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  1. Long story, but I think some will appreciate it. Working the plate on a VERY competitive 18u tournament under OBR. Everything's going fine through the early innings, and as the backstop is rather short, I'm eavesdropping on the conversations among a group of 5-6 guys just to my right. They're talking strategy, tactics, defensive positioning, pitch selection, etc...it's pretty obvious that these guys know baseball. Somewhere in the middle innings the other team was at bat in an obvious sacrifice situation. Batter squares and offers at a pitch that was well below his knees. Ball hits ba
    30 points
  2. I just wanted to share with everybody my relationship with Mike.    Unfortunately Mike and I never met in person, but we did try several times. It was always like, "oh we'll try again next time." Late last year we said we'd catch up at a Shorebirds game this summer.    Mike was the very first person I ever bounced the idea of Umpire-Empire off of probably 6-8 months before I launched the site. We had become friends from interacting on several other sites over the years. He and I first discussed the possibility of a site that would compete with the other established site
    24 points
  3. Though I have been a little less active on the site over the last few months, some nice things have been happening from an umpiring perspective: - I was asked to be our HS association's rules interpreter - I was asked to be a classroom instructor for the same association - I was invited into the local college association and will start calling JUCO ball next season. It's my understanding that from a total pool of about 45-50 that applied, 14 were selected to be evaluated and 6 were then accepted into the association. I feel incredibly lucky that a few experienced umpires have taken an interes
    19 points
  4. I'm happy to report that FlaUmp22 has been invited to attend the 2014 PBUC evaluation course.. Great Job.
    19 points
  5. Not sure the phrase "machine pitch"and "umpire" should be in the same sentence.
    18 points
  6. 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
    17 points
  7. As many of you get ready to head out for a three-day weekend of tournament baseball and eating 'burgers, 'dogs and Bar-B-Q, remember that a price has been paid for you to have this beautiful weekend. Two weekends ago my parents drove 5 1/2 hours from their home to my brother's home. They went there even though no one would be there: my brother was deployed in the middle east and his two children were with their mom, my brother's ex-wife, at her home. They did not go there to see anyone. Rather, they went to clean his house. They went to make it spotless: to put fresh sheets on the bed
    17 points
  8. Now, that the press release has been issued I can state this: I think the biggest change you will find in 2018 is that the casebook will be updated to reflect runner designations that are used by all of the other organizations. That is, R1 will be the runner on first at the start of the play, R2 will be the runner on second at the start of the play, etc., etc., etc.
    16 points
  9. Just bragging. I promise not to do too much of it, but last night was pretty cool. My two sons (15,17) rarely work together - it has been 14 months since they last worked a game together and they work about 60 games per year each. They were both just hired by two local associations which schedule LL and Pony games. They worked a LL 50/70 together last night, and I am telling you that they put on a real show. They did it all. Signals, hit their rotations, hustled, had great timing and their uniforms were crisp and pressed. I finished my HS game and got to the par
    16 points
  10. Here are my suggestions for having quicker games (when you are the plate umpire): (1) Stock up on your baseballs between innings. At the time of the first pitch of the game, I have 6 baseballs (3 in each ball bag). I make sure I start each half inning with 6 baseballs. If I run low during in an inning, I look at the home dugout and say, "I need (insert number) baseballs, please." I then make sure that someone runs out to me with the baseballs during a natural break in the game. (2) Stand on the foul line a few feet up from the dirt circle between innings. Stand in front of the
    15 points
  11. On Saturday I was privileged to call my first official college games. Had the first game behind the plate. I felt completely comfortable from the beginning. It really helped that the starting pitcher and catcher for the home team were kids that I've called their games 10+ times as a high schoolers. My partner calls SWAC, OVC, and AAC conference games. He was great to work with. He called me Sunday to tell me how much he enjoyed working with me. I was surprised and flattered to receive the phone call. Great first experience. Can't wait to do it again.
    15 points
  12. At least one person was willing to be seen with me after the game last night...
    15 points
  13. In our USSSA tournament ball, we record the number of outs for each F1. New F1 comes into the game, so I go to his coach to get his last name, first initial. Coach: "Pitcher's name is Titsworth, Adam" Me:: "........." (I hesitate writing this on the scorecard and give him a suspicious look). Coach: "Really, Adam Titsworth, we call him A-cup." Coach: "I had his older brother, Doug, a few years back. We called him D-cup." Me: "OK" (my suspicion eases and I start writing) Coach: Their mom is named Cindy, Do you know what we call her? Me: " C-Cup ? " Coach: "NO, we call her Cindy...wha
    15 points
  14. A few weeks ago, I was calling a youth travel game. I was on the plate. About two innings in I was very aware of a maternal voice behind the fence saying, "Yes, honey. That's the man with the blue shirt. He's the umpire. He's working right now. He can't talk to you." Skip forward to the end of the game and I hear a small child's voice say, "Hi, umpire!" It took me a moment to realize it was a 3 year old boy right up against the fence, about knee high to me. His wee fingers wrapped tightly around the mesh of the fence. I look down and say hello and ask him his name and he says, "Steven..." I as
    14 points
  15. Sunday, I was working a (local boys) 11U scrimmage for a coach friend of mine. Ball hit to infield, overthrow at 1B, runner runs through the bag and turns to the left (exactly what you are thinking) and returns to the bag. Coach yelling "tag him, tag him!", ....and I made the safe call. Coach (not demeaning, just trying to communicate) yell out, he turned to the left!! I replied, "you're right!" Coach asked for time to make a pitching change. While at the mound, he asked me about the call. I told him that he will not find it in any rule book that the runner MUST turn to the right.
    14 points
  16. Because umpires also have a rhythm when they work the plate. But you've never strapped it on so...
    14 points
  17. 148 words and says nothing... written like a true lawyer.. @lawump
    14 points
  18. I give location on close in or out pitches. Answer the question before it's asked and avoid a discussion. It's no different than safe, off the bag or on the tag, he's out. You're providing an explanation of your call. As you mentioned, it's something done more by umpires who work at a higher level where we're under a microscope.
    14 points
  19. No, not ME. @johnpatrick has neither asked me to do this, nor does he know that I am, so I hope it's okay. He's way too humble to post this milestone. In any case, John was selected earlier this year to be a Little League World Series umpire in Williamsport. His trip there, and his (hopefully) multiple opportunities to umpire on ESPN will be the icing on the cake to a dream year for an umpire. He started the year at TUS Pro school and has been working as many LL games as his schedule will allow in preparation for the LLWS next month. My main reason for posting this is because as a new LL um
    14 points
  20. Here's me crossing the plate yesterday at Fenway Park. I ran 9K in full plate gear (except for the shoes) in 56:42 and raised over $1,000 for the Red Sox Foundation and the Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program, which supports veterans with "invisible" war wounds such as brain injuries and post-traumatic stress.
    14 points
  21. I had a 12u game tonight. As my partner and I hit the plate for the plate meeting, both coaches come running up to me and ask if I'm Johns daughter. A little hesitantly I say "yeah", then they both start inquiring about my dad's surgery. My dad is an umpire also and just loves doing kids rec leagues. He's known for making the parents sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" before games, which drives UIC crazy. Yesterday he had heart surgery and won't be doing games probably for the rest of the season, which broke his heart. Both teams were so worried about him, said they were praying for him and w
    14 points
  22. wvumpire1807, my apologies for your frustration. We have received a couple calls on this issue, more than likely you were one of them. I contacted Smitty to see if I could get the specs for their poly-wools so I could compare what I have here to what they are supposed to be. Understandably, they wouldn't give me the specs but they did say that all of their pants are based off the same patterns, so a plate is a plate, a base is a base and a combo is a combo across all styles. So armed with that, I checked all of our poly-wools against a charcoal plate pant and I found that several of the po
    14 points
  23. Hey all, Thank you so much for the concern, prayers and well wishes. I’m two weeks into a month long rehab at Long Beach Memorial Acute Rehab Hospital and my progress is evident every day. I’m walking with a walker and getting stronger. The amount of support I have received, especially from the brotherhood, has been unbelievable and humbling. My wife and I truly appreciate those that have donated to our gofundme as that money will be used to help me transition back home safely. My goal is absolutely to get back on the field as soon as possible, and I believe that is God’s plan for m
    13 points
  24. Cue the resounding THUD! as @VolUmp's jaw hits the floor.
    13 points
  25. Do you want to know the #1 thing a catcher can do (in all seriousness) to become my new favorite player? The answer: keep everyone else on his team off my back. Let me give an example. 2-2 count. The pitcher delivers a fastball that is either just on or just off the corner. Umpire calls it a ball. Dugout begins to make noise. Maybe the pitcher glares in at the umpire. At this point, if the catcher hops up, throws the ball back and says something such as, "Just bring it in a little and we're in business (or something similar)," he has just become my best friend for the day. Witho
    13 points
  26. All ....just heard from @mjr_2013 ........ He's on his way to Vero Beach to see where he will be placed!! Congrats Matt! Keep us posted!
    13 points
  27. On Monday I had the opportunity to umpire an exhibition game between the Fargo-Moorehead Redhawks vs the Texas AirHogs that play in the American Association. 9 innings. Final score was 11-2, AirHogs had 17 hits. The first base coach told my partner that I was very consistent. Awesome experience.
    13 points
  28. Just slow your timing down, make your call, don't worry about it unless it's more arguing with you or making an obnoxious display rather than a flash of exuberance/wishful thinking. In all honesty, just between us girls? I kind of sadistically relish it when an overenthusiastic base coach (usually the asst at 1B) starts flapping his arms like an albatross and I'm watching, with slow timing, and come up and pound that out. A little bit of me smiles at the tortured anguish of the flapper.
    13 points
  29. A local high school had a player pass away within the last couple days unexpectedly. Neither me or my partner had any prior knowledge of this heading into the game. (I don't want to pay for the newspaper). The HTHC comes to the plate conference and informs me that the starting first baseman has passed away and that he has placed him in the starting lineup and that he would start the game with eight players. He politely asks the VTHC if his first batter would take the first pitch, then he would substitute in a first baseman. The VTHC obliged and I said coach that this will all be fine. Tha
    13 points
  30. You're right to point out that the game "slowing down" is a crucial part of "feeling comfortable" behind the plate (or on the bases, which sometimes takes longer for umpires who are used to working solo). It's not hard to explain, but the explanation requires a bit of brain science. The human brain is a pattern recognition engine, but it has to be trained up on the pattern. When we start umpiring, there's so much going on that our brains get overwhelmed trying to identify what is "pattern" or relevant and so worth our attention. As it comes to recognize pattern, it starts to treat everythi
    13 points
  31. I like the new color of your van. It makes the lettering easier to read.
    13 points
  32. So you're saying NFHS will adopt it next year???
    13 points
  33. No way in holy hell am I balking that. Number one, it's a safety issue and I am killing it when the bat gets dropped (I don't know if the batter is going to try to reach down for the bat while the pitcher delivers). Secondly, the batter cannot cause the pitcher to balk:
    13 points
  34. For our newer members:   Umpire-Empire.com has its own personality and its own personalities, and it can be overwhelming to the uninitiated. To help you get started here, we’ve created this cultural primer. This is a small group. The world of umpiring is not a large segment of the population, and the subset of umpires that frequent this board is even smaller. This group has everything from members that have been on various boards for the better part of two decades to people like you just coming on board. Because of this: Some relationships on this board are long
    13 points
  35. Worked a HS Varsity regular season game yesterday at Angels Stadium and all I can say is, what a thrill! I got this game purely by luck of the draw. It was assigned to me 2 months ago as just another game that was scheduled to be played at the home school's field. Last week, I got the Arbiter notice that the game site had changed to Angels Stadium. To say the least, I was excited. I was originally on the bases for this game, but my partner was happy to switch because he already had done 3 plates for the visitors and had the opportunity to work a couple of games at Petco park a few years a
    13 points
  36. Found this on the Ump-Attire website. First you laugh THEN you say "I do that!" and your wife says “Yes you do" with an unpleasant look on her face. Mark D'Angelo - You have a clothes rod in your car Randy Huffman - You watch the Umpires more then the actual game you're watching on TV Philip Cavendish - Your wife considers tiling the floors of the house with home plates so that you sweep the floors at home Raquel DeBeltz Bushman - When one of the criteria for buying a new vehicle is that you have to be able to fit all your equipment and uniforms in it comfortably Derek Q
    13 points
  37. Carb up for 2-3 days prior to game day. Raisin bran, bagels and bananas game morning. Water and power bars all day long game day. UNLESS it is 8U- THEN it is Jack Daniels and morphine all game day.
    13 points
  38. Im with Jeff and Greyhawk. Talk about a punch to the gut! @johnnyg08 add me to that list as well! @UmpireinChief, as a long standing member of this forum, I move that we name the "Member of the Month" award in honor of Michael Taylor.
    13 points
  39. I've been meaning to weigh in on this...   One of the primary goals of Umpire-Empire is to help umpires. We are not all fortunate enough to have had excellent mentors, attend top tier camps or clinics, much less a 4-5 week pro school or even receive adequate local training. Do I think a forum is suitable for truly delivering training, absolutely not. But it is excellent for is sharing of ideas.    This sharing of ideas is what will make you a better umpire.    How???   On a forum like this you will be exposed to ideas you have either never heard of or run
    13 points
  40. Coach: Where is your zone? Umpire: For you or for them?
    12 points
  41. My wife surprised me with an umpire uniform for my 11 month old son, Jacob. She searched photos of MLB umpires and found all the stuff on either Amazon and Target. Then ironed on the screen printed decals. Talk about SPOT with the design and such!
    12 points
  42. My area of North Carolina got devastated by the snow storm. But my family made it through by the skin of our teeth. They had the snow plows out. And the salt trucks too.
    12 points
  43. 14 years ago our lives took a big turn. Terrorist struck American soil. We as Americans became united as one! I as a Navy Reservist got called up to Active Duty onboard the USS Impervious MSO443. A Navy Minesweeper. 14 years later we are no longer United!!! Seems like everyone hates everyone! Racism is worse than ever! Everyone is offended by everything! There is a war against Police officers!!! Really??? What is wrong with you people!!! WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!! TAKE AMERICA BACK!!! STOP THE FOOLISHNESS AND LETS STAND UNITED IN THIS UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!! I'm pissed!!!
    12 points
  44. Finally, a story that ends with beer.
    12 points
  45. Like your called K3 mechanic. You've got to make it personal. Eff him and the horse he rode in on for judging your verbal like that. I've worked with former professional umpires who nonchalantly say strike and nonchalantly call K3. And D1 guys who burn the house down with their loud and demonstrative calls. Practice in a mirror and decide what works for you. I've modified mine over the years by stealing from partners I've worked with or umpires I've watched and liked. Just do what works best for you. My .02......others opinions may vary.
    12 points
  46. Do NOT dump on this kid because he asks questions. He is smart to ask. He doesn't seem to have found a reliable local umpire mentor yet so he looks to us. If any member of this board busts his balls or takes unnecessary swipes at him ior asking us for our opinions and advice. So help me you will find yourself either warned or banned and start finding all your posts deleted summarily if I catch you. This is the only warning.
    12 points
  47. I left the league in which I cut my teeth for very much the same reason. I had rule support. I was 100% correct. But an impromptu 'meeting' with the coach and the president led to his EJ being adjuged unwarranted. Whatever. Your league. Fk it up all you like. I'm through. I walked away with my head held high. And this was a for pay league. Sorry, but my services are available for contract. My dignity isnt for sale. At any price.
    12 points
  48. To be fair, it's not an issue of Smitty not being capable of making plate pants, the factory overseas mislabeled the pants. I spoke with the owner of Smitty this morning and he was aware of the issue as well. They did the same thing we did, go through and check the pants. We had received our pants before anyone noticed that some of the pants had been mislabeled, but I think we have everything straight now. As I said yesterday, you rely on us, we rely on Smitty and Smitty relies on the factory to make sure everything is correct. Mostly we all get it right, but due to the volume of inventory
    12 points
  49. Just be ware if one of the ladies fouls a ball off herself not to announce.. "Time! It hit her in the box!" 
    12 points
  50. I just did a video I'm not completely satisfied, but will post it and maybe try again later. I know I said I'd do one last year but I just did it.    My daughter (11 y/o) was my camera operator, so it is what it is.   http://youtu.be/VhZJq7aKi0w
    12 points
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