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JonnyCat

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JonnyCat last won the day on February 8

JonnyCat had the most liked content!

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  • Location
    So Cal

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  • Your Association Name
    West Coast Umpires, SDCBUA
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  1. Umpire Interference

    Still nothing. Live ball, play on.
  2. Umpire Interference

    It could be a lot of things, but it is not a rule violation. It's nothing, play on. Umpire interference can only happen in 2 specific instances. This is not one of them.
  3. Watching umpires while I watch my son

    Good point and I agree that would help a lot. It's amazing how many baseball fields in my area don't have lights. Most of the HS fields don't and they probably never will due to the cost.
  4. Watching umpires while I watch my son

    I agree that an increase in the fees would go a long way to attract more people. And with more people, associations could demand better training and more professionalism among their employees. That's assuming associations would follow suit. That's the problem with my HS association, few care about getting better. But with that being said, an increase in pay is more of a pipe dream at this point. Financially for me and many others in my area, umpiring 3pm games makes no sense. I'm leaving a half days pay to make a paltry $76.00? It doesn't pay the bills. It's not unreasonable for rents or mortgages in So Cal to be $2500.00 a month and much more. Do the math, that's 30 grand a year or more for rent or mortgage. You'd have to do 400 games at an average of $76.00 games just to pay rent here. Many of the games pay even less that that. Most travel-ball pays around $50.00 per game. Yeah, it would be nice to get paid more, but probably not going to happen. Not sure why baseball pays so little. Maybe the tide will be turning with the shortage of officials, but for now, it will still just be a little extra income out here. I think officiating might always be just some extra cash on the amateur level. I agree the fees should be at least doubled and put us more in line with other sports. Even with an increase in pay, it's still always going to be a part time job with part time pay. But for some reason baseball seems more unique to abuse of the officials. I don't see it as much in other sports. In fact, when my son's played water polo and on the swim team, not only did the officials get payed more for a lot less work, there was little to no abuse whatsoever in the 8+ seasons I watched. I think more realistically, changing the culture would have a more immediate impact in recruitment. When trying to recruit new umpires, in my experience the number one reason for people give for not wanting to do it is that they don't want to get yelled at. It's also the reason people walk away from it, they get tired of the abuse. Until TD's, High Schools, and youth leagues start to demand a higher set of standards and behavior, people are going to be reluctant to officiate. Couple that with low pay, that's a tough hurdle to overcome.
  5. Stepping out of the front of box

    Agree with Richvee. If you're tracking the ball properly and watching the hit off the bat, you're never going to see where the batter's foot lands. Nor should you. Like Rich said, that rule is there for the obvious. Remember, the rule states that the batter must contact the ball with the foot entirely on the ground outside the box. Usually it's not as the coach thinks it is. Don't concern yourself too much where the foot lands. Track the ball to the glove and follow the ball off the bat. That burner right down the 3BL, you're going to want to see that! Not where his foot landed.
  6. Infield fly runner

    Yes.
  7. Watching umpires while I watch my son

    I agree the problems are many, and the solutions are few. First of all, there aren't a whole lot of people that want to officiate anyway, so the pool of availability is already small. Couple that with low pay, early start times, a lot more games, and abuse; the pool becomes even smaller. In my area, especially with HS, it's mostly about availablity. With HS games starting around 3pm, there are not many people that are available. With the high cost of living in So Cal, who is able to make those games? Myself and for many of my colleagues, we can't leave work to go make a lousy $76.00. I wouldn't be able to afford my house, cars, wife, and kids. It's a hobby for me. I can't have it interfere with my real job. However, for many of the officials in our area, officiating is a major source of their income. They are either older retired guys supplementing their income, or other guys barely scraping by. They only care about the money. And since they get games no matter what because they are always available, they don't care about training, mechanics, looking sharp, etc. Why should they? Our assigner has to fill games, and he gives them first to who is available. We put on training (I'm a lead instructor), and hardly anyone shows up. The association tries to mandate participation, but number one, it's an empty threat because the membership knows the many games have to get filled. And number two, our BOD is a revolving door filled with the above mentioned people. They simply don't care about training or bettering themselves. They don't want to do anything that doesn't pay them money. Every fall, we have an opportunity to work San Diego State intersquad games at Tony Gywnn stadium. It's the best baseball I'll ever see, and I jump at every opportunity to work those games. It's a great training resource in a relaxed environment. It's open to all of our HS members. But hardly anyone wants to work them because they don't pay. This also leads to another huge problem, and probably the most significant reason why it's hard to find officials in our area. Our HS association has a scratch list. Each coach can scratch up to 5 umpires per year. Doesn't matter the reason, they can scratch 5. The officials that need the money are deathly afraid of getting on this list. So what happens? They are reticent to eject for fear of losing games and income. They let the coaches, players, and fans walk all over them. It breeds a culture of poor behavior and abuse. Honestly, if I wasn't already an umpire when I watched my boys play baseball throughout HS, I would not have wanted to become one. More pay is all well and good, but unrealistic of course. In So Cal, you'd have to pay each umpire $200.00 a game to make it even worth while to make 3pm weekday game. What really needs to change is the culture. Get rid of the abuse and you'd have more people. Not sure how to do that, but that is the real issue.
  8. Umpire Interference with catcher/runner

    I've seen this debate over calling time when cleaning the plate many times on this and other forums over the years. While MadMax makes some great points, I just don't see any appreciable savings in time(pun intended) by not calling time to dust off the plate and putting the ball back in play. I don't really care if the PU calls time or not, do whatever works for you. But situational awareness is most definitely the key. Now if I have a couple of runners bury the plate while sliding into the dustbowl known as the batters box in my area, and maybe a runner is in scoring position, I have no issue with calling time and cleaning the plate. (Sometimes shoveling the 2 yards of dirt off the plate can take a while ). After all play relaxes, the catcher is not in position yet, I have a batter that is walking to the plate after being on deck, and calling time IMO just doesn't really have any bearing on the length of the game. Besides, after play is relaxed, 99.9% of the time, the players and coaches think time has been called anyway. I just don't have an issue with it. With that being said, I try to work my games with efficiency and a workmanlike manner. I don't like anyone waiting on me. I always strive to keep the game moving and I never grant time unnecessarily. While you don't need to call time everytime you clean off the plate, I think there can be times when it's prudent.
  9. 10 y.o. umpire fan

    Ben Phillips, one of the umpires in the video, was on my crew in pro school. Great guy and great umpire. That is a wonderful story, and I'm happy he is a part of it.
  10. Umpiring while sick?

    Is that good or bad?
  11. Umpiring while sick?

    If it's not too bad, sometimes you can take Dayquil and work through it. However, unless not working the games means your car is going to get repossesed, your house will be foreclosed, your wife will leave you, and your children might starve, then just stay home. Nobody wants to be around sick people. There's no glory in working games sick and possibly infecting other people.
  12. I've got a case of the Flinchies. What do I do?

    Better catchers do help, no doubt about it. The higher you move up, the better the catchers are, less likely to flinch. However, most umpires, if not all do it at some point. As Stk004 points out, "hard to fight instincts." Umpiring is a learning curve and often takes time, training, and experience. With that being said, flinching is usually a function of not tracking the ball properly. Learn to pick up the ball quickly out of the pitchers hand and track it all the way into the catchers glove. Proper training will help you do this. I often hear in my head one of my pro school instructors telling me to "explode my eyes" when tracking a pitch. Don't squint, keep your eyes wide open when tracking the pitch. Tracking will also help with your timing. I would focus most on this aspect of calling balls and strikes. If you haven't had any formal training, seek some out, and continue to do so throughout your umpiring career. Good equipment, worn properly, will help your confidence level, as well. Don't fret too much, it's very fixable, but may take some time.
  13. Common Acronyms

    Make (Stuff) Up. Substitute stuff for your favorite S word.
  14. Wendelstedt Advanced Amateur Umpire Course

    I've been to the basic course in 2013. You're there in the 5 week class for the start, you just leave after about 2 weeks. Vice/versa for the advanced course. You basically get a lot of formation, drills, and some very limited cage work. You won't get situational drills or camp games in the basic course. I would be a little leery of attending the advanced course unless you were very well versed in the 2 man system. Otherwise, you would have to pick up the footwork, mechanics, and rotations very quickly, as you would be missing a lot of practice on the fundamentals. I think most people could struggle a bit in the situational drills and camp games. While I did learn a lot, in my opinion it is not work the time and effort and then leave early. If you live close by, then maybe it is. When I was there, I kicked myself for spending all the time, effort, and money, and not stay the full 5 weeks. That played into my decision to attend the full MiLB 4 week school in 2015. I feel that the MiLB school is much better than Wedlestedt. If you're going to go to pro school, I suggest bite the bullet and attend the full school. You'll get the full experience and the certificate, which can open a few doors for you. There are usually plenty of local and college weekend clinics that can really help you hone your skills. I'd look into those first, attend a few, and see where you want to go next. Not sure what part of the country that you live, but in my opinion, one of the best schools for the cost and level of instruction is the Little League week long umpire school in San Bernadino, California. It's very affordable, teaches mostly pro based mechanics, and you get a lot of work in. If you haven't had a lot of formal training, this is one of the better schools to attend. Although the instruction is mostly geared to the small diamond, the mechanics and plate work instruction is almost entirely based on pro school. You don't have to be a LL umpire to attend. If you have more specific questions, feel free to PM me.
  15. What is the Correct Call

    Foul ball. It only matters where the ball settles or is touched in order to determine fair/foul status. If it settled in foul territory before 3B, then foul ball, batter back to bat, all other runners, if any, return to their time of pitch base(s).
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