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lawump

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lawump last won the day on October 12

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About lawump

  • Birthday July 15

Profile Information

  • Location
    South Carolina
  • Interests
    umpiring and lawyering

More information about you

  • Your Association Name
    Carolina Baseball Umpires Association; NCAA
  • Occupation
    Attorney
  • Types/Levels of Baseball called
    ex-MiLB umpire; NCAA Div. 1; Am. Legion (2015, '17-'19 World Series)
  • How did you hear about Umpire-Empire?
    ABUA (umpire.org)

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Community Answers

  1. The ball became dead...when they shot the cow. (Sorry, couldn't help but post this little saying from umpire school.)
  2. You missed one: politics. (Unless that was covered by your "etc.") LOL
  3. The second base umpire told me (and the other hundred or so students at his umpire school) that he missed the dropped ball call. As I recall Joe telling the story, he went up to Haller (who had nothing to do with the play) between innings and asked him for his opinion about the no call on the possible interference by Jackson. Haller said (to paraphrase), “you guys got that right, but you kicked the SH*# on the intentional dropped ball.” Brinkman said he never even thought about an intentional drop ball until Haller brought it up. Brinkman said he became dejected after speaking to Haller and worried the rest of the game that he was going to get raked over the coals for missing that call. He said he was very relieved when all the post-game discussions centered around the possible interference by Jackson (because he knew they had gotten that correct) and the possible intentional drop was never raised.
  4. And every MLB umpire I have spoken to about that play believes that crew got that call correct (although they missed the intentional drop prior to this throw). They believed that Reggie turned to avoid being hit in the front, rather than him turning to intentionally be hit by the ball. The point being: if the MLB umpires' belief that the Jackson play was not interference is correct, then Grandal's play was definitely not interference because Jackson did a hell of a lot more than Grandal.
  5. My biggest issue (as an association assignor/past President) is the closely related, "that's not how we did things in (insert geographic location)!" The implication being that our association is doing things incorrectly because that's not how said umpire's prior association in said umpire's previous geographic location did things. I live in one of the fastest growing areas of the country (South Carolina). We have people (and umpires) who move here from all over the country (especially the northeast and upper midwest). Every year we get a number of "new" umpires who want to join our association. They provide us with resumes that state they have umpired high school for numerous years, have worked the playoffs for numerous number of years, etc. In other words, they submit a really strong umpiring resume for working high school baseball. And, we are genuinely excited to have them (I think every association in the country in this day and age would be glad to have them as we all want to grow.) Unfortunately, I know in the beginning of the year that a number of them will wash out "because we don't do things the way they did it back in (insert geographic location)." For example, one year we had a guy quit because he was adamant that back in Michigan the base umpire in a two-man (baseball) crew had to wear a ball bag. I told him that he cannot wear a ball bag on the bases (nor could he go to the mound and brush off the rubber). He was adamant that he had to do these things and that we were wrong and he left. Other times they argue and argue because we do not use the FED mechanics manual (we've been using the PBUC/MilBUD manual for 20-years with great success). Other times they complain because we assign a specific umpire to the plate and another to the bases each game...and they are not allowed to switch. And, there are a million other reasons, and I've heard them all: complaints about what uniforms we wear, how we assign umpires, our training requirements, our testing requirements, etc. All of those topics have been the subject of a sentence uttered by a new umpire which ended with, "...that's not how we did it back in _______________!" A lot of these guys will give up working in our high school association and will go work travel/rec ball where there are no evaluations nor standards which allows them to do whatever they want. I just don't get the mentality of an umpire coming into our association (or any association) of 70+ members and thinking that we should be doing things the way things are done back in Texas (or wherever) because, "by GOD, that's where I'm from and that's how it should be done!!!" The bottom line is, "when in Rome, do as the Romans do." If I, personally, were to move to another state tomorrow and I desired to start umpiring in my new state and the local high school association told me that they strictly follow the FED mechanics manual, (after laughing under my breath) I would say "okay" and would never say another word about it. I'm afraid that too many of us in my hypothetical situation would say, "well, back in South Carolina we would never use these stupid FED mechanics!"
  6. I can only add that on Type 2 obstruction, professional baseball has wanted "time" called when an obstructed runner is subsequently tagged out (if still "protected" by the umpire at the time he was tagged out). It doesn't matter if all playing action had not ceased. This was how it was taught in umpire school in 1997 and this is set forth in the sixth edition of the Jaksa/Roder Manual (which was our umpire school textbook). I even put a bold underline under that passage in the J/R so that I would remember it as the "exception" to the rule on our umpire school test.
  7. And just to add to it: I am very, very familiar with that Sox/Cubs play. I've had it saved as a video file for years as I use it to teach obstruction, type 2. I have used it for nearly 15-years to teach both (1) that a runner can be protected returning to a base and (2) when to call time on type 2 obstruction. I have picked apart this video over and over and over again for years. So, I immediately knew that the reasoning they gave at the end of the play was wrong. And, this is the second time in two years that I have posted a comment on closecallsports.com pointing out that their interpretation was wrong (or not fully correct)...only to not receive no reply (or, in the case of yesterday, have my post marked as "spam"). I'm done with commenting on their pages.
  8. The AL pledge DOES matter at the national tournament level (regionals and world series). Trust me, I have spent a lot of time working those tournaments (6 regionals; 4 World Series) to have spent a lot of time talking and getting to know the national Legion Baseball staff. They are well aware of that pledge, they take it seriously, and they tell all the game participants at the beginning of the tournament that if you violate the pledge and get ejected...you are going home. I have never, ever received anything but support from the national legion staff when I have had an ejection in a national tournament. I also watched two teams have some players get into a fight (I was not umpiring this particular game) during a game at a regional tournament. Both teams were given approximately 2 hours to have their hotel rooms emptied and be on their respective buses. They were immediately kicked out of the tournament and sent home. Their entire season (which up to that moment included dreams of going to the World Series) immediately came to an unceremonious end. So, please don't say that the Legion pledge doesn't matter. It may not matter with the local Legion officials where you're located. But, it does matter to a whole lot of Legionnaires. And I can assure you (again, having worked 4 World Series) the teams that come from these areas where sportsmanship is lacking...quickly understand that the pledge matters as soon as they get to Shelby.
  9. Drawing a line is one of those actions that warrants an immediate ejection...even without any prior warnings. It is a "skip go, don't collect $200, go straight to jail," offense. This is true at the major league level, it is true at the little league level, and it is true at every level in between. So, we can debate warnings all day. But, the player should have been EJ'd the second he drew a line. There was absolutely no need to wait until he flipped you the bird before you ejected him. However, as for warnings, as I posted in the other thread that is currently on-going in the "Ejections" section of U-E, I like the simple, "this is your warning. If you continue to argue you will be ejected (or restricted)." You can see my post in the other thread as to why I like this warning the best.
  10. Not that anyone asked, here's my two cents (both as an umpire who was nicknamed "Mr. Red Ass" by his classmates at umpire school and as an assignor of high school umpires). 1. There are not enough ejections in amateur baseball. I get very tired of a lot of umpires complaining about the behavior of coaches (and my umpires (that I assign) will complain to me about coaches all year long), but then when a coach commits a serious transgression in a game they don't eject him. When I ask why they didn't eject, they then give me excuses such as "I didn't want to write a report," or "it was late in the game and I just wanted to get out of there," etc., etc., etc. Frankly, it really ticks me off as an assignor. For example, this year alone, I saw a player spike his helmet in disgust at an umpire's call on a play at the plate and multiple high school coaches leave their dugout and come toward home plate yelling at the plate umpire about balls and strikes...and not a darn thing was done to any of them. We as umpires cannot complain about game participants behavior if we're going to tolerate it. There are a lot of us who need to take care of business when faced with unsporting behavior, or otherwise stop complaining about it. 2. Unless the game participant engages in conduct that deserves an immediate ejection without warning (for instance, if the first words out of a coach's mouth is, "you're F*#King horrible!"), I tell my guys, "to get your warning in." For instance, if a coach is arguing balls and strikes (without using any magic words) we don't want to eject without having first warned (and restricted in high school). 3. Outside of professional baseball, we need to use the word "warning" when giving the warning. In pro baseball, extending one's arm, holding out the palm of one's hand toward the offender, and saying "that's enough!" is sufficient to constitute a warning. In amateur baseball, we must use the word "warning" (this is even in Rule 2 of the NCAA rulebook). I tell my guys to say, "This is your warning. If you continue to argue you are going to be restricted and/or ejected." It is a simple enough statement to memorize, and, furthermore, this language is unmistakable when issued to a coach/player. I have never had our state association overturn an ejection after such a warning was given to a coach. Their position is that once such a warning is given, the coach should stop talking completely or risk being ejected...even if they end up being ejected for something that may not have been "ejection worthy" had a warning not been previously issued. In other words, when a coach complains to the state that he didn't say anything worthy of being ejected, the state comes back and tells the coach "you were warned and restricted which means you should have stopped talking completely or you risk being ejected, period." And I LOVE my state association for taking this position. They simply will not "overturn" an ejection if the game participant had been warned. 4. Warnings work. Especially higher up in amateur baseball. In fact, most times an NCAA head coach just wants to have his complaints acknowledged...he's not aiming to be ejected. This is a true story: I was working a Division 1 game on the plate. Frankly, I was having a very good balls-and-strikes game, but the home team was getting hammered late in the game. In the bottom of the 8th, the head coach decided to go down the far end of the dugout and start yelling at my partner at first base complaining that the other team's pitcher was balking. He kept going and going and going...and my partner wouldn't do anything. Frankly, I was becoming very annoyed (he was ruining my rhythm!), but I wasn't going to do anything about it because (1) I wasn't the crew chief and (2) my partner was a Division 1 umpire who needs to handle his own crap if he's working at that level. Anyways, the head coach finally came down to the home plate end of the dugout and yelled out at me, "there's nothing stopping you from calling it!". I was soooooo happy that he did that. I promptly took off my mask, looked at him and said, "this is your warning. If you continue to argue you are going to be ejected!". He looked at me, threw up his hands, and said "thank you!" He then sat down and never said another word the rest of the day. The moral of the story was he just wanted to know that his complaints were being heard and acknowledged. This type of reaction from an NCAA head coach happened multiple times during my career. I had a Division 2 head coach who almost always complimented me after a game. But, he could NEVER get through a game without having to receive a balls and strikes warning. I'd give him the warning, he'd crack a smile and give me a little wave from the dugout, and on we went. And, usually, after each game he'd go out of his way to say "good job" (or something similar) as I was leaving the field. He just honestly believed that each game he had to make sure that the umpires knew he was watching them. It became quite humorous. Well, I guess that's more than two cents. Oh, and for the love of God...call the inside strike. It will speed up your games significantly and you will score very highly on an evaluation if you are being evaluated by someone who knows what they're doing.
  11. June 8th was the 8th day of our American Legion season. All eight days so far have been washed out. We're stuck with tropical moisture being pumped into our state from the Gulf. Every afternoon is storms. Heck, 10-miles down the street from my office, the finals of the Columbia regional between Virginia and Old Dominion got rained out on Monday night. They played at 10 a.m. on Tuesday hoping to beat the afternoon storms. Its a good thing they played that early because it freaking poured starting mid-afternoon.
  12. lawump

    Overthrow

    You guys have hit the same points I did while discussing this play with various stakeholders (the umpires, the defensive coach, league administrators) in a real world play that generated my post. First, when I say "this play"...the play that actually happened to one of my umpire crews was "a". I just added "b" and "c" to my original post to get everyone's wheels spinning and to compare and contrast. And yes @maven, I was trying to make them as parallel as possible. Also, to clear up a factual matter, the hindering coach in my real world play was an offensive bench coach. In the real world play, my umpire ruled, "that's nothing!" Second, I like @Kevin_K 's post. I have known (through my own studies) that unlike various umpire manuals for OBR, FED does not address "authorized person" interference. I believe that term was first coined by the Jaksa/Roder manual in the 1990's. But, basically, OBR addresses (through various interpretations) what constitutes "interference" (and what does not) by a person who is authorized to be on the field but is not a fielder, runner, batter, base coach or umpire. Other than media personnel, FED is silent on this issue (as you guys have pointed out in this thread. Third, I also like the analogy to loose equipment that has been raised in this thread. In fact, because there is no FED rule directly on point, I specifically analogized to the the "loose equipment" rule (which allows for umpire judgment to determine whether to call an out, advance a runner, or return a runner). More specifically, when discussing this play with the DHC, he said, "if it had been a bucket, he would be automatically out." This opened the door for me to tell him that his understanding of the loose equipment rule was wrong as nothing was "automatic". Furthermore, I told the DHC (who wanted an "out") that there was no rule directly on point for this play, but that it should (in my opinion) be treated just like the loose equipment rule in that the umpire has to use his judgment. Because the umpire judged that the "hinderance" did not in any way, shape, or form change the result of the play...the umpire was correct in judging that there was no interference. (BTW, the defensive head coach agreed that the result of the play was unaffected by the contact with the bench coach.) While I have tremendous respect for @Senor Azul, if he is suggesting that play "a" (in my OP) should result in an "out", I respectfully disagree for the reasons set forth by others in this thread (as well as by me in this paragraph). Finally, I also told the various persons that I spoke with that a team warning should have been issued under 3-3-1 (a) (which you guys also brought up in this thread).
  13. lawump

    Overthrow

    What would you have on these plays under FED rules? No runners. B/R hits ground ball. Throw to first base is wild. Catcher is backing up the throw when he makes contact with a BENCH (not base) coach who was out in front of his (first base) dugout. In, (a) the hinderance/contact is minor. The B/R takes a stop toward second base, but F2 is able to quickly pick up the ball, so the B/R quickly returns to first base. In short, the contact did not change the play in any way, shape, or form. (b) the hinderance/contact is significant allowing the B/R to advance to second base (there is no play at second base). (c) the hinderance/contact is significant and the B/R advances to second base without a play. However, the umpire believes that even without the hinderance the B/R would have advanced to second base easily because the throw was so poor. I'll post my thoughts after I read the responses of others.
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