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  1. ump81

    Everyone Wrong but Partner and I

    I explained it once to a coach by reasoning, "are the fouls lines fair or foul? we'll they are fair, so where do they come together? at the rear edge of the plate, so therefore the plate is in fair territory. The guy seemed to buy it, I kind of demonstrated the "V" that the lines make as they merge at the plate. Very simple but effective. I understand about the obvious rules being so hard for "civilian coaches" to grasp. Ugliest argument and multiple ejections I may ever had was over a "foul tip" being caught directly by the catcher and runner thrown out at 2nd on a steal. We all know clearly that is a live ball and runner at risk to be thrown out as any other steal. Coaches, kids and moms and dads all knew better! Boy it was ugly maybe 5-6 total ejections, and we were 100% right. Sometimes its how you explain it not how its written in the book.
  2. ump81

    Had a bad game

    Remember coaches and players are "rats" in the pro game. I wouldnt say boo to any of them other than professional pleasantries surrounding the game (plate conference, lineup changes etc.). Remeber Miranda warnings "anything you say can and will be used against you", "you have the right to remain silent", I always invoke silence when applicable. True story last week, early season non conference div 3 matchup, teams from Virginia and Conn. Northern team first time outside just happy to get some games in. DH, first game won 6-5 by Northern team, no real issues, a few close plays. After a total takeout in front of the bag toward the infield grass, I call a force play on northern team. Coach comes out as he crossed infield states "can I get at least one 50/50 call today", I pointed out the clear slide marks almost in the grass where his guy creamed SS, he noticed but did not say anything back. Second game ,Now my plate goes 4 full innings and were playing in the dark, cloudy day and no sun. I confered with my partner,he confirmed visibility issues on the bases, Northern team winning 8-1 I think, home coach came out to say his guys not seeing the pitches. I decided to call game, its not a complete or suspended game goes into book as no game, no stats count. Northern coach furious asked "who called this game you or home coach"? stated "he just wants his hitters good at bats to count", "can we go a bit further". I am firm we are done due to player safety. He cheap shots as I am leaving "thats totally unprofessional" "you just wanted to screw my kids". Now I know its all about the win that he feels was taken away, it simply was too dark, thats my liability out there. Coach more concerned with a cheap early season win that player safety, my judgement or any other game concerns. This illustrates all I need to know or say about the "rats". Kids could have taken a pitch to the head but he would get his win if we could do 5 innings. Typical coach attitude, typical coach behavior
  3. Wanted to share with the group, in May was selected to work the Atlantic regional in Reading PA hosted by Kutztown State University. There were 6 umpires for the regional and we did 4 man for all games, the crew chief kept us off the game before and after our plate jobs. I worked 8 of the 10 games in the tournament, finishing up with a first base assignment in the Championship. The teams were from the CIAA, PISAC, and West Virginia Conferences. The 6 teans were Shepphard, Winston Salem St. Kutztown, Mercyherst, West Chester and Seton Hill. West Chester swept through undefeated beating Kutztown 6-0 in the final. Westchester then went on to Cary at the Div 2 Series and won it all there. It was the finest professional experience of my career, I was the only regional rookie of the six umps, we had a great and experienced crew, most had done multiple regionals and I think 2 had done the series in Carey NC. The guys all were wiling to help cover any issues I had with 4 man mechanics and we talked all tournament about coverages and ways to work smoother and better. The tournament went very smooth with no ejections, off field issues or distractions. We worked at Owls Stadium, Ted Palka Park in West Lawn PA, mostly a legion field, but a great venue. Kind of unique dimensions 360 to left pole, 415 to center and 305 to pole in right. Made for a few triples and a lot of gap hits not too many homeruns but certainly a few to right. We stayed at the Inn at Reading in our own rooms provided by the NCAA. For a few days I felt like a pro umpire all we had to do was eat, sleep and umpire. I did 2 Thurs, 2 Fri, 3 Sat and 1 Sun. I did a lot of third and second as the rookie ump and designated "outfield runner"! My plate job was the first game in the winners bracket and WestChester beat Mercyhurst 3-2 in a well pitched game on both sides. West Chester had 3 pitchers who potentially were going to be drafted, so you can imagine the quality of the pitching staff. Scouts in stands said my guy was hitting 93 on the gun! Well thats about it, I know Warren was asking about my experience and I wanted to put it out there. About 18 years ago when I started umpiring coach pitch and horrendous youth 27-22 games I never imagined I could reach this level. I guess I put this up as a encouragement to all to reach for your goals in this business, master each level as you move up and never stop learning and working.
  4. ump81

    Video NCAA SR - Batter Interference?

    Good video, bet we might see this again at ncaa clinics. In my opinion I think interference, look at the batter, he almost has 2 seperate motions, the "off balance swing" then he steps again into the catchers view at the end and steps in front of the plate, no reason for him to be out of his box in the front of the plate. That being said, I had this in a div 3 game this year and also ruled no interference, my catcher made a good throw with no contact as the batter swung for strike 3 and stepped across the plate, but he was retreating to his dugout after the strikeout.(at least thats what he made it look like) I think after reflection I should have called it then as we probably had it here also. There does not need to be contact or a throw for this type of interference it is a pure judgement call for the plate ump. I was told by an ex player at one of our local conferences that coaches are teaching this tactic of the off balance swing with a step over the plate area, I think we as umps let this go way more than we call it. If coaches are truly teaching this it is a form of cheating and we should get it every time and stop them from putting S..t in our games. My humble opinion.
  5. ump81

    Contact at the plate - video

    Guys, I think we must remember this is HS baseball, no rule book is more safety conscious and concerned for player safety, that being the case I dont think we can ignore this and call it a trainwreck, incidential contact or put it on the catcher and say obstruction. Watching this the best comment so far is that the player did not slide with a foot and buttock on the ground and he clearly aimed at the catcher. It is a cross body block type slide resulting in injury, even though he did go low the slide was illegal and really those of you who say blame the catcher are very misguided and I hope after the no-call, and an ACL reconstruction and lower leg bolts to repair his shattered leg bones you have a very good lawyer! Think of the potential liability in negligence in not ruling a cross body block an illegal slide. Great courageous call by the ump and I'm sorry to say any HS trained ump who says nothing there is the opposite of courageous. Really think long and hard about all the clinics and lectures about safety, concussions and eliminating violent collisions, can you say nothing happened here? The catcher was just going for the ball in the act of trying to catch an errant throw and is protected here, if you say obstruction on him again its court time and a field day for lawyers. I am one of our state clinicians and we had an hour lecture on plate collisions and protecting players from concussion type injuries due to illegal contact, so I can say with certainty that at the state level this ump has 100% backing for a difficult call but the absolutely correct call considering player safety first! Don't come away from this video thinking no call is warranted here and those who put it out for all to read that the catcher was at fault or that its just a train wreck, might just be named in the law suit as dispensing dangerous training information! its not just my opinion you are wrong its clearly a call requiring action and was correct on every front. There is no room for opinion and backtracking when malicious contact is involved its a black and white type call.
  6. ump81

    opening day!

    Gentlemen, had first HS game today in NC, you will not believe me but you can look it up, I plated a 1-0 no hitter in 1hr 21 min! On opening day, the weather was great and conditions ideal, before game while taking some warm up pitches I asked catcher is he the ace, catch said "oh yea hes an ace alright", I asked what he throws, catch said " 5 real pitches, fastball, slider. split. curve and change". I was laughing a bit at the enthusiasnm and doubtfull truth to the catches claim of 5 legit pitches in a HS gaame. I was wrong to doubt! 13 strike outs and a no-no later I was impressed. Only one dubious ball to short that he fielded in hole but fumbled then threw late, scorer said error, that was maybe in the 3rd or fourth. I honestly thought it was a hit and did not even think I was plating a no-no, so I had no pressure or anything like that. I was surprised when the kids dad asked me to sign the book for him and congradulated me on a good game and good zone. The toughest pitch to call was the split which tumbled down and away and was frankly un-hittable at this level, he could throw it for strikes. Catcher did a fine job framing and giving me a good look, I just called strikes! I claim no credit or responsibility the pitcher deserves all the credit of course. It was a bit of a special feeling though. any similar stories at higher levels? Do you guys feel it is an accomplishment for an umpire in any way? I tend to think not, I just called them where he put them. Maybe BBCOR bats were also a factor. Just thought I would share my good start to HS this year.
  7. ump81

    2012 NCAA Test

    Guys, I break it up, go very slow and check every question with the rule book, I never answer off the TOP of my head, and like every standard test go with your first best answer and move on, almost every time I over-think and go back and change it, it is wrong! 10 video questions this year should be interesting, its 60 questions instead of 50, allows a few extra wrong and still passing. I have not registered yet but payday is tomorrow and I will sign up and get it started asap. No matter how thorough I usually get about a 90-94, think 92 last year. Always a few ones I just guess wrong! Good luck.
  8. Headed to Philadelphia this weekend for the NCAA clinic, last fall in our scrimmages we were given a new mechanic to check with partners on a half swing and I understand it is fully adopted in the CCA manual for 2012. We will not go to any base man in the middle and only to a partner "on the wings", that means with multiple runners we may have to go to U3 at third for a righty, not U2 in deep B or C. The reasoning is that the newer definition of a half swing is: "did the barrel of the bat cross the batters front hip". No more mention is made of the relative position of the bat to the plate or anything to do with the batters wrists. I like that definition very much and think it is a great reference point for ruling on the totality of the swing. But I'm still not too sure a "wing" ump can get a better look no matter how we define the half swing. (also new terminology no more "checked swing"). Just wanted to put it out there for mass opinion. Open up Feb 1st this season, got the long johns and turtle necks ready!
  9. ump81

    Wilson Shock Fx Helmet

    Guys, at the NCAA clinic in Philli this past weekend I tried on a Wilson Shock Fx helmet, I have been a hockey helmet guy for over 10 years and have used a Shutt then a +POS, both have pretty good wear over the years and besides being a bit hotter and heavier I swear by the added protection and safety, never had a serious head or bran injury (well ,one thats been documented). The wilson was so comfortable and I liked the idea of the floating cage that I sprung for the $150 and got it! My buddy went for the titanium frame, same jelmet and paid 190$. That's a big investment for sure, we both do D1 ball so its not only rec and HS paying the bills. Just wondering if anybody has been using the Shock Fx and their opinions on its performance over time, I open up Feb 12th so I'll be using it soon. Its a black helmet with black frame and the visibility is the best I have ever had in any mask so far, cant wait to get it in service.
  10. ump81

    Police as coaches

    Guys, I'm an Officer and Umpire, I rarely ever have my gun off duty but when it is its locked in my car, I have never in 16 years had my gun on a baseball field. In this area we have had many officers as coaches all are reasonable enough to keep thier guns in their car. I kind of agree with the asessment that yes its is legal and we as umps can't prohibt it by law, but to carry on a youth field may be in violaton of that youth associations rules, and they are certainly not too bright and in need of some discretion. There are always a few "Tackleberry's" out there. I will say that after Tuscon I have carried a lot more in a concealed holster, I think I need to make a habit of carrying off-duty a lot more now. My two cents. ump81
  11. ump81

    2011 jeua

    Moblue, that should be 2001 I went to Evans, wow 10 years ago already!
  12. ump81

    2011 jeua

    moblue, went to Evan's in 2011 was a JV umpire at best working for some varsity low level schools, within 2 years was HS varsity, withinn 5 years state champiionship HS and NCAA div 2-3, now NCAA div I, II and III with HS playoffs each season. It was the best resume boost any amateur umpire could get. Start running and get in the best shape you can ASAP, they take no more fatties in minor league ball. The camp games and heat in Florida were a problem for some who were not in shape. Dont get into party mode, my roommate missed a few morning sessions at the end due to hangovers, it was the difference why he was an alternate not a PBUC selectee. Remember you are being judged on attitude and demeanor also, we had a good umpire but was a prima donna, always harping about the food, service and general crappiness of the hotel. The younger A level instructors stayed in worse places during the season and no one wanted to recommend a guy who could not live out of a hotel for a month. They live in hotels for 6-9 months some seasons. Just keep a positive attitde, hustle and listen to Jim and his crew, even guys with no experience at all, were good umpires by the months end, at least mechanically and rules wise. Good luck. ump81
  13. ump81

    Please recommend...

    Guys, more than the rules and mechanic stuff I have always liked the stories and autobiography stuff, here are some in my collection: Planet of the umps-Ken Kaiser Jocko-Jocko Conlan Mr. Ump-Babe Pinnelli-very old Best Seat in Baseball, but you have to stand- Lee Gutkind Umpires-John Skipper Men In Blue-Larry Gerlach Center field on fire- Dave Phillips Fall of the Roman Umpire-Ron Luciano Remembrance of swings past-Ron Luciano Three and Two-Tom Gorman There's ten, I can think of a few more but I have read all of these ones. Call em as you see em. Ump 81
  14. ump81

    should I have?

    daled, good ejection but I would have gotten him earlier, NFHS came out with a specific directive against assistant coach unsportsmanlike conduct. Give them no quarter, the minute he said something audible to me and to anyone else on balls and strikes he's gone. You have the support of the rule book in two means, balls and strikes can not be argued and assistant coaches are to coach and be seen not heard. On the whole I think the trend of the post has been "it's good to keep them in the game, he really didnt cross the line, only he and I heard the comments" My take BULL SH*T ! If they argue balls and strikes in any way its an easy justified ejection. The guy umpiring 7 years with zero ejections, it is not believeable to me he has never had a coach or player say or do anything that was worthy of an ejection in 7 years of mens league! We sometimes get 7 a week in the prima donna men's "adult" baseball. I think we as arbiters of the game and tasked with maintaining sortsmanship have to step up and handle our business. I've been in this 15 years and it seems I have more ejections each year, it's not that I am some red-ass (have 3 this year so far). I believe we as umpires have let too much go over time and coaches think they can intimidate us and use abusive language because some of us have let them in the past. When we get a national AAU or college tournament we as an association know there will be ejections because teams from other parts of the country have been allowed to engage in unsportsmanlike behavior and have verbally abused umpires all season at home. (seems like teams from NY, NJ, Penn and Mass are always the first to get ejections). I may seem like some raving lunatic blue but I wanted to offer an alternative view to all the "he was just frustrated or rallying his team" BS arguments for not stepping up when we have an oportunity to do so. I will give only the head coach a bit of lee-way, no player or assistant deserves this. In closing, yes use discretion and game management but when it becomes clear the only intent is to abuse, intimidate or belittle us as umpires, eject every time!
  15. ump81

    Scrimmage situation

    Warren, you are absolutely correct to warn him, it was a point of emphasis in college and a video was shown of the exact stance by a lefty, it is a violation in NCAA and NFHS, I would have to see it to decide on pro rules but it is an attempt to gain an advantage and deceive the runner in my opinion, therefore an illegal pitch or BALK. I haver had the exact stance and situation. At Chowan (div 2 NCAA) last year had same situation with lefty from some school up in Mass, I warned him in the first right off the bat, coach came sprinting out and I told him there are only two ways to address the batter, windup or stretch his guy was using the "taint", it taint the stretch and it taint the windup. Its a trick lefty's are learning from somewhere and we are right to nip it before it starts up here. I ended up calling a balk on the guy later but thankfully he got shelled and left in the third or so, no problems late in game that way! Instead of quoting rules and disecting stance, think of this: why is he standing that way? it is of no advantage mechanically or physically to assist in pushing off or throwing. The only reason is to confuse the runner or batter and gain an unfair advantage by not using one of the only two approved positions. My take, its a good call by you.