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matt29

Partner meets but doesn’t want help

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Varsity HS game and 2 man system- ground ball, F3 is pulled off the bag several feet on the throw, BU bangs him out because he didn’t adjust for the offline throw.  I’m the PU and straddling the first base line about 20’ up from the plate and see what happened. Head coach for offense is asking for time and goes to my partner. Partner comes in, we meet, and tells me he had the guy on the base and doesn’t ask for my help. I ask him if he wants to know what I saw and he says no, runner is out. I said okie doke and start back toward home. HC is pissed (as am I) so I give him a little extra rope. He is pissed at me because it looks like we got together to go over the play, and I missed him getting pulled 4-5’ off the bag or wasn’t paying attention. We have a quick, firm discussion, and I allow him to quietly vent while I don’t dime out my partner for refusing my help. I keep him in the game and we move on. 

First off, I will pregame this with my partners from this point forward. My question is should I have immediately overruled him since I clearly saw it or did I do the right thing waiting for us to meet, or should I have initiated a meeting with my partner before the coach had a chance to call time? 

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The calling umpire needs to initiate this conversation (as it appears he did.)

Learn from this--when the shoe is on your foot, don't go for help unless you mean it. Did you have a postgame with him?

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No on the postgame. Evidently, he had to get home and didn’t have time to hang out. He was gone off the field before I had even dumped the game balls on the plate...

I have always gone for help with an open mind and preparedness for needing to change my call if I kicked it by being blocked, etc. and my partner clearly saw what I did not. Thanks for the feedback @Matt  

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I would say you should contact your assignor and give him a heads up. Better to hear it from you than the coach first. 

I’m not sure (and I’d be curious) why he came to you in the first place if he wasn’t going to change the call. I probably would have asked him that when you huddled.

I don’t know your experience level vs. his, but I would have a real hard time breaking that huddle without changing the call. I would tell him, “Either we’re changing this call or you’re taking the heat for this.”

Finally, if the call didn’t get changed, I wouldn’t have talked to the coach. I would have directed him to go talk to the calling umpire. By simply telling him: “Nope, don’t talk to me. Go talk to the calling umpire” you’ve told the coach that you don’t agree with your partner without completely throwing him under the bus. I’ll stand with my partner every time I can, but I’m not going down with a sinking ship either. I mean, if my buddy wants to fight the cops, I’m not spending the night in jail with him. He’s on his own. 

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1 hour ago, matt29 said:

My question is should I have immediately overruled him since I clearly saw it or did I do the right thing waiting for us to meet, or should I have initiated a meeting with my partner before the coach had a chance to call time? 

It's a common myth that an umpire can overrule another. FED is explicit that the call of the umpire whose duty it is to make that call is final and other umpires cannot criticize or interfere unless asked by that umpire (10-1-4). I think you did the right things the right way in how you waited, but once you got together, absolutely tell him what you had. Remember that in such a play, the reason PU is heading up the line is to look for exactly what it was you saw -- a pulled foot. You had information your partner didn't have, so give it to him. What he does with it is up to him. Hopefully, he changes his call to the correct one, but you can't do that for him, and you can't overrule him.

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Never had that happen to me but I feel your pain. In that situation I would have said slow down we are having this discussion and you are going to hear what I have to say. You blew the call, I know you think you are right but your not. If you were so sure you got it right then you should not have came to me. I am 100% he is safe so do you wanna let some pride go and get it right? If he wants to stick with the call I am telling coach he said he has it and don’t need help. I am not getting chewed and made to look stupid because he won’t listen

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1 hour ago, MidAmUmp said:

I would say you should contact your assignor and give him a heads up. Better to hear it from you than the coach first. 

I’m not sure (and I’d be curious) why he came to you in the first place if he wasn’t going to change the call. I probably would have asked him that when you huddled.

I don’t know your experience level vs. his, but I would have a real hard time breaking that huddle without changing the call. I would tell him, “Either we’re changing this call or you’re taking the heat for this.”

Finally, if the call didn’t get changed, I wouldn’t have talked to the coach. I would have directed him to go talk to the calling umpire. By simply telling him: “Nope, don’t talk to me. Go talk to the calling umpire” you’ve told the coach that you don’t agree with your partner without completely throwing him under the bus. I’ll stand with my partner every time I can, but I’m not going down with a sinking ship either. I mean, if my buddy wants to fight the cops, I’m not spending the night in jail with him. He’s on his own. 

I had a situation in my early days when my partner (who had been doing this longer than I had been alive) totally screwed the pooch on a fair/foul call on a home run as PU (I've shared the full story before, but it's not relevant.) He came out for help and told me that he blew it and he was changing it; however, I had absolutely no help to give him. I handled it as Jason suggested and told him that if DC came out, I was sending him straight to PU.

The difference between my situation and the OP, though, is that my partner knew he messed up and wanted to get it right. In the OP, BU doesn't care that he messed up and has no desire to get the call right, and implicated PU in the situation by going for help with no intent of using the information. Thus, if I'm PU, I have no confidence that BU isn't going to lie to the coach if I send him directly there. I am going to make sure that I am close enough to the conversation to "correct" BU if he tries to claim I confirmed his call: "I had additional information, and by rule, the calling umpire can evaluate it and determine if the evidence is sufficient to change the call. You (He, if I'm talking to the coach at this point) felt it should not." I'm still speaking the truth and I'm giving my total POS partner an out. I don't care if I'm stepping on his toes by interjecting if he lies; my integrity and credibility are more important than his BS explanation at that point.

 

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If I had it 110% and the coach asks for help, particularly on a judgement call, I will tell the coach "No, I had this all the way!".....now if I'm not completely sure, I will go talk to my partner to see what they have, and I am perfectly willing to change the call with more information.  Just to meet to placate the coach, in my opinion, is not the way to go. I feel that if the call is close even if I get it right the coach will probably still be pissed at me. If I go to my partner with no intention to change anything, I have the coach pissed at BOTH of us. 

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I've not had it yet, but I know of one situation where the HC ticked off the PU and he purposely called the guy out to make a point and wouldn't let the BU change the call.   A little different scenario as BU called out and then went to PU to verify if foot was pulled reasoning easier to change out to safe, than safe to out as is his usual procedure.  Both are very good umpires (one is former MiLB), so PU  partner told him he pulled foot but HC was being a _____ so let it stand as an out to make a point.

I'm with the others though on sending coach to the other guy.  No throwing him under the bus, as I've been on that end and that's not right, but let coach know it isn't my call to override - unless my partner asks me to make the call.

I had one earlier this year where there was a super close play at 1B and F5 throw pulled F3 towards RF, but in my opinion he stayed on as he fielded the ball.  No argument from 1B coach and no verbal challenges from anyone as it ended inning.  Then, as I take ball to mound to clear pitching plate (as is my practice if covered), the 3B(head) coach comes over and says he pulled his foot by 3 feet and if I didn't believe him to ask my partner.  Inning was over, both teams are in there dug outs by this point and the fielders are heading back out.  He never asks for challenge, just makes the comment and then goes towards his dugout entrance, but stops at home plate and talks to my partner.  Then, a few seconds later, he calls out to me that PU had it too.  Again, no request to overturn was made so I never checked with my partner and just figured it's a head coach trying to get into my head.  After the game, PU apologizes to me saying he shouldn't have let the HC talk to him like that and he was sorry for throwing me under the bus.  It felt odd then and still does.  Don't do this to your partners... I make it clear right up front in the umpire pre-meeting that if you see something I missed, then get my attention so we can meet and make the right call.  Please don't be silent and let it stand and then throw a fellow umpire under the bus.  We're a team and should work together.

I know I'm not perfect and have a lot to learn yet, so I try to remember others might as well.

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I can put up with coaches, players and parents. They usually are either stupid or don’t know the rules. The one thing that will set me off is seeing red is a partner that throws me under the bus or tries to show me up. It is usually either young kids who have talent but are cocky or older guys who say they use to ump college or whatever. 

I am a white hat/TD and had a guy a few years ago that liked to throw his partners under the bus. I talked to him about it and he says if my partner screws up I should be able to fix it, I shake my head and say you have been warned. Week later he has 3 games and after the first game his partner is red hot because he did it yet again. I go to the guy and say WTF! Did I not make it clear to you before? He gets mouthy and says it’s his job to get it right and his partner should get it right. I said go home you are done for the season. He says good luck finding someone to come fill in, I said your replacement is here already. I put my plate gear on and asked other ump if he was ready to go. 

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Thanks all for the replies. I'll make sure that in the future, I will say my piece no matter what and let my partner do with it what they wish. 

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Some umpires have a signal which means, "I have information for you, partner, if you want to hear it."

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20 hours ago, wolfe_man said:

I know of one situation where the HC ticked off the PU and he purposely called the guy out to make a point and wouldn't let the BU change the call.   A little different scenario as BU called out and then went to PU to verify if foot was pulled reasoning easier to change out to safe, than safe to out as is his usual procedure.  Both are very good umpires (one is former MiLB), so PU  partner told him he pulled foot but HC was being a _____ so let it stand as an out to make a point.

Can't say that I like this approach to dealing with coaches.

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29 minutes ago, LRZ said:

Can't say that I like this approach to dealing with coaches.

I agree, but this guy is former MiLB and knows his stuff. The coach got the point and the game went on.

I'm a conscientious guy and it bugged me when I heard about it too, but then I understand how some coaches can be and I'll give the umpire a little room here.

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On 5/1/2018 at 10:19 PM, MidAmUmp said:

’m not sure (and I’d be curious) why he came to you in the first place if he wasn’t going to change the call. I probably would have asked him that when you huddled.

Optics - at least in his mind.  He's appeasing the coach by at least making it look like he went for help, and lo and behold, my partner says I was right too.   That's a ballsy move and takes a big ego to be that certain you're right.

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Typically when I go to my partner but don't want to ask a question, it's because I know I need to change the call.  I've gone up to a partner before and said something to the effect of "I just messed up and need to change that call.  Do me a favor and nod your head yes and I'll change it."  Usually the guys I work with only do that if they know the umpire they're working with and also know they messed up (or didn't).

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