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BlueMagic

Chirping Assistant

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Summer League HS game.  Third game of the day (didn't start until 9:15 pm).  Before the game starts, the pitching coach for the home team hands me baseballs and says something to the effect of, "If you widen your strike zone tonight, you won't get any arguments from anybody.  We all want to get out of here."

Top 1st, his pitcher can't find the plate.  The pitching coach (who's sitting right outside the dugout) starts rumbling (where's that???, looks like a good pitch to me, etc.)  During a brief stoppage in play, he starts yelling for everyone to hear, "Blue, we're gonna be here all night if you don't call those strikes!" I turn and look at him, take my mask off, and before I say a word, he says "I'm not arguing balls and strikes, I'm just saying it's 9:30.  Gotta widen your zone."  I respond, "I'm not the one who scheduled the game.  Let me do my job, and you do yours."

If this was a regular season HS game, I would've handled it differently (first of all, I wouldn't have allowed him to be outside the dugout).

Thoughts/advice??

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Did he get the message? If he did, fine... 

He already commented to you prior to the game that a big zone would be appreciated, so in effect he is 100% arguing balls and strikes by grinding on you in the 1st inning. He wants to go home... if he continues, oblige him. If he zipped it, then mission accomplished.

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Look at the head coach and say,”You want to take care of this or do you want me to?” Depending on his answer, restrict/eject the assistant or do nothing.


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2 hours ago, BlueMagic said:

I respond, [1] "I'm not the one who scheduled the game.  [2] Let me do my job, and you do yours."

Your approach seems to have worked, so there's that (and it is NOT nothing).

However, as a general rule, I recommend staying away from both parts of how you replied.

  1. True, you did not schedule the game: but it wasn't arguing until you engaged with it.
  2. I generally recommend against telling people what to do. We sometimes tell them what NOT to do, but that's different.

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the forum's favorite acronym, IAWE, which applies here too. I think I'm still at "I" for 'ignore' in the first inning. If not (and the ASSt sounds annoying enough), then just staring at him might shut him up.

Depending on the experience level of the coach, a stern "Knock it off" or "That's enough" can be sufficient to address the problem. If you're working with FED rules, you can issue a written warning as well (or just write down when you said KTSO).

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As long as we’re on asst coaches, does anyone mention them in pre-game....i.e., “we’ll talk to you 2 only,” “your asst coaches do just that, assist you (HC) not us, etc, etc. Thanks for any insights.


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Personally, I don't like to address expected behavior at my plate meetings. Especially at the HS level, I assume (I realize that's not always good to do) that coaches know how to conduct themselves properly even if they always don't. I don't like to get into what they should do if they have a question about a call, blah blah blah.

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51 minutes ago, Catch18 said:

As long as we’re on asst coaches, does anyone mention them in pre-game....i.e., “we’ll talk to you 2 only,” “your asst coaches do just that, assist you (HC) not us, etc, etc. Thanks for any insights.

Most of us recommend against this tactic. Raising the possibility of conflict primes coaches to expect it, which in turn makes it more likely.

The primary virtue of a plate meeting is that it is, above all, short. Most of mine last a minute or less, depending on how long the ground rules take.

Certain business must be conducted: lineups, equipment question, ground rules, and anything else your league or state mandates. Limit your plate meeting to the minimum.

Less is more. As always, when the game is actually being played, there's generally less shenanigans (most everyone has a job to do).

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A friend of mine shut down a pitching coach in a college game recently.  He heard some comments from the dugout, looked at the guy and said, "Who ARE you?  The message being that he's not the head coach and needs to STFU.  It was also a message to the head coach that he needs to take care of it.  The coach turned tail and headed to the back of the dugout.  YMMV.

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Most of us recommend against this tactic. Raising the possibility of conflict primes coaches to expect it, which in turn makes it more likely.
The primary virtue of a plate meeting is that it is, above all, short. Most of mine last a minute or less, depending on how long the ground rules take.
Certain business must be conducted: lineups, equipment question, ground rules, and anything else your league or state mandates. Limit your plate meeting to the minimum.
Less is more. As always, when the game is actually being played, there's generally less shenanigans (most everyone has a job to do).

Thanks, I’d tend to agree. If you come asking/addressing, it may look like you’re picking for a fight. I’ve just had some partners mention things, so I thought I’d poll the audience. Thanks again.


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Most of us recommend against this tactic. Raising the possibility of conflict primes coaches to expect it, which in turn makes it more likely.
The primary virtue of a plate meeting is that it is, above all, short. Most of mine last a minute or less, depending on how long the ground rules take.
Certain business must be conducted: lineups, equipment question, ground rules, and anything else your league or state mandates. Limit your plate meeting to the minimum.
Less is more. As always, when the game is actually being played, there's generally less shenanigans (most everyone has a job to do).

Thanks, I’d tend to agree. If you come asking/addressing, it may look like you’re picking for a fight. I’ve just had some partners mention things, so I thought I’d poll the audience. Thanks again.


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He is an assistant who started talking about the zone and wanting to get out of there before the game started. When he started chirping about the zone he is getting a warning and anything after that and he is going home early like he wanted to in the first place

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On 6/12/2018 at 8:13 AM, BlueMagic said:

"If you widen your strike zone tonight, you won't get any arguments from anybody.  We all want to get out of here."

If I narrow the strike zone I'm not getting any arguments either....ya follow?  (obscure The Sting reference)

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54 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

If I narrow the strike zone I'm not getting any arguments either....ya follow?  (obscure The Sting reference)

Way obscure 'The Sting' reference... did you know Robert Redford never watched that movie until he saw it with his Grandkids 25-30 years after it was made? Thought that was interesting when he mentioned that in an interview.

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One I did a few weekends ago when there were too many cooks in the kitchen:

”Chuck, I’m hearing a lot voices in the dugout that don’t sound like yours. I only want to hear yours from now on.” 

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10 hours ago, taa71458 said:

One I did a few weekends ago when there were too many cooks in the kitchen:

”Chuck, I’m hearing a lot voices in the dugout that don’t sound like yours. I only want to hear yours from now on.” 

Too many words. "Knock it off!" Done.

Like explaining balks, if we can do it in 5 words or fewer, that's ideal.

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On 6/12/2018 at 5:10 PM, grayhawk said:

A friend of mine shut down a pitching coach in a college game recently.  He heard some comments from the dugout, looked at the guy and said, "Who ARE you?  The message being that he's not the head coach and needs to STFU.  It was also a message to the head coach that he needs to take care of it.  The coach turned tail and headed to the back of the dugout.  YMMV.

I used that once in a HS varsity game, but with emphasis on the last word ("who are YOU?"). HC and assistant were both questioning something between innings. I don't remember what the issue was, but it worked beautifully. HC told AC to get in the dugout and keep his mouth shut. :)

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On 6/13/2018 at 9:54 PM, taa71458 said:

One I did a few weekends ago when there were too many cooks in the kitchen:

”Chuck, I’m hearing a lot voices in the dugout that don’t sound like yours. I only want to hear yours from now on.” 

"I'm a ventriloquist."

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