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Everything posted by maven

  1. How did he get so far off the base between F6's catch and throw? More likely that you got it right. In general, you have to try to line up R3 and the catch as best you can without being out of position for a play at the plate. You can do this pretty well for catches by F7, but all you can do for F9 is to back up a bit (as far as your backstop will allow). In your actual play, check the runners. Because of the IFF, you already called the batter out, and catch/no catch will be pretty obvious. So you have time to peek at runners to see if they're retouching.
  2. First, I recommend avoiding the term 'travesty', which appears in the book in 1 specific place. It is not a generic term with wide application. Next, FED (and it seems NCAA) distinguish between missing a base because of an error and missing it because of cheating. A runner may correct his error on the last time by. This is the garden variety missed-base play. A cheater in these codes—a runner who intentionally cuts the corner to gain an advantage—may not correct his miss. He should be ruled out on proper appeal, with a live-ball tag of the missed base or runner or (in FED) a dead-ball verbal appeal. You're right that the FED case plays concern retouching bases: the cases are intended to illustrate the limits of the "last time by" principle, so they employ plays where a runner has to pass a base multiple times. But the underlying principle is, as I've suggested, to distinguish errors from cheating and penalize them differently.
  3. I hope that newer baseball fans appreciate how seldom a "never before" happens in baseball, given its 146-year history.
  4. What level was that? If we call every little flinch below 16U, we're going to have horrible, long games. If the "twitch" was a big shoulder turn to 1B, then yeah, both should see that. IMO, tight balk calls are the result of amateur umpires mistakenly thinking that they have to call balks just exactly like the pros do. At higher levels of amateur ball, pitchers CAN get an advantage from substantial flinches. But chances are, if only 1 umpire sees it, then it's probably not big enough to get. I don't know what levels you work or your experience level, so I'll make my recommendation generic: anyone who's unsure about balk calls should consult widely among senior umpires to see whether they would call it. To answer your question: to see the whole picture, zoom out a little. If you're focused tightly on F1's knees, you're going to miss everything else.
  5. I treat this as a trick play: as with any trick play, the team has to run it perfectly or pay the price. In this play, the proper way to do it is for R1 NOT to touch 2B. Then he's entitled to return to 1B without penalty.
  6. I agree, but your statement is not responsive to what I posted. My earlier point was that I'd have INT in amateur ball for a play that was as close as the one in the video. IOW, amateur ball has a slightly broader benefit of the doubt. And where there's doubt, we should not conclude that "F6 had no chance."
  7. I believe that was (approximately) the rule decades ago. The rules makers felt that it stifled offense.
  8. And it's the smart play, given the odds of getting the pot at the end of the rainbow (baseball's narrowest door).
  9. Good for you! Even if you decide not to work pro ball, your umpiring will be next level, and you'll be able to share what you've learned and improve the amateur umpiring in your area.
  10. Those supplemental contracts include OHSAA licensing, training, and other requirements. Getting OHSAA to require this of coaches, however, is probably not going to happen. The coaches would scream bloody murder, because they "don't need it" and it would be a "huge waste of time."
  11. Yes. By the dog, man, even if this is an exaggeration, why listen? Everyone knows that there's no such rule. My line is generally, "That's not a rule, Bob." If he persists, 1 warning, and then dump him. Most leagues at this point have caught up with the times and have penalties for post-game ejections.
  12. I'm not talking about confidence in my belief or rules knowledge, but personal confidence—authority, field presence, that kind of thing. Newer umpires especially often confuse the two.
  13. I agree that if there's anything to dispute it's that F5 BOTH tagged R2 AND tagged 3B. Unfortunately, he tagged R2 first, yielding the 3rd out of the inning. If they want that apparent 4th out, then we need a little more than stepping on 3B as he's tagging R2. He does stay on there a while, but I'd like something more: pointing to R3, verbally appealing—anything to indicate that the action around the base is supposed to be TWO appeals rather than just one. That's the bottom line for me: I see enough to know that F5's actions are a deliberate appeal, but not enough to know that his actions are TWO DISTINCT appeals. And I'll add: I'm not a pro umpire, so I don't have an official opinion about whether the ruling in the video was right. For amateur ball, whether I grant the second appeal will depend on which ruling gets me to beer o'clock faster.
  14. What we allow we condone. You allowed that coach to: "come out on EVERY close play" [too often] "come charging out" [must request time first] "yelling at me" [must use a respectful tone] "He argued" [no arguing] "loudly yelling, not being passionate, but being an azzhat" [sounds like prolonged] "went back-and-forth a few times" [spinning your wheels] After all that, and from his viewpoint out of the blue, you dumped him. Some suggestions for game management: Enforce good behavior first: I won't even talk to a coach who storms out yelling. Make him stop, explain that if he comes out again without requesting time you'll eject him, and require that he speak to you in a quiet respectful tone. This demand and threatened consequence should be uttered so softly that only the coach standing right next to you can hear it. Then: "what did you see, Bob?" I'm assuming that you announced the double set when you called the balk, so he knows why you called it. Letting him talk first allows him to say his piece. Stop him when he gets loud again or starts repeating himself. At that point, reiterate your ruling: "Bob, I hear what you're saying, but what he did is clearly a double set. Now let's play ball." Discussion over, turn around and return to your position. Send him back to the dugout if he follows you, and dump him if he persists (one of the 3 'P's'). There's no back and forth: what's the point of that? Don't mention "all codes," because only 1 is relevant. And I'm not listening to him disagree—he's entitled to think I'm wrong, but we're not going to postpone restarting the game so that he can rant. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that you're going to convince him you're right. This desire is a function of lack of confidence: be right, and it won't matter so much to you that some daddy-ball coach thinks you're wrong . Good luck!
  15. maven


    As long as something is moving, the leg may hang. In amateur baseball, when F1 hangs the leg he usually stops moving everything—freezes—which is not legal.
  16. Unless the runner did something intentional to get hit, we play on. If the deflected ball goes out of play, all runners are awarded 2 bases from their last legally touched base at the time of the throw (not the time it goes out of play).
  17. maven

    Hit by pitch

    I'll add one: 4. The ball was dead.
  18. Good call. Teenagers need their sleep.
  19. Sounds like the umpire was confused with the live-ball balk rule (might be trained for HS rules). With a live-ball balk, we either enforce the balk and have no pitch, or we ignore the balk (because the batter and all runners reached their advance bases on the play. In this play, because the batter fouled off the pitch, we enforce the balk (advance runners) and it's no pitch.
  20. maven


    I'm reading this question as something like: R2, batter hits a grounder to maybe F5, and R2 gets hung up between 2B and 3B. He's then obstructed during the rundown. In that case, he's entitled to 3B in all codes (whether the ball is dead immediately varies by code). The BR is entitled to the last base legally touched: if he had reached 2B when the ball becomes dead, then he can stay. If not, back to 1B. As he wasn't obstructed, he's not entitled to any award. Different codes handle OBS differently (pro ball has 2 kinds, HS ball just one), but they don't differentiate "degrees of severity" of OBS. The infraction can be accidental/negligent or intentional, but the penalty is the same. If it rises to the level of malicious contact, then both the OBS penalty and the MC penalty would be applied. And we might talk about "severity" of penalty: obstructed runners are awarded bases to nullify the act of obstruction, which could be any number of bases (less than 4).
  21. Nobody applies every rule exactly as written. You'd never get assigned a game if you were that guy. That said, yes, we want to do it right. But why not grant the appeal here? Because, "technically, the ball's not in play until I put it in play." If the explanation starts with "technically," then we should probably rethink our application of that rule.
  22. maven

    Wacky play

    Sorry, yes, in that instance, the TOT and the time the ball goes out of play coincide.
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