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SteveJ

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About SteveJ

  • Birthday 05/10/1951

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Tucson, AZ
  • Interests
    Texas Holdem Poker and fast cars.

More information about you

  • Your Association Name
    Retired from baseball
  • How did you hear about Umpire-Empire?
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  1. Like working MABL/MSBL games? Then Tucson, AZ is the place for you - no one wants to work the games around here (at least not the experienced umpires) so there are lots of games available! Plus they pay so well, I think it's $55 or $65 for 9-innings
  2. Shockingly old? Mid-to-late 60's? Good thing that I'm retiring from umpiring after this year!
  3. In March our temps had already hit the low 90's - April so far 80's! Most of our sub-high school varsity level games are BYOB with regards to water. I wear two ball bags: In the left bag I have one or two bottles of water - Brand? Whatever Wally-mart had on sale. In the right bag I have 3 baseballs, extra pen, & plate brush. Balances out just fine
  4. Looking for opinions: How do you attract and retain new umpiring talent with the increasing lack of respect shown umpires working youth game and a lack of respect for the game of baseball? Ejections are up in youth games around here and at the high school level around here as well. This past weekend one of our young umpires (age 16) was working a 12U Wood-Bat league game. There was a close play at the plate that went against the home team. I do not know if the kid made the correct call or not but he was certainly in great position and his timing was very good. The coach “goes off on the kid†which prompted a warning from the umpire – the warning was ignored so the umpire ejected the coach. Then a spectator began to curse at the umpire – the umpire calmly called the acting HC over and told him that he needed to control his spectators, which he did. Our league makes the behavior of spectators the HC’s responsibility. Then in yet another fine example of fatherhood and good-sportsmanship a parent told the catcher, “Step out of the way and let a fastball hit the umpire†– he didn’t! Same day, 13U game, a coach doesn’t get an interference call at second and after being unable to change the umpire’s mind tells his player, “Throw the ball at the runners face next timeâ€. So what can be done? I have suggested locally that the punishment be established. Here’s an example, what do you think? Spectator curses at umpire – Spectator immediate removal from the area (no warning). Their child or whatever the relationship is restricted to the bench for the remainder of the game and the head coach ejected. Spectator banned for the remainder of the season or min of 5 games. In case the season is ending – ban would carry over to next season. Coach curses at umpire – Immediate ejection & 5 game suspension with fine. Player curses at umpire - Immediate ejection & 5 game suspension with fine. Spectator encourages player to harm umpire or other players – Immediate removal from area and a 1 calendar year ban for spectator & their child/grandchild, etc. Second offense = lifetime ban for both Coach encourages player to harm umpire or other players – Immediate ejection, fine to the team & 1 calendar year ban for coach. Second offense = lifetime ban. I know that the children shouldn't be forced to pay for the sins of their fathers but if you let the parents know that not only will their behavior have consequences for them but for the child as well it might help. We've got to do something or we'll lose umpires or never attract them. I know that as a parent if I heard an adult curse at or threaten one of my kids in any way there would be serious consequences – I’m sure that I am not alone in feeling that way. We need to figure out something before there are bigger problems. Thanks for letting me rant & rave
  5. You got me! I didn't really mean all of those things I said about you when I tried to log on!
  6. One of the JUCO schools in this area (Pima College) pays umpires to work scrimmages. But you can't go directly to the school for assignments, they have an assignor that takes care of that for them. The U of Arizona doesn't pay, except for caps, shirts, tickets, and etc. But it allows those of us who are too old to work D1 ball anymore the opportunity to get out there and enjoy good baseball. Plus we usually work 3 & 4 man mechanics so us over-60's guys can still get the job done. I was reminded during the Wildcat's final scrimmage this season, played like a real game against the KBO Dinos, just how old I am getting. We started out 3-man with a former MiLB (and current PAC12) umpire behind the plate. But he had to leave after the 3rd inning so we worked 2-man for the last 6-innings (actually I worked 2-man for 7-innings, my partner had to get his equipment on). I was the base umpire - the plate umpire is 3 years older than me. After the game I showered, met my wife for dinner, then went home and passed out! I felt as if I had been "rode hard and put up wet". But I loved every minute of it..... oh to be young again!
  7. So what? Everyone knows that this is the norm but responsible people want it changed. Are you saying that others should just suck it up and accept this? If you're not making that point, what is your point ? Like most of the comments related to this post there is no point! I wasn't trying to make one so my post accomplished what I wanted it to...good for me! So, how do you propose that "it" should be changed? Maybe "force" the schools and other venues to build umpire dressing rooms - maybe with showers huh? I can see every school and county/city field being willing to spend tax money to do that. Since you are a "responsible" person (and I'm not), maybe you should refuse to work games at venues that do not provide you a room to dress in - problem solved! BUT if you chose to work games in venues that do not offer you a room to change then you should, as you said, "suck it up and accept this". Sure I like the way I am treated at a college venue where locker rooms are provided, bathroom, showers, towels, soap, tv to watch, comfortable furniture to sit on, ac/heat, something to drink, and maybe some snacks a heck of a lot better than how I am treated at some high schools or city ball parks - Now here comes the point I'm making with this posting....... Ready for it? Here it comes....... No one is forcing you to accept games in the venues with conditions which are undesirable to you.
  8. 8 pages of posts.... Now I can't resist. Around here, in sunny warm southern Arizona, we rarely see a locker room below college level. So we umpires gather together in a distant section of the parking lot and proclaim that area to be our locker room. And unless you bring your motorhome, I don't bring mine because it only gets 8 mpg, you dress behind your vehicle. I arrive at my games dressed in shorts, t-shirt, and slippers (w/o socks)...I almost forgot to say, I wear under pants (tightie whities) too. I set my chair up, spread out my carpet, and then hang my pants/shirt on my trunk lid (I have a wire there). Next I prepare my "junk" protection (compression shorts with cup holder). I then drop my shorts, put my cup on, and my pants - this takes about 10 to 15 seconds....I forgot to mention that before I drop my shorts I look around to make sure that no innocent children or women are standing (or sitting) nearby watching me. Then I continue to dress at a leisurely pace because I always arrive at least 45-minutes before my game. After the game I reverse the procedure and it takes about the same amount of time...so possible exposure of me in my tightie whities? About 30 seconds total! So I limit the damage that possibly seeing me in my underwear might have on young minds and women!
  9. SteveJ

    Advice

    Way to much going on here. Talk as little as possible. "Coach, do you care to repeat that?" You're r baiting the coach. Whether it sounds like it or not. Also I've never been bumped but if it happens the first time will be the last. Never forfeit a game. Suspend it and let the higher ups deal with it. We all want to keep coaches in the game. I do not care if coaches stay in the game or not. I do not go out of my way to eject a coach but I do not go out of my way to "keep them in the game" either. They should know how to act, if not bye-bye!
  10. Did you consider that maybe you didn't suck? I guess it was bound to happen once in 20+ years
  11. Maybe it is......a little. But you're on here talking about doing an 18u tourney this weekend and I'm 3+ months from seeing a baseball diamond and when I do, the first 3-4 weeks will be 40 degrees and wet if they're not cancelled completely. Last year I didn't get on a field until April and that was hit and miss. I'm hating winter more every year. One of the great things about living in southern Arizona, if you like umpiring baseball, is the weather. Baseball is played year-round here and there's a lot of it. The league that I work for will stop playing for the holidays after our Christmas charity tournament next weekend but our Winter Leagues begin Jan 10th. I'm sure that there will be other baseball games, like club ball tournaments, available in Tucson/Phoenix during the times that our league is off. There's always a need for good umpires around here. We have several "snowbirds" that join us each year and are welcomed reinforcements - so come on out.
  12. Wasn't a previous crew, at least not yesterday - but they were local varsity high school players/coaches who we have history/experience with - so what you said is probably true. Your comment brings up a good point and that is, we all need to remember that what we allow (or don't allow) during our games can have an impact, positive or negative, on what our fellow umpires will face in future games with the teams.
  13. 10 years or so, God willing continued good health, and I want to retire to a year round baseball area. Well, let's call it semi-retire and umpire "full time" Hook up w/ Rolando and rock that big peninsula that they call a state! Too much rain here, I'd go to Arizona plus I don't want anyone stealing my games. Sidebar Just poking around Zillow for kicks around Chandler Arizona and I'm sold. What my money can get me compared to what it gets me here in northern NJ is absurd. Real estate taxes are virtually non existent when you're used to paying what I'm paying here. I can't wait to retire! I think the AZ game fees are pretty low...but you can make up for it in volume. Game fees are lower here in Arizona. This year I worked various levels of youth ball (11u - Sunbelt College League) that paid $31 - $70 per game. Lower level games are 6-innings & the higher levels, including college games are only 7-innings and all of the games have time limits. Usually 1:50 - 2:00, with the college games being 2:30 in believe. High school ball, AIA, pays lower than most states too. But it's not about the money.......right?
  14. You must be working the club ball tournaments in the Phoenix area. I worked up there once a few years ago....great place to go if you need the money (I have several friends that go up there every chance they get) BUT a horrible place to go if you expect the tournament director to back you. Big on staying on schedule at all costs and never...ever....eject a coach - they are paying customers! I personally did not have any issues but I know good umpires that did. Like I said, if you need the money it's a great place to get a lot of games - just not my style. Lots of baseball down here in Tucson too - not as much as Phoenix - but it's a lot better environment for the umpires.
  15. Yesterday I worked two fairly competitive 18u baseball games. After the game my partner and I were enjoying our post-game meeting over free burgers and dogs when we realized that no coaches came out to question any of our calls. No yelling or comments like “Call it both ways†and “where was that one blue?†Not even any moans and groans. That led us to wonder if maybe the coaches were sedated prior the start of the games. What had the tournament hosts added to the water????
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