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Everything posted by ilyazhito

  1. The rare 4-3 count

  2. U1 in 3 Man

    How would you adjust from being U1 in a 2-man game to being U1 in a 3-man game? I know the mechanics changes that are in the manual (you don't go inside unless there is a runner at 2B without a runner on 1B, you do not pivot, you go to home plate on rotations, etc.). You (the typical HS/JUCO/sub-AA pro umpire) have worked many 2-man games on the bases and have ingrained habits that help you be in better position. How would you "undo" those habits when you work 3-man? Do you say "no pivot unless U3 leaves", "go home", "stay in A [with a runner on 1B or R1/R3]" to yourself in situations where 2-man differs from 3-man, as a reminder, or would you use different strategies? Are there any other mental or mechanical changes that you use as U1 in a 3-man game? I have worked a 3-man scrimmage at HP, so I understand the adjustments to be made there (slightly different rotations, check with U3 on swings by left-handed batters, signals to the middle umpire, if someone is inside, or to U3, if both base umpires are on their lines).
  3. Regional Game

    1:25 is awfully quick for a 7-inning game. What happened?
  4. Interference on R3, or not?

    The coach is not covered. 6.01 (a) mentions interference by a batter or runner, but not by a coach, so a coach fielding a foul ball is nothing, especially if he is in the coach's box and past 1st (or 3rd) base. In professional rules, the runner's action is definitely interference, so in high school rules, I would go for an interference call as well (definitely in a varsity game).
  5. A plea to all umpires (especially my partners)

    Personally, I throw the new ball in as PU, and just say "that's foul" in a conversational tone of voice on obvious foul balls, with no signal. As BU, I do nothing, maybe a silent time signal to kill play, if it is in my area of responsibility. On obvious catches, I give the "out" signal without saying anything. If my partner needs to see tags, he can see my signal. If there was a running catch, or a trouble play, I give a loud verbal "That's a catch!" or "No catch!" as appropriate, with the proper signal.
  6. The rare 4-3 count

    That's why I always use numbers. If I forget to click my indicator, I might say "Ball one" twice, and then realize, no there are actually two balls, and then say the correct number "Ball two". By doing this, I have avoided missing counts most of the time. In the rare occasion that I am still confused about the count, I ask the scorekeeper.
  7. basketball

    Basketball is more fast paced, and the timing required to make calls is very fast, especially as the Trail or Center official. This is because many fouls and violations (especially those on the perimeter) occur in a split second. Lead can afford to use a faster version of "pause, read, react" to diagnose plays and decide whether to call fouls. Basketball also requires A LOT of movement. If you work in 2-man crews, you will be constantly running up and down the court on every change of possession. If you work in 3-man crews, you will be moving around during possessions as well, especially on rotations. Even when not rotating, you still need to move, to get a better angle on your primary coverage area, to mirror the ball's position, or to close down for rebounds. I also enjoy working basketball, especially in 3-man crews, due to the speed and variety of possible actions, and the mental gymnastics of watching my primary area, making calls there, glancing for substitutes, and ensuring that the game and shot clocks operate correctly (DC and MD use a shot clock for high school basketball, as do some private school leagues in the area).
  8. The rare 4-3 count

    That doesn't make any sense, because aren't umpires supposed to say "Ball 4" and "Strike 3" to avoid situations like these, even when they don't otherwise use numbers?
  9. Check Swing Appeal or not

    Seconded. In 2-man, your partner in A is the only person you have, so you don't have a choice. He may be better able to see if a lefty made an attempt than you, if the checked swing happened on an outside pitch or another pitch where you can't see the ball and the attempted swing at the same time.
  10. Ken, how did the MLB umpire know that you went to the Evans academy? Did your use of numbers, or stance tip him off?
  11. I umpire both baseball and softball, and one can say that I have an unusual style in baseball: I use the umpire-school heel-toe position to get set to call balls and strikes, I call the pitches by number (I call "Ball One!" "Strike One!", etc.), and I call strikes by pointing. I was initially taught to use the hammer, but I could not assimilate to using it initially, because of the uncaught third strike scenario. I now know the work-around that softball and umpire school uses (call strike 3, signal safe, and say "No catch!"). However, I know that most umpires do not call pitches by numbers, except for Ball Four and Strike Three. Some (those who have had exposure to umpire school, probably) do use numbers, but it is not the norm in any level of baseball besides professional umpire school and the short-season minor leagues. Personally, I use the numbers because it helps me to remember the sequence of pitches in longer at-bats, and keeps me on track if I forget to click the dials on my indicator. I also use numbers because it is what will be expected of me if I go to umpire school. Why do the umpire schools teach calling balls and strikes by numbers, if it is not common practice in the other levels of baseball? Do they want to produce standard umpires who can easily be evaluated? Do they want the umpires to keep the count in their heads without relying on their indicators? Or is there another reason for this practice?
  12. U3 in 3 man...

    OK. Basically, if you are U3, on the line, go out on trouble balls between left field dead ball territory and the center fielder, unless he heads toward right field. Otherwise, when on the line, go inside to the working area near 2B on batted balls. When inside, stay inside. Watch for pickoffs at 1st base (if in B, U1 is primary), steals of 2nd base (from B), pickoffs at 2B and steals of 3rd (from C), and pickoffs at 3rd (from short D). Make catch-no catch calls on routine fly balls in your area of responsibility as well, and be able to respond to half-swing appeals for left-handed batters. Is this an accurate summary of U3 responsibilities in a 3 man crew?
  13. U3 in 3 man...

    Does U1 go to third? U1 is at 1st base.
  14. U3 in 3 man...

    On a related note, U3 is in deep B position with a lone runner on 1st. 1st/3rd U3 is in C (this is different from 2 man), so there is no rotation (at least not in MAC mechanics, which are based on MiLB 3-man, AFAIK) unless U1 goes out. The NFHS manual both lists 5 rotation situations ([No runners, R1, R1/R3, R3 on a batted ball to the outfield] and R1/R2 on a caught fly ball with less than 2 outs, and R2 tagging for 3rd), but MAC , CCA, (and some other associations) use only 3 of these rotations (Nobody on base, R1, and R1/R2 on a fly ball to the outfield). If an umpire goes out, use the 2-man rotations. If there is a non-rotation situation (R2 only, R2/R3, bases loaded etc. ), U3 moves with runners from 2B to 3B, and U1 moves with runners from 1B to 2B. Is it true that 3-man rotations are automatic, unlike 2 man? If you start a rotation, do you finish it even if the situation does not justify finishing it (R1, batted ball to the outfield, R1 goes to 3rd, HP would go to library, and only come to 3rd if there is a throw to 3rd, and would return home if there is no throw, in 2 man. Is that situation the same in 3 man, or does HP stay at 3rd until the play ends?)?
  15. 3-man, R3 , less than 2 outs

    OK. That is why U1 would have to make the call.
  16. 3-man, R3 , less than 2 outs

    In 3-man, wouldn't this be U3's call? (U3 would be in short D, unless he went out). U3 would be better positioned to see any play/appeal at 3rd base than U1 would be.
  17. An umpire's perspective on Star Wars

    Why not go all black with Darth Vader's armor? Black is strong with MLB, Minor League and College Umpires these days. Plus, it gives you that deep, powerful bass voice that makes mere mortals (players and coaches) tremble. Warn and give a gentle Force Push (R), or eject with a Force Choke and Force Push the loser off the field! Methinks Darth Vader would make an excellent Home Plate Umpire, if not a Crew Chief.
  18. On deck batter

    I would also say no, because the on-deck batter can only be in the on-deck circle or in his dugout. No one except a pitcher, catcher, bullpen coach, protector, or player acting as catcher should be in the bullpen, and since an on-deck batter is none of the above, he must be in the on-deck circle or dugout.
  19. "I'm good" - Wegner

    Indeed. I was working a high school JV game in Howard County. I took a deflected foul ball to the jaw, and felt nothing! I was wearing a Force3 traditional style mask with the throat protector. This means that the Force3 really is a good piece of equipment. I bought mine because I tried on a partner's mask, and it felt lighter than my usual mask, but never did I expect that it would also be top-notch in terms of protection.
  20. Improving tracking and timing

    No worries. Try to see the pitch into the catcher's glove, watch what the catcher does with the pitch (does he pull it, turn his glove, drop the pitch). If none of the above happened, and the pitch is in (or passed through) the strike zone, you can call the pitch a strike. If one of those happen, you can call a ball, if the pitch was close. Watching what the catcher does will slow down your timing, and enable you to process the pitch better. If you say "Ball (#)" or "Strike (#)" on every pitch that you call, you will develop consistent timing. Using numbers to call pitches is optional, but can help you remember the count, and is the accepted practice in professional umpire school (and the lower levels of Minor League Baseball). Good luck this season!
  21. Pass Interference?

    Yes, totally a DPI, in the cutoff category. Could also be classified as not playing the ball.
  22. Batter Interference on Strike Three

    Absolutely interference by the batter in this case. I called a batter out for interference with the catcher on an attempted steal of 3rd in a travel ball game under high school rules, because the batter swung and stepped in front of the catcher, not affording him an opportunity to throw the runner out at 3rd. Runner returned to 2B. If that happened on a third strike, batter and runner are out.
  23. 3-man

    Thomas, how did your game go? I'm a second year umpire, and I worked a varsity scrimmage as part of a 3 man crew also. I was HP for that scrimmage, and 2 other experienced lower-level college umpires alternated as the U1 and U3. The rotation with nobody on was new to me, but I was able to execute it. What about you? What position were you for that game?
  24. NFHS Rules: Catcher's Helmet

    Has the traditional 2-piece helmet and mask combination (from the multiple companies that make them) been tested in any of the tests that you described, and failed? If so, then I would say that you have a case. If not, then the traditional mask has not been conclusively proven less safe than the HSM. If there is no conclusive proof, NFHS has no ground to stand on for a mandate. I think we'll have to agree to disagree.
  25. Strike 3 Mechanic

    Mine is a point with 3 fingers, verbal "Strike 3", a step back while pulling the right hand back, and then a forward punch. If Strike 3 is not caught, I call the verbal strike 3, point 3 fingers, and say "No catch". Swinging Strike 3 that is caught is point 3 fingers, then give the hammer. If I have to use the hammer (softball, or Umpire School, hopefully), I make the hammer, verbal "Strike 3", and do the same moves (step back, forward punch). For a U3K, I call the verbal strike 3, hammer, give the safe signal, and say "No catch". Swinging strike 3 is simply the hammer in that scenario.