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Everything posted by ilyazhito

  1. How would you adjust from being U1 in a 2-man game to being U1 in a 3-man game? I know the mechanics changes that are in the manual (you don't go inside unless there is a runner at 2B without a runner on 1B, you do not pivot, you go to home plate on rotations, etc.). You (the typical HS/JUCO/sub-AA pro umpire) have worked many 2-man games on the bases and have ingrained habits that help you be in better position. How would you "undo" those habits when you work 3-man? Do you say "no pivot unless U3 leaves", "go home", "stay in A [with a runner on 1B or R1/R3]" to yourself in situations where 2-man differs from 3-man, as a reminder, or would you use different strategies? Are there any other mental or mechanical changes that you use as U1 in a 3-man game? I have worked a 3-man scrimmage at HP, so I understand the adjustments to be made there (slightly different rotations, check with U3 on swings by left-handed batters, signals to the middle umpire, if someone is inside, or to U3, if both base umpires are on their lines).
  2. On a related note, U3 is in deep B position with a lone runner on 1st. 1st/3rd U3 is in C (this is different from 2 man), so there is no rotation (at least not in MAC mechanics, which are based on MiLB 3-man, AFAIK) unless U1 goes out. The NFHS manual both lists 5 rotation situations ([No runners, R1, R1/R3, R3 on a batted ball to the outfield] and R1/R2 on a caught fly ball with less than 2 outs, and R2 tagging for 3rd), but MAC , CCA, (and some other associations) use only 3 of these rotations (Nobody on base, R1, and R1/R2 on a fly ball to the outfield). If an umpire goes out, use the 2-man rotations. If there is a non-rotation situation (R2 only, R2/R3, bases loaded etc. ), U3 moves with runners from 2B to 3B, and U1 moves with runners from 1B to 2B. Is it true that 3-man rotations are automatic, unlike 2 man? If you start a rotation, do you finish it even if the situation does not justify finishing it (R1, batted ball to the outfield, R1 goes to 3rd, HP would go to library, and only come to 3rd if there is a throw to 3rd, and would return home if there is no throw, in 2 man. Is that situation the same in 3 man, or does HP stay at 3rd until the play ends?)?
  3. OK. That is why U1 would have to make the call.
  4. In 3-man, wouldn't this be U3's call? (U3 would be in short D, unless he went out). U3 would be better positioned to see any play/appeal at 3rd base than U1 would be.
  5. Why not go all black with Darth Vader's armor? Black is strong with MLB, Minor League and College Umpires these days. Plus, it gives you that deep, powerful bass voice that makes mere mortals (players and coaches) tremble. Warn and give a gentle Force Push (R), or eject with a Force Choke and Force Push the loser off the field! Methinks Darth Vader would make an excellent Home Plate Umpire, if not a Crew Chief.
  6. I would also say no, because the on-deck batter can only be in the on-deck circle or in his dugout. No one except a pitcher, catcher, bullpen coach, protector, or player acting as catcher should be in the bullpen, and since an on-deck batter is none of the above, he must be in the on-deck circle or dugout.
  7. Indeed. I was working a high school JV game in Howard County. I took a deflected foul ball to the jaw, and felt nothing! I was wearing a Force3 traditional style mask with the throat protector. This means that the Force3 really is a good piece of equipment. I bought mine because I tried on a partner's mask, and it felt lighter than my usual mask, but never did I expect that it would also be top-notch in terms of protection.
  8. No worries. Try to see the pitch into the catcher's glove, watch what the catcher does with the pitch (does he pull it, turn his glove, drop the pitch). If none of the above happened, and the pitch is in (or passed through) the strike zone, you can call the pitch a strike. If one of those happen, you can call a ball, if the pitch was close. Watching what the catcher does will slow down your timing, and enable you to process the pitch better. If you say "Ball (#)" or "Strike (#)" on every pitch that you call, you will develop consistent timing. Using numbers to call pitches is optional, but can help you remember the count, and is the accepted practice in professional umpire school (and the lower levels of Minor League Baseball). Good luck this season!
  9. Yes, totally a DPI, in the cutoff category. Could also be classified as not playing the ball.
  10. Absolutely interference by the batter in this case. I called a batter out for interference with the catcher on an attempted steal of 3rd in a travel ball game under high school rules, because the batter swung and stepped in front of the catcher, not affording him an opportunity to throw the runner out at 3rd. Runner returned to 2B. If that happened on a third strike, batter and runner are out.
  11. Thomas, how did your game go? I'm a second year umpire, and I worked a varsity scrimmage as part of a 3 man crew also. I was HP for that scrimmage, and 2 other experienced lower-level college umpires alternated as the U1 and U3. The rotation with nobody on was new to me, but I was able to execute it. What about you? What position were you for that game?
  12. Has the traditional 2-piece helmet and mask combination (from the multiple companies that make them) been tested in any of the tests that you described, and failed? If so, then I would say that you have a case. If not, then the traditional mask has not been conclusively proven less safe than the HSM. If there is no conclusive proof, NFHS has no ground to stand on for a mandate. I think we'll have to agree to disagree.
  13. Mine is a point with 3 fingers, verbal "Strike 3", a step back while pulling the right hand back, and then a forward punch. If Strike 3 is not caught, I call the verbal strike 3, point 3 fingers, and say "No catch". Swinging Strike 3 that is caught is point 3 fingers, then give the hammer. If I have to use the hammer (softball, or Umpire School, hopefully), I make the hammer, verbal "Strike 3", and do the same moves (step back, forward punch). For a U3K, I call the verbal strike 3, hammer, give the safe signal, and say "No catch". Swinging strike 3 is simply the hammer in that scenario.
  14. ElkOil, what I meant was that catchers are more protected in a collision situation if they wear a mask and skullcap, because the skullcap will remain on their head after they discard the mask. If catchers wear a one-piece mask, and discard the mask to be able to see, they have no protection at all. In another thread, a user made a comment that umpires need to wear skullcaps with the traditional mask, to improve protection against pitches or batted balls, and do not because of machismo. If the mask and skullcap is an acceptable combination for umpires, then mask and skullcap should be acceptable as a protective combination for catchers. This combination has served catchers in well stead for many years, and should be reinstated as an option (Catchers should not be mandated to wear a one-piece mask and only that). Give me a link to the "actual science" that you refer to, and I might understand. Otherwise, allow both hockey style and traditional masks, as the NCAA and pro baseball currently do.
  15. What levels do you work now? Back to the OP, the directive is stupid, because it is contrary to accepted practice in other levels (NCAA, MiLB, MLB all require PU to check with U1 (or U3) on a half swing when requested by the catcher or manager). I would check whenever requested, personally.
  16. Man, that's awful! Best wishes to Everitt, and good luck to whatever AAA ump gets called up to replace him for the time being.
  17. +1! Mouth guards are recommended, but very few baseball players use them. Encourage mouthguards, and leave the venerable traditional 2-piece mask alone. I have caught, and I prefer to do so with the traditional mask, and hope that future generations of high school catchers will also have that opportunity.
  18. That's a funny style, but not to be used in a serious game. Eddie the Ump (AKA Eddie Reed from NJ, of YouTube fame) is cooler than Drebin, but Iwouldn't mind working a few games on a crew with both of them.
  19. ElkOil, you have the same thints to say as Maven? I agree with Maven's reasoning, and believe that more umpires should use numbers, to ensure that everyone is aware of the count, especially on fields without scoreboards (or where the scoreboards are incorrect). Was using numbers once a common practice that faded away outside Ump School Land and the short-season leagues, or was it something created de novo by the umpire schools?
  20. Weird weather in MD as well. Snow came in heavy on Wednesday and Thursday, so games cancelled Wednesday through Saturday. Waiting for my baseball regular season schedule to come through, and hopefully my games are not cancelled.
  21. Why does the plate umpire have all catch/no-catch calls in FED SB? Is it just because the book says so, or is there a reason (the base umpire is not in a good position to see catches from his IP with runners on base?)? Does this change for 3-man? I believe that in 3-man for softball, the division of labor is different, because for baseball, there is no outfield catch responsibility for HP when U1 and U3 are on the lines. Correct me if I am wrong.
  22. In softball, you are expected to call both balls and strikes in your crouch, and give the signal later, when working behind the plate. Base umpires have to walk the line instead of being HOK set when the pitch is released, and base umpires also brush off the mound (I don't know why). Any other softball-specific quirks that baseball umpires should remember?
  23. Why does NFHS not allow the traditional 2-piece catcher's helmet and mask combination? To me that prohibition makes no sense, because catchers (and umpires) have been adequately protected by the traditional 2-piece combo for years. I would understand if NFHS mandated a Steve Yeager-style throat protector on catcher's masks, but IMHO the earflaps on the mask itself (not on the helmet) provide adequate protection from a ball headed for the ears. On contact, the mask will absorb the blow from the ball, and fall off the catcher's head, leaving the skullcap on for protection. On a play at the plate, if there is a collision with the catcher, the catcher remains protected with a traditional 2-piece combo, because he does not remove the entire protective unit. Should the catcher hit his head in the traditional combo, his skullcap will cushion his brain, and minimize the shaking that results from his head hitting the ground (or batted ball striking the head). However, the hockey style mask will transmit the blow to the catcher's head on a batted ball (see the video of the Texas A&M catcher's hockey-style mask shattering on impact). On a collision with a hockey style mask, the catcher will have removed the entire helmet for proper visibility, and will be unprotected should even incidental contact happen. This is why I strongly believe that the traditional helmet-and-mask combination should be legal for high school play, not to mention that it is legal in other leagues (Babe Ruth, NCAA, Pro baseball, Summer leagues using OBR, Adult amateur leagues using OBR). I suspect that the rules requiring NOCSAE equipment are as much of a money grab as they are a safety issue, so they will probably not be changed, alas. Maybe the traditional mask can make the return to high school baseball. I wish
  24. Indeed. I would shudder to think of what a game with the partner MadMax described would be like. Hopefully the AIA has higher standards for umpires than the one that MadMax worked the USA Baseball tournament with. I had a partner for the second game of a high school doubleheader in PG County who wore a yellow undershirt, no plate shoes, a navy blue shirt with the "PG Boys and Girls Club" logo, and a hat with the "PGBGC" abbreviation. Normal practice in my association is to wear "MAC" hats for games in Maryland, and "NV" hats for games in Virginia. The MPSSAA (Maryland's governing body for high school sports) also requires baseball umpires to wear a navy blue uniform with the MPSSAA patch on the right sleeve (This implies that no other additions to the uniform are allowed, except perhaps an American flag). The non-standard uniform made me suspicious about my partner's ability, but I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Once the game started, I was on the bases, and he was working the plate (I worked the first game of the doubleheader alone, because my assigned partner for that game was removed the day before, and MAC could not find a replacement for him.). I noticed that he worked over the catcher instead of in the slot, and his judgement of balls and strikes seemed to be accurate. However, the situation changed with runners on base. He would not give any rotation signals, and if I initiated any signals, he would not respond to them. Because of that, I had to cover all plays on the bases alone. Fortunately, the game ended in a blowout after the third inning, when both coaches agreed to call the game. After the high school season, I had a travel game out in Anne Arundel County with this same partner. He did not move from home plate, and left me to cover a play at 3rd base alone. What is worse was that play should have been a rotation situation, but I had to scramble over to 3rd after seeing the batter-runner touch 1st base. At least he responded to rotation signals this time, so he might even rotate next game we have together! Fingers crossed.
  25. I've always worn a dangling throat guard myself from even before I started umpiring. I was a goalie for the club lacrosse team at the Catholic University of America, and the throat protector kept me from getting seriously hurt. I have also worn a throat protector for hockey (I have also played goalie in floor hockey), and I have taken shots to it without any harm to me. The throat protector has also served me in good stead on the diamond, deflecting balls that would have otherwise hit me in the neck, and in absorbing shots to the area on the collar between the mask and chest protector. I would feel unprotected if I took the field without one, the same as if I was not wearing a cup.
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