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JonnyCat last won the day on February 8 2018

JonnyCat had the most liked content!

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    So Cal

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    West Coast Umpires, SDCBUA
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  1. JonnyCat

    Stretching Routines

    Minor League Baseball actually has a stretching matrix they developed. They taught it to us when I was at pro school. It's a program specifically designed for umpires. I use parts of it everytime I umpire or play softball and I really believe in it. It's helped me with flexibility, movement, and recovery. I can't stress enough the importance of stretching before any exercise. Any type of stretching is beneficial. Perhaps you could reach out to the Umpire Training Academy for more information.
  2. I don't normally do this, but I just had to weigh in on the subject of patches. I guess I'm in a particularly venomous mood today! Disclaimer: This rant is in no way directed any anyone in particular, just my general opinion. I for the life of me can't understand the obsession with patches. We go round and round in my area at all levels about the patches, particularly at the HS level. Our HS association spends more time policing the patch requirement than anything else. We have members that haven't bought new uniforms since the 1990's it seems. I guess it's okay to have crappy looking uniforms but God forbid you show up looking sharp with creased pants and pressed shirts without their gaudy patch. Even if you have a logo on your hat, you still have to eff around with that ugly patch. You can go without the logo on your hat, but not your shirt. I don't get it. What in God's name is wrong with just the logo on your hat? I don't know, but apparently it's a mortal sin and subject to a fine if you don't have a patch on your shirt or jacket! A patch! You can show up with a filthy wrinkled ugly as heck navy shirt and as long as it has a patch on it, you're good to go! Really, at the HS level and down, who gives a flying F&@# what association you work for? Does anybody care? Does the HS coach not know which association has been working their games for the past 30+ years? Is the LL coach really that concerned if the umpire(s) are volunteer or from an association? Will the travelball (or Daddyball) coach temper his distain for your calls because he knows which association you represent? Does the TD of a weekend tournament not know which association they hired to work their games? Do the spectators look at the patch and say, "Oh great, the "XYZ Association of Extremely Talented Umpires of the Divine Burning Embers of the Holy Strike Zone", are working our game. I will have absolutely no reason to complain about anything on the diamond today!" Said no one ever! And branding and advertising doesn't matter either. It seems we waste so much time and energy on the patch. News flash. Nobody cares about the patch. Nobody cares what association we work for. Many of the umpire traditions and practices are stuck in the 1970's. The patch is a prime example. How about focusing on making sure your umpires look sharp, work hard, and try to get the calls right?
  3. JonnyCat

    In field fly

    If I understand correctly, the ball was foul. Treat it as any other foul ball. Batter still at bat with whatever the count is. Call was "infield fly, if fair." Ball was foul, what was the issue?
  4. JonnyCat

    All Star FM4000MAG

    Not sure if this would work, but maybe worth looking into? From Gerry Davis Sports. https://www.gerrydavis.com/product/B51AC01/Con-Cushion-Mask-Enhancer.html?cid=19
  5. JonnyCat

    Fair or Foul Ball?

    Fair ball. Ball hits the 3rd base bag, its a fair ball. Doesn't matter what happens after that. See OBR 2.00, definition of a fair ball.
  6. JonnyCat

    Is the player out

    Whaaaaaat!!!??? And miss some of the best lines in the whole movie?
  7. JonnyCat

    LL obstruction at 1B

    Sounds like obstruction to me. LL does not have the "In the act of fielding" provision in the definition of obstruction. The fielder must have possession of the ball. In my experience, this call is often missed or mis-interpreted in LL and HS. I always hear people say, "well the fielder was doing what he was supposed to be doing."
  8. JonnyCat

    Horrible news - @grayhawk

    Hoping and praying for a fast and complete recovery. I'll echo what MudisFun said, Steve is a great guy.
  9. JonnyCat

    Umpire Interference

    Still nothing. Live ball, play on.
  10. JonnyCat

    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.
  11. JonnyCat

    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.
  12. JonnyCat

    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.
  13. JonnyCat

    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.
  14. JonnyCat

    Infield fly runner

  15. JonnyCat

    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.