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LoneBlueStar

A Couple of Misc. Things

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I've recently noticed that a lot of MLB guys point to their right when calling strikes of lefties, however, I usually point across my body to my left. Is this incorrect mechanics or personal preference?

While in A, should BU be on, inside, or outside the foul line? I typically am a few inches in foul territory on the small diamonds to avoid Ump Interference.

Is it bad form to carry an indicator on the bases? I find it helps me stay engaged and focused when a game starts getting boring.

And finally, what is best to look for on check swings? I have a lot of trouble with those.

Thanks!

-LBS

 

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I point right every time. Only difference with lefty is I try to point with right hand for "yes he did go"

 

Foul territory.

 

I don't. but do what you feel.

 

I like the NCAA's passing the front hip, in B/C, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

But for realz, If you think he went, call it. I feel like I have to be 125% sure if PU appeals. I called it last year in a mens' game. Batter comes to me later and asks how I called it. I told him that he fell down trying to stop himself from swinging. He said yeah, I get that and chuckled. He said he knew he swung, he just wanted to know how I could make that call there. 

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51 minutes ago, LoneBlueStar said:

I've recently noticed that a lot of MLB guys point to their right when calling strikes of lefties, however, I usually point across my body to my left. Is this incorrect mechanics or personal preference?

Ah, the “cross-body Strike” mechanic. Yeaaahhh.. No. Don’t do it. It is completely irregular and unexpected of all umpires beneath the Big League guys. Evaluators, instructors and trainers will tear you apart if you trot that out in front of them. Oh sure, giving the mechanic across your body, away from obstruction of the batter, makes sense and seems natural... if you’re on TV with a camera in centerfield!! But you’re not on TV, and the only people that need to see your mechanic are the scorekeepers... behind you... who will never have a batter blocking their view of you.

So, keep to signaling to the right.

51 minutes ago, LoneBlueStar said:

While in A, should BU be on, inside, or outside the foul line? I typically am a few inches in foul territory on the small diamonds to avoid Ump Interference.

BU should be just Foul off the line in A, in a dynamic distance to 1B (as in, changing) depending on the first baseman (F3). He should never be behind you. You will want to be two-to-four steps behind him, putting yourself 10-16 feet behind 1B.

Your Initial Position (IP) should never be in Fair, and/or on the line.

51 minutes ago, LoneBlueStar said:

Is it bad form to carry an indicator on the bases? I find it helps me stay engaged and focused when a game starts getting boring.

It’s not bad form to carry one, but it’s largely unnecessary. The PU is the keeper of the count – that’s in his job description. If he’s doing his job, he will never need to check with you. In the event he does, if you have been paying attention to the game, the two of you can figure it out largely without an indicator anyway.

If you want to practice using it without looking at it (a skilled art form), then go for that. But do not let it distract you from your attention and duties in your BU role.

I’ve never carried one as BU, and never will. @Umpire in Chief and I both advocate for using the “Finger Method” if you really want to practice keeping the count on the bases.

56 minutes ago, LoneBlueStar said:

And finally, what is best to look for on check swings? I have a lot of trouble with those.

Best to look for? “Was it a swing (attempt), in your judgement?” It’s really not more complex than that. Coaches and players keep seeking some quantifiable benchmark to denote an actual swing. Sure, some things like “do the wrists break or roll” or “did the bat travel across the plate” are factors to consider, but really, no two swings are exactly the same. If you judged that he attempted to swing, then say so when asked by your partner. Otherwise, if you judge that he held up/checked his swing, then say so... again, only when asked by your PU. Your PU should be asking you when there is a doubt or request, regardless of where your IP is. That whole “you can’t judge that from C!” is a fallacy.

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