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Everything posted by therefump

  1. therefump

    An Open Letter to my Partner

    Writer's Note: My partner has been doing baseball since 1985 following in his Dad's footsteps. He's got a heart as big as California and wants to do this as good as anyone in the business. He's just got some idiotsyncracies (yes, I spelled it that way). Dear Partner, I love working with you when you're on your game. Your knowledge of the rules are 2nd to none. You ask very good questions when we're on the way to the game. It's a great way one's head on straight for the game rather than get aggravated over traffic. More importantly, discussing past situations we've done and better ways to handle them is an excellent way to improve our game. We do strive to be the best. How many games have we done so far in 3 seasons? 250? 300? However, there are some things I'd like to point out in our crew (2 man) relationship that need improvement. First, don't yell about "hating to be late" when you show up 15 minutes late at my place for starters. Be happy that I know my way around the county and we can make up the time so that we're not late. Remember the games where you've shown up 30 minutes late? Also, let's try to get to the field at least 15 minutes before game time. I'd be thrilled if we could make it 30 but I'll settle. It allows us to take our time getting dressed and get our game heads on straight. That's one way we don't have to break into your car to get your keys... for the 3rd time. If I recall, it cost you a few game fees to get the window replaced on the passenger side when you broke it trying to get to your keys. If you had been patient, the police would have helped without breaking the window. Even better, you wouldn't have locked them in the car in the first place had you been taking your time. However, there are things we need to address that will put us further on top of our "A" game. I would appreciate you parking away from the spectators and the field so we can dress without being watched. Dropping your pants to the ground and inserting your cup in your jock in full view of the mom's is not very gentlemanly. I can understand that you want to drop your pants to put on your shin guards but do it behind the car door as well. You may think the MILFs like it but the faces I've seen indicate otherwise. Speaking of pants down, we all have to relieve ourselves after a long car ride but please do it privately. I don't think people appreciate your peeing on your tire. As far as uniforms, wearing a dark blue cotton tee shirt under your armor is part of the uniform. You seem to comply with that more often than not. Maybe too much. However, I'd appreciate it if you'd wash the shirt before wearing it. The sweat stains are bad enough but the odor is not appreciated. I'm sure your catcher would appreciate clean undergarments. Oh, speaking of old, I believe that you need to replace that 10 year old American Legion hat. It's starting to look more white than black. Please feel free to borrow my liquid black polish to shine up your shoes whenever you'd like. It's free and it makes you look professional. One last note prior to our games, please don't get dressed behind the backstop anymore. I personally like to arrive on the field fully dressed. I'm sure the moms and girlfriends don't appreciate it either. Nobody wants to see your fat a**. Prior to the game, let's stay together. I know you love baseball and want to talk with the players and coaches but when you talk at length with one team the other team might get the idea that you play favorites. I know you don't but they don't know that. Speaking of talking with the players and coaches, it's not a good idea to name drop. You do not need to show the coaches you know everyone in the league. They've seen you around and know your name. Even if they haven't you should be able to get a name for yourself by your professionalism. Now let's talk about technique since you've been to Harry Wendelstedt's school with 100 other umpires and were taught by 4 umpires who are now in MLB as you've repeatedly told me. We should all be so lucky to take off 5 weeks to go to school. But I digress.First, clean the plate properly. Using your shoe is not professional. Show your butt to the fielders when using your plate brush. The fans do not want to see you bend over with your butt facing them. "Here we go" is not the same as "Play Bal" or "Play". Now, admittedly your strike zone is generally impeccable. Show the strike with some arm action like your vocalization. Some of us claim to be deaf. Don't mumble a called "Ball." Please, oh please, when stating the count of 2 balls and no strikes say that. It's not "two and ohhh." It's also not "thirty-two", its three balls and 2 strikes plus showing the count with your fingers. Worse, I don't think it's proper to say "the count remains the same." If you need to repeat the count then by all means repeat the count. When doing the bases, your calls are generally excellent. I think that on those one or two occasions when the first baseman might have pulled his foot you could ask me just like I've gone to you. Remember? "Did he hold the bag?" It's not a pride thing, it's getting it right. Remember, the PIAA mantra for us this year is to "get it right." I think our coaches would appreciate it. Again, when doing the bases, please don't flirt with the fans in between innings. It makes us look bad as a crew. Worse, don't tell the coaches that WE enjoy checking out the MILFs. I admit that I will glance at them, after all I'm human, but we're there to do a job. We're not there to do a job on the ladies though sometimes I would like....oh, nevermind. On another issue, I have a question about your time in Florida with the Wendelstedt gang. Did they teach you a new position as a base umpire? Please explain to me the advantages of hiding behind the pitcher with the bases loaded. The "B" or "C" position seems much better. One day you're going to get smacked with the ball if the pitcher is successful in ducking out of the way of a line drive. Other than the above, I love the fact that you keep in constant communication with me by flashing signs, etc. I can tell you're in the game. I like the fact that you hustle. I like the fact that when I ask very specific questions such as "Did he swing" or "Did he hold the bag" you answer loud and distinctly. That's when we show we can be professionals. On the matter of coaches, let's discuss your approach to them when they're wrong in your eyes. I really think they appreciate your explanations to them when you've got to explain the ruling. However, it might diffuse the situation if you'd allow the coach to give his side of what he saw. When you start shouting at him that he's wrong before he's got a decent chance to explain himself you've lost your credibility and worse, you've just put yourself in the position of having to eject him because you've backed him into a corner. What's the record so far this season, 15 games/6 ejections so far? Coaches have lots of pride so more often than not you're gonna have to run him. That would be ok but this is the really bad part. I have to come in and clean up the mess. I've got to separate the two of you. Finally, when I'm trying to get him to leave the field, please don't yell at me that he's gotta go RIGHT NOW or they forfeit. Trust me, I am getting him to leave. You're just making me look like I'm not doing my job and worse, you're making yourself look like an ass. Lastly, on this subject, don't yell at me when I ask you not to demand that he leave the field immediately. I didn't get myself ejected. He did. Lastly, it's ok to take criticism. I'm not sure why you don't like it but that's part of being a better umpire. You don't have to impress me with your credentials. You've been doing this a long time and have had some great people school you on the game. Please show it.
  2. Hey y'all, Do you act like this guy? I have a fellow I work a lot of games (probably 100 a year). We do everything from Connie Mac (14+ yr) through Perky League (16 yrs to ???? (it's semipro). He's very knowledgeable about rules. He loves the game. HOWEVER, here’s the problem. The guy is going through some very very serious personal problems right now. It’s affecting his game, severely. Last week, while doing a very competitive American Legion game his strike zone was all over the place. He’s not like that, normally. Both pitchers complained letting me hear them curse at him when in the B or C position. Quietly, I told each first base coach that I did not want to show up the pitchers but that in no certain terms was I going to allow it to continue. They concurred and it stopped for the most part…..the cursing under their breath that is. Still, the game was competitive. During the 6th inning with the score tied and the home team with runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs, my partner calls a batter out on a called 3rd strike. Batter is furious. As I’m walking to get water I hear a bat and helmet thrown. It’s the batter going to his dugout. The visiting HC immediately complains to the PU. I hear the yelling and turn to see what’s going on. The PU is getting into a shouting match with the visiting HC. He’s complaining that the player needs to be ejected for throwing equipment. He goes further saying it’s not the spirit of Legion baseball (meaning, the code of conduct read before every game). My partner immediately chases after him bating him saying “what did you say, what did you say”. He went from 0 to 60 mph in no time. My partner acts like an irate coach getting in the coaches face. Worse, he slightly bumps the coach who immediately turns to me and complains. I politely pull my partner away and tell the HC I didn’t see the thrown bat but I’ll watch for it. It was ugly. I can’t throw my partner. In the next inning the visiting HC asks me to put my name and my partners name in his scorebook. I comply and w/o looking up I tell him that I understood his argument and would be vigilant for the rest of the game. He tries to pursue the argument but I tell him to “let it go” and walk away. Finally, we go extra innings and the home team wins it by 1 in the bottom of the 9th. Here we go again. My partner starts chirping at the HC and an argument breaks out. I have to drag him off the field. It was embarrassing. Fortunately, the HC complains to my assignor about the situation but says I “acted very professionally given the situation”. Well, 2 days later while we did a Connie Mac game, they started with 9 players and one left sick. We agree that they can play with 8 but when the kid’s position who left comes up it’s an automatic out. Other team gets the Commissioner on the phone and he wants the game killed. I try and stop the game (I’m BU) but my partner starts shouting with me to get back into position. I ALMOST walked off the field. We did stop the game at the end of the inning. I have refused to work with him since. What would you do?
  3. therefump

    Calling Time

    Ok, Let's make sure we understand that we're talking about 15-16 yr old thru the over 30 leagues. They're all travel teams so they have been playing baseball for sometime. Situation, nobody on base (or R1....doesn't matter), and Batter hits a single to F7 or F8 for arguments sake. Ball is thrown to F6 who has come out to retrieve the ball. As he begins running to the infield he calls for TIME. As a BU I feel it is unnecessary and typically will tell him there is no reason to call time. If he complains I tell him this is not LL any more and just throw the ball to the pitcher. The question is really from the PU (multiple guys) complaining to me in between innings telling me to give it to him since all play has completed. WHY, I ask? They tell me I'm just busting the defense's balls so to speak or "it's only fair". Thoughts?
  4. therefump

    The Dumb things the RATs say....

    I'm doing a Connie Mac (15-16 yr) game a few weeks ago and the home team is getting pounded. Of course, I'm behind the plate begging for the 10 run rule to take effect. Coach changes pitchers twice to no avail in same inning. It's a walk fest even with a liberal strike zone (against my grain). Finally, new pitcher comes in and throws 2 warm ups. First pitch ends up bouncing 20 feet in front of the plate. He screams at the HC "I can't pitch with this hole on the mound". Visiting 3rd base coach comes running up to me and says "He's gotta pitch to at least one batter". HUH? I tell him quietly he's a) winning by at least 12 runs we're playing OBR so he's wrong. He tries to argue but I send him back to 3rd. I later find out that he's applying CYO (Catholic Youth Org) rules for whatever reason. I had to roar when I heard that. What's he doing up at that level is beyond me.
  5. therefump

    Cleaning the Plate

    Even if working a 2 man crew, if you turn your back to the field (and proper cleaning is to show your butt to the fielders, not the fans), you MUST call time even if no runners on base. I see no other way. Worse, if you're only one working, you must call time if you turn your back on the fielders. It kinda looks stupid walking backwards to the plate. Case in point, I had the old "hidden ball" trick tried on me with some 12 yr olds. I had called TIME and turned to put the ball back in play and they tried to pull it. The locals went nuts but the HC understood once I explained to him about Time/Play.:(
  6. therefump

    Jewelry rule

    Oh gosh, just what we need. Don't pass this on to the HS boards. Someone will come up with it. American Legion is the only league I know where it's mandatory that "unless you're born with it you can't wear it during the game".
  7. therefump

    Catcher problem

    I've absoutely seen this with catchers at the lower levels (14-15yr) and it takes a lot of adjusting to get comfortable enough to call strikes. I've also seen where batters lean over the plate when I'm in the slot. Actually, I tossed a high school coach last year for whining/complaining too much about the other team leaning over the plate. :violin:I'm old school and believe that if a batter is stupid enough to put his body in the strike zone then he's stupid enough to get HBP and get it called a strike. The coaches pitcher was AFRAID to throw inside. I heard him say it to the coach.
  8. therefump

    What would you do....with this Umpire

    Good replies so far. I should've mentioned that I did talk to him the next day before our run-in. He didn't want to hear it. That's why I decided to not work with him after he blew up at me on the field. I talked with our assignor and we both agreed that he's carrying his problems on the field. He had a long chat with him. That's how I found out about the coach's comments about me in that Legion game. Coach said I handled the entire situation professionally. I may start working with him shortly. He's been calling and talking about his games with me.
  9. therefump

    He actually kicked dirt on me!!!!!

    Larry, I'm suprised. I've not posted much this year due to time constraints but this seems a little harsh for you given your past posts. I have a partner who threw a Legion coach for "balk" abuses about 3 weeks ago. He would not leave the bench. He promptly killed the game after giving him several "outs" to leave the field. Who got punished? The kids. In this case, the coach punished both teams for not leaving the field. In your case, I believe, you punished both teams. No winners there. Thoughts? Roy
  10. therefump


    I gotta believe that unless you're playing Pro rules (no modifications other than something like American Legion's slide rule, then the runner has got to give up or avoid the fielder. Why was the BU not watching the play to the conclusion? How many times has it been said ALWAYS stay with the baseball. :jerkit:
  11. therefump

    Mouthy Catcher

    I wholeheartedly agree with the above. The Catcher is your friend unless he is stupid. It's a symbiotic relationship. We need each other. Great comment.
  12. therefump

    Touch After Home Run

    I agree with the above quote but insist to the point of yelling to the players to "give him room, fellas" works. That gets their attention. Almost happened twice in my career. Caught me by suprise both times but I averted it, thankfully.
  13. therefump

    First Game of the season

    Hey guys, Sorry I haven't been posting. Great to see all the usual suspects posting correctly (well, most of the time). Anyway, I agree with the No call.
  14. therefump


    I happen to agree with the B position esp. at higher levels. However, you'll get screeching if there's a play at 3rd (pickoff, etc.). Happened to me last year but I still got it right.
  15. Anyone notice the number of "misques" the crew working the Phillies/Rockies games. For example, Game 1: 3 bad calls (2 for phillies 1 for rockies) Game 3: 2 bad calls on bases and 1 missed balk by Madson (PHL) Game 4: missed call at first base allowing PHL runner to stay I don't like to criticize the Pros but for the playoffs this is a bit much. Also, the union changed to rules for who gets to do playoffs. I am not 100% sure but I believe it's not as much on merit vs. seniority. Maybe this is the issue. Full disclosure, I am a diehard Phillies fan but I try and be objective. Thoughts?
  16. therefump

    Background Checks............

    Question for all of you..... PIAA is forcing us to go through background checks. STOP, and finish reading before replying. Those of us who were certified before 2007 are exempt. Those of us who lapsed (myself included) for 2 yrs are required to pay approx. $100 for FBI, State, etc. background checks. Personally, I've had to go through this with USAA Hockey waaaaaayyyyy back in 1999. No big deal. They paid for it. For PIAA and Catholic School baseball............why should we incur the expense? I am all for background checks. I just think that given the expense, the league(s) could get a better discount. We're already burdened enough with our expenses, why should we foot the additional $$$$. Thoughts? Roy
  17. therefump

    Background Checks............

    Hokie-ump BINGO. I could not verbalize it any better.
  18. therefump

    Helena Montana

    Very cool. If I could afford it I'd fly out. Enjoy it!
  19. therefump

    It's snowing in conn.

    Complain to Al Gore..............
  20. therefump

    NLDS Phillies / Rockies Umpiring Sloppy?

    Guys, All GREAT comments. Thanks. I'm suprised this board is not buzzing about the other series as well. I really think that the ratings need to come from the crew chiefs and percolate upward. This crap of rotation, etc. sucks as we've seen. On the other hand, it's amazing the number of blown calls! You'd think the MLB Umpires would have more pride in their work. I agree that you do NOT need 6 umpires. I've read comments from them that it really goofs up their routine. I have worked 3/4 man games and it puts me out of sorts because I want to do toooooo much. It's like taking Ryan Howard (HR swinger) and telling him to hit opposite field (aka slow it down). Anyway, we're in this together (MLB and US). Hopefully, they'll turn out a better product for the NL/AL Championship series. Roy
  21. therefump

    Home run Double

    Warren, I've been in your position and gave coaches way to much rope. You correctly pointed out that it's fall ball and cut him some slack. I've actually heard that statement "You gotta do..." but you can't toss on that alone. You drew the line in the sand and he ultimately crossed it. A footnote here: nothing personal but since I joined in the spring I've noticed that a lot of comments focus on "throwing 'em". I pointed this out during summer ball. Around here, if I ejected as much as recommended I would be blackballed from a lot of leagues. Question: what's your percentage of ejections/# of games?
  22. therefump

    Being Brain Dead....at times

    Hey, I see too much (as Bill O'Reilly would say) bloviating amonst us. We all screw up at one time or another. Some of us hide it well but if we're honest we admit it. I get the feeling that some of us try and hide it here rather than admit it. I would love to see and hear some real honest screw ups now that the season is past and fall ball is in full swing. Personally, I would point out that I've had to throw out 3 guys in September. That's almost as many as I have tossed from March through August (averaging 4 games a week). I'm frustrated. I have been told by coordinators that it's deserved but why now. I'm not tired of baseball, I'm enjoying the "fall" side of it. On the other hand, I see a lot of arrogance right now with some posters. Seems like the familiar faces who gave good opinions in the spring. Any ideas? Take care, Roy
  23. therefump

    Background Checks............

    The Archdiocese of Philadelphia and PIAA (PA Schools) mandated that we get 3 clearances: 1) PA State Police 2) PA Dept of Public Welfare and 3) FBI Federal Criminal History Record. The total comes to $90.00 not $100 as I originally posted. USAA Hockey did it for us in the past (up through 2002). What really bugs me is that you don't have to pay if you've been grandfathered into the program. So, if I was some kind of perve and I've been doing this for 3+ years then I sneak right through. I don't understand it. Further, the cost is way overblown.
  24. therefump

    un-sportsman conduct

    Good points. However, I have been in a few games in my 28 years where I've called games based on the kids screwing around. IMHO when the kids on one side have decided it's over and are making the kids on the other side look like idiots (intentional or not) then it's time to end the game. Yea, I'll finish the game under protest on another day of the loosing coach wants to go through that pain but unless both sides are trying to play I'm going to kill it. We're talking HS, Legion, over 30, Sr. Connie Mac, etc. Not little league. Roy