelling/talking to/at the coach before listening to the coach, we wouldn't have had the chance to realize that the coach wasn't even coming out to argue! Additionally, there have been other times when I was 100% sure I knew why the coach was coming out to argue...only to find out that I was wrong. For instance, I once had the Vanderbilt head coach come out and I was sure he was going to argue that the second baseman had come off the bag too quickly in turning a 6-4-3 double-play. I wasn't feeling great about my call. However, lo and behold, his argument was that the batted ball had hit R2...which I knew was not even a remote possibility. If I had opened my mouth first instead of waiting to hear what he had to say...I would have just given the head coach another thing to argue! Anyways (now that I'm off my soap box), if the coach comes out to a standard safe/out play at first base, I'll listen to them. I'll tell them, "I had the ball just beating the runner," or "the runner just beat the throw." I'll let them reply and then I'll say "We'll have to agree to disagree. Now, we need to get the game going." They'll usually give a parting shot (coaches love to have the last word.) Then we go on. I have never had this happen, but if a coach told me, "Well, we saw it differently," then I would probably reply with, "Okay, then we'll have to agree to disagree. Now, Its time to get the game going."
  37. 7 points
    #1 isn't a mechanics issue, it's a rules issue. And he's wrong. #2 is a mechanics issue, and he's still wrong. He also sounds like an arrogant, ignorant jackass.
  38. 7 points
    It's here! Finally after almost a month and a half of waiting. Guess my Wilson Ti is going to have to find a new home. My Mizuno isn't going anywhere.
  39. 7 points
    Pay for a second umpire and let HIM assist his partner.
  40. 7 points
    Had this gem from over the weekend. Babe Ruth game, bottom 6, bases loaded, 2 out, VT up by 2. Batter has already seen a few pitches (think the count was 2-1) and VT coach suddenly yells from the dugout, "Hey Blue, they've got the wrong batter! #33 is up, should be #11, that's the third out." [You probably can guess where this is going...] VT players start walking off the field. I call "Time" and tell everyone to go back to their positions. I look over to the HT coach who's already talking to an asst. who's keeping the book. Coach looks down the bench at a player and I hear him say coolly, "Devon, you're at bat. Get up there." Think he knew he dodged a bullet there. While proper batter is walking to the plate, VT coach comes out to tell me the inning is over for "batting out of order." I tell him he appealed too early and explain the proper time to appeal BOO - and he's looking at me like I have two heads. He got hot under the collar but didn't get personal w/ me or say anything to get dumped. Proper batter finally comes to bat. He takes a ball, then he dumps the next pitch way over F9 for bases-clearing triple. (He scored on wild pitch before pop out ended the inning.) After the triple, VT coach yells out, "This is f*-ing' unbelievable!" Don't know if that was directed at me or his players...doesn't really matter...I tossed him. VT went in order in top 7, game over. There are two types of coaches. Those who know the rules. And those who think they do.
  41. 7 points
    Tbroze lets put this to bed real quick. Are the best umpires in the country at the CWS every year... NOPE there are politics involved just like in anything MLB, MiLB, HS and LL. There is a rotation, there is a sitting period for the top level guys otherwise you'd see the same 8-10 guys year in year out. And everyone would lose their minds on, "no thats not fair"... Ok so here it goes. Did this umpire have a "big" in your opinion bad zone today... YEP. But do you know that this umpire was also the alternate and was called in and got on a plane b/c a crew chief went down with an injure less than 48 hours ago. NO. Have you ever worked in this type of an enviroment where you're being judge by 27 cameras and ESPN and 30k + people? It's really easy to call pitches from the couch, hell its easy to call them from the 1b foul line. But we support umpires here. We can say that he might be to far back, moving his head, to high/low, not enough slot foot as a training avenue. But lets not blast the guys who have been doing this at an extremely high level for years and own the coaches and administrators respect. As for the other calls they've "missed" yep there have been several and guess what, if ESPN where to show multiple games at any level with this much coverage I'd bet my life savings you'd see more missed calls than this. They've also had some nut cutters that have been 100% right! Oh by the way there are multiple guys at the CWS this year who have MLB time and multiple cws, super regionals, regionals and MiLB experience. Now to the issue of you being there... I run an umpire camp that the national coordinators D1, D2 and D3 come too every year. Private message me and you can have a spot and show them what you got and see if you can jump over the guys in the line and put those brass balls to work. I don't care a guys age, I've seen 55+ year olds go from hs to D1 in 5 years without pro experience. I hate excuses from guys on why there not there. I love working with guys with passion and that can out umpire me! That is my challenge to myself every game, give to the brotherhood and out work everyone on the field to be the best. So come on down and I'll see you in October where by the way 2 of those umpires are going to be there. Just my $0.02
  42. 6 points
    South Carolina is the best state in the country to umpire high school baseball. We have unbelievable baseball talent to umpire and a great League that backs its officials. If you're a coach and get ejected you're paying a minimum $300 fine and serving a 2 game suspension. If you're a volunteer coach, you're banned from having any contact with the school's athletic department for one year from the date of ejection. Players get a minimum 2 game suspension. The League often goes beyond the minimum...even for a first ejection. Needless to say, our association has very few ejections in a season. For example, once we had a Coach appeal his ejection. He had been restricted to the dugout when he said, "bear down!" to the umpire as he was leaving the field and heading back to the dugout. He got tossed. (We umps can argue whether that is a good EJ or not...but that's beside the point.). Coach said in his appeal that, that was not enough to warrant an ejection. The League said, "when you are restricted you don't have the right to say another word," enjoy your suspension. (Okay, I made up "enjoy your suspension".) Add to all of that the fact that our local umpire association is committed to putting the best umpires on the field for the "big games", and not those umpires in some clique or with some type of seniority, and you have the best possible situation that an umpire can have in high school baseball. Life is good.
  43. 6 points
    I know a local varsity coach who trains his pitcher to throw a fastball down the middle above the belt, missing high if he misses. 95% of batters can't do anything with that pitch, it looks fat, and they generally either can't catch up or pop it up. WAY more effective than the pitch right at F2's mitt when he's set up outside the opposite batter's box. Oh, never mind: that coach is now one of our better umpires....
  44. 6 points
    Youth sports are best played by orphans
  45. 6 points
    Schutt is sending us a sample. We'll share more when we find out more details.
  46. 6 points
    I've always said I'll stop umpiring/officiating when it isn't fun anymore. When/if there comes at time where I don't look forward to stepping onto the field, court or rink, I know I'm done.
  47. 6 points
    Photos of me working the plate in the semi-final game of the 2017 American Legion World Series on ESPN U http://www.onlinepictureproof.com/vrstudio/albums/game_fourteen__nc_vs_ne/567353/guest/emoq19b5f6b8ck1 http://www.onlinepictureproof.com/vrstudio/albums/game_fourteen__nc_vs_ne/567353/guest/avn9o4v9hl768n4 http://www.onlinepictureproof.com/vrstudio/albums/game_fourteen__nc_vs_ne/567353/guest/tfpo1hwnye82v1i http://www.onlinepictureproof.com/vrstudio/albums/game_fourteen__nc_vs_ne/567353/guest/4368qd2gsymqac1 http://www.onlinepictureproof.com/vrstudio/albums/game_fourteen__nc_vs_ne/567353/guest/wvowlvwva9vnsyc http://www.onlinepictureproof.com/vrstudio/albums/game_fourteen__nc_vs_ne/567353/guest/9c112lcz38763sj http://www.onlinepictureproof.com/vrstudio/albums/game_fourteen__nc_vs_ne/567353/guest/h1hqn4rfkim5mm0 http://www.onlinepictureproof.com/vrstudio/albums/game_fourteen__nc_vs_ne/567353/guest/w12h4n536vll4cs http://www.onlinepictureproof.com/vrstudio/albums/game_fourteen__nc_vs_ne/567353/guest/mt83o6flja67s0m http://www.onlinepictureproof.com/vrstudio/albums/game_fourteen__nc_vs_ne/567353/guest/v2sgizd058o7cke http://www.onlinepictureproof.com/vrstudio/albums/game_fourteen__nc_vs_ne/567353/guest/40b3ijt10wnfv9o http://www.onlinepictureproof.com/vrstudio/albums/game_fourteen__nc_vs_ne/567353/guest/a77kjjqooy89ovz http://www.onlinepictureproof.com/vrstudio/albums/game_fourteen__nc_vs_ne/567353/guest/ilt5mh2treagmh1
  48. 6 points
    This past weekend, I was acting as onsite UIC, and as I was rolling the cooler full of ice, water, and towels from one field to another, replenishing the guys between innings, one of my crews had a situation happen right in front of me which I was very proud of how they handled it... without botching it or consulting me or the TD. R1, R2, 2 outs, X-2 count (balls not relevant). Swinging strike, pitch makes contact with the bat, and ends up... in the F2's armpit, trapped there. F2 gets up, flips the ball towards the mound, and starts trotting towards his dugout while the DT fans applaud his outstanding catch... ... but was it a catch? The 3BC (OTHC) starts bellowing, "That's not a catch! That's not a catch! Get the rule right!" while the PU steps back, and instead of making an Out mechanic, motions and calls, "Time!". I refrained from saying anything, as much as my younger umpire-self would have liked to, instead leaving it to this crew to determine. The PU motioned in the BU, and they met just in front of the mound. At this point, both the OTHC and the DTHC are on the field, and the PU has to signal to both of them to back off and return to their dugout areas, before he resumes discussing with the BU. Of course, the DT parents are, to a person, clamoring, "But it didn't hit the ground! He caught it!" I'm standing right next to the Field Marshal (FM, an employee of the TD), telling him, "It has to be the glove first for a foul tip. If it hits anywhere else on the catcher's body, like his mask or CP, it's a foul ball." At that moment, the PU disengages from the BU, heads back towards the plate, and announces, "Foul ball." DTHC approaches PU while his players resume their positions, and PU gives him a brief explanation, ending with, "My UIC is standing right there (points at me), he'll tell you the same thing." "Play!" Next pitch is a line-out to F5. Oh well. Nicely handled, Blue!
  49. 6 points
    Good day, Ken. Please give us a little more context. Is this baseball? Softball? Both bat sports? What level of play does this entail? Little League only? Travel / Academy ball? Are you drawing your umpires from an association, or are you the coordinator for umpires-as-independent-contractors? There is certainly more advice to give you, based on your answers, but some immediate, general points come to mind: Know your ruleset(s) backwards and forwards. You will not only be counseled by League Directors, Tournament Directors and coaches, but by your contracted umpires. And yes, working a game for you is a contract. Suffer naivety, but never suffer ignorance. There is a difference. Never assign a game to an umpire that you yourself are unwilling to do. In the same vein, you will likely have a value system based on skill sets, personalities (works well with certain partners, works well with certain coaches), and experience. However, don't assign games based on favoritism, as you will culture grudges. Don't give a championship game to an umpire simply because he's your nephew. By all means, support and defend your umpires to the Nth degree. However, when at a game venue, never step on the field to give your resolution, insight, or judgement on a play uninvited. If your umpires (for that game) are unclear about a Rule interpretation, and seek you out to get it right, then that is acceptable, and you should advise them based on the Rules. Judgement calls are non-Negotiable. In fact, if you are called in by your umpires to consult, you should let them describe the situation to you as if the fences were opaque walls and you saw nothing, even if you "saw the whole thing". Remember, you are just referencing Rules knowledge, not judgement. You may have to step in (or summon another stand-by umpire to do so) if one of your umpires gets injured, isn't feeling well, or his/her attention is impaired by a personal issue (divorce, death in the family, car accident notification during game, etc). Never dock the umpire in this situation – give him the full game fee. Resist the temptation to remove an umpire if he's "blowing calls". You may need to remove him from further games for the day (LDs & TDs should discuss this with you), but do not remove him from that game underway. Do not dock his pay, and do not let a TD or LD dock his pay. Even if you have an umpire storm off the field in disgust and abandon the game, and you're now in a pinch to find a replacement, make sure you pay him for that game. It covers your butt. Set up an evaluation system, a feedback and accolades structure, and some sort of instructional or training system, no matter how basic or advanced you're able to implement. Umpires rarely get recognition or accolades, and as such, some seek appreciation by direct coach feedback, or lingering around to shake/slap hands with the game participants. Don't foster this mentality! Encourage them to get off the field and get among other umpires (yourself included) to review the game and identify points of praise and opportunities to improve.
  50. 6 points
    1)Sitting at desk at work, look at clock: "Dammit, I should have left work already!" 2)Hit every GD red light on my way to the freeway. 3) Get stuck in traffic on freeway because some a-hole decided to go 80 when everyone else was going 60, and rear ended someone. 4) Arrive at ballpark 20 minutes later than I wanted to, but not too worried because I still beat my partner. 5a) While getting things ready at the car, get greeted by some dad walking by, saying something he thought was funny and original, the only thing is that it was not funny, nor original, the other 57 times I heard it before. Politely smile and force a chuckle, then go back to getting ready. 5b)Rush to get dressed due to circumstances listed above. Get halfway to field before I realize I forgot (fill in the blank here), turn around and walk all the way back to the parking lot to get said item. 6) Hit the bathroom for one last pregame. 7) Get paid if it's a game that is paid at the field and not a RefPay game. Yes, always get paid before. Sometimes, the last place you want to be after a game, is hanging around the concession stand waiting for a the person with the checkbook. Especially when you just banged out the tying run for the home team on a close play at the plate to end the game. 8) Grab a bottled water from the hot mommy running the concession stand. "How ya doin?" 9) Enter field, talk sh** with the home team players and coach for a moment. 10) Ask for baseballs, get baseballs, tell them that's not enough baseballs, listen to coach say: "both pitchers each have one baseball as welll." Thank coach for that info then restate: "still not enough baseballs, (coach's name here." Hear coach make some comment about their skinny budget while handing you two more baseballs. Thank coach with a smile, then head to plate meeting with coach. 11) Upon arrival at plate, listen to coaches tell (lie to) each other how tough their seasons have been, and how they have no idea how they are going to make it through the rest of the season, even when both are playing above .700 baseball. 12) Start plate meeting. Point out to one of the coaches that he has two players with the same number. After his surprise, watch as he has to yell at one of the players several times to get his attention. Once he does, get ready for the confused look on the player's face when he is asked what his number is. The mystery is finally solved, but not until we have that player turn around so we can see what his number is. 13) Line up for anthem, hoping it's going to be the standard band rendition that lasts all of 45 seconds, but instead getting a recorded rendition of some pop star singing it at some big event in the past, that ends up going well past 2 minutes, because the dad in the press box thought it would be so awesome! 14) Say goodbye to the partner, greet the catcher, take a look at some warm up pitches, start the game 5-10 minutes late due in large part to the Case of the Duplicate Numbers, and Daddy DJ in the press box. 15) An hour and a half later: BOOM! OUTTA HERE! (If we're lucky) Somewhere in there, a real pre-game was probably mixed in, provided it wasn't someone that I've worked with a hundred times before. In between balls, strikes, and puts, a couple of silly questions from coaches were answered, and several funny things were heard coming from the stands from fans who came to the game fresh out of clues. Oh, I almost forgot! I also heard John Fogerty's "Centerfield" for the 4,357th time at some point during the game. Or was it the 4,358th time? I think that pretty much honestly sums up a day in the life of an amateur umpire in the middle of July.
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