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Everything posted by lawump

  1. Sticky situation

  2. Women in the profession

    More along the lines of Sororicide.
  3. Women in the profession

    All I will say is if women can officiate in the NBA and NFL, being a woman cannot in any way, shape or form prevent one from obtaining the skills necessary to be a highly competent MLB umpire. Two leagues have actively sought to develop and hire women, one has done the complete opposite. Based on my experiences in the 1990's and early 2000's, the working conditions for a woman professional umpire were horrible...and I'm not just talking about the way the leagues/league administrators treated them.
  4. High School Playoffs

  5. NFHS Pitching Stance

    I called 11 hybrid violations this year. 10 were with no runners, one balked in a runner. And I don't nitpick. All of them were blatant. In fact, I didn't even have any arguments. In half, the coach said nothing. In the other half, the coach either just asked for an explanation OR he yelled at his pitcher.
  6. Regional Game

    That's often the best part! Especially, when you do it while bonding with your fellow umpires.
  7. High School Playoffs

    We just had a guy move down here from the tri-state area (CT) in January. He has a lot of ability (had worked small college in NE). Just to prove that we don't care about association politics: he is an excellent umpire so we threw him right in to a full varsity schedule (and not sh!tty games, either). Anyways, he keeps posting on Facebook, "every school has an incredible field. And the baseball talent is off the charts." I'm telling you, we're where it is at. You can work (if you want) good baseball from the last week in January through the first week of December. We have enough baseball that I have one guy who quit his job and umpires for a living. He's not going to get rich, but as he says, he's happy 365 days a year.
  8. High School Playoffs

    LOL. Nothing can be perfect!
  9. High School Playoffs

    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.
  10. High School Playoffs

    We start scrimmages in early February and games in late February. We use three through the entire playoffs until the championship series when it is four.
  11. High School Playoffs

    Worked a state championship game last night (5/17/18) in South Carolina. We play a best-of-three championship series. I had second, then first and I would have had game three on the dish...but it was a series sweep. It was my 14th consecutive year being selected by the South Carolina High School League (SCHSL) to work at least one state championship game. I am proud of that fact because it is the SCHSL that picks the umpires...so umpire association politics are just not relevant.
  12. I don't know to whom you were making this post, but if it was me you are absolutely wrong as the situation I posted was exactly what I thought you meant.
  13. Pitcher (behind the mound, rubbing the baseball, while looking at me (the base umpire)): "Blue, what's the count?" Me (leaning to my right to see past the pitcher to my partner): "Jim, what's the count?" Jim: "Two and Two." Me (looking at pitcher again): "Two and Two." Pitcher: "Thanks, blue."
  14. post game interview

    First, handled perfectly. Second, if your league/association allows, why not hear the sports writer's question? Now, if he asks a ridiculous and loaded question, then say "no comment" and walk away. However, he may simply ask, "can you explain why the runners were put on second and third on that overthrow?" When you explain it, he may actually say, "I understand," and you may just get a story that reflects positively on you and our profession as a whole. With that said, this is not a criticism of you. You certainly have the right to say "no" to questions, and you may not feel comfortable taking a question (of course, you may not be allowed to talk to the media per conference rules). I'm just adding that many sportswriters are actually quite fair and want to know the answer (rather than coming at you with a preconceived bias). If that writer was one of those types of journalists, you may have had a chance to educate some of the crazy fans when they opened their paper the next morning. That's all. Great job!
  15. My turn now?

    Prayers and best wishes!
  16. Ruining batters box lines

    Thank him?!? If not, then doing what noumpere suggests should work.
  17. Biggest blowout ever?

    Here's mine (I was on the dish): #7 South Carolina 38, Charleston Southern 0 (Feb 14, 2004 at Columbia, S.C.) ------------------------------------------------------------ Charleston Southern. 00 0 000 000 - 0 4 4 (0-2) South Carolina...... 7(14)2 203 73X - 38 35 2 (2-0) ------------------------------------------------------------ Pitchers: Charleston Southern - Holmen; Fasulo(2); Perkins(2); Trenor(5); Thrower(7). South Carolina - Fletcher; Luczak(6); Cruse(7); Gregory(8); Donald(9). Win-Fletcher(1-0) Loss-Holmen(0-1) T-3:06 A-216 HR SC - Pearce 2, Melillo 2, Winn, Parks, Campbell, Mi ID-237352
  18. Game Management - Ejections

    This is true at any level of baseball. One of my former minor league partners got a cup of tea in MLB. We talked on the phone after one of his games which I had watched on TV. Joe Brinkman (whom I love (I went to his school and he put me in pro ball) so I'm not throwing him under the bus too big here), kicked a call at the plate. When speaking about Joe's missed call, my former partner said, "no one said a word. If I had made that call I would have had to eject the runner, the third base coach and the manager!" And that's the difference between a rookie MLB umpire and a 30-year vet! When the coaches realize that you're going to be there for a while and that (most nights) you know what you're doing, they tend to give you the benefit of the doubt.
  19. Greetings from MI

  20. Getting the Best Strike Zone

    The MAJOR factors that are going to be taken into consideration on any one umpire's zone are factors that umpires may not even consciously think about, but they are THE factors that affect one's zone more than any other factor and they are all grounded in mechanics: proper footwork, proper head height, properly setting up in the slot and proper timing. By way of example, if you are not properly setting up in the slot (say for instance, you set up directly behind the point of the plate), you are going to have a totally different view of the strike zone than most umpires. As a result, this will be a "factor that can will affect the zone". Furthermore, if you have bad timing, this will affect your zone. Simply put, none of the game participants will "know your zone" because your zone will be all over the place. Advance concepts and theories of calling balls and strikes are fun to discuss and argue (and GOD knows, some of them have been debated to great lengths on this and other websites). However, how often in a typical game do they occur? Once? Twice? Three times? These mechanics, however, are THE factor that affects your strike zone every pitch, of every game, of every season. [Now as for the advanced mechanics, here is my list (this is high school varsity and above): (1) Don't call a pitch that is not caught by the catcher a "strike" unless it is right down the pipe. (2) If the catcher sets up OFF the outside corner and the pitcher throws a pitch (usually a fastball) that pops the mitt (catcher doesn't move the glove), you must "ball" it. Everyone in the ballpark saw the catcher set up outside; plus the defense in this situation is usually trying to pitch a "ball" to get the batter to chase it. Call this pitch a strike and you will lose credibility fast. (3) If the catcher receives a pitch and then jerks his glove back toward the plate or toward the center of the plate, then "ball" it. If you strike it, you will quickly get the reputation that you can be "fooled" by a catcher (even if that is not the case). If the defense complains about your "ball" calls, respond with a, "if that was a strike, then why did your catcher have to jerk his glove six inches?" This is one of the very few times when it is okay to throw a catcher under the bus (something we normally don't do). After all, he is throwing you under the bus by jerking his glove. (4) If the catcher sets up on a corner, and he has to either (a) reach across his body to catch the pitch, or (b) move his entire body across the plate to catch the pitch..."ball" the pitch unless it is 100% over the white of the plate. (In other words, if any part of the baseball is over the dirt..."ball" the pitch.) The pitcher missed his spot big time; no one wants a pitcher to be rewarded in such a situation. Trust me, in this situation the pitch looked like a ball to both dugouts (who can't see the corners of the plate). (5) In "big boy ball" it is not "where the ball crossed the plate". How a catcher receives the pitch matters. If the pitch lands in the dirt, or if the catcher's glove hits the ground after receiving the pitch, "ball" the pitch. NOBODY wants that pitch called a strike. (6) If the catcher's glove goes straight up (his arm extends mostly vertically) to receive the pitch...this is a pretty darn good indicator that the pitch was high. A catcher who wants a strike at the top of the zone, can extend his arm out horizontally in front of him so that his glove is set at the top of the zone to receive the pitch. If he has to snap up past his ear, that's a real good indication the pitcher missed his spot big time. (7) If a batter who has a count that includes three balls, starts running to first base as the pitch is crossing the home plate area or before you rule on the pitch...the pitch is a "strike" unless it was just a brutal pitch that was no where near the zone. If you call "ball" after a batter had started running to first base before you ruled on the pitch, you will get the reputation that a batter can fool you.]
  21. High School Hybrid Stance

    I have called four hybrid illegal pitches so far this high school season. (We're just past the halfway mark of the regular season in SC.) They all involved pitchers who worked from the windup (with no runners on base) with their free foot well in front of the pitcher's plate. Seeing if the free foot is on or even with the front edge of the pitcher's plate can be very hard to see in a 2-man crew with no runners on base. [It is pretty easy to see when the base umpire is standing in the proper "C" position, however.] I tell all of my umpires to give the benefit of the doubt to the pitcher with no runners on base, but to absolutely call it when it is painfully obvious. I have not had an argument, yet. On two of them, the coaches asked me to explain the rule to them. After I did so, they didn't argue at all; they just turned around and told their pitcher what to fix. In explaining the rule, I even told them that this was a point of emphasis this year. On the other two, after making the call, the head coach immediately yelled at his pitcher (to paraphrase), "I've been telling you that all season!"
  22. HBP

    Play: 0-2 count on batter. Pitch is thrown 59-feet. Regardless, batter swings and completely misses. The pitch, after bouncing in the dirt, then strikes the batter in the shin. What is the ruling in FED? I would appreciate any cite you can provide. i can think of two possible answers: (a) strike three, ball is dead, batter is out; (b) strike three, ball is dead, batter awarded first base due to uncaught third strike. Other runners return to TOP base unless forced to advance by batter. I am wondering if there has ever been an official FED discussion of this play. If not, has any other source discussed it? I know some of you have Casebooks going back decades. Thanks!
  23. Speeding Up Your Games

    Here are my suggestions for having quicker games (when you are the plate umpire): (1) Stock up on your baseballs between innings. At the time of the first pitch of the game, I have 6 baseballs (3 in each ball bag). I make sure I start each half inning with 6 baseballs. If I run low during in an inning, I look at the home dugout and say, "I need (insert number) baseballs, please." I then make sure that someone runs out to me with the baseballs during a natural break in the game. (2) Stand on the foul line a few feet up from the dirt circle between innings. Stand in front of the dugout of the team that is coming to bat. Except for the first inning (or when there is a new pitcher), quietly tell the catcher after the pitcher has thrown 3 warm-ups, "he has two more, (insert catcher's name)." After the pitcher throws his fourth warm-up, hold up your right hand above your head while giving the "number 1" signal, and look at the pitcher and say, "last one!" Then, turn to the on-deck batter and say "one more!". Usually when I do this, the batter immediately removes the weight from the bat and starts strolling toward the plate...even before the catcher has thrown it down to second base. Saying "one more!" usually causes the third base coach to start moving toward his coaching box, too. (3) If someone doesn't come out to warm-up the pitcher, sternly say to the coach, "coach, I need someone to warm-up the pitcher or your pitcher is not going to get any warm-ups this half-inning." Usually the coach turns to the kid who is supposed to take care of this and says, "Johnny, pay attention. Go warm up Mike!", or an assistant coach trots out. (4) Have a short-hand system for quickly notating substitutions. [All substitutes are required to be listed on the line-up card. So, if the head coach comes up to me and says, "I have number 14 for number 22 in the ninth hole,"...and this is his first substitution of the game...I go to the bottom of my line-up card (where the substitutes are listed) and I put an "A" next to number 14. Then, I go up to the ninth spot in the line-up and write the "A" again. I also make a "22" through the starter's number. If the starter re-enters later, I just strike through the "A" and write a "Re" next to the "A". For the second substitute, I write a "B", etc. However you do it, having a short-hand system for substitutions will shorten your game.] (5) We always say, "don't signal or verbalize obvious foul balls". (For instance, if the batter hits a rocket straight back to the backstop behind home plate, we shouldn't throw our hands up and yell, "foul!".) I suggest that you take this a step further: don't watch obvious foul balls! If a batter hits a towering fly ball that is going to land in the softball field behind the first base dugout and well out-of-play...don't stand there and watch it. I guarantee you that if you watch me (and most, if not all, pro and college umpires), F1 will have a new ball before the foul ball even lands. This can literally knock 5-10 minutes off of your game time. (6) If your state uses the FED batter's box rule (mine doesn't) enforce it. Even in my state, I will tell a batter, "let's go" if he is strolling between pitches. (7) Call strikes. I know that there are some games we all have (especially in high school) where neither team has an F1 who can throw it in the ocean standing knee deep at high tide...much less throw it in the strike zone. But, if you want quick(er) games, you must enter each game with the mentality that every pitch is a strike until it proves to you that it is not a strike. (8) Unless it absolutely gets buried in dirt, don't brush the plate off except when there is a natural break in the game (for instance, between batters.). The plate doesn't move. If you've been umpiring for more than a few games, you know where the corners are located. (9) Break up mound visits in a timely manner. Here is what drives me crazy: after deciding that it is time to go to the mound to break up the defensive conference, some umpires take an eternity to get to the mound. I watch some guys, when they start walking to the mound, walk up the first base foul line to the 45-foot line. Then they turn left and actually walk toward the mound, but they go to the back of the mound. Then, they walk up the back of the mound. It is like they are afraid to get to the mound; they take the most non-direct route possible while strolling. When a defensive conference occurs, I immediately note it on my line-up card. By the time I put away the card, it is just about time to break up the visit. I walk directly and with purpose in a straight line from the plate to the mound. Once I am sure that the coach and players (other than F1) are leaving the mound, I jog back to the plate area. As i am jogging back, I glance over my shoulder to make sure that the coach and/or catcher isn't trying to return to the mound. (10) Hustle. When you hustle, it will encourage others to hustle. If you are "popping out" from behind the plate and trailing the batter-runner on grounds balls (with no runners on base), or having a crisp first-to-third rotation...it encourages the game participants. This won't work for all teams, but it will work for many. This stuff works. I have the game times to prove it.
  24. HBP

    I agree entirely with your rationale. The argument taking place is that because it is strike three, that bounced first, it is an uncaught third strike and batter gets first base. I'm not saying that I agree with their argument; I'm just telling you the argument that is being sent my way. I'm looking for an official cite to refute it. I tried to remain neutral in my original post since others in the argument read these boards.
  25. I'm late to the dance here (I've actually been out on the field...LOL). But I agree with the comments above.