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Hkepuck

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More information about you

  • Types/Levels of Baseball called
    High School
  • How did you hear about Umpire-Empire?
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  1. Rookie Tips

    This is really good advice. I’ve made an effort to relax myself, talk to myself in big spots, step back and take a breath, etc.
  2. Rookie Tips

    At the youth level, I don’t really feel the need to see pitches. An 11 year old isn’t a) throwing hard nor b) throwing some wicked curve I need to take a look at. Personally, I use the warm up pitches for a few things: 1) it’s my warm up too. Most games I’ve been sitting in an office all day prior to the game, so I like to get my eyes warmed up, track the ball, think about timing, actually call the pitches in my head, etc. 2) get a look at release point so I’m not surprised on pitch one or taking a full batter to find it. 3) take a look at any offspeed he may have. I like to see a curve ball in warm ups first so an especially good one doesn’t “buckle me” and have me missing it early. 4) talk to the catcher. Ask him what pitches he may have or at least something like “anything crazy I need to look for?” Usually they’ll just say “Nah, fast curve change.” Or “he has a pretty good curve he throws a lot.” I also build some rapport there based on how much they want to talk. How their season is going, the weather, whatever. Just something to open a dialogue, hopefully have us “working together” back there from the beginning. 5) finally, it looks good to everyone else out there. I think it shows coaches and players (even fans) you’re ready to go, you’re taking it seriously, you have experience, etc. sets a tone. Perception is reality. Anything 14+ (I mainly do varsity hs), I do this. I also do it with relief pitchers as time allows (especially if we go from a RHP to a LHP), or I see a side armer in there, or s guy is coming in with the game on the line late in the game, etc. I’m trying to give myself the best chance to get pitches correct. Early in my career I didn’t do this (I didn’t know I should do it), and there were times I’d miss a pitch early because I was surprised by something. Catchers know you are back there and they will block for you. Again, 11 year olds throwing wildly I don’t really need to see. YMMV
  3. 0-2 purpose pitch

    The pre-pitch setup (too far) off the plate, with a dead-on placement/touch outside from there, is just the worst after you ball it. "CMON WHERE IS THAT?!" "JOHNNY IS THAT OUT?!" Then you have to rely on old Johnny to hopefully shake his head yes or motion outside. Coaches just don't pay enough attention to his catcher's (or even my) pre-pitch setup, as I'm going to follow him towards the outside corner if he moves there. The guy doesn't have his glove in the middle of the plate on every pitch. Sometimes you really just want to say "Mike, did you not see him move before the pitch? He set up off the plate to begin with."
  4. First one this year

    This question only happens in a (young) travel game, where I just don't care to give them any sort of serious answer. I've pointed to the plate and said "we'll start with this" or "it revolves around this." Usually they are asking about height, while drawing on their own body. It's so awkward and silly. And to the point about "being able to tell at the plate conference", oh, absolutely. I once had both coaches inform me that the speed up rule in their league was that you could run for the pitcher and catcher for the next inning - OK, fine, we're on the same page, everyone agrees...until the away coach blurts out "but obviously he can't run for them in the bottom of the 7th." To which I then had to explain that a) we can play extra innings and b) you can't have something applicable for one team for 7 innings and one team for 6 innings. What if you're trailing in the top of the 7th? Should it not be allowed then too? He kept going on about how he's "been in this game a long time and I've never had any umpire say they can do it in the bottom of the 7th inning." Eventually we ended as he left in a huff, and the home team coach stood there for a second and said "that guy is a piece of work. He already fought me for the typical home team dugout when we were both here an hour before the game."
  5. I pulled a Suzuki

    It's not in contact with the face on mine. It appears just below the chin on @kylehutson. Maybe it was more of a scrape? Or maybe the mask went upwards?
  6. Numbers

    The precision cut numbers appear to be the new “in” thing. They look good on a website, at least, not sure I’ve seen them in person. Question for the group - 3” or 4”? Or you do different sizes for different articles - shirt vs jacket? Do you do numbers on your jacket at all?
  7. Diamond Masks

    Hold on a minute - what’s wrong with my Altima?
  8. I pulled a Suzuki

    V1 or V2? If V1, I’m curious if this is one of the things they tried to address with V2. I will have to pull out my V2 and look at it.
  9. Momentary adjustments

    Playing HS rules, regular travel. If it’s LL or a game with no lead offs/stealing, the kid can do a cart wheel during his delivery for all I care.
  10. Momentary adjustments

    That’s the thing - the kid doesn’t know he’s doing anything wrong. Why wouldn’t a coach be receptive to fixing it? Poor coaching. Same when an 11 year old winds up out of the stretch with no one on or a guy on third - I let it go and comment between innings. 11 yr old probably saw it in MLB, has no idea it’s illegal.
  11. Momentary adjustments

    Agreed. 11u there better be a big advantage gained. Only looking for the major ones. Most other stuff you can just give a coach a heads up on between innings, if you’re so inclined.
  12. Dangling Throat Guard

  13. Momentary adjustments

    Seems to be by the book that these are very clearly balks, the question becomes if we enforce it. Pitchers drive me nuts with this. Always getting on the rubber with the ball in their glove, and as they put their front foot (non pivot) out towards Home to get ready to take a sign, put the ball in their hand. I usually try to pass a message along to put the ball in their hand before they toe the rubber. If I can sell it as “still getting on the rubber” and no one notices anything I usually let it go. If he’s already motionless and in position on the rubber and clearly taking a sign, and everyone’s watching, then puts it in his hand, I usually balk it so we don’t have to deal with this all game.
  14. New masks for old MLB umpires

    Looks kind of stupid, too.
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