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Sut'n Blue

Not For Your Ears?

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I'm curious as to how others treat those comments that are not made to the umpire but are meant to be heard by the umpire. 

Example: Batter takes a called third strike on a pitch his coach thinks was outside. As batter gets to dugout the coach all but yells: "That was a good take Johnny, no way you could have reached it." Obviously making a statement for the umpire to hear.

Personally, I generally treat one of these comments as something to ignore when following the IAWE criteria but have upon occasion replied with "your not fooling anyone, knock it off." 

Opinions, comments, war stories appreciated.

 

 

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Good idea:

28 minutes ago, Sut'n Blue said:

I generally treat one of these comments as something to ignore when following the IAWE criteria

 

Bad idea:

28 minutes ago, Sut'n Blue said:

have upon occasion replied with "your not fooling anyone, knock it off."

 

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That specific comment, I can laugh at and ignore all day. If it’s something more direct or whatever, maybe it gets to a warn stage.

Any above the belt pitch called a strike in travel ball got a “good take” last weekend. It was fine. I can stay in ignore stage there forever. 

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Said loud enough to the catcher, but meant for the coach to hear.............:sarcasm:

I hope they keep up with those "good takes", we'll be out of here sooner than expected!

 

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And when the coach says, "I'm not talking to you, blue!"

 

Follow it up with, "Well, I'm talking to you.  That's your balls and strikes warning!"

 

Don't play games with them.

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I'd advise to ignore it.  Be consistent with the call so all game you'll hear the same whine.

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20 hours ago, Thatsnotyou said:

That specific comment, I can laugh at and ignore all day. If it’s something more direct or whatever, maybe it gets to a warn stage.

Any above the belt pitch called a strike in travel ball got a “good take” last weekend. It was fine. I can stay in ignore stage there forever. 

I generally hear the same comment about pitches in the upper part of the zone.  Especially if it is strike one.  Coaches generally aren't commenting about your zone in that situation, rather building batter's confidence.  If you hear a loud "NO WAY" instead of good take then that's another issue.

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I generally don’t get bothered by (just) those comments.  What bothers me more is level of delusion that it takes to keep telling the pitcher “those are good pitches/you’re just missing” when the last 12 straight have hit the backstop.

The appropriate thing to tell your pitcher at that point is [Bob Eucker] Ball 4 ... Ball 8 ... Ball 12! [/Bob Eucker]. :D

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.........it's kind of like "Just throw strikes Johnny"!

 

I often want to turn around and ask, Do you REALLY think he isn't trying to?

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Well ... when you let those comments go ... OR the alternate title for this post “I may want to change my position” ...

Over the weekend, 12u softball.  This was a game where an underdog team overperformed as the powerhouse team underperformed.  Neighboring communities, so some rivalry already.  As PU, I let all of the following go from the Underdogs bench:

*”If she charges again, pull back and hit her with a line drive.”  (Player, later notified by my BU it was the coach’s daughter.)

*”If she doesn’t move, just throw the ball through her.  She has to move.”  (Head coach)

Both of these are things I would normally nip ... and I should have ... but I tried “letting it go”.  That led to:

*Powerhouse players had a chant which equated to “She’s pitching outside” after each of several obviously outside pitches.  Underdog coach then (rather rudely and gruffly) yells at his bench players “See that coach on the bucket over there?  When we come up to bat, it is your job to call out every signal he is giving!”  No, there is no rule against stealing signs.  IMO, bad sportsmanship, but not illegal.  So I let it go.

*Then we had a bang-bang play at the plate on a bunt.   Underdogs’ catcher wasn’t paying attention when the pitcher threw to her.  The Powerhouse runner didn’t slide.  The catcher flung her mitt out and somehow caught the ball right on the runner’s chest, but the runner’s foot was already on the plate.  Underdog coach came out and, fairly properly (but obviously heated) asked me “What did you have on that?”  After I told him what I saw, he stormed back to the dug out.  A few pitches later I heard “We’re getting the Powerhouse bone again!”  I let it go.

We had a one-run game in the 4th inning with about 12 minutes left on the time limit ... Underdogs had runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out. Double steal and my BU rings up the runner stealing 3rd.  Underdogs’ Assistant Coach #1 was coaching first base and starts to run across the field yelling.  My partner puts his hand up and stops the AC.  “Your spot is over there and I am not discussing it with you.”  AC goes back and starts yelling at the Head Coach who was coaching 3rd.  HC gets animated, AC is storming up and down the first base line ranting and raving loudly.

I allow HC ample time to “talk” to my BU.  HC starts screaming he wants an appeal from me.  My BU says “Coach, it’s my call and I was right on top of it.  I got it.”  HC gets more animated.  I start to walk down to third base to intercede and get us back on track when AC comes running at me “He won’t let him talk to you because he made a terrible call!”  I’m done letting it go.  AC chose to remove himself from the game by running at me and screaming about the BU.

Now I walk down to third base.  “Coach, your AC is gone.  Are you staying and playing?”

HC stammers ... “Well, yeah ... but ...”

”Coach.  That is BU’s call.  He does not feel the need to ask me for help.  We are playing ball.”  Coach steps back to the coach’s box, still carrying on.  I walk back to home plate.  My BU says something and motions to me, but I couldn’t hear him over the crowd, so I walk back out to meet him on the field.  He wanted to clarify the number of outs.  I return to home plate and turn around ... and HC is back on the field going after my BU.

Now I walk back down to third base and inform HC he has chosen not to remain in the game.

There is a little more afterwards involving the Underdog catcher and her mom (HC’s wife), but this is getting long already.

So ... letting it go kept adding fuel to the fire.  Team Underdog had a poor attitude coming into the game, with their players grumbling about “having to get stomped again” before the game began.  When they tasted the possibility of victory, well ... the adults got stupid.  The sad part is, it totally pissed all over the effort the girls were giving.

So give me your post-mortem ... should I have put a stop to Team Underdog’s attitudes earlier?  Or was it really none of my business?  Would we have ended up where we did anyway?

 

 

 

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On 6/5/2019 at 8:19 PM, Thatsnotyou said:

Any above the belt pitch called a strike in travel ball got a “good take” last weekend. It was fine. I can stay in ignore stage there forever. 

If any ump gets upset about that kind of chatter they're in the wrong line of work.  Many times not swinging at a pitch that is in the strike zone is a "good take" and many times a pitch that is off the plate and called a ball is a "good pitch".

In fact, a pitch that is right down the heart of the plate is rarely a "good" pitch (it's usually a great hit)...and a coach would rarely comment on how well a batter didn't swing on a pitch two feet out of the strike zone.

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10 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

Well ... when you let those comments go ... OR the alternate title for this post “I may want to change my position” ...

It's not "ignore" "ignore" "ignore" "Ignore."

It's IAWE -- Ignore, acknowledge, warn, eject.

And, depending on the specific nature of the game / comment, you can skip a step.

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10 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

*”If she charges again, pull back and hit her with a line drive.”  (Player, later notified by my BU it was the coach’s daughter.)

*”If she doesn’t move, just throw the ball through her.  She has to move.”  (Head coach)

If I'm the other team's coach I'm expecting the umpire to eject and report either of those, let alone both of them.   If I said either of those I'd be ejected and suspended in pretty much any league or tournament I ever coached in, from U10 to U18, rec ball and club ball.

As the coach I am reporting this regardless, and the report will also go to the appropriate umpire association with either a statement of support or admonishment of the umpire in question.

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10 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

If I'm the other team's coach I'm expecting the umpire to eject and report either of those, let alone both of them.   If I said either of those I'd be ejected and suspended in pretty much any league or tournament I ever coached in, from U10 to U18, rec ball and club ball.

As the coach I am reporting this regardless, and the report will also go to the appropriate umpire association with either a statement of support or admonishment of the umpire in question.

Agreed - you simply can't let those go. It's absolutely terrible game management if you let those ones go by without doing anything. You're asking for something bad to happen, and now you're going to turn the nice guy on the other bench into a jerk too. Take care of the jerk.

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  10 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

*”If she charges again, pull back and hit her with a line drive.”  (Player, later notified by my BU it was the coach’s daughter.)

*”If she doesn’t move, just throw the ball through her.  She has to move.”  (Head coach)

 

You end this, now. Right now, before the game gets seriously stupid. 

I will call time, go to the coach and address that immediately. Coach, did you just instruct a child to purposely attempt to injure another child on this field? Depending on the answer he/she gives depends on if this is the sportsmanship warning with a chance for the coach to 're instruct' his player(s)  or the end of his/her playing time with us in this game. NEVER let this go.

 

By the time jack ass, er, I mean the VHC get's to his comments about the other coach on the bucket... he has already been admonished about his unsportsmanlike conduct, or he has already left for the day. If the latter, he can leave now for continuing unsportsmanlike conduct.

 

Play at the plate, 'powerhouse bone'... see ya. He just called your integrity into question and accused you of cheating. He wants to leave, why not pack his bags for him?

AC ranting and raving after your partner told him to get back to his spot... punch his ticket since he is continuing his show.

 

Games get heated... your job is to try and manage the personalities as best you can. If you start when the comments are small, then maybe, just maybe, you have sent a message that poor behavior will not be tolerated. If however you allow the behavior to go on, then like little kids, many adults will continue to push your boundaries until you hit a breaking point and eject. The issue here is that by this time, the game is out of control, the personalities have grown emboldened and now you are frustrated and angry. Treat it like business. It is not personal, you are there doing your job. If they get personal, send them on their way, but do it in a business like manner. If you intercede in a business like manner early, often times you curtail the bigger issues and have a much smoother experience.

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Okay, I gotta ask. 

I see the sportsmanship thing at LL level or maybe up to Babe Ruth even, but are you truly going to have a conversation with the coach of a HS or Legion team if you hear this and use sportsmanship as your rule? 

I'm not attempting to stir anything up, but I have no jurisdiction or rule that I'm aware of to curb this nonsense.  I know about preventive officiating, but this feels like picking boogers to me.

Maybe I let too much slide, but I know many times coaches are just blowing smoke, so are the players.  

Do you really have a right to tell the coach he needs to exhibit better sportsmanship and to give better coaching to his players?  I understand the part about him intentionally hurting other players, but can we govern intent?  

If a runner avoids the F4 to avoid contact and is called out because he didn't try to break up the play but was being safe, but F4 truly was in the base path and he shouldn't be, so the coach says next time to run over him, meaning to make contact so he can get the obstruction call, are you going to eject the coach for suggesting he make contact with an opposing player who was in the baseline wrongly?  (I realize we should make the obs call regardless, but I'm talking about where a player hesitates and gives up easily because he's wary of being tossed for contact and it makes it hard to sell the call.  So coach tells him to run hard and means if he makes contact or makes it more obvious, then "blue" can easily see obs and make the call.  He never meant to try and hurt the other player.)

Sorry, perhaps I'm misunderstanding - and I'm sure I'm going to get flak for this - but this seems a bit of a stretch to me.

IAWE doesn't feel like it's designed for this case.  I thought IAWE was to be used when & where necessary, but this feels like looking for trouble to me.

Okay, let me have it...

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22 minutes ago, wolfe_man said:

Okay, I gotta ask. 

I see the sportsmanship thing at LL level or maybe up to Babe Ruth even, but are you truly going to have a conversation with the coach of a HS or Legion team if you hear this and use sportsmanship as your rule? 

I'm not attempting to stir anything up, but I have no jurisdiction or rule that I'm aware of to curb this nonsense.  I know about preventive officiating, but this feels like picking boogers to me.

Maybe I let too much slide, but I know many times coaches are just blowing smoke, so are the players.  

Do you really have a right to tell the coach he needs to exhibit better sportsmanship and to give better coaching of his players?  I understand the part about him intentionally hurting other players, but can we govern intent?  

If a runner avoids the F4 to avoid contact and is called out because he didn't try to break up the play but was being safe, but F4 truly was in the base path and he shouldn't be, so the coach says next time to run over him, meaning to make contact so he can get the obstruction call, are you going to eject the coach for suggesting he make contact with an opposing player who was in the baseline wrongly?  (I realize we should make the obs call regardless, but I'm talking about where a player hesitates and gives up easily because he's wary of being tossed for contact and it makes it hard to sell the call.  So coach tells him to run hard and means if he makes contact or makes it more obvious, then "blue" can easily see obs and make the call.  He never meant to hurt the other player.)

Sorry, perhaps I'm misunderstanding - and I'm sure I'm going to get flak for this - but this seems a bit of a stretch to me.

IAWE doesn't feel like it's designed for this case.  IAWE I thought was to be used where necessary, but this feels like looking for trouble to me.

Okay, let me have it...

”If she charges again, pull back and hit her with a line drive.”

OR

”If she charges again, pull back and hit it past her with a line drive.”

OR

”If she charges again, pull back and hit a line drive.”

You telling me you don't see the difference between the first one compared to the other two, or don't see a scenario where you would warn or punish the first one?   That you're going to worry about whether the coach meant it?

If you hear a coach instructing his players to injure other players, or act in a way that will injure players, and you let it go as "blowing smoke" you're not only part of the problem, you're opening yourself up to culpability when something does happen.

Your first assumption should always be that players will do as their coaches instruct.  And your first stance should be that you're not going to wait to see if they do it.

What is not appropriate is to try to determine what you think the coach meant.   Worry about what he said.   Reporting what he said is defensible.   

If a coach were to say he's going to kick the SH*# out of you, are you going to decide he doesn't really mean it...or are you going to act upon the threat?   So, why are you acting upon the threat when it's directed at yourself, but not when it's directed at children on the other team?

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I agree I let far too much go, so it’s good to see others comments that support my initial feeling.  

It was an odd day and I think I had been lulled into a sense of complacency.  Of the seven games we did, that was the only one that was not a mind-numbing run rule game.  The players on both sides were playing their hearts out and I didn’t want to call attention to “those things I wasn’t supposed to hear” and detract from the game.  I am not making excuses — this is my own post-mortem on my performance and I hope that other umpires can learn from it.

99% of the time I have nipped any of those things in the bud.  But I didn’t do it this time and it snowballed into a fiasco.

So, to the original point of the thread ... hear everything, ignore what is ignorable, and manage what is manageable.

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12 hours ago, Mudisfun said:
He wants to leave, why not pack his bags for him?

 

Editing that down to this one comment for this fun reason:

At one point he informed his team that if they lost, they had to play at 8am the next day.  He then asked if they wanted to play at 8am and made the comment that he “didn’t want to be there that early.”

With his ejection is also a 1 game suspension.  My partner pointed out that we were just helping him out by making sure he didn’t have to be there at 8am.

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16 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

”If she charges again, pull back and hit her with a line drive.”

OR

”If she charges again, pull back and hit it past her with a line drive.”

OR

”If she charges again, pull back and hit a line drive.”

You telling me you don't see the difference between the first one compared to the other two, or don't see a scenario where you would warn or punish the first one?   That you're going to worry about whether the coach meant it?

If you hear a coach instructing his players to injure other players, or act in a way that will injure players, and you let it go as "blowing smoke" you're not only part of the problem, you're opening yourself up to culpability when something does happen.

Your first assumption should always be that players will do as their coaches instruct.  And your first stance should be that you're not going to wait to see if they do it.

What is not appropriate is to try to determine what you think the coach meant.   Worry about what he said.   Reporting what he said is defensible.   

If a coach were to say he's going to kick the SH*# out of you, are you going to decide he doesn't really mean it...or are you going to act upon the threat?   So, why are you acting upon the threat when it's directed at yourself, but not when it's directed at children on the other team?

I can see your points; however I still do not see where I can intervene.  I see no rule support to be the comments nazi for the dugout.   I'm not trying to be hard-headed here, but I'm not trying to find more problems to pick at either.

A threat of physical violence towards an umpire is to be taken seriously of course; whereas I wouldn't consider a coach (or player) telling someone to pull back on a bunt attempt and swing away because someone is charging (a la Rizzo of the Cubs) as a threat of violence.  It is a legal play within the game... so is throwing through a player who is trying to break up a play by not sliding or running in the throwing lane of F4/F6.  We see this all the time at most levels of baseball above LL, certainly in MLB. 

Again, not trying to be devil's advocate but honestly trying to see how much authority and leeway we have to nip this in the bud.  Loud threats can be dealt with, but if I reacted to every dumb thing I've heard from a dugout we'd never play ball at all.  Now, I am on guard if I hear anything that may insinuate retaliation or the like, but in my mind you do nothing until you have the right to intervene.

Also, I am not culpable if there is not a rule to support my intervening.  An umpire is there to officiate the game and that rules are followed correctly, I don't see where this is supported by rules, this is why I keep asking for rule backup.

@Senor Azul do you have any cases or rules that would help me here?

Thanks

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Mr. wolfe_man, if you had not mentioned me I would not have read this thread. This is not a topic that interests me. Since you asked I will post what I have found for you but you may not like it. What Mr. beerguy55 is telling you is correct.

From the 2016 BRD (section 172, p. 130):

NCAA:  Umpires eject participants for violations of the Coaches’ and Players’ Codes of Ethics. Here is the list from the 2019-20 NCAA rule book--

1. It is the coaches’ duty to be in control of their players at all times in order to prevent any unsportsmanlike act toward opponents, officials or spectators.

2. Coaches are expected to comply wholeheartedly with the intent and spirit of the rules. The deliberate teaching of players to violate the rules is indefensible.

3. Coaches must teach their players to respect the dignity of the game, officials, opponents and the institutions that they represent.

4. Coaches must confine their discussion with the game officials to the interpretations of the rules and not challenge umpire decisions involving judgment.

5. “Bench jockeying” will not be allowed. Coaches are to prohibit bench jockeying, which would include personal and malicious remarks, cursing and obscene language toward opponents, umpires or spectators.

6. Coaches must refrain from any personal action that might arouse players or spectators to unsportsmanlike behavior.

7. Coaches must expect from the umpires a courteous and dignified attitude toward players and themselves.

8. Coaches must seek help from school administrators in controlling unruly students and spectators.

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8 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

 I didn’t want to call attention to “those things I wasn’t supposed to hear” and detract from the game.

There are ways to address certain situations without calling attention to them.

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58 minutes ago, Senor Azul said:

Mr. wolfe_man, if you had not mentioned me I would not have read this thread. This is not a topic that interests me. Since you asked I will post what I have found for you but you may not like it. What Mr. beerguy55 is telling you is correct.

From the 2016 BRD (section 172, p. 130):

NCAA:  Umpires eject participants for violations of the Coaches’ and Players’ Codes of Ethics. Here is the list from the 2019-20 NCAA rule book--

1. It is the coaches’ duty to be in control of their players at all times in order to prevent any unsportsmanlike act toward opponents, officials or spectators.

2. Coaches are expected to comply wholeheartedly with the intent and spirit of the rules. The deliberate teaching of players to violate the rules is indefensible.

3. Coaches must teach their players to respect the dignity of the game, officials, opponents and the institutions that they represent.

4. Coaches must confine their discussion with the game officials to the interpretations of the rules and not challenge umpire decisions involving judgment.

5. “Bench jockeying” will not be allowed. Coaches are to prohibit bench jockeying, which would include personal and malicious remarks, cursing and obscene language toward opponents, umpires or spectators.

6. Coaches must refrain from any personal action that might arouse players or spectators to unsportsmanlike behavior.

7. Coaches must expect from the umpires a courteous and dignified attitude toward players and themselves.

8. Coaches must seek help from school administrators in controlling unruly students and spectators.

Thank you for the information.  I'm not afraid of being wrong; I just want proof I can do something about it without opening up a can of worms.  I completely agree with the spirit of what beerguy is talking about.  I am all for safety, sportsmanship and fair play with ethics, but I'm not sure as an umpire how much of that part of the game is my responsibility.  I'll be honest, I have never seen an umpire intervene with what is being talked about on this thread; however I've never had anything get out of hand yet in my 4 years of experience either. 

Is there something similar for NFHS?  I mainly do HS, Legion, Babe Ruth, and some travel as well, but played under NFHS rules, so this doesn't really apply as those coaches don't have an "Ethics" code, at least not one that I've been aware of to this point.

Thanks again!

Keith

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