Jump to content


Established Member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


kstrunk last won the day on January 2 2015

kstrunk had the most liked content!


About kstrunk

  • Birthday 04/15/1974

Profile Information

  • Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania
  • Interests
    The Lord Jesus, The Bible, My Family, the Church, Baseball, Bowhunting

More information about you

  • Your Association Name
  • Occupation
  • Types/Levels of Baseball called
    College, HS, Men's Leagues, Legion, Connie Mack
  • How did you hear about Umpire-Empire?
    Other (explain below)

Recent Profile Visitors

5,337 profile views

kstrunk's Achievements



  1. @Kevin_K is spot on. I'll add... simplify each pitch and make everything slow down! Make sure you're ON TIME getting set to see the pitch, make sure you're focused on tracking the ball with your eyes all the way to the catcher's mitt, and do your very best to see the threads on the ball. When I kick a pitch, my first instruction to myself is 'forget it', next, 'be on time for THIS pitch, find the ball, track the ball, read the threads, see it hit the catcher's mitt, decide the call, make the call'. And indeed, everybody has those games, it's part of the deal. Don't let it mean more than it really does. It's a baseball game, and quite likely nobody died, lost their job, or even one penny because you had a rough game. So don't sweat it too much. If you do, umpiring will cease to be fun for you, and you'll be worse than ever. I'm speaking from experience.
  2. I've had GREAT success with this as well @Richvee, and I've also been criticized by some old timers because of it. I learned it by watching TONS of D1 guys. And as you said, it's to be used sparingly. When the catcher sticks a pitch indicating he thinks it's a strike, I firmly 'map' the pitch to explain with one word (no hand signals!!!) why it's NOT a strike. I.E... "Ball, outside". I do it loud enough for the appropriate people to hear it. Now no-one needs to say anything, and they know if they DO say something, it'll likely be taken as arguing balls and strikes. As you also said, good mechanics, appearance, confidence (which is reflected in verbal/physical mechanics) is the key to making this work. But I believe it eliminates most of the non-sense that many other guys hear, at least for me. I think the criticism is born in the idea that if you're not consistent it can get you in a lot of trouble, which could be true, so the answer is... GOOD TIMING & MECHANICS = CONSISTENCY!!!
  3. My son will conclude his freshman regular season tomorrow, playing JV mostly, called up to varsity a couple times, and I can't say strongly enough how difficult it's been to watch the officiating at his games. I literally have to pray for self-control to simply focus on the players, but still, the officiating is nearly impossible to ignore. Our state does not require mechanics proficiency at all. We are required to attend 6 chapter meetings annually, where mechanics are difficult to teach inside a local hall or restaurant. The lack of effort and professionalism is many cases is inexcusable even without a comprehensive knowledge of basic umpire mechanics, which also are non-existent in many cases. And while I hate the idea of being critical to people who have the guts to do the job, the reputation of umpires in general, and the corresponding mockery of the game in many cases, is the direct result of this issue that is the fault of many. Yet the assignors are so desperate they'll take anyone in most cases, especially for JV games and lower levels. I'm not sure what the answer is??? More clinics? More criticism? Both? I'm currently evaluating myself to find ways to be more faithful in what the Lord has given me in umpiring, for the good of the game and the people who play it.
  4. Finished the 2nd of my first 2 college (D3) post-season games last night. Was U3 in 3 man for first round Centennial Conference Tournament, and U1 in 4 man in CSAC Tournament last night. Made it through without embarrassing myself, my team, or our association, praise the Lord, all glory to God.
  5. Proper slot mechanics - GET IN THE SLOT! Don't hinder the catcher, but get up in there as close as possible without hindering the catcher or getting hit by the batter's follow through. See the ball go into the catcher's glove. Being locked in and still/set - plate and bases indicator in LEFT hand (yes, it's an issue) Calls with RIGHT hand (yes, it's an issue) DO NOT give verbal on swinging strikes (unless a questionable check swing, i.e... 'yes he did', or 'he went around'.) Work to make sure your verbal strike call is not hindering your authority, confidence, ability. This will take practice and experimentation, but it's necessary. Make sure your physical mechanics don't pull your eyes away from the field. I could write all day on this. That's enough for now.
  6. Pet peeve of mine as well @JaxRolo! The problem is, I'm getting this from college partners who've been around for 30 years and may have 'earned the right' to NOT be heard? Can't stand it, so I've been asking a couple as of late, can you PLEASE speak up!
  7. The more disturbing part of this, from my perspective, and one of my pet peeves, is that someone is willing to strongly assert something that is WRONG, and critique another umpire for doing it CORRECTLY! I hear stuff like this all the time, and it's usually from guys who don't read, study, or train, yet in their arrogance they feel they need to tell people who DO read, study, and train the wrong way to umpire. As @Haid D' Salaami indicates, there are black and white standards in many thing in umpiring, and this is one of them. It's really not relative to level/location. Sometimes, opinions are better kept secret!
  8. This kind of team effort is probably new to many, but it's super effective, and very professional, and actually eliminates the 'nose to nose' jawing and screaming that brings our trade down in the eyes of the baseball community. To be sure, the NCAA just put out a video called 'Walk away' that instructs the ejecting umpire to walk away and stay away immediately after an ejection, and allow his partner(s) to handle the ejected person. Granted, this is a restriction, but I like this tactic even for that. The days of showing everyone how brave, tough, or smart we are (handling our business) by having a shouting match with coaches and players is quickly coming to an end at the higher levels of our game.
  9. Phillies v. Tigers saw 5 get tossed yesterday, I believe by Tom Hallion, who apparently thought there was an HBP war waging. Yikes!!!
  10. You're right on @Richvee! I'm glad you made that distinction, I should have done so myself. It is what I had in mind, as I've learned a ton from watching guys striving to make it to the show. Thanks again.
  11. Ironically, I ALSO am the father of a HS catcher/infielder, and I began umpiring when he was still in LL, simply because there was a need. I've been blessed to advance relatively quickly, so the following is based on experience: 1. If you haven't already, get yourself a mechanics manual. Jim Evans, PBUC (2 man), or CCA (or all of them), you'll be glad if you study it and apply what you learn in practice. 2. Watch high level (HS, college, pro) umpires live as often as possible. 3. Keep devouring this site. It's been instrumental in my growth, particularly in knowledge of the rules. 4. Attend clinics that are put on by advanced umpires. 5. Be careful of the advice you take. 6. Have fun and enjoy the game - even while maintaining a professional decorum, you can have fun and appear as if you really want to be there!
  12. Wash less frequently. I know, I know, I know... that's gross. I used to be one of those guys that washed everything every time I wore it... but then my stuff started fading!
  13. Have fun! I don't know where Shillington is, but in where I'm at we're about to get hammered with more snow, so it may be a while!?
  14. kstrunk


    As one wise brother as said repeatedly, 'use the rules to solve a problem, NOT create one.'.
  15. The guys I was referring to primarily, are some guys (not all) with '30 years' under their belt, but, as you said, were never REALLY trained, but they're still very passionate. And in their passion, coupled with their 'experience', not only reject instruction in many cases (not all), but insist on pushing their way as THE way in spite of new standards and philosophies that are required for guys to grow and advance. It's frustrating to go to a collegiate clinic, learn, implement, and then get rebuked (take that literally) by one of these guys in a high school game, and actually instructed to do something incorrectly. Our area has some good clinicians, with lots of experience, who are still eager to grow and learn, but they are far outnumbered by guys who think they've arrived, and will not hear anything that didn't come out of their own mouth. Again, I don't want to 'over-generalize', this isn't every 'experienced' umpire, but it's a bunch who simply fail to realize that things have changed. That said, I am the first one to submit to the older/wiser/more experienced, and I've made it a habit to ASK THEM for advice and counsel, as I truly appreciate their accomplishments and experience. Finally, to answer your question, my frustration is that there isn't much happening in our area in regard to training for HS umpires. When someone DOES put on a clinic, attendance is usually not great. And the philosophy of accountability in scheduling is non-existent for the most part. It's a function of numbers, and the numbers of umpires simply isn't there, I guess...
  • Create New...