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Gfoley4

Which hand?

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Simple question, which hand is considered proper for indicating that there was a tag or that he held the bag, before banging the out? I've always used left,. but noticed some MLB umpires using right.

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I've always pointed with the left, signaled the out with the right. No one has ever told me, nor have I ever read that was wrong.

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1 hour ago, Richvee said:

I've always pointed with the left, signaled the out with the right. No one has ever told me, nor have I ever read that was wrong.

The MLB umps might not confuse professionals with their signal and verbal. But, I have confused lower levels. Safe on a steal of 2B when he got under, right arm with palm flat extended out under my left arm with a loud, "he got under". Then a safe signal. Everybody thought I had an out with the right arm movement. I will revisit how I signal such things.

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The "that's a tag" signal is unofficial, and customarily done with the left hand. (Note that "he held the bag" is also a necessary condition of "that's a tag.")

The reason to use it is mainly to buy time or to convey additional info about the call. I use it for swipe tags more than anything else, but also for holding the base on force plays. It should not be used for routine plays.

Also: as a general rule, don't watch MLB umps for their mechanics. They are not constrained to the degree that MiLB umps are, and are thus not the best guide for the "proper" or "professional" way to signal.

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Just finished a clinic this weekend and we discussed pointing, verbal "On the tag" calls, etc. in some depth. 

The general feeling of the instructors was, a point and a verbal "He held the bag" on a force play where the fielder comes off, is fine. A point and a verbal "On the tag" call is fine in a force situation where the fielder comes off the bag and swipe tags the runner. 

DO NOT point or give a verbal "ON THE TAG" on non force plays on the bases or home plate. Just bang the out. Of course he's out on the tag. How else would he be out? 

In a rundown. Just bang the out. he's in between two bases. If he's not out of the basepath he was tagged. No need for the verbal unless he veered and you want to emphasize it wasn't out of the basepath, but you have a tag. 

Of course some plays do not develop straight forward and  sometimes a point or some verbal explanation is warranted. This was given as a general rule of thumb. 

example- Two bodies in a tangle at the plate and the ball under them on the ground. A point and "ball's on the ground" is fine. 

Steal of 2B and the ball is missed rolling on the dirt in the direction of SS. No point/verbal needed. 

 

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