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BobUmp last won the day on July 3 2020

BobUmp had the most liked content!

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    HS, Tourney 10U-18U, BOS, SM, MSBL
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  1. I switched from hammer to point a couple of years ago, as I got more experienced. It wound up that it helped me slow down my timing, and my strike zone/B/S calls got much more consistent, and of course better. I started with looking to the side of the point when no one was on, and not looking to the side with runners on. That was fine, BUT some of the coaches I would see a lot at the older levels could pick up on if I was off a little in my mechanics, which would translate to questions. So I started "switching it up" a little, by waiting on making my strike call. For example, with runners on I would wait a second or two to see if any action on the bases, and if none, would turn my head to the point side with the call. If there was action, I would call the strike once I made a decision on interference/no interference. In conjunction with the wait and see on the strike call, I needed to slow my call on balls, and on swings, to keep it looking consistent. Now, I am slow all the way around, and will even mix in a head nod on a big curve ball that drops in, or a fastball at the knees, before I make a call. Complaints are way down and out of the "ordinary" now, so pointing helped me improve. Oh, and I change up my strike 3 all the time, for fun!
  2. Heard this COVID-related one the other day from another umpire, so not mine, but its winning the "best heckle of the COVID year" award so far: After a close play, a parent in the RF stands yells out "Blue, just put the mask over your eyes!" I bet he was dying to yell that one out all game...
  3. Yeah, this stuff is the hardest to manage, because every interaction is different - different people, ages, situations, etc.. I think, given the result, you will probably in a similar situation next time, adjust your first interaction to maybe keep it from escalating (maybe). I suggest when they ask a question (legit, like a rules interp such as isn't that a balk?), you broadcast body language for "listen mode" (maybe hands in back pockets, and one or two steps in their direction so they know they have your attention and you're thinking about their question), and then wait two or more seconds before giving an answer. It shows you are considering their question/POV, and gives you a chance to read if you need to be defensive or need to just give an explanation. In this case, maybe a "the mound is crappy today, so I'm judging that he's OK like that", would have done the trick. If not, he would just dial up and then you can shut him down like you did. Just a suggestion- no guarantee that would placate every situation - sometimes they just want to battle you
  4. We're behind the pitcher. It is a great opportunity for me to really work on my field mechanics. The past couple of years I was working really hard on my plate: I would offer to take as many plates as i could get (and there are a lot of guys out there that would gladly "let me" take the plate when we would be assigned together). Now, of course, the rotations and positioning are different than non-COVID, but the timing, the pause-read-react, the out/safe/catch/no-catch mechanics are all the same and I can work on them every game, regardless of position. The communications are even more critical now, and even when I am with guys that in a standard two man last year we kind of knew where each of us were and what each would be doing, and maybe cut down on verbal comms, NOW we are obliged to be communicating verbally on the majority of action, and that is a good habit to carry forward. Finally, the "react" part is enhanced now, because now rotations and tracking and working areas are not so cut and dry or rehearsed, and that also magnifies the value of good timing.. I was first kind of put off by changing everything around, and of course it is not ideal, especially on wild pitches, shots down the 3B line etc. But, there is a value I am getting out of it, making do and maybe making myself a better umpire when we get past this nuttiness..
  5. If it helps, I have been running Fire/EMS/Rescue calls through the whole pandemic. It got a bit hairy here on Long Island for about 8 weeks there, where it was surging to the point that entering the ER we had to steer our patients around COVID people sitting in chairs in the corridors and entrances to the ER, right to ER nurses and docs that were dressed like there were HAZMAT techs at a nuclear accident. Luckily it never got overwhelming, and the chiefs/heads that be came up with some great policies that help lower the risk of us first responders catching the cooties, without breaking the bank or going crazy on hazmat suits: 1) masks PROPERLY donned as trained - NOT like that picture of being donned over your ump mask: a. surgical/cloth on fire calls, on the back of fire apparatus, and at rescue scenes where you are outside and not the direct patient care person b, N95 (usually with a surgical or cloth over the N95), again properly donned, on all EMS calls, in EMS rigs/ambulances, at the ER, and at rescue scenes that are indoors or you are direct patient care/exposure c. eye, hand/body PPE where protocols require, optional otherwise 2) MINIMAL EXPOSURE TIME and Personnel: a. for EMS, restricted to 2 persons exposed: EMT and driver. All other personnel stay outside and not permitted to go in ambulance with patient or to an ER b. for Rescue/Fire, MINIMUM personnel needed inside or near patients/victims, determined by officer and size-up c. get patients to come outside to you when possible, and transport only to closest hospital that has the certifications to handle your patient/problem d. run with windows open and rear ventilation on and full blast 3) WASH Hands and sanitizer/bleach with water after each call 4) ALL social areas and ready room CLOSED to personnel during pandemic - minimize contact with your partners/personnel - at one point the firehouse was "closed" - alarms only, respond from home only AND, it worked - we had NO COVID positives in the personnel as of this email, and I last got tested (active and antibodies) two weeks ago, all clean. So I would say, if us umpires work the same way, we can minimize the risk: 1) Wear a surgical or cloth mask PROPERLY from pre game in the parking lot to post game. 2) DO NOT socialize, or hang out and get dressed in a clubhouse or scorekeepers box - parking lot only 3) wash hands/sanitizer after EVERY Game 4) Avoid handling equipment, and why not, even baseballs (wouldn't hurt) 5) skip the pregame, or make it 5 seconds (Hi I'm Bob, you guys work out the lineups yourselves, everyone good to go? let's go) 6) stay away from dugouts (shouldn't you anyways?) 7) hand sanitizer during the game if contact is made with equipment or persons 8) in between games, don't congregate/go into a clubhouse etc. Stay outside and 6 feet apart I, for one, will feel quite safe doing these 8 things...
  6. About four weeks ago, and it MAY have been the same guy, I saw a KBO official doing the same. He got CREAMED on a foul ball to the face - They stopped the game for about ten minutes checking him out, but he stayed in. It was like watching a car accident where you see it coming but can't look away
  7. BobUmp

    First One

    No youtube that i can think of.. I think I saw what you are talking about a while back. If I remember, he was a lot quicker to eject than i have been in my career so far. But also i think while he is quick on the hook, he approaches it professionally, and not red as$$. Generally speaking, we should NOT have to just take a simmering level of crap from players and/or coaches continuously all day because of either a perceived or real inconsistent strike zone or a possible missed/blown call. Fans/parents, well, let's just ignore them, unless they are a danger or distraction to the players. But I am certainly not riding a coach for 6 innings if he misses an obvious bunt situation or sends a kid from 3rd to be put out by a mile. That would be unprofessional of me. I think the same for them. They can certainly express emotions at the moment, and can certainly stew and mope, its a game and emotions are part of it. But they cannot IMO have license to then ride you for an entire game because they felt slighted. Its no good for the game, for the kids, for you, so take care of business. Go mope and complain at the TGI Fridays down the way while you reserve a table for 16 waiting for the game to end. And on the "What did you say?" - it's all tone and body language, which is totally under your own control. Sure, you can say it in a tone and with an aggressive stance, like moving towards the coach, to send a "baiting" message You can also say it in a tone with an open and un-aggressive stance (passive, looking right at them, not moving towards them) to come off as "I don't think I heard you correctly". I meant the second tone. It opens the door for them to back off and be respectful if they overstepped and regret it. yet it also lets them know you heard SOMETHING that may be grounds for a warning/ejection, and want clarification. It often gives them an out and (gently) lets them know you are not going to just take anything they dish at you. This works in other non-umpire scenarios also, even used it with the boss once, when I knew he was annoyed at something else and got chippy with me. I gave him an exit strategy, and he took it, re-worded/clarified, and I got out of there without getting myself in trouble having to stand up for myself for something he really didn't mean. I think, maybe practiced and planned (in your toolbox), it can be very effective at weeding out over-reactions that don't warrant an ejection (yet) and "problem children" that need to be dealt with as early as possible Think of it.. You are not giving a strike to his pitcher low off the outside plate. Mr. bucket sitter starts getting testy, and maybe even got a stare in from you already. You call another ball, and he goes out to the mound. He stays there to make you walk out and break it up. When you get there he makes some snarky comment like "all day" "come on now", which you know was directed to you, either by his body language or by the pitcher reaction. An "unaggressive" "Mike, what did you say?" gets you a lot of information on how the day will progress: 1) "You heard me, that's a strike all day, Bob, why not for my guy?" or "come on now Bob, you're zone is a disgrace" - OK he's ejected, he's not going to be cordial in an inning or two after he says that to you. One of us has to go, and it will be him 2) " What do you mean, Bob? Just finishing with the pitcher" - OK he backed off, and has a good chance of staying the rest of the game (unless I truly am sucking) 3) "I'm not talking to you. You don't need to know what i'm saying" - Well, this begs some more "passive" discussion... We are probably heading to an ejection, and good riddance... And with all of this, it still is a human interaction thing, and what works one time will probably not work another time. But at least this tool in the toolbox, at a minimum, gets you more information to make a decision on ejecting/warning/ignoring
  8. BobUmp

    First One

    Wow, pretty good EJ for first one (this season, or ever?)! Really, a good one to remember and get some good experience out of.. You learned your probably could skip the first "I don't want to hear it' and go straight to "no arguing balls and strikes", and still be effective Also learned this guy planned to get tossed, to stir/wake up the team or whatever. And you obliged, that's good, because he would have gotten nastier and nastier and it would have degraded. I am learning that when games start getting out of control on the scoreboard, there are a (small) set of coaches that will stir the pot, either by dumping on their team (maybe singling out one victim), going after the opposition coaches/players, or going after the umpires, to "wake up" their team. So I anticipate that it may get ugly and prepare to maybe have to deal with it. For example, I find a good "EJ test" that if they throw something my way (maybe I did not exactly hear what it was exactly, but know it was probably unsportsmanlike) I will ask rather directly "What did you say?" in a tone that I would use with my kids. If they are looking to get tossed, they will most certainly repeat it, and I will then most certainly oblige. If it was just frustration, they will avoid repeating it and may even say they weren't talking to you, or they deny saying anything, or they attempt to change it into a question, which you can then shut down respectfully and they can avoid getting tossed - either way, it gets a warning to them in a tone that may be effective. For me, this is a difficult part of the game, because its the human interaction, and everyone is different. Also, since it is challenging, it also is kinda fun and a learning experience for me every time. Thanks for posting
  9. I'm a numbers guy, and I can assure that there is NO WAY we can effectively extrapolate out the death rate from the numbers we have in this country and world right now: 1) testing is a complete mess, and will probably be for a long time, at least in this country. Random samples over the population in locations, counties, cities and states are NOT being performed, and may not even be in the planning stage. So the numbers are skewed to testing only people who A) have more than one symptom B) have some sort of medical risk, like pre-existing conditions, where knowing if you have it as early as possible may save your life C) are in an area that actually has enough test kits to hit all these "most likely" people 2) In my experience here in NY, with friends and coworkers who have symptoms and are stuck at home suffering, and going on these EMS calls, so many people have had more than one symptom and have been TURNED down for testing. Also, if one family member has tested positive, the entire family stuck in the same house is told to quarantine, but they ARE NOT tested, even when they wind up with more than one symptom themselves (assume you all have it, they are told). There are infection transmission rate (how contagious) versus mortality rate (how deadly) charts available off of reputable sights that compare COVID-19 versus other epidemic/pandemic diseases. Currently, COVID is less deadly than ebola, MERS, the Spanish Flu, and even Swine FLU, but more contagious. However, with the current numbers it is no where near as contagious as Measles or chicken pox or small pox. My small, not intelligent, not scientific, feel is that if they ever get REAL data going in the USA on this contagion (which will only be via a combo of direct testing and anti-body testing in a scientific and massive scale), that it may wind up that MANY more people have it, had it, or at least were exposed to it and beat it unknowingly by creating antibodies and keeping themselves symptom free. If my hunches are close to reality, then the death rate will drop dramatically, and if it drops below 1%, then it would be in the realm of a bad flu season. Now, that also means it proves much more contagious than your bad flu, which would STILL mean that protections MUST be in place to protect vulnerable populations for years to come, or at least until vaccines are commonly available. This is what was needed to be done with vulnerable populations against pneumonia going back a few decades (my Mom used to always tell us to "wear another layer" or"get out or your wet clothes" or come in now, its too cold" because we would "catch pneumonia") until viable antibodies and, now, viable vaccines, are available. Perhaps there will be heavy restrictions that directly affect/protect the vulnerable populations for many months/years to come, which may mean some areas re-closed down after opening up, etc.. So, yes, I think some things will change: more working from home, the ability to manage remote workers effectively and viably, hopefully less "required travel" for work, wearing masks and coverings in public, especially when you have a cough or sneeze or runny nose (in Korea, where I travel often, it is considered rude to sneeze or cough in public and not have a face covering - this has been the norm there since SARS in 2009??? ish). Maybe post game handshakes are eliminated for a few seasons. I can see many people not attending large concerts and sporting events for a long time, so revenues would be down for those types of businesses. I can see many people, especially older people, not using air transportation for a long time to avoid the cramping at airports and in airplanes. Maybe soon some other country or countries will initiate the proper testing regimen first and be able to try out easing restrictions and focusing resources. Then hopefully we can learn from them and follow their lead to get back earlier than the pace we are following now..
  10. I'm in.... Summer travel league playoffs elimination, play at the plate in bottom 7th to tie the game Next, Showcase Tourney in the Fall, chilly day, sporting the plate coat..
  11. I'm a volunteer FF/EMT out on Long Island NY. It is a S%%%storm as far as stay home orders/closings/panic buying/etc.. They told us 2 days ago that if the numbers/calculations are correct, our area will go to the S&%&^$-er in 2-14 days. At that time they will pull us in by shift, segregate us by teams of two for crews, and assign us times of coverage until they run out of us due to the illness. But, of course, this is IF the numbers/calcs are correct. That is a big if, because the whole testing/test kits/ federal and state response was screwed up earlier this month and in Feb, and they just don't have solid data. So today starts that SH""*&*&^%storm window. As of right now, call volumes are "normal", no spikes as of this moment. I will be truly scared when calls start going back to back, we pull up at a house and have 5 patients instead of just one, and if we go the hospital and they have us deliver to tents instead of the ER rooms. I am currently in my paid job place, since it is designated an "essential" industry location for NYS. They have not pulled usin for shifting yet. Later, I head to the firehouse for my normal time slot, and we will be testing the crews in donning and doffing the "special" PPEs. I will update here every few days, or if/when the S$$T hits the fan here on LI. Stay safe, brothers and sisters, and follow all the guidelines as best you can. MAYBE this huge wave of contagia will roll over without overburdening the hospitals and other vital resources. maybe not. I think I will get an idea over the next 12 days...
  12. It really is an interesting design concept for the pads.. it should work better than the F3 spring system, in theory. I don't know if I can safely say that it would work better than the TW technology and design, though, but I would be interested in any studies from either military or football that may have tested this and/or TW vs impacts.. it COULD (if designed correctly into the pads) be the top protection against impacts for these types of masks, IF it can dissipate those "angled" shots from foul balls/errant bats etc that TWs can definitely handle, AND the air bladder??? design covers the full range of possible shot magnitudes we would take. So my two concerns before buying would be: 1) how does it match up to TW in impact abatement? 2) can you wash/dry these with the same ease as TWs (washing machine, then air dry)? Finally, i am not sold on the mask as far as looks go (and possibly weight).. If the pads were sold separately, i would buy a pair now and throw them in an icon or ZERO-G, and give them a tryout. For the 170 buck price tag with a mask look I am not fond of, MEH, I will wait for some more info on my two concerns...
  13. Have you tried contacts? Even if you have progressive lenses to work at a computer/read/etc., just 'regular" non-progressive contacts prescribed for reading the eye chart at the distance will cover everything clearly up to about an arms' length away, say 2-3 feet. And the last three feet would also be compensated, just not "perfectly" where you could read the rule book in low light for instance, but you could certainly read your indicator in low light, write on a lineup card, or track a baseball. This would cover the distances you need for baseball. You could even play and hit/catch with non-progressives. The other advantage is the contact moves with the eye, unlike the glasses, so tracking a baseball is better with contacts, theoretically.
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