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Everything posted by umpire_scott

  1. Legal position within the batters box

    I tend to use the inner white line (meaning closest to the plate) as my reference. If any part of the ball is nicking the white line I'm balling it. The area between the edge of the plate and the beginning of the box is my borderline area. If the pitch is thigh high and F1 pops a stationary mitt he's getting it. But I won't call pitches in the other box strikes. So batters in my game don't have any reason to stand out of the box. On another note I always find it funny how infrequently pitchers take advantage of batters that do crowd the plate. Over 1/2 the time when I see this I still see the pitchers trying to pitch away. Really dumb. Come inner half and hard and they are going to have a tough time catching up or you might jam them. Pitching away when they crowd the plate is just dumb. The distance you have to go away to miss the bat is never going to be called a strike. Yet I see it all the time.
  2. Award of Bases

    Okay that makes sense. I was envisioning a situation where he was already out of the box and the catcher's errant throw hit him. For example a WP and batter vacates the box and the catcher not paying attention to where he is hits his helmet. But It does make sense to account for the batter starting in the box and then moving during the throw.
  3. Award of Bases

    Just curious what the reasoning is in making it different whether the batter is in the box or not? The ball is live for runners to advance on an overthrow back to F2 whether the batter is in the box or not. So why make it a dead ball no advance if he's out of the box?
  4. Legal position within the batters box

    "Crowding the plate" is legal. Having any part of your foot outside the outer edge of the box is not legal. In the game I was watching I was probably incorrect to say 1/2 their foot was outside of the box. But the tips of their toes were an inch or two away from home plate. At least 2-3 inches of their feet were completely out of the box. So they were clearly in violation of the rule. I always enforce this and have had no issue with it because it is supported by the rule. Now if the lines have been brushed away and I can't make an absolute determination then I'm letting it go.
  5. Legal position within the batters box

    Yes but I think the impact on the pitcher is more visual than anything else. Once he begins his pitching motion I think the batters position relative to the plate is less significant. When the batter is crowding the plate prior to the pitch it visually impedes the pitcher from pitching to the inside part of the plate as in many instances the knees and elbows are actually in the strike zone. And unfortunately many umpires won't call a strike on a HBP that is in zone. I've done it on a few occasions and have caught hell from the player, coaches, and fans for it because they cannot see what I can see. And many umpires that I have worked with do not enforce the "starting position" rule.
  6. Batter catches the pitch

    Play 65-83 NCAA and OBR only. A slow curve hits B1’s arm in front of the plate. B1 makes no attempt to avoid the pitch. Ruling: The ball is dead. If in the umpire’s judgment the pitch would have been a strike, it is called as such. In any case, B1 is not awarded first. The underlined piece is the interpretation verbiage I'm speaking of. It is speaking of a "slow curve" and say "would have been a strike". It doesn't say "if in the umpire's judgement the pitch WAS a strike". So to me this clearly indicated that when a batter interferes with a pitch intentionally before it gets to the plate then the umpire must determine whether it WOULD have been a strike or not. And as far as I'm concerned I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to the pitcher not the batter that purposely interfered. Now if he caught a pitch that was clearly a ball then it's a ball. But if I believe it was breaking into the zone and the batter kept that from happening, then I believe calling that pitch a strike is supported by this interpretation.
  7. Batter catches the pitch

    Thank you Senor Azul. So there is interpretation verbiage to allow for a pitch that "would have been a strike" to be called a strike if the batter intentionally interfered with the ball.
  8. Batter catches the pitch

    I agree that if he did it more than once I would say something. But if I were the defensive coach I would have a huge problem with a batter interfering with a pitch that had a chance at being called a strike if not for the batter interfering with it. I would feel like a real tool if I explained to him "Sorry coach but unless it's a strike it's a ball, and since the ball never got to home plate it's not a strike. If he does it again I'll warn or eject, but for this pitch it's a ball".
  9. Batter catches the pitch

    But that would imply that batters can just reach out in front of the plate and allow pitches to hit them, and they would legally be balls because they have not reached the plate yet.. I thought there was verbiage about not allowing a pitch to enter the strike zone?
  10. Batter catches the pitch

    What basis do you have for calling it a ball if it never got to the plate at all? That would seem to imply that all batters can catch pitches before they get to the catcher so they don't get to the plate and potentially become strikes.
  11. How wide should your strike zone be?

    I'm not sure what part of what I said is irrelevant? I just don't think it's my job to determine the ability to be hit that a pitch has. So much of that is determined by the batters stance in relation to the plate. If a batter stood in the middle of the box then every pitch 1-2 balls inside would be hittable. If the batter stood closer to the plate to reach outside pitches then those pitches 1-2 balls inside become much less hittable. So by giving less inside and more outside I'm encouraging batters to crowd the plate. And then punishing the pitcher by not giving him that inside area. For this reason I agree with noumpere and I try to give the same on each side. While I say this I probably do tend to give a little more on the outer edge, but not as much as I see other umpires do.
  12. How wide should your strike zone be?

    "Could have been hit" and "Could have been driven" are two different things. Pitchers are searching for the pitch that is hit but not driven. That's where "pitch to contact comes from". You want to get the hitter to swing at a pitch they can hit but not drive.
  13. How wide should your strike zone be?

    I know exactly what you are saying, but it also frustrates me that we don't reward good pitches when we consider whether they can "get good wood on it". Isn't the point of the pitcher to find those spots where the batter can't put good wood on it? I try hard, especially with batters that crowd the plate, to give the pitcher that high in pitch as long as it does fit in the book zone. Most umpires I see will give 2+ balls on outside pitches, but barely give a 1/4 of a ball on inside pitches. With the way many players crowd the plate to reach balls out off the plate I think it is imperative to give the pitchers something in off the plate.
  14. How wide should your strike zone be?

    I can concur first hand what Matt says here. I literally can remember thinking "where is my zone and did that hit it" years ago and now I mentally use the "did that look like a strike" burden of proof. There are a lot of things that go into "does it look like a strike", including what the catcher does, if the pitcher hit his spot, etc. At the end of the day calling an exact book zone below college can create a lot of problems with game flow. Giving the pitchers a little off the plate if they hit their spot moves the game along. And as long as you are consistent with it you won't get many complaints. I get far fewer complaints about my zone now than I did when it was smaller and I tried to call it exactly by the book.
  15. Best lines you've heard or used at an umpire?

    Doing a little league game several years ago in Phoenix. Had a fan heckling me constantly. I ignored most of it, but when it started to become a distraction (players were actually turning and looking at him and he was right by me), I called "time" and inquired about which team he was with as I was going to speak to the coach about keeping his fans under control. The fan says "I'm not with either team, I just came to watch the games". So tell him that he needs to quiet down or I'll get the site director to make him leave. He looks at me flabbergasted and says "I was just having fun. Isn't heckling the umpire a part of baseball?".
  16. Best lines you've heard or used at an umpire?

    Look on the bright side he's acknowledging that you can have any zone you want.
  17. Best lines you've heard or used at an umpire?

    First batter of the game in an 18U tournament. First pitch is a strike right down the middle. Next two pitches are picked off the dirt by F2 and are just off the plate as well. Then I think a foul ball evens the count up. Fifth pitch is also picked off the dirt by F2 filling the count up. Ball 4 comes in off the plate and is once again almost in the dirt. As the batter trots to first a mom to my left says "Cmon blue you're squeezing us".
  18. Best replies you ever gave a coach/player/fan?

    Pitch comes in just below the knees over the middle of the plate. I call "strike", batter says "where was that, blue?" I say "over the plate". He says "I mean the location". I say "over the plate at the knees". I mean he knew it was the low part of the zone. It's so annoying when players question things and have no idea how to do it.
  19. Balk or not

    Got it. Thanks for clearing it up.
  20. Balk or not

    So Maven are you in agreement that if he fully disengaged while stepping to second and then feinted to third it would be okay? I sometimes have interpretation issues with the step-off and the "all one move" interpretations. In that video you posted of Latos I believe being called for a balk most construed it was "all one move" and stated that a step-off had to be immediate and with only that foot moving. So on the OP for this thread I'm envisioning F1 spinning towards second and then stepping towards second with his pivot foot disengaging on the step. Or does this move constitute all one move that was initiated from the rubber?
  21. Balk or not

    What noumpere said makes sense. It all depends on when the feint was made. OP already said the bases were loaded so there was a runner on second. So I would assume he would have to spin towards second, step towards second and completely come off the rubber, then fake to third, otherwise it would be construed as one move that started from the rubber and included a fake to third, which of course is a balk.
  22. Lineup Question

    For some reason I always question myself in lineup scenarios when a DH is used. I'll read the rule book, feel confident that I've got it down, and then in the heat of the moment question myself. So here was today's situation. The team was batting nine with a DH for the F1. HC comes to me between innings and says he is taking his pitcher out and his F3 is going in to pitch. Then his F7 was moving to First base. And a player was coming off the bench to move to left field. Since F1 did not have a spot in the batting order and was leaving the game this kills the DH correct and removes him from the game? So I had the new player come in and take the DH's spot in the batting order and then the former F7 and F3 who are know F3 and F1 respectively maintain their spots in the order and are simply position changes? Did I get this right?
  23. Lineup Question

    This is a tournament that uses modified OBR. They probably didn't even factor in for this situation being different in OBR and HS. They do allow the following lineups: Bat 9 play 9; Bat 9 play 9 with a DH; Bat 10 with an EH, or bat your lineup. I guess since it does not specify and it's "OBR unless specified otherwise" then I would go with the OBR DH rules.
  24. Appeals play

    I don't see giving trophies to everyone as even remotely similar to this. When was the last time you saw an IBB mucked up at the college or MLB level? When something like that happens with 99% accuracy then maybe it is just a waste of time. And baseball has had a long standing issue with length of games for viewers. I guess as a coach instead of risking a pitcher throwing the ball away or some OOO getting the catcher for a balk for moving out of the catcher's box to quickly the coach could just have the pitcher hit the batter. That pretty much eliminates the threat of runners advancing. We know what they want to do and they execute at probably far greater than 99% accuracy. So let's do away with the formalities and just give them first base.