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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/29/2019 in Posts

  1. 17 points
    Hey guys, thanks for checking in with me. Overall, I consider myself to be extremely lucky to be where I am at this point. I am completely independent, and am back to running my business. I don't have quite the stamina that I had prior to my injury, but I had a record month for my business in April and there are lots of reasons to believe I can continue to bring value to my clients and referral partners. I'm mobile and walking without any assistance, though I do walk with a pronounced limp. I only have one PT session left, partly because the insurance company says so, but also because my therapist says that they have really done all they can do for me. They have given me all of the exercises that I can do on my own and I continue to do that at home and at the gym. I go to the gym three days a week and do the elliptical along with a ton of stretching and resistance training. The difficult thing to deal with is that I have a few conditions that don't seem to be improving (yet). I have something called Dural Tension which basically is a tightness caused by the damage to the nerves. It is particularly present in my right ankle/foot area and results in a range of motion loss in my dorsiflexion (the opposite motion from pointing your toes). In addition, I have hyper reflexes in my right leg, along with spasticity which makes controlling my gait difficult. Each of these conditions is my main concern when it comes to getting back on the field because they are directly related to the challenge I face when trying to run. My overall sensory deficits have not improved in any measurable way. I still have the same numbness and tingling that I had following my surgery. Though I can still feel touch, I also still have no hot/cold/pain sensitivity on my left side below my chest. My right hand has gotten stronger and my current grip strength is 82 which is miles better than it was just a few months ago. I never had great handwriting, and it still sucks, but it's more than serviceable and legible. I am going to work a HS All Star Showcase game on June 1st. It's a 4 man crew and I will be U1 and we'll just not rotate so I don't have to cover home. I can't wait to get back in uniform and be on the field with my brothers, if even one time. Nobody knows what the future holds, so I am going to cherish that day and game like it's the World Series. Sorry for the long post, but it's almost therapeutic to write it all down. Thanks again for checking in and for all your support.
  2. 11 points
    Well the good news is that the SCHSL has not canceled high school sports in South Carolina, yet. So now, thanks to Coronavirus, we have four college umpires working a high school game tonight. The game is scheduled to be played at the Columbia, SC, minor league stadium. We all won't be paid (they only pay for 2 umpires during the regular season), but we said "screw it...we'll divide the money up into fourths. Let's just go have fun!"
  3. 10 points
    Thank you all for your messages. It's been an incredibly difficult time this past week, and we are putting one foot in front of the other as best we can. Christine's passing was unexpected, though she had been battling illness for many years as a result of radiation treatment for Hodgkins when she was 17. It truly does make a difference knowing that my family is in your thoughts and prayers.
  4. 10 points
    I’ve read through the original post and responses and here’s my take... Dumbfounded or not, if you think the batter swung, tell your partner what you saw. I actually had this happen in a game last night. I could see the pitch was inside, catcher slid over, batter went about 3/4 around, partner gets blocked out by catcher and came to me. EVERYONE knew he swung except the guy who had to make the call. So he came to me and I got it. That’s how we work as a team...the best team on the field. So, you screwed up by not handling that situation properly. You know what? Who cares. The only way we learn is to screw something up. I guarantee you’ll never screw that situation up again. Did you throw your partner under the bus? Yes. You know what? Who cares. He could/should have handled the situation better. But instead of realizing that he was working with an inexperienced partner and even though he has some tire marks on his back, he should use this as a mentoring opportunity, he decided to get pissed, switched partners, blows you up and doesn’t want to work with you anymore. That’s BS. Speaking as an assignor, we need you more than we need your partner. You screwed up. We can fix that. We can’t fix egos that say I don’t want to work with a newer guy because he doesn’t know what he’s doing and made me look bad in the process. Speaking as the guy who runs the clinic you mentioned (Mid-American Umpire Clinic), I’m willing to help you. You say you want to attend but might have to wait a year before trying it. If waiting a year is “real job” related, so be it; but if having to wait a year is related to budget issues, get with me privately and I’ll take care of you to get you into the clinic this year.
  5. 10 points
    First, don't EVER talk to a fan. Ever. (did I make that clear?) Second, Ignore / Acknowledge / Warn / Eject You ignored at first; AC was throwing hands up and asking where some pitches were - not a good thing, but not worth anything. The moment he says "it's down the middle," you jump to Acknowledge - "I had it down, coach." This tells him you understand what he's saying, but it's not the place to argue. He replies with "it's a strike all day," you're in Warn - "That's enough!" If he doesn't understand what that means, he will soon enough. After "That's enough," if he says anything back to you other than "Sorry," you're probably in Eject. This is all increasingly so because he's an assistant coach. Leashes for them should be much shorter, but that comes with him understanding his leash is shorter. Oh, and don't ever talk to fans.
  6. 9 points
    What a great umpire!! He's gotten every call correct!
  7. 8 points
    If you were to see what I write on FB, you would know that I'm a couple things: 1) highly opinionated, and 2) a political animal. (You can't really grow up in the DC area, and not be the second of those, I wouldn't think.) And I know that even clicking the "Quote" button to START a reply - with *me* typing - has the potential to turn this thread into to an utter SH*#show. So I don't want to get too nutty (edit: I wrote like another 6-7 paragraphs, so I may not have hit that target). But even the other day when I first read this paragraph, it ..... gave me pause. I really, really, REALLY disagree with, well, pretty much all of it. This is not "no different" than any of those. It's killing people. And at a rate that is frightening - around 30x what regular flu does. Just now, I took the numbers from the Washington Post, which got them from places like the WHO, the CDC, Johns Hopkins (just to stave off any "yeah, buts") - and the world-wide death rate is around 4.1% right now - that's INSANELY higher than regular flu, or some of the other flus. (For laughs, since our US testing situation is a joke, and it could arguably lower our current death rate by showing how widespread this virus REALLY is, I took out the US numbers, and it was still right about 4.1%.) This SH*# is serious, and should be treated as such. Look, I had the flu this year, too. Mine was about mid-January. I think the swab revealed it was Influenza-B. If you had it in November, I would argue that while you may have had a rough go, it wasn't COVID-19. Even now, AZ doesn't have but 21 cases out of the 7800+ in the US right now, and that's even since it started the exponential increase. You know why the person that resides in the White House finally started taking this a little more seriously? A British scientific group, using data on this specific virus and being experts in disease, its spread and the modeling thereof projected that if the current "la la lal i'm-not-listening-i'm-not-listening" tone of the WH was maintained, the death toll on this could reach 2.2 MILLION. That number starts to approach 1% of the total US population, to state the obvious. Even finally starting to get more ambitious, that effort might only knock the toll in half, to 1.1 million. Now, I hope they're wrong, and wrong to a major scale, but I'm not so sure they are, since it still seems people aren't reeeeeeally taking this fully seriously. As a high risk candidate - not REAL old yet, but I have diabetes, my thyroid has been impacted for years by an autoimmune thing (controlled by taking hormones), and I had the cancer and chemo thing a year and a half ago - I'm taking this seriously. A week ago, I didn't WANT to, just because I still wanted the season to keep going. But the more information that's out there - not the breathless manner in which it's portrayed, but the actual WORDS AND DATA that are said - means this still can go terribly pear-shaped. So please don't say the word crisis in quotes, or otherwise make this sound like it's designed to remove the current occupant of the WH, or cow the population, or lead us to that One World Order, or whatever. This is a problem. And got the potential to go from problem to A Real Problem. We'll get past it as a species - inexplicably, we always seem to - but this could be a rough go. This is all I'll write. But evidently, that had been pent up.
  8. 8 points
    So, with the conclusion of this year's NFHS Baseball Rules Committee meeting in Indianapolis, my four-year term on the committee has come to an end. I am proud to have served, and I met a lot of people who have a deep commitment to prep baseball and who have become lifelong friends. With that said, I wanted to write a post that explains how the baseball committee process works. There is a lot of bashing of the rules committee on social media (not so much this site...but a lot on other sites). I thought I could give an insider's perspective on how the process works. Like any endeavor, my tenure on the committee had some lows, but it had a lot more highs. There are 11 voting members of the committee. First, there are 8 members who represent the NFHS' eight sections. (The NFHS divides the country into eight sections.) I represented Section Three which has nine states in the Southeast United States. Next, there is one member who represents the National Federation's officials association (an umpire) and one member who represents the National Federation's coaches' association (a head coach at a high school). Finally, there is a voting chairman (the committee chairman is almost always an executive in some state's high school league office). One knock that I see a lot is that there have never been enough umpires on the committee. This is actually false. During my tenure on the board, there have actually been an average of six (out of 11) umpires on the committee. During the year, any state can make a rule change proposal. In fact, you (meaning the person reading this post) can make a rule change proposal. You would need to propose the rule change to your state's high school association. If they agreed with your proposal, they can then submit it on your behalf to the NFHS for consideration by the Baseball Rules Committee. Each June, the Baseball Rules Committee meets in Indianapolis to discuss (sometimes "debate" is a better word) all of the rule change proposals submitted during the prior year. The deadline for submitting proposals is sometime in early May. During the meeting, the committee can ONLY vote on rule changes that were proposed before the deadline. That is, the committee cannot propose its own rule changes during the meeting. If a committee member wants to change a rule, he has to submit it before the deadline. After the submission deadline, but before the committee's June meeting, every state office is sent all rule change proposals. The state offices can then contact their representative on the committee and direct their representative how they want them to vote. Of course, in a section like mine (with 9 states) all of the states may not agree with one another on each proposal. In which case, I would have to use my own judgment when voting. However, if a clear majority of states in my section instructed me to vote a certain way...I'd have to vote that way. This is because I represent the interests of my section's states on the committee. During my four years on the committee, I would send all of the rule proposals to my nine state offices every May asking them for their opinions or directions as to how I should vote. Some years, I would only hear back from 2 or 3 states. Other years, I heard back from a lot more. At our meeting in June, we would discuss/debate the rule change proposals. Finally, we'd vote on them. Additionally, if the baseball rules committee felt that there were issues in the sport that needed to be addressed, but did not require a rule change, we could vote to insert new plays into the casebook. Since casebook plays are not "rule changes", but rather are interpretations of existing rules, they are not required to be submitted to the states ahead of time. And, in fact, it is common for the committee to draft and adopt a new casebook play(s) after having a discussion on a particular issue when we felt we could deal with the issue with a casebook play rather than have to wait to submit a rule change proposal the following year. Now, we get to the part of which many are ignorant: When the rules committee passes a rule change, it must be approved by 2 1/2 other committees. I say "2 1/2" because three other committees actually look at the rule changes the rules committee passed, but only two of those can actually reject or approve those rule changes. The third committee is the Sports Medicine Committee. They review our changes and only give an opinion as to whether or not an approved rule change poses an increase risk of injury to the student-athletes. The sports medicine committee doesn't actually approve or reject a rule change the rules committee has made. However, I guarantee you that if the sports medicine committee gives an opinion that a rules change (approved by the rules committee) poses an unreasonably higher risk of injury to the student-athletes, then one of the other two committees is going to reject our rule change. [As an aside, let me state that the Sports Medicine Committee does some incredible work. First, they have some of the most famous sports-medicine people in the country on the committee. Second, they do some incredible research. Third, they really do care about the students and their safety. In fact, I ended my tenure on the rules committee believing that the work the NFHS does for student safety through its sports medicine committee is perhaps the NFHS' greatest contribution to sports in this country.] Next, the rules changes that passed the baseball rules committee are then reviewed by the "rules review committee". This committee is comprised entirely of NFHS employees. They are basically all of the rules editors for all of the different sports. So, the baseball rules editor (an NFHS employee who sits in during the NFHS baseball rules committee meeting) has to defend the rule changes we passed to his colleagues (who are the rules editors for all of the other sports.) It was explained to me by someone with a lot of history working with the NFHS, that the purpose of this committee is to make sure that a sport's rules committee doesn't go off the deep end and make a bunch of crazy rule changes. The "rules review committee" basically serves as a check to make sure that the baseball rules committee, for instance, can't be hijacked by a group of like-minded people who then makes wholesale changes to the baseball rulebook which then fundamentally and drastically changes the nature of the sport. When the "rules review committee" looks at the rule changes passed by the baseball rules committee, they look to make sure that the "balance between offense and defense as it should exist in that particular sport is maintained", that player safety is not adversely affected, and that the sport itself is not being drastically changed without just cause (among other things). If this committee rejects a rule change that the rules committee made...then the change is dead. When the "rules review committee" rejects a rule change that was passed by the rules committee, they sometimes explain why they rejected the rule change...and sometimes they provide no explanation. Finally, any rule changes that were approved by the "rules review committee" must then be approved by the NFHS "Executive Committee". This committee is almost always comprised of the executive directors of various state high school associations. I am not familiar with what this committee does when reviewing the approved rule changes, but I think most of the time they will approve the rule changes as long as the sports medicine and "rules review committee" have signed off on them. In summary, the NFHS is a bureaucracy...there is no doubt about that. Like anything, that has pluses and minuses. It goes without saying that the NFHS does some great work. What sometimes frustrated me is that before one bashes the baseball rules committee, one should know that sometimes the baseball rules committee is not the entity with which you have your disagreement. Sometimes, we pass a change to the rules that umpires overwhelmingly want, but it gets rejected by the "rules review committee" or "executive committee". I can tell you (without going into details) that this has happened during my tenure more than once. Nothing posted here is confidential. In fact, the NFHS has buried somewhere on their website a video as to how the rules writing process occurs (found it: https://www.nfhs.org/sports-resource-content/rules-writing-process-video/). Since there is hardly a week that goes by in which the rules committee isn't getting bashed somewhere on the internet, I just thought I'd post how things actually work (since I doubt most umpires know...and most don't know about the video). It was a great four-years. I appreciate all of you who communicated with me (especially by private messaging) over those four years so I could know what umpires from across the country were thinking.
  9. 8 points
    "OK, coach, I'll address it." Then don't grant his batters time.
  10. 8 points
    I finally have a rig worthy of posting here... - Force 3 v2 (bought here from @harrisonj23), just got back from Mask-It powder-coated in gunmetal grey - A Spyder throat guard (bought here from @codizzle), also powder-coated in gunmetal grey - New black pads (bought here from @wolfe_man)
  11. 8 points
    Framing and pulling are different. Framing is positioning the glove to highlight the "strike-ishness" of the pitch. Catch the breaking pitch closer to the plate, set up on the outside corner instead of diving across the plate to catch that pitch on the black. These are not deceptive, so umpires aren't "duped" by them. Indeed, proper catching technique requires framing. Pulling a pitch is moving the glove back into the zone after receiving a pitch not in it. I warn catchers that pulling pitches tells everyone that they think the pitch was a ball, and that I plan to defer to their judgment on those pitches. If they hold it still, there's a better chance that they'll get the pitch on the black. Have I been duped? Probably, but not often I hope, and compared to the pros I'm not that good.
  12. 8 points
    I hope @MidAmUmp will chime in here . But IMO @Richvee is right on point, but here are my $0.02. Early career - Take the Little League, Pony and other lower levels of games. While I personally don't care to work these levels any more, the truth is they CAN make you a better umpire. You will see things at these levels you will not see anywhere else and it will give you the ability to think on your feet and how to use judgement. Get a Mentor - If your group or association doesn't offer mentoring opportunities, find your own. The key, and most difficult thing, is to find a mentor who really knows what they are doing. Early on you will probably not be able to tell the good umpires from the pretenders - I still get fooled from time to time. Evolve as an umpire - Umpiring is changing - don't be afraid of changing. Coming up through the lower ranks you will most likely develop some bad habits taught to you by well meaning, but not the best informed folks. Add to that rules change, mechanics change, assigners have their preferences to what you should do and you need to be able to adapt. Clinics - Can be extremely good for developing your skills, try to go to some periodically. Whether you're going to be looked at for a position on a conference/organization's staff or for personal growth. Find reputable clinics. When at the clinic, be a good student. Ask questions but don't try to stump the ump. Be an active participant and engaged. One of the most common complaints I see about clinics is the amount of time people say they waste in line for drills, etc. Their time isn't being wasted, but their opportunity is. When in line watch the others whose turn it is see what they are doing, both right and wrong. Use that info to make the most of your time when it is your turn. Patience - Don't expect things to happen overnight for you. It takes hard work and dedication. In some organizations it may take a little longer for that to be recognized. Get Feedback- Have a good post game with all your partners. Even "Good ol' Smitty" who thinks much more than himself than his abilities, may have a gem every now and again. Take that feedback you get if its positive, negative, even wrong and sort through it and try to apply it to your game. Pay it Forward - As you move up the ladder bring others with you. Teach them what you've learned, help them avoid mistakes you made. There is a serious shortage of umpires out there. Bringing people up with you will not reduce your game count, will not hurt you in any way. It will only help you. Being the guy who is looking out for other umpires and helping them develop and grow is an easy way to get the positive recognition that will help you move up. Participate - Be involved in your umpiring group/ association. I'm not saying kiss up to the assigner, but volunteer to help when, where and how you can. Availability - As the saying goes, "Sometimes availability is your greatest ability." I personally have both benefited from my availability and had my growth limited by my availability. Early on I had nearly unlimited availability. I actually called my first varsity game just a few months after starting umpiring. Not because I was good and deserved it, but I was available. The assigner had someone bail and needed an umpire immediately near where I worked and knew I wouldn't have a problem leaving work. I arrived 20 min before game time. (just for reference, typically an umpire in our association will not get a varsity assignment for 3-4 years). But on the flip side, my collegiate career has been limited. I no longer have unlimited availability, I would work weekend games, but being able to travel distances or do weekday games was out of the question, so that makes me less attractive than others who have greater availability. Nobody owes you anything - Yes, there are good ol boy systems; yes, assigners have their favorites, yes, there may be umpires you are significantly better than, that get better assignments than you. Those are the breaks. You may not be able to fight city hall, but focus on what is in your control and your hard work will be recognized. If not by your group, find another umpiring association. Keep the right mindset - I mentioned I do not like youth games. But you can learn from those. Use games that are "beneath you" to develop your skills. Work on your footwork, play with your mechanics. Get different angles. Concentrate on making sharp crisp mechanics. Think of your own "what if scenarios" to keep yourself engaged. Humility - Everything above can be improved with a dose of humility. Don't get an ego and become "That guy." The guy while his actual skills are okay, but he thinks he's God's gift to umpiring. The guy nobody wants to work with. Be honest with yourself. If you can't be honest with yourself, you can't be honest with anybody. Learn from your mistakes. Dissect those situations and learn from them. Don't just look to assign blame to others.
  13. 8 points
    @ArchAngel72 , in my experience a "that's nothing" call from a partner tells me he's very experienced. It means that not only did he see the action, but processed it and came to the conclusion that there was no infraction AND understood in the moment that others might think otherwise and that his "no infraction" judgment needs to be communicated accordingly. I considered it an important milestone in my own development when I signaled my first "that's nothing" on the field. I am working hard to make it a more natural part of my game for sure. FWIW.
  14. 8 points
    Last Sunday I was in Toronto visiting Crew 8 Hallion Cuzzi Tichenor and Hamari who all use my old CP harness The crew are all using my new UL FLEX CP and Mask Harnesses Hallion did not even consider waiting until his next plate job, he asked me to fit it for him and the mask harness. I launched this new product today and have been at it all day doing custom work for umpires all over the US If anyone would like to know more or order just shoot me an email Regards Ray UMPLIFE
  15. 8 points
    I think the largest thing with OP is missing is the glamour, night life and chicks that come with the gig! Just cannot keep those umpire groupies away! Oh, wait... that's Rock Star... I get easily confused! Bottom line... I take the 25 or so HS game fees a season and pay off or pay down a bill, take a vacation, or something similar. Am I going to pay my house payment with this extra 'side job'? Nope. I could work games almost every day of the year, but as other posters have already said, this is a hobby. Get out there, get some exercise, see the sun, make a 14 year old cry... all the important things!
  16. 8 points
    FIFY. Waste of your time and breath. Roughly half of the coaches you’ll give that little speech to will know when and how to approach an umpire, and that they are responsible for their team and fans (and most of them want their fans kicked out anyway). You just insulted them. The other half that don’t know won’t listen to you anyway. Just give your first name, get theirs. Examine and validate the lineup cards. Ask the all-important question, “Are all players properly and legally equipped?”. Cover ground rules, ask for any questions regarding ground rules. Barring those, if this is a timed game, click the button on the timer or stopwatch, and break the meeting. I bet you will have a good game... or at least no worse than you would have had you continued talking for five minutes to an unreceptive audience.
  17. 8 points
    I nominate this post for U-E's Joke of the Year.
  18. 7 points
  19. 7 points
    We already have Ball/Strike Specialists ... they sit in the bleachers.
  20. 7 points
    My son makes double pay, but still could not "live" of it if he were flying solo. How? I give him my money as well. I tell him that my pay is being outside with my son while doing what we love. He knows the rules, is firm with his calls, and has gained an understanding of the games dynamics, as well as the respect of the coaches. I give him my pay, he is 17, a big kid, a good student, and I get to work with my boy. We only work on the weekends and have a great time. I am lucky in that we quiz each other all the time, and role-play situations. He is much more confident student, and i am a proud papa.
  21. 7 points
    Great idea! Your post prompted us to put your suggestion on yesterday’s product committee meeting. As a result, we are putting the black LUC mag pads on order this coming week.
  22. 7 points
    Absolutely not. First of all, the play in question was correctly officiated. Call was right, mechanics were right, and penalty was right. Second, the "orange bag" creates so many problems, including increased chance of injury, harder fair/foul calls, a bunch of new rules needing to be made (depending in how they implement it), and also it just looks plain stupid.
  23. 7 points
    Baseball's been around for over 150 years - it will still be around when you're ready to return. Nothing is more important than time with family.
  24. 7 points
    12) Getting Hit Many many years ago doing the plate in a LL game. The batter swings and misses and lets go of the bat on his backswing. Bang, the lights go out. I wake up as I'm being loaded into the ambulance. Off to the hospital for an examination and some concussion tests. The wife gets called and shows up at the hospital about 15 minutes later all worried. I tell her I feel fine except for the lump on the side of my head! After about 2 hours the Doctor says everything checked out OK and the wife and I head for the Exit. Get to the Waiting Room and there are about 75 people there clapping and cheering as I walk out. Players from both teams, parents, fans, my umpiring partner, ... Priceless.
  25. 7 points
    I also wanted to add that yesterday, SWMBO and I traveled to Williamsport. I attended the LLWS Umpire Alumni International meeting & brunch. While there, I met one of the umpires when he handed me his pin. I read the pin (that had his name on it) looked at him and stuck out my hand. @RichMSN I presume. He looked at me like I had 3 eyeballs and a runny nose. He replied with a quizzical "yes?". All I said was Aging_Arbiter. This cat got a little smile on his face, we kind of chuckled, and I literally turned to my left and said Rich, please meet SWMBO. It was kind of entertaining. But the potatoes were under cooked.
  26. 7 points
    I wrote an article in Referee Magazine a couple of years ago titled "The Eyes Have It" which talks about watching the infield warm up between innings. I do this for several reasons, but the #1 reason is to train myself to see the throw out of the fielder's hand, judge if it's true or not, snap my eyes to the bag and listen for the ball to hit the glove and to see if the fielder's foot is on the bag. Then, and this is the most important part of this drill, let my head and eyes travel up to the glove to ensure secure possession and voluntary release. This "proper use of eyes" is the key component to good timing. If you do this on every play, whether the BR is out by 10 feet, or if its a banger, then it's nearly impossible to make the call too quickly. This drill creates muscle memory so when the game is on the line and your call is critical to the potential outcome, you will rely on this training to maintain proper timing. Also, you don't have to be overt about it. Just stand in short right field where you normally do and stand normally. Nobody knows that you're practicing except you.
  27. 7 points
    It was wrong for him to switch crews and it was wrong for him to text you like that. Did you screw him? Sure. But instead of using it as a chance to help you learn, your partner pouted and then sends you a scathing text? That's BS. I suspect if I went to my partner and he replied with "It's your call," I would more forcefully ask, "DID. HE. GO?!!" and put it right back on him. Then we would have a conversation after the game to help him better understand 2 man mechanics and working as a crew. It is the responsibility of more advanced umpires to help those coming up. Guys that don't see it that way are just hurting the brotherhood.
  28. 7 points
    I can't believe this, especially after what I've written today, but I'm taking the "softer side" on this. Not on the call - even if shocked, you should have just given what you had. And it led to the SH*#storm that followed. But - again, opinion of HokieUmp, LLC only - the partner was a dick about it. Kind of massively. Sure, it was a bad look on the call, and it led to an EJ. But gunning the batter on strike one later was HIS cock-up, even if events got him distracted. More importantly, I'm not a fan of the switching out AND the follow-up dickishness via text. If you're man enough to text someone to call names, and run down the person's level, be man enough to say it to them AT THE TIME. Better still, help a brother out by walking him through the issue. (Unless, of course, you're one of those that believes keeping others down helps you get better ball OR that the umpire world is just SO chockers with people, that we don't need all the guys working we can get.) Dude's a dick. I'm not even sure I can get behind the "apologize to him" camp, unless he's a 'big dog' and might screw up your schedule. My return text might be: "sorry for the mistake and the problems it caused. but don't worry about us working together from this end." With an optional* "go F*#K yourself." (*May not be optional.)
  29. 7 points
    As a Christian, I believe in the power of resurrection. My days as an official are not over yet. After some counseling and many conversations with several fellow officials, I have decided to give it another whirl. I've already talked to my assignor and he has agreed to have me back in the association next season. I'm also planning to officiate football in the fall. Ump-Attire ought to be happy with this news, as I will have to buy all new gear. So far, I've lost about 80 pounds with a bit more to go! I will be a much better official this time around. Thanks for your support when I left earlier this year. It was partly what made me consider giving it another shot. Jonathan
  30. 7 points
    Said loud enough to the catcher, but meant for the coach to hear............. I hope they keep up with those "good takes", we'll be out of here sooner than expected!
  31. 7 points
    on 2 separate occasions, you mention "it took a second to figure out what hit me" You're umpiring a baseball game. I'll go with ......IT WAS A BASEBALL that hit you.
  32. 7 points
    The first one of the year came early. And out of nowhere. But that is no excuse to whiff on it. Preliminary round of tri-county tournament. Seed 12 hosting seed 19. Top of the 5th with the home team up 12-4. I am U1 New F1 takes the mound for top of the 5th and retires leadoff hitter. 2nd batter laces a single to CF and I come into the middle to notice F1 has studs in his ears. I call time and advise the head coach that his team has a warning on jewelry and direct F1 to remove the studs. F1 says he cant. I suggest to him that he can either have earrings or pitch, but he cant do both. DTHC comes out to talk to my partner and several other ASSociate coaches are milling about outside the dugout. One of them shouts out that studs are allowed . It's a new rule. I approach DTHC who is calm, understands what I said, and just wants some clarification. As I near the dirt circle at home plate, the same ASSociate coach starts walking toward me and barking "It's a new rule this year!" I have no idea who this jack-wagon is and I suggest that he needs to get back in the dugout. He think other wise. As I am having a conversation with the head coach, he says other umpires have allowed F1 to cover the studs with band-aids. I tell him that the studs need to come out. He instructs F1 to come to the dugout to take out the studs. As I say this, our friend the ASSocaite coach comes towards me once again shouting "It's a new rule this year!" At that point I realize he has requested to have his ticket punched. I acquiesced to his request when he pointed at me and yelled, "You need to read a rule book!" Ticket punched. Buh by. Thanks for flying K2 airlines. Your stop is now. Sometimes things just fall into your lap.
  33. 7 points
    How dare I what, friend? What you do is akin to lopping the roof off a DeLorean (goodbye gullwing doors!) just so you can have a convertible. Barbarian!
  34. 6 points
    LL in our area is closed until at least 4/6, per the recommendation of LL HQ. HS - My son's district has cancelled all games, but they can practice. Many other districts are cancelling, or they are currently moving to a 'no fans in attendance' policy, although in the next week or so, I bet that changes. As for the hysteria... if our media could stop being a debate channel and get back to actual reporting of facts, and if our leaders could stop bickering and actually lead, much of the hype surrounding these events could be quelled. As it is, the lack of information, conflicting information or just passing of bad/poor information is driving people to react, thus the fun at the local Target or Costco. Stay safe.... wash your hands and wait for the zombie apocalypse.
  35. 6 points
    Maybe I'm too long in the tooth to have fun anymore? Is it wrong of me to just be in the camp of simply running the kid and moving on with the rest of the game?
  36. 6 points
    I need to move there so I can move up the ranks quicker!
  37. 6 points
    Bottom line for me is...Players should follow the rule if they don't want this called on them But, they're players, and will do anything to gain an advantage. The BS line about a RHB having to veer off the straight path to the bag to get in the lane because he starts in fair territory is garbage. they're running there to get in the way of the throw. They know it. Players will do anything to gain an advantage.... Funny how the only time you'll see R1 run on the infield grass is when there's a GB to F3 ttrying to make a throw to 2B. Funny how the only time you'll see R3 cross the foul line and run on the infield grass while trying to score is on a GB to F5 or F6. (hey, how about that, he veered off the shortest distance between two points). ...(yes both legal, but still only done when it's advantageous to the runner) A runner will turn in the same direction as a fielder who just threw the ball when he's in a rundown to try and draw OBS Funny how the only time you see a player fall over the plate on a swing is when R1's stealing second. These guys aren't stupid. They know what they're doing. Turner knew exactly why he was running illegally down to first. He got caught. So, as we do in today's society when we get caught...we blame someone else or challenge the rule.
  38. 6 points
    I wrote earlier that I haven't actually been umpiring in quite a while. I worked a pretty full schedule in 2017, then in 2018 due to a new job I only worked 6 games combined b/t collegiate and high school. So I haven't worked since March 2018. I've been giving it a lot of thought and have decided I will continue my umpiring hiatus until my son graduates from High School. There are multiple reasons. Yes, I have enjoyed having my evenings and weekends freed up. But that isn't the sole reason. I really want to be there to help my son through high school. My son attends J.P. Knapp Early College High School (and yes, I'm bragging ) where he completes both High School and his associates degree in 4 years (or potentially 5 in some circumstances) through a combination of dual enrollment and accelerated classes. It is a rather intensive and while he is academically gifted, it is rigorous and I want to be able to be home to assist him. I am very thankful that I have been able to be home to assist him. So I am going to continue to ensure I'm there to be there for him. While my daughter attended and graduated from the same program she is much more academically motivated and was much more independent. But in hind sight knowing more of the rigors of the program I feel bad for not being there to assist.
  39. 6 points
    Why in the world is your mask EVER put on the fence? I am just going to say it. NEVER DO THIS! For starters, it's unprofessional, and unnecessary. Your mask goes in your hand, under your arm, or on your face from the moment you step on the field - including your plate meeting. When I was just getting started back in LL, it was common that when newer guys left their masks on the fence during plate meetings in the district tournament, it ended up zip-tied to the fence where they left it by one of the other umpires. It was partly a prank, and partly a lesson to keep your mask where it belongs.
  40. 6 points
    Okay - I'm going to step up on my soapbox for just a moment... I know we're just being fun loving here, but I have a little passion about this subject. We have a huge mental health crisis in the world right now and the causes are virtually infinite. I'm speaking about everything from "mild" depression and/or anxiety (but it's not so mild when it's happening to you or a loved one) to extreme and severe mental health problems. The thing is so many of these issues (not all ) are treatable, if people seek help. But there in-lies the problem. So many people who could benefit from help but don't seek it themselves because of the stigma associated with mental health issues. Additionally, people who have love ones who suffer from a from a mental health issue suffer too in multiple ways. It's extremely hard to tell a friend or loved one that you believe they should seek help. I know I've done it. You go from being a friend and a confidant they've opened themselves up to, to someone who they feel is passing judgement on them and is now part of the problem. A huge issue at hand is the stigma associated with seeking mental health. People, even those who know and acknowledge they are having issues, are reluctant to or even refuse to get the treatment that would benefit them out of shame, fear, embarrassment or other reasons related to the stigma. Many mental health issues are similar to physical health issues in that if you don't get treatment; best case scenario, it doesn't get better. In many cases, just like a physical ailment, without treatment it gets worse. Untreated, even "mild" situations can lead to other issues like alcohol/drug dependence, loss of employment, isolation, violence and even suicide. It can be a downward spiral that makes it harder to attempt to fix the longer it goes untreated. I would bet we all know people who may have started with a "mild" issue, who doesn't seek treatment that their issues continue to grow and escalate. This is a shame. I want to try to keep this short and sweet. I googled looking for a flyer I once saw, and couldn't find it but I found this article from the Mayo clinic. (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/in-depth/mental-health/art-20046477) I personally think the final bullet is one of the most important. I believe that if we break the stigma associated with mental health issues. More people will seek the help they need and avert from that downward spiral. Who knows it could even save a life.
  41. 6 points
    Was his mom on the field? Was she within the fence? Was she in the dugout? If she was none of those places, then there’s nothing you could... or, really, should do about it, despite it being a crass outcry, bordering on profane. We are to govern that which occurs within the confines of the fences (the ball field); ours is not outside the backstop and the fences. If she is causing a disruption that is affecting gameplay, then it needs to be addressed through proper channels, whether that be through or in conjunction with the team’s head coach, or the Tournament Director, their Field Marshals, or a Site Supervisor. You should not, though, go independently in picking a fan out, ejecting him/her, and then holding up the game to have that fan removed. Please understand, whether our calls or judgements are right or wrong, they are not immune or impervious to reactive outcries from the spectators. You can’t possibly expect to do this job devoid of being questioned or reacted to. Do you see college, Minor League, or Major League Umpires tossing fans during their games for their displeasure on a call? Lemme tell ya, what that mom said was Sunday banter compared to the verbal filth spewing from college and Minor League fans. Have I experienced this? Yes I have... I had a dad bang on the fence and call me a m’er-f’er... in Spanish... so loud that the other team’s parents recoiled in stunned disbelief and shock. What did I do? ... I was already beckoning over the Head Coach of that team to fix it, while the Site Supervisor and Field Marshal wove their way through the crowd and removed the fan on their own.
  42. 6 points
    Thanks. I’m only working plates because of my limited mobility, but I worked a 9 inning, 2:40 game and was able to get through it without too much pain or difficulty. So I’m making progress!
  43. 6 points
    @ArchAngel72 I was watching an 8/9/10 district championship game last night. When Team A changes it's pitcher to a kid throwing harder that the previous one, Team B backs their batters up to the back edge of the box. Consequently, the catcher backs up a little. Remember, ....8/9/10 y/o.......... Catcher now catching the ball about 6 inches off the ground for "called strikes". Team B parents start to come unglued. I find out about this after the fact as I am at the concession stand partaking in the wonderful treats that they have prepared for me that evening. I hear the commotion from there. I get back, and ask SWMBO what I had missed. She explains the (above) situation to me. Now, many of the parents know me from umpiring LL all over the district for years. I had that E.F.Hutton feeling (you young folks can google the E.F. Hutton commercials) for a moment when I retorted to SWMBO that "just because the players move back, doesn't move where the strike zone is located over home plate". SWMBO calmly stated, "that's what I told them". .........I think it's about time to get her a uniform. This father/son umpiring duo has been done before. I'm considering the Husband/Wife duo.
  44. 6 points
    The New Flex CP Harness is a change from my original and offers a true 4 point connection with excellent support and comfort. Already being used by MLB Umpires Adam Hamari, Phil Cuzzi, Todd Tichenor and Tom Hallion with more orders coming in everyday, MiLB umpires have already been ordering the new Flex It will fit any 4 point connection harness on the market today The old harness was really a 3 point connection with the top straps being one point of connection which was worn tight to the neck and snug on the sides. Guys were wearing them too tight all round causing undue stress to the neoprene which sometimes resulted in tearing or breakdown. The New Flex is a true 4 pointer and has contour for the sides which will take the stress off the neoprene when worn correctly. Tight on top, snug on the sides. Available in Black/Grey Trim or Grey/Black Trim
  45. 6 points
    Just an Update... I'm still alive and well. I do plan on being more involved once again, at least on the site. I've had another job change. I left the Waterpark in April. It was an absolutely great job and a ton of fun, but only May through September. Not much for an HR person to do at a waterpark in the winter with only 5 employees and I needed much more responsibility and a challenge. I'm now at a defense contractor running their HR dept. So now as I'm settling in at the new job I have made it a point to return to the helm of Umpire-Empire. @Thunderheads, @LMSANS @johnnyg08 @Stan W., @Majordave, @HokieUmp & @MidAmUmp have done fantastic at keeping everything rolling smoothly and I cannot express just how much I appreciate it. So I haven't umpired since March 2018. Just haven't had time. Do I miss it??? Yes and no. Yes, I really miss being on the field calling games and working with other umpires. But also no I don't miss it as much as I thought I would. I enjoy the time at home with my family. Looking back I wonder just how I was able to squeeze umpiring into my schedule. I have been non-stop with various activities this spring and cant imagine the travel and just overall time away from home. A couple of weeks ago I attended my first game as a fan in probably 5 years as my ECU Pirates came and visited ODU. This is the first game I've been to since @dumbdumband I went to an O's game. Now I still watch the game as an umpire and see the game very differently than the average fan, and I hope that never changes. Will I return to Umpiring? I plan on picking up some fall ball games this fall, but there is no way I'm going to work the number of games I once did. I'm thinking 1-2 a week tops and if I don't get a game, I just don't get a game. Also, I know the site is in major needs of some software updates. You guys see and experience the issues with TapaTalk and that's on my list. I need to: do some tweeks on the server side of things update the forum's software. THEN TAPATALK! Finally fix the automatic promotion feature ( Established member, Inactive, new member, etc...) But I will be around more and have enjoyed living vicariously through you all. Also, I will be continuing my Quick Tips YouTube series in the next couple of weeks. I've trashed the ones I had in the can to be released. And have already started a new set of topics I want to cover. As always thanks for your continued support of Umpire-Empire!
  46. 6 points
    Weight. That’s the entire point. If you’re a MLB Umpire, and likely coming out of the game if you take a headshot, even as a precautionary measure, then it just behooves you to get the lightest, unbreakable mask in the game right now. If All-Star was smart (and I believe they are), they infuse the concushion into the upper pad. Game, set, match Wilson. Does that mean Force3’s Defender is inferior? Not at all. I fervently believe that it is the king of amateur baseball. Perhaps Force3 is analyzing how to reduce the weight further (titanium? Cast magnesium components?), but their design concept is sound. Gosh, I love design and engineering competition – it really propels innovation and escalates production. Can you see why I despise monopolies exclusive contracts?
  47. 6 points
    No matter how you communicate it, your mechanic will be followed by this:
  48. 6 points
    I'm not talking about the first year guy. I would never expect them to have everything you could need. But the guy/girl that has been doing this for over a decade and hasn't bought a new shirt in 7 years or doesn't have a jacket? That's the person I have the issue with.
  49. 6 points
    If this pic wasn't of an MLB guy, most of you guys would be roasting him. (me, I couldn't care less. Be comfortable out there)
  50. 6 points
    Maybe I’m in the minority, but I don’t find the force 3 to be that heavy. I thought it would be worse out of the box. And I’ll take any extra weight if it means not sacrificing protection.


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