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BobUmp last won the day on November 9 2017

BobUmp had the most liked content!

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    Senior Engineer
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    HS, Tourney 10U-18U, BOS, SM, MSBL
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  1. Early on in this season, i felt i was calling out/safes too fast on the bases. At first, it was just realizing to myself on correct calls i made that if something went wrong with the throw/catch/foot missing bag, i could have left myself out to dry and either make an incorrect call, or stumble and stutter to make the correct signal. It morphed into a real struggle with myself to slow myself down during games. Eventually, I had a blown call or two over a span of a few games, mixed in with having to correct an out to a safe when the fielder came up juggling the ball on a catch that should have been clean.. After talking about my timing issues with a couple of partners I trust, I recalled somewhere (probably in this great forum) that I could try practicing my whole routine and timing during between-inning warmups throughout the game. Well, I tell you, immediate good results! My timing is so much better, and its been 6 plus weeks with it being not an issue, right through the heart of the big tourneys, showcases and summer league playoffs.. I have been able to concentrate on introducing a little more advanced mechanics, like setting later after reading and moving on imperfect throws, getting closer and a better angle before setting on steal attempts, wedge maneuvers at plays at second when appropriate, etc. I signed up for an advanced 2-man camp in 2 weeks and feel like i am going in at peak and will be able to pull more advanced stuff out of it.. I highly recommend what they describe in those two articles above..
  2. I'm late to the party, but last fall I started wearing my Samsung Smart Watch versus carrying a small watch in my ball bag, The Samsung looks like a normal digital watch, except it stays dark unless i prompt it, or when the alarm goes off: 1) By the rules, Umpires are REQUIRED at the tourney facility here and in most travel leagues here to keep the time 2) The countdown timer on it has basically eliminated any arguing that there was still a minute left or whatnot: if the alarm goes off before the inning is over, that is the last inning, no arguments. If it goes off seconds after the third out is made and sides are being switched for the start of the top, we are playing the inning. 3) it tracks my steps, my miles, and my heart rate during the game(s) = very cool 4) phones do look shady to me.. Its asking for trouble, i think.. are you looking at how much time is left or are you checking messages/social media? If I look like an inexperienced newbie, so be it. Hopefully I convert most newbie haters by the end of most games...
  3. For the first scenario (DP started at 2nd, 2-man mechanics), I as PU (especially FED HS rules) need to help BU with illegal slides/takeouts, BUT also need to cover pulled foot, overthrows that may go out into dead ball territory, etc. This is where the PU gets some exercise: I move out from behind the plate, and if the fielded ball gets thrown to 2nd to start a DP, I veer towards the mound a couple of steps, but at this point try to stay in front of and towards the 1B side of the mound (don't overhustle). If, as in most cases, the slide is OK or at least a non-factor and the throw goes to 1B, I then follow with my body to 1B foul line to get a look for pulled foot and cover overthrows etc.. if the slide at 2B causes interference per your specific ruleset (typically for FED its oversliding 2B and interfering with the throw to 1st behind the 2nd base bag, or sliding to either side of the bag to interfere, or perhaps a pop-up slide that interferes), then there is no need to move to 1B foul line - either I'm calling the interference or my partner is calling it. Consequently I am then stepping directly towards 2nd base and selling my call. This typically has me stepping past the mound or even on to the mound dirt as I step towards 2nd to sell the call. As BU in the DP I try to make sure that I am staying in the working area near the aft end of the mound to make the call at second, then moving perpendicular towards the 1B line to make the call at first. This gives me a really good angle for pulled foot and runner foot placement versus catch, so i can cut down on the number of times we would need to get together to discuss a possible pulled foot on these plays. From the working area, if the throw to 2nd gets botched and I have a situation that requires my attention at 2nd, I can step up from that working area towards 2nd and make a call once a throw to first is out of the question. Same with an illegal slide or interference call, I can step from there towards 2nd to sell the call.
  4. I don't know if this would help, but I too line up my outside foot first, then my inside foot with the catcher, but initially set up a little farther back than where I intend to be when the pitch comes in, to give the catcher time to get himself where he wants to be. You probably did the same "dance" in scissors.. Also, I don't set down with hands until the pitcher is receiving signs, then once his pitch is started I creep up to where i want be relative to catcher, and finally "lock" myself to follow the pitch.. With catchers that move as the pitcher is starting delivery (either to fool the batter on location or because they are always moving around), the steps are distinct and follow as i state above. For catchers that "stay in place" from where they gave signs, the hands down, creep up and lock is really one movement. Some games I feel like for one half inning i'm waiting locked for a long time each pitch with a catcher that hardly changes position, and the other half inning I'm just finishing moving when pitcher is finishing his delivery motion and releasing..
  5. We've got a tourney complex here with 7 all-turf fields, and the township here has put turf down on at least the infield in about a dozen locations. In addition all the local NCAA colleges and a bunch of the local HS and JUCO colleges have turf infields. One big PRO is that for the seasons here which start late Feb/Early March for College, then mid-March HS, going to just before Thanksgiving, the local schools can move games on rainy/crappy days (or the first good day after bad weather like snow) to these fields and get them in, and during the busy season (summer/fall ball) if you are assigned fields at these venues, the cancellation rate goes way down, assuring you get your games/fees. That said, in the heat of the summer on a nice day, I want to work a dirt/clay field with infield/outfield grass over turf.. I also use my plate brush.. Get those little black granules off the plate when they pile up past just using my foot, and as a timing thing with pitcher/coach conferences.. I watch the coach out until I figure out if he is changing pitchers or not, indicate the conference if its FED rules on my scorecard, then brush off the plate and walk out to break em up..
  6. I would add use the 'common sense meter" we all have. In the OP above, the kid literally passed third base to go into the third base side dugout. So, either you judge he abandoned BEFORE he passed third base and is out for abandonment, OR you rule he did not yet be considered abandoning when he passed third base and R3, and is out for passing R3. I admittedly don't do much LL and don't have a rule book with me right now, but i think LL rule would lean on him not yet abandoned when he passed third, so the the Umpire got the call correct by ruling he is out for passing R3. As for the diagrams above, common sense would say the R1 did not pass 2B yet in first one, R2 did pass R3 and is out for passing R3 in the second one (A), and R2 did not pass R3 or 3B in third one (B)..
  7. BobUmp

    Balk or no balk?

    For the first time ever for me, it worked in a 13U tourney game last Saturday, believe it or not.. OBR rules EXCEPT FED FPSR and fake to third is legal... R1,R3.. Pitcher steps to third and fakes, R1 started his steal of 2nd on first move, obviously to draw a throw for a possible delayed steal of home... Defense yells out he's going, pitcher turns from facing third and throws to second for the put out of R1.. R3 does not attempt to steal home... Only time I saw it work! BONUS: in the SAME game, with 2 outs, I had a swinging strike three at a pitch that hits the lefty batters' back leg and rolls in fair territory up the 3rd base line.. I yell out "Time!!!!... he swung, he's out!.... it hit him, he offered, he's out!" - and NO yelling or protesting from anyone, not even the parents.. Kind of a confused "what just happened?" pause from everyone, then the teams go about changing sides... DOUBLE BONUS: in the SAME game, I am PU obviously, no one on, 2 man crew, partner in A, shot down right field line, he goes out, I let him know I've got the runner, RF doesn't make the catch, ball bounces around, I follow BR around to 3rd, hear my partner say he's got the plate, and they wave the BR around third... perfect relay throw and my partner has a legit play at the plate OUT call as BU... A MEMORABLE 13U game.. I am officially recharged!
  8. Yes, certainly uncomfortable, but like any other job or profession, when "they" (whoever they are) try to divide and conquer, or at least gather ammunition to shoot the other guy up with, you are now put in the middle of the sh***, so "embrace the suck" : "You know what, coach, just rank me the same as him, because I don't think he is all that bad, and you're putting me in a bad situation here"
  9. BobUmp


    Ejected himself. .Did everything but give himself the arm and point signal...
  10. BobUmp


    The way you wrote it, it seems like the pitcher delivered a pitch from windup as second base was stolen. I'm guessing from your info that also means: 1) The pitcher did not balk in any way, and the pitch was a legal pitch from windup 2) There was no delay from the runner taking off and acquiring second and the pitcher starting his pitching moves. If, for instance the runner acquired second, got up if he slid, and maybe even started to take a lead from second before the pitcher started any move, the judgement could be that he stole second before a pitch, and the fouled off pitch was after the stolen base.. The way you wrote it, i am guessing this was NOT the case.. I am guessing this because, in all likelihood, even if the pitcher delayed starting his pitch to process what the coach was yelling and the runner who took off is slowing himself coming into second standing up on an uncontested steal, it would be VERY unusual for the pitcher not to have started his pitch moves before the base was acquired, and, if he did delay so long, it would have been obvious it was a steal first, then a pitch... If i guessed correctly above, then the runner returns to first after the foul ball. If i did not guess correctly, then the runner has second, either by balk or by acquisition before the pitch. And, whoa, the batter probably runs laps after the game for being so brain dead as to take a swing on a so clearly swiped base (unless he was protecting on two strikes, of course!) This would be all rule sets..
  11. Had a similar thing happen in a game only about a week ago.. I saw this post, so when it started to develop in my situation, I decided to give the catcher the 3rdBLX extended to hustle back, and to NOT go to 1stBLX, but instead to pick up the action at point of plate. When the tag went to about the same place this tag attempt went I crept up to the plate a tried to look down on the play. My catcher was "closer to" the plate at the critical moment (did not really go up the 3BL) and actually behind it a little, so there was a clear path for the sliding runner to maybe get his hand in there.. and he slid outside towards the mound side the same way as in this video EXCEPT he slid head first.. AND, it was still a tough one, even from my "almost above the action" view, and I decided the tag was made before the hand got the plate... I banged him out with a big sell, and stood my ground for a few seconds, to really sell it.. And I guess i got it right, or at least sold it enough, because nobody came out to argue, the fans/parents in the seats behind the backstop did not protest all that much, and the runner himself didn't put up a fight.. So i don't know if I got that much better of a look from point of plate and back pocket, to tell you the truth...
  12. TWs in the warm (above 55 degrees) weather, and Wilson or All-Star leathers (like warm couch cushions) in the cooler/cold weather. Threw out others immediately like the ones that came with my Rampage frame and my Diamond AL frame. I did not like the memory foam, felt like it was going to going to lose integrity pretty quickly, but that was just my opinion, i don't have any info or witness statements to that matter.
  13. Each year, I take some fees money and experiment with a different or new mask planform. So over the past few years i have gotten games in with AL (Diamond and Wilson), Magnesium (Champro Rampage), and a bunch of steels (Wilson Low Profile, +POS ZERO-G, Honigs K4, Wilson Dyna-lite, All-Star FM-25 are the ones I had positive experiences with). I have a couple more i plan to test drive in the next few years.. My experiences so far are that you can get really light planforms in AL, Magnesium and Steel that at least rival, if not beat, the weight of a TI mask. TI looks great, and should have great sightlines because it is so thin. But it is expensive, and if it does bend, say goodbye to a couple hundred dollars. Also, as many said, the pads will be your most important protection item for the mask. Don't forget to have a good and properly adjusted harness as well.. So, really then, it comes down to personal preference on look, as well as sight lines and some extraneous protection items that may help you if your plate stance is a little different. For example, the K-4 is surprisingly not that heavy even though it has big throat, upper head, and ear protection areas. It was a decent planform to pair with TWs when i was less experienced, because if i was "inadvertently" moving my head with the pitch a little, I was still protected somewhat from re-directed pitches or foul-offs. The same with the Diamond AL planform. Not as pronounced as the K-4, but still quite protective with TWs in it. And noticeably lighter than the K-4, even though the K-4 is not what i would consider heavy. As I became more consistent with being perfectly still through a pitch, the planforms above felt "too big" to me, and I preferred something more demure, like the Wilson Dynalite, Wilson AL, and, my current favorite, the +POS ZERO-G. The Dynalite steel was too heavy for me, so I took that out of the lineup and sold that only a few weeks in. The Wilson AL is super-light, the sight lines are good, BUT I definitely feel shots more than with a steel planform. So TWs, or at least relatively new Wilson Leathers, for that Al mask. The ZERO-G is steel, yet super light-weight. i cannot tell the difference in weight when comparing it to the Wilson or Diamond AL and using TW pads in them. But since they are steel, they seem to "soak in" some of the shot, and a similar pitch that raises my attention in an Al planform with TWs is barely anything at all with the ZERO-G and TWs. And the sightlines are great. The only bad thing for you is it would be very difficult for you to obtain a ZERO-G because of the inconsistency with ordering from +POS.. As for the Wilson Low Profile, I have the CROMALY version and it was still quite noticably heavy, so i got rid of the plastic coating on the planform and painted it to thin it out and take weight off. The sight lines are fantastic, but while TWs kind of fit, that planform shape is really set up to use Wilson wraparounds. The other annoying thing is that I prefer 6-8 stitch caps for the plate, and this planform really demands a 4 stitcher, which makes me rarely use it.. Same with the RAMPAGE Magnesium. I can squish a 6 stitch cap, but it is a tight fit. It is super light, like the AL, same stiffness as AL i think (so have good pads), and looks totally cool. But I am not crazy about the sight lines, so i rarely pull it out of my storage box for a game... Finally, To add a little bit to earlier comments, i had actually found an old +POS AL planform on EBAY that had black plastic on it, which i burned off and painted and used for awhile. I think it was sold by +POS in the early 2000s.. Under Mask Porn thread there are pics and comments on it. Well, it met its demise with a high 70s low 80s FB back a bit.. I have it just for show next to my baseball collection...
  14. This may not be what you want to hear, but I recommend just not paying any attention to anything outside the fence that isn't a direct threat to safety or directly affecting the kids on the field. I do tourney ball, and some of the things that come out of parents' mouths at these things are unbelievable. I am only guessing, but since they are 'trapped' at these things all day and all weekend, a chunk of them are probably half in the bag from tailgating between games. They pay a ton of money and are travelling and using their free/vacation time to support the kid on his tourney team, so they are in full vacay mode which means there are a subset that are going to get unruly, and not only go after the umps verbally, but the venue, the concession stand attendant, their coach, the other coach, etc etc. Much like some yahoos you see at MLB or Minor League venues. Best thing in the long run for your sanity and the experience for the kids on the field is to keep yourself out of their swamp and ignore any crap you get from outside the fences. Now, if it turns to taunting the other teams' kids, or violence or threats, or trying to encite their kids into doing something unsportsmanlike, call time immediately, get your partner on the same page, then both approach the coach you think "owns" the trouble makers, and get them removed either by the coach or the TD. An example, the FIRST Tourney of the year in late March, I had the plate for the 13U Final, which were the oldest playing since school ball was underway. A close game until about the 4th, when one team's BR hits an inside the park grand-slam, a "little-league" like shot off the fence that bounced crazy and got away from the two fielders, ending with a play at the plate that was a non-controversial safe call. As cheers were calming down and a new ball given to the pitcher, I hear two "dads" on the defensive side behind home plate say "The last two kids were WAY too comfortable up there, he should brushback the next hitter to make them less comfortable" and " YEAH, you're right.. HEY JOHNNY, throw at this kid, brush him back!".. I was shocked, 13U spring tourney and we are going to start a bean ball war?? I whip around and look at the two suspects, and get the "not guilty, guilty" look-ahead pose from both. I call over the defensive HC, and tell him "you will NOT believe what I just heard" and made him take care of it. Now, of course, after doing this, if anyone from behind the fence said anything unsportsmanlike i would be forced to call over the coaches and TD and shut the seats down and clear the area, because i already made the move and gotten myself involved beyond the fences, but i would have been able to justify it as a "safety" thing and reasonable parents would understand and comply. So, unfortunately, i would say just eat it and ignore it if it is sent your way...
  15. BobUmp

    EJ Number 1

    Thanks for the above, and I must give credit to this site. Somewhere in here I believe there was a link to an NCAA PU that had an ejection on a play at the plate that was similar.. just not a rundown, a tag up on a fly out I believe. He calmly called time, indicated the out, then the EJ. He had the player pop up right into his face to protest and another kid who was signalling him to slide near the dirt circle and he calmly put up the stop sign and explained to them the call, they calmed down, backed off, the coach came up and he did the same with the coach and got out alive and well. I remembered that and tried to emulate it, and it worked.. @urout17, I'm not sure why i went over to the gate either.. NO its not the norm for me or anyone, especially at this Tourney Site where the game was played.. It was just a read i got from the mom and kid that this was going to be a learning moment, not a "kill the ump' moment, and wound up making it a memorable EJ.. probably dodged a bullet, in hindsight..
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