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Everything posted by HokieUmp

  1. Noted anti-gun person here. Despite living in Texas, and despite a career history devoid of Constitutional law dealings, it wouldn't matter much to me if it were LL, Pony, house league, or any flavour of travel/other ball. Were I to see said weapon, or be told about it by a partner, the game would cease until it was removed from the premises. If not, the game would be suspended - due to a lack of an umpire, if nothing else, because I'd be out at that point.
  2. It's really not. That's like saying to me calling a pitch a ball is a technicality, because the pitcher was TRYING to throw strikes. Well, sorry, he didn't, so it's a ball. But we're talking past each other, or at cross-purposes, or some phrase like that, basically. Put it this way: if I thought in a sitch like this, if a coach were actually trying to get to a formal protest of the ruling, I'd like to think I'd either ASK him, or say something along the lines of "okay, it's put up or shut up time - you gonna protest this so we can move on, or are you going back to the dugout?" Believe me, I'm not answering/responding to you in the way I am, just because I've got some dumbass policy where only the acceptable phrase is "Prithee, my dear umpire, I must protest the treatment of my team in such a manner!" (I'm not saying I wouldn't pay good money to HEAR that said, but I'm not gonna make a guy do that!) But - and to me, this is the distinction - I gotta get the sense that's what he's trying to GET to verbally .... to make an actual protest. Too often, a dude's out there just arguing to hear the sound of his own voice, or get his way, or he's just dumber than a box of hammers. And/or his "argument" consists mostly of "nuh-uh"s. THAT is not getting the offer from me. And yeah, in the OP, the rule was F*#Ked up. But at least the written version of what happened after didn't sound like the opposing coach was going that way - just that he was losing his mind on the call. He needs to know that part of the rulebook, then, so he can remedy his situation. Complaining until you get tossed doesn't help anyone.
  3. 9 Jan to 19 June: 115. (The 9 Jan game was an outlier, time-wise) That's just staying busy, as far as "days per week," versus games in a day. I'm no longer the 5+ a day guy - I had 4 scheduled for two Saturdays ago, and ended up giving the 4th one back to the assignor, because I felt like hell. And May/June here has been ..... "unseasonable," let's say.
  4. I sort-of wish my life were THAT exciting! In a way, I WAS the law. I spent my working career in - as they say on TV when they don't want to look like advertising or endorsing - "a major Department of Defense." A mere civilian, but worked for The Man, anyway. I could have spent my career in the same place, but on the second day, during our "Death By Briefing," the office that handled the change of station process gave their talk. When they told us "oh, the places you'll go!", I was hooked. The first move for the govt was in 1992. Counting that one, I've moved eight times. THIS move is the first one I've paid for since I moved out of my folk's place in 1991. Turns out, that SH*# is expensive.
  5. Off to the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina. The population will be less - MUCH less - than San Antonio and Bexar County. The Mexican food will ..... also be less.
  6. Solo is bullSH*#. I don't care if it's a 10U, and thus smaller, field. Putting ANYone out there solo is just bullSH*#. There HAVE to be people willing to umpire; this feels like TDs trying to save money. Come down to Texas, yo. There's plenty of games, and plenty of guys. I'd work with you, dude. (Narrator: "Easy for HokieUmp to say; he's moving from Texas in 6-8 weeks!")
  7. The general guidelines are "Personal, Prolonged, and Profane." Profane for the first DING, obviously, given it's 10U and shouted from the dugout. Personal for the second, since he just accused you of cheating and/or bias. I don't know what to tell you about the time issue. I'd either have set him a time during the first convo - not ask "can you start getting ready?" since that gives him an out, which he immediately took. Say "start warm-ups now, to be ready for a 2:15 plate meeting, and start after." Or better yet - go to the SD, and tell him/her "look, WAY ahead of time, so go please tell the teams to be ready for an earlier start." I guarantee, had the SD been the one to bring it up, minimal griping and moaning.
  8. Out of curiosity, where was this at, geographically? I haven't heard "Umpie" get used since I lived in Australia. FWIW, I wouldn't have minded, and I'm more than a little astounded the dude lost it. And "Mr Umpire is the only term to be used" is just about the dumbest thing I've heard in a while.
  9. So, we've already seen the resolution of the OP's deal. I've been a little busy with some tournament stuff lately, so I didn't get a chance to address this at the time. No, I'm really not hung up on the technicality of it. I'm hung up on the fact that he didn't protest at the time at which it's relevant. That's not a technicality. The wording of his protest doesn't mean jack to me. It's exactly like "obvious appeal" to me, in that if he says some version of protest, I'll mark the book with the situation, and it's under protest. And the subsequent storyline showed the dude knew what protesting WAS, because he came out and said that's what he wanted to do. It was flat out late. We don't go back three pitches later and say "oh yeah, that guy missed the plate; he's out, and take the run off the board." So we don't go back and say the same about a protest. I'm not dismissing his case because he's an ass; that's just a happy side benefit of the process - big fan of karma. And despite the glibness of that, I'm really not on #TeamDenyTheProtest because dude's a dick. A protest situation is a rule thing, and we're supposed to follow rules. .... and with what I wrote above, and the first sentence of THIS paragraph, you're absolutely correct. The umpires F*#Ked up the rule, and that's bad. I'd like to think I wouldn't have done that. But do we compound the F*#K up by F*#King up the protest process? THAT part of The Tale seems even more terrible than a on-field rule problem - it's the shadowy bullSH*# that seems to make up local youth sports leagues. And worrying about a positive reaction? It MIGHT be because it's been basically 100 degrees every day since the first of May here in South Texas, but I *so* don't care about that part. It's not that he said something 90 seconds too late - it's that he let several more pitches and potential chances for ball-in-play to go by before saying anything about a protest. (And again, he KNEW enough to say it was a protest, so he knew enough.) How many plays would be enough, if this is considered okay to allow it at that point? And look: since the game was re-done, and the other team won, one could make the case that, ULTIMATELY, justice was served. But one can CERTAINLY make the case that no one was covered in glory by the process.
  10. Commented in-line, just to avoid including the entire post.
  11. Arch, you are ALWAYS so polite. @834k3rit's *really* a command - "Don't Suck." It's not fair, but you're expected to be pretty much perfect from the jump. Welcome to the group!
  12. Possibly unpopular opinion: I didn't mind how this was executed. To me, it's a form of preventative umpiring - this way, that batter doesn't get one in his ear during his next AB. And maybe because the umpire did it early, the opponent doesn't get butt-hurt about it. (Although, my personal biases are about to show through; if that was hit this weekend when ECU played the University of Virginia, that batter couldn't gloat hard or long *enough* for my liking. He could've done a F*#King dance, for all I'd care.)
  13. To side-track from the original issue..... honestly, this is the point where the "don't talk to the fence" rule is invoked. On the other hand, if you ARE going to interact with them, that would be the time to mention the official's shortage, and how they could pick up some extra cash, seeing as to how they're experts on the strike zone!
  14. I've worked four complete (well, *I'm* done for '22, even if the state isn't) seasons in Texas, and literally had not heard of that until your post. If we got done the plate meeting and ground rules early, we just went - not least of which because no one looked at a clock. I mean, I wear a Fitbit, and I never look to see the time. Although..... if I were gonna run afoul of the UIL in my time here, I think THIS violation is one I could live with. Chicks dig the bad boys, anyway.
  15. HokieUmp


    Let me say: I have NOT watched the video, based on the comments I saw, since I don't need/want the aggravation. But I don't wonder what the TD thought of it .... *at all*. Here's my rough transcript: "These teams pay me frankly stupid amounts of money to put on these dog-and-pony shows. Umpires cost me money. Parents and coaches yell pretty loud. F*#K that umpire."
  16. The clarification, based on what I'm reading here, is that I probably F*#Ked up the call. I'm a LL umpire, just in the sense that I work games that are run by LL orgs. Therefore, I made the assumption that LL was based off OBR, and thus did NOT allow for that move. So I got it. I cannot recall with certainty on the ultimate disengagement, since I had it as a balk once he didn't complete the throw to third. My bad.
  17. Easily closer to second. And F1 stepped directly to second. This one was a gimme, once I processed what I'd seen.
  18. The first three days of this week were a little weird from the various pitcher's mounds. Ended up with four balks total - and it just took three games for that to happen. Two of them were "normal" - kid making a movement to start, and then not. The other two were a little stranger, with one I'd never seen before. 1) On Wednesday, working a LL "Senior" game. It's really a combo Junior and Senior league, based on the ages of players, since they wouldn't have enough players to make a decent-sized league for either of those age brackets alone. Kid decides to do the "3-1" play - steps to third, doesn't disengage, then turns to throw to first. It was obvious he was gonna do it, so I just waited him out. "Balk! Time! That's a balk" etc, etc. Told the coach, sure, that's a legal move in HS, but LL isn't based on HS rules. Oops. 2) This is weird one. Private-school play-in game - the winner gets to be part of the TAPPS (the Texas private-school "league") playoffs, and the loser is done. We'd had an R2, but that kid stole third at some point. A pitch or two later, the pitcher turns and throws to second base - when he made the move, he threw to the SS, who was away from the base. THAT part is fine, as we know. But he'd apparently forgotten the whole dude-stole-the-next-base thing. THIS one, I didn't get right away. He made the move, I took a beat, thought "Wait, what?" then stepped out from behind the plate, and went "Time." Waved my partner over, just to make sure I/we had actually seen what I/we just saw, and was like - "unoccupied base. that's a balk." And then scored the runner. In my defense, in over 1200 games in the US, and others abroad, this was NOT something I'd ever seen before. Honestly? Despite seeing in the rulebook over the years, I never *really* expected to see it happen in the wild. It might be a weird thing to say the first week of May, but it's been a long year.
  19. Okay.... 1) "I wonder if the loud coaches and fans are wrong or " Answer: They're wrong. More accurately: they're ugly and stupid AND they're wrong. And they might smell bad, too. 2) Regarding the rough times... at the risk of blatantly advertising my own writing, here's an excerpt from something I wrote on "Talk Me Off The Ledge" a few days ago: "Also, around that time, I just said to myself "f--k these f--king guys, and all their f--king bulls--t" - and the healing began." At a certain point, I firmly believe that's what you have to do. If you're not as inclined to be as happily profane as I am, you can find your own phrase, but I like the mouth-feel of it myself. Look, it's always been an Us Versus Them in the game. So embrace it, and make them A Them.
  20. Mathematically? Probably. But it would have more zeroes than a local league could afford.
  21. I usually go back to the edge of the grass, and closer to 2B. That way, I don't run the risk of being in the way of a fielder trying to make a play.
  22. I get that. I do other things, in other places, to check that box. MY logic ('logic' possibly being used loosely here) is that I'd prefer not to do something for a community while also being considered the enemy, or at least The Bad Guy. I can't speak to other places, but I work games in three different 'house leagues' right now - all of which are LL affiliates - and all of them pay their umpires.
  23. I'd like to address a few things in the actual play here.... My responses will be in colour. The encouragement part comes at the end. Hang in there, man. I'd love to tell you there's some magic threshold, where you'll never feel bad like that after a game. I'd be wrong. To wit: it's getting near HS playoff time here in Texas (last week of the regular season starts tomorrow). Some teams are *really* loaded and/or the other teams in their district offer them no real competition, especially if the school has ambitions to make a long run. So yesterday, just outside of San Antonio, where I live, a team from Corpus Christi and a team from Waco played on a neutral site. I'm told if they meet in the state tourney, it would be basically at the end - I guess they're in opposite brackets. (I know less about how it all works than maybe I should.) The Corpus team is ranked top-10 in the state by MaxPreps, and supposedly have nine players in the top-50. The Waco guys didn't have quite that pedigree, but they're good. So the intensity was gonna be there. I got assigned to it, and was told to take the plate. Top-2, I called a pitch down. It may have been the first borderline pitch, but I'm not sure. The D coach, when the catcher told him, yelled - not commented, but *hollered* - "THAT WAS NOT LOW!", along with something like "get it together," or something otherwise equally 'encouraging.' My first thought? "Welp, honeymoon's over." I won't completely admit to being rattled, but that began a 2 or 3 inning stretch, where both sides decided to offer their opinion on pitches. Mostly low ones - and I WILL admit that I was having some issues there, with what was down and what was painting the knees. But then, because they'd determined arguing ONE side of the zone was fun, griping about the inside would be TWICE as much fun. It felt a little like I was drowning for a while. Two things helped. One, I got into it a little with the home coach when his guys were batting, since the pitcher was trying to work fast, and it was causing issues. It basically ended when I just gave him the hand-up and the "THAT'S ENOUGH!" Also, around that time, I just said to myself "f--k these f--king guys, and all their f--king bulls--t" - and the healing began. Anyway, the point of that long story is that: I've worked 1500+ games, in three countries, over 20 years. And I had a humbling experience. My assignor even said the host school's coach gave me a good review, so I might even have done well in the cold light of day. But I still left there feeling like hell, and it took three margaritas at a neighbors house to start feeling better. So it's not just an "early career" deal. There are games that will suck. Some will be something you do; some will be bad luck; some will be coaches/players that suck/don't know what they're doing/wouldn't know a rule if it bit 'em on the ass. Some will be combinations of all of the above. The goal is to minimize those numbers. But hang in there, and keep working hard. Every new level looks faster at first, but experience helps slow it down. (Also: stop volunteering. Your time has value. Your skills/experience will have value, as you grow. I know I'll never make a proper living just umpiring, but I choose not to do it for free.)
  24. Oh, don't get me wrong - I'm cheering for *your* argument to be the "winning" one! Especially when there's not exactly an overflowing portfolio of case files of HS players tragically killed by friendship bracelets and awareness bands, etc. But when the balk deal is pretty much a paper exercise, and it can't get done, it lowers one's expectations.
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