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Guest Confused and Frustrated

Catcher's Interference reversal

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Guest Confused and Frustrated

This happened the other day during a 12u game.  We had bases loaded with two outs, down by one, and batter had 2-2 count on him.  Runner on third breaks to home, batter swings, catcher's mitt comes off and misses ball.  The runner at third crosses plate, batter gets to first before home plate umpire calls time to "figure out" what all has happened.  At this point he calls catcher's interference and awards the batter to first, all runners advance and run scores.  Of course at this point, the other team's coaches lose it and start arguing call.  Umpire changes his mind and calls it a foul ball.  His quote to our coach was that it was a foul ball, that it didn't matter that the batter hit the catcher's mitt.  At this point our coach loses it.  The home plate umpire asks for help from the field umpire, they come back and say catcher's interference.  Go back to other team losing it and they go get the tournament director.  I specifically had asked for the UIC.  The director came out and told the umpires to go talk it out.  They came back and said foul ball.  

All that said, my question is that is this not a judgement call?  And does the field umpire truly have any say in this since he could not hear anything?

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Yes, the field ump has a say.  IF the bat hit the mitt, then it (likely) was CI, whether the bat hit the ball.  If the bat did not hit the mitt but hit the ball foul, it was a foul ball.  If the bat hit neither, ti was a passed ball and the play stands.

 

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40 minutes ago, Guest Confused and Frustrated said:

All that said, my question is that is this not a judgement call?  And does the field umpire truly have any say in this since he could not hear anything?

Keeping in mind that the umpire, on his own, changed his call to foul ball, before talking to the base ump.

The base ump can say many things, all of which the plate umpire can use, or not use, in considering his original call, and final call:

"The bat hit something, but I don't know if it was the bat, the mitt, or both"

"I'm pretty sure it was a foul ball"

"I didn't hear it hit anything"

"Sorry, I can't help you...I got nothing to add"

"That was definitely a foul ball"

"See that hot mom in the first base side bleachers?"

 

And once they come back with foul ball you can still clarify if the bat hit the mitt, which would still be protestable...unless the bat somehow hit the mitt after the ball.

 

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Did folks not notice this in the OP:  " His quote to our coach was that it was a foul ball, that it didn't matter that the batter hit the catcher's mitt. "

P word time.

 

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Yes, BU can have say in this, but it sounds like they screwed it all up.

 Can't change the call before meeting with the BU, and after that, done. That's the final verdict. One side is going to be pissed off, so what.

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I don’t know what really happened, but I do know that nobody should be “losing it.”  It’s become so common that everyone seems to think it’s okay. It’s not. 

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If I have CI with the bat striking the mitt, then I have CI. Can care less that the ball is foul, that just makes the award a little easier.

Had one this year where it was just a tink, a tip, whatever you want to call it, but I had the bat hitting the mitt. Catcher swearing up and down, coach swearing up and down... No way that hit the mitt... you heard something else, you saw something else. Whatever.

Coach I have CI, that is my judgement. Let's play on.

No way I am letting a coach Jedi mind trick me into changing that call... If I had doubt then I would have either no-called it, or called time and went to my partner to see if he had something. But once I come up big, pointing and all the other stuff? Looks bad changing that call...

 

 

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2 hours ago, grayhawk said:

I don’t know what really happened, but I do know that nobody should be “losing it.”  It’s become so common that everyone seems to think it’s okay. It’s not. 

That was my first thought as well. Eject all these so-called adults, see whether anyone has sense enough to address other human beings respectfully, and go from there.

It sounds like a green umpire who got talked out of his call. Catcher OBS/INT (name is different depending on code) is PU's call 100%, and BU should have nothing to say about it.

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Guest coach

Last week I was very annoyed when an umpire was intent to ignore rules, changing reasons, etc.so as to stick to his original call.   I soon realized that the ump would be more likely to eject me than change his call so I eventually let it go....but am still tempted to inform his supervisor that he should either learn the rules or be receptive to in-game discussion.

9u bases loaded 2 outs team my son's team is at bat and losing.  Grounder betw short and third....third baseman moves left, fields grounder and races back to step on base for a force out....play was very close but he did beat the baserunner there.  But the SS who moved to his right behind F5 in case the ball wasn't fielded was directly in the path of R2, who had difficulty getting around the impeding SS. if not for that,  R2 would have reached third base in time.

I pointed out the obvious obstruction to the ump...who said it wasn't obstruction since there was no collision.  I told him that isn't the rule.  Then he said, "well, the shortstop was playing the ball."  Then I said the third baseman is the only protected player since he was in front of the shortstop, and fielded the ball cleanly.  The ump stuck with his "no obstruction" call and while my head was about to explode i knew pretty soon i'd be ejected so I let it go.

The ump didn't deny the clear obstruction but invented rules to avoid calling it....which is different than stating the runner wasn't hindered...or that he missed the call.

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11 minutes ago, Guest coach said:

I pointed out the obvious obstruction to the ump...who said it wasn't obstruction since there was no collision.  I told him that isn't the rule.  Then he said, "well, the shortstop was playing the ball."  Then I said the third baseman is the only protected player since he was in front of the shortstop, and fielded the ball cleanly.  The ump stuck with his "no obstruction" call and while my head was about to explode i knew pretty soon i'd be ejected so I let it go.

Technically, until F5 comes up with the ball, the ump can grant protection to either of those players...he could grant protection to F6, thinking he's the most likely candidate to come up with the ball...and so, during that time, he is not obstructing the runner.   

It's 9U...F5 made a nice play to his left, and was heads up enough to take the force.  Let it go.

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After reading and re-reading this situation and play thoroughly (as posted), a couple things jump out:

First, this overall situation seems incredibly complex, but the play itself is a remarkably simple logic tree, as @noumpere alludes to in his answer. It’s a sequence of If-Then, If-Else, and This-Not statements, all processed in a matter of mere seconds. Really good umpires are able to take in all the events and evidence – whether it be visual, audible, or tactile (felt it) – and process these in microseconds to produce a judgement. Then, depending on an umpire’s knowledge and experience, this judgement is filtered through the Rules, and out comes a ruling. The two are not mutually exclusive, but are in fact dependent upon each other.

Where this gets complex is the intensity of outcry and badgering laid upon the umpire(s) (more on the BU’s role in this later) by the coaches (and players and parents amplifying it by presence and proximity). I’m with @grayhawk on this one – there’s way too much “losing it” in this event. Today’s generations have lost the all-important element of context. This is a single play in a 12U baseball game! Does this affect the health and well-being of those present? No, not really. I’m not giving the umpires a free pass on ignoring the rules and being slipshod in judgement, but I’m certainly going to chastise all the adults on getting a grasp on the context.

So with that said... what was so wrong with how the play originally transpired?

X-2 pitch comes in, swung at, ball is uncaught, and R3 touches plate and BR gets to 1B before (a secured) ball beats either one there (bases loaded, F2 could have touched HP with ball secured, beating R3, for the Out, too). So where’s the problem? Why did PU call Time?

This is where experience is so crucial. If PU is calling Time, then he must have seen or heard something that links to the evidence of the catcher’s mitt coming off. Sure, at 12U, anything is possible, but CI is the likely culprit. Here’s where that logic tree comes in, and as @Mudisfun shares, it is vital that a PU is definite and deliberate. The PU in our OP, though, got badgered into second-guessing himself, and consulted the BU...

A BU, in situations like this, can and should be consulted, if for anything to be a resource and advocate for the Rules. CI trumps everything else in this play, regardless of whether the ball was or wasn’t contacted by the swung bat. In the OP, the PU states “... didn’t matter that the batter hit the catcher's mitt.” Oh yes it does matter! This means that the PU does have the bat hitting the mitt! So now, here’s where the umpire partner needs to step in and help administer the Rules. The BU should not be “giving help” regarding what he saw/heard, but instead, helping the fellow umpire through the Rules logic tree – if PU has CI, regardless of foul or not, it is Time (Dead Ball), BR awarded 1B, all Runners advance if forced.

Umpire judgement led them to this instance, but they kicked the rule regarding that judgement.

And if they kick a rule, that’s where a Protest comes into play, as @Rich Ives alluded to.

Trouble is, from the read of things, the particular tournament you were in may not have abided or deliberated on protests. That authority lies with the Tournament Director, and if that particular TD waived any further discussion, placing final decision upon the umpires, then that’s what has to be adhered to.

Play on. Life goes on.

However, as @maven is hinting at, all the adults are culpable of something here in making this a mess.

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4 hours ago, grayhawk said:

I don’t know what really happened, but I do know that nobody should be “losing it.”  It’s become so common that everyone seems to think it’s okay. It’s not. 

Great point.  It is perfectly acceptable to lose it at an umpire and expected.  

The end of that story SHOULD have been two coaches were losing it on their way to the parking lot!!!

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