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Everything posted by maven

  1. The fair/foul call, like catch/no catch, is often rushed by amateur umpires. I see guys calling catches by outfielders before the ball's in the damn glove. Slow down. Then slow down some more. Lots of bad things happen when we rush; almost no call in baseball demands an instant reaction (compare basketball, where calls are expected to be fast).
  2. You're losing the ball for more than .001 seconds—the human eye can't resolve images less than about .04 seconds apart. But that's hardly a defect in you. I'll second what has already been posted. As with calling pitches, you'll call these better if you slow down and give your brain time to process all the evidence. Let everyone else help: if the batter starts hopping around on 1 foot, I'd bet the other one just took a shot. If the ball dribbles fair, and he takes off toward 1B, I'd bet it's fair. Of course, it's also useful to have a partner. This is a standard pre-game item: if a batted ball strikes the batter while he's still in the box, BU should be killing it. If he doesn't, then he didn't have it foul. PU can still kill it, based on his own view and the batter's evidence.
  3. maven

    Runner out run count

    Hm. I could have sworn I say that the bases were loaded. Maybe he came back and edited it...
  4. maven

    Runner out run count

    In all codes, the BR must touch 1B (some codes have additional requirements). It's an appeal play at 1B, and it sounds as if your F3 made a legal appeal. The appeal should have been granted and the run negated, on account of the BR making the third out prior to legally acquiring 1B. Should have gone to extra innings.
  5. He was using this one. And before anyone says it: no point covering that white.
  6. It sounds like the umpire got it right, but for the wrong reason. For catch/no catch, we need to see voluntary release of the ball, which can happen in a variety of ways. For tag/no tag, we do not need voluntary release, only secure possession of the ball in hand or glove when the tag is applied. By interpretation, this requires the fielder to maintain possession throughout the act of the tag (hence Matt's question). Because the fielder was diving when he applied the tag, his landing will be part of the act. When the ball pops out as he lands, that should properly be ruled no tag, as the fielder did not maintain secure possession of the ball through out the tag.
  7. maven


    It's true that nothing in the rules distinguishes between LHP and RHP. But the rule that requires stepping directly to the base ends up requiring different actions. Though what a LHP can do toward 1B, a RHP can do toward 3B, and vice versa. When a RHP bends his knee, he's often not stepping directly toward 1B. That's why they're balked for it. But a LHP can lift the leg to the balance point and then go toward 1B (like Andy Pettitte). A RHP can step and throw to 1B, but it's rare. The reason it's rare is that it's harder and usually less effective than a jump turn or jab step, which tend to be faster. But it's possible to do it legally (and, indeed, was the only move allowed before the jump turn and jab step were legalized by interpretation).
  8. What Matt said. Batter is out by rule: he was out before the batted ball touched the illegal glove. Enforce in order of occurrence.
  9. We get this question a lot. A "force out" is defined in terms of the offense (runner forced to advance) not the defense (where/how the play is made). As my fellow Ohioan says, any out made on a runner while the force is "on" is a force out.
  10. They throw at runners (or are coached to "throw to the base, wherever the runner is," which kids naturally will understand as an adult's permission to throw at an opponent) in part because too few umpires impose the proper penalties for INT. Those penalties are designed in part to eliminate the need for such unsporting behavior. I don't perceive this as a huge problem—most runners peel off just fine—so I don't get too bent out of shape over it. If we umpires got our act together it would help.
  11. maven

    Ejection worthy?

    You lost me here. Is this some kind of Southern Xmas food served with gravy?
  12. maven

    Fair or foul ball

    I posed that cautiously, as I am not a fan of communist recreations.
  13. maven

    Fair or foul ball

    True? I thought the ball was in until all of it was outside the line. Lines are in for tennis too. And hockey.
  14. maven

    Lineup Change

    The lineup is final once accepted at the plate meeting, right? So we're not switching the order of the starters, even if we allow a sub for F1 due to injury. And that starting F1 will be burned (if the league allows re-entry, he still can't pitch—unless, of course, the local rule allows that too). If he wants to burn starters by subbing for them before the first pitch, that's fine. I'll make sure he understands that's what he's doing. If this league has re-entry, they'd be eligible to re-enter. You don't get something for nothing: I'm not going to force a kid to pitch, but there are rules about this scenario.
  15. maven

    Ejection worthy?

    Some umpires eject if you look askance at them. Some won't eject if you shoot them with a 9 mil. This batter gave nobody the opportunity to defuse. Throwing equipment and charging the mound are immediate ejections at any level. Game management is no doubt an art, not a science, and I discourage the use of 'automatic', but that's the end of the spectrum the play described approaches. All this assumes, of course, that events transpired as described (I see no link to video).
  16. Your basic surmise is correct: we're going to have to take all available evidence into account before ruling. Yes, the defense has a bit of benefit of the doubt, but I'm not really calling INT unless I see something that I can sell. The defense did, after all, get an out; they're angling for two, which is rarer (esp. for 10U). I should also have said earlier: the bar's going to drop (make an INT call easier) for a retired runner who goes into 2B standing and makes no effort to avoid the play. But we could have both: dumb/inexperienced runners AND fielders (as well as asshat coaches).
  17. I'm happily married. But who doesn't like the attention of hot moms?
  18. Runners are not required to slide (unless there's a local rule), but they may not interfere. Set aside FPSR for the moment (I'll circle back), as most summer ball is OBR games. Three kinds of INT can be relevant on this kind of play: INT with a fielder: we'd call this regardless of intent on hindrance by a runner of the protected fielder until he makes his first play. Probably not relevant here, as F6 is up with the ball and presumably stepped on 2B, retiring R1. INT with the ball: this must be intentional, as when a runner reaches or reroutes to get in the way. But I'm not calling this if I see F6 deliberately line up the runner to peg him; live ball, play on. INT by a retired runner: lower bar here, retired runners must peel off (or slide) to try to avoid hindering the defense. Again, if F6 is lining up a runner who's peeling off, he won't get this call from me. For FPSR games, of course, much the same applies, with added restrictions on the direction and extent of the slide, as well as popping up. All that said, any coach or parent who encourages intentionally pegging an opponent should be banned for at least a season, as this is despicable. If I detected that, I'd dump the coach and tell the kid not to do it. I might call MC above a certain level, but for 10U they can't really throw hard enough to do much damage. It's also rather more difficult to tell if it's intentional at that level, unless coach is saying something like, "Great, Brendyn, just like we practiced!" Or maybe the fielder just short arms it right at the runner. But I'd definitely at least have a conversation with the kid and issue a team warning, such that further instances would result in ejection.
  19. Au contraire: better still is all the hot moms who are glad to see me.
  20. Good for you. You're way ahead of the curve in learning game management if you recognize that what works for some will not work for all. You're more in the "you respect the shît out of me, and I'll respect the shît out of you" camp. I get it, and we have a couple guys on here from the same school. In my experience, newer guys in that school who are aware they might be perceived as redass (short-fused, irascible) sometimes end up being too patient with jackwagon coaches. They're going to label you redass no matter when you deal with them, so give yourself a break and do it early. It's never to early to dump a jackwagon.™
  21. It sounds like R2 and R3 both ended up at 3B, where BU called R2 safe. That was incorrect: with no force play, R3 is entitled to 3B if both arrive there without being tagged out. This is all BU's action, as he's responsible for all plays at 3B here with a potential play at the plate. PU should NOT be signaling or ruling on plays near 3B: that way madness lies. BU must make quite clear who's out when 2 runners are tagged near a base: go right up to the runners before they have the chance to wander off, point to one and signal out, "he's out!" then safe for the other, "safe!" Had this play been officiated properly and events transpired as they did, the call would be 2 outs: R2 out when tagged, even if in contact with 3B; R3 out for abandonment. As it was, fix it: call R2 out on the tag, and put R3 back on 3B. All baseball codes have a rule that permits umpires to rectify situations when they change a call and thereby put a team at a disadvantage—in this case, that R2 was out—and presumably softball has some such as well.
  22. I have no problem with the ejection. But you might consider this response, which is defensive. In some of these cases, I'll move directly to "Knock it off. There's no arguing judgment calls. This is your warning." Typically, these jackwagons will step over the line immediately, and I'll facilitate their departure. An intermediate step, for a coach who's been OK so far, is to put him in his place a bit. "Coach, if you have a question, you may come out and ask in a normal tone of voice." That frames the allowable parameters for mature discussion among adults, and gives him a gracious way to STFU. Again, if he can't observe the parameters, he may rant and rave outside the confines of the ball field. If he does come out, I'll start: "What did you see?" I'll give him his say, in a normal tone of voice, which is mostly what he wants. When he's done, or a reasonable time has elapsed, or he starts to repeat himself, I'll say: "OK Coach, I had the ball beating the runner and the tag down in time. He's out. Let's play ball." And that's it: a direct exchange of views, politely delivered, and ended promptly. We should tolerate and indulge in nothing else. He's accusing you of cheating. Call him out: "Coach, are you accusing me of cheating?" If he says yes, dump him. If he says no, then tell him to KTSO and that's his warning. If your league allows restriction to the dugout, do that. He's lost his privilege to discuss calls with this remark.
  23. maven

    Fair or foul

    And I can safely add that it is smaller than one.
  24. Why on earth would falling down count as an attempt to advance? It's a myth that anything could be interpreted as a "move toward second" other than clearly and distinctly turning into foul territory.
  25. Umpiring, and particularly game management, requires strong communication skills. More relevant communication is almost never wrong. I've had this too: one idea is to signal the out and verbalize the usual "He's out!" at "selling it" volume; then make the sweeping motion of the arms AND verbalize "he came off the bag!"; then again with "he's out!" and a signal. We usually reserve that "he's came off the bag" mechanic for fielders, especially F3, making force plays. But it can be useful in this context as well.
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