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Everything posted by Vegas_Ump

  1. Sorry, despite the ensuing discussion on my original response, how can you give a double play? You can punish the offender (BR), call him out for INT., then R3 goes back. At the point at which BR interferes, the ball is dead, and all runners return. I maintain you have a clueless batter--now a batter runner--, and a wild throw. I stand by my original response, but I can see how the others have responded. The umps clearly let the play continue. I would only add that whatever you decide should be the call, you are going to have a minimum of one person in your face, and you better be ready to smartly support your call. Mike Vegas
  2. IMO (and with the luxury of looking at it a few times), one could argue that the batter didn't have a clue what was going on. I think you'd have to judge intent, and standing there like a dummy does not constitute intent. As far as the eventual contact goes, I could rule that was a classic tangle/untangle play between the batter runner and the catcher. I have "play on" and no INT. JMO. And there may be different AR's based on the level of play. Mike Las Vegas
  3. Ah! The Eyes have it! All my life I have had incredible vision. I was a Phantom pilot for the Air Force, and I could spot bogies way far further out than my squadron mates could. As I got older, I did need to get some "cheaters" to read or do the computer screen, but the eyes were still terrific.....or so I thought. Turns out I was very right eye dominant. That one always checked out 20/10 or no worse than 20/15! The left eye still checked out at 20/20, but there were some demons living inside my eyeballs. I had cataracts developing. It was in my best interests to get them fixed. My night vision was seemingly OK, but I could not read street signs! Despite all the lights here in Las Vegas, it was a little bit disconcerting. In 2017, I had the cataracts fixed. The left side was actually pretty nasty, and the surgeon had to get rough! Then I found out how messed up my left eye was. Yes, the right eye was way over compensating, but then I noticed some scary manifestations. When I did the eye chart, the left eye could not resolve anything. It seems there was a little blur (that I though a corrective lens could fix), but the letters looked smudged. It looked like I was peering through a piece of waxed paper with holes in it. So I could see parts of the letters, but there was a smear across most of the letters, and I could not read them. I started taking drops to smooth out the macula (the focal plane where your image forms). That was getting better, and with some good science by my eye techs, they said said I was sampling at 20/30 (not bad for an old f*art), but there was still some blur and smear. Then I started another manifestation. I was diagnosed with macular pucker which causes straight lines to bow out to the right. I would see the number "3", and the the top would go flat and stretch to the right, and the little nose on the numeral would disappear. It started to look like a squished "5". The lines on the side of the road would suddenly have a bulge to the right. Watching ESPN, I could see the show OK but those little scrolls with the scores and news down below were smudged and constantly in motion! Few things scare me, but that was one of them! The good news is that I think some of this is clearing up! My night vision is outstanding! That's a good thing to have in Las Vegas! I am still right eye dominant, but sometimes it seems the left eye is trying to sync up, and with its defects, it gets a little screwy. Again, some of that has mollified. Today, I can see a measurable improvement, but it does take time. I am hoping that I can see and track pitches well enough to do baseball this year. We start in about 3 weeks, and I'll have another eye exam by then. But doing spreadsheets and other small-font computer stuff was an adventure for a while. By the way, does anyone have one of those flipping coins "SAFE!" or "OUT!"; "Ball!" or "STRIKE"? :-) I'll keep you posted. I am not emotionally ready to step away from the game just yet, but I have to know that I may have to hang it up if my zone sucks. Cheers! Mike Las Vegas
  4. You bet your bippy! Mike
  5. 2019 was not a great umpiring year for me! In February I had orthoscopic surgery on my left knee. I missed a good part of the season, but I finally got into groove. Then I did Fall ball, and that went OK. But then my right knee started to give me fits! In early November, I had the right side scoped. With two months of inactivity and the holidays. I gained a lot of weight. Luckily, I made a faster than average physical rehab period, as my healing moved right along. I am now in the conditioning phase where I am pounding the leg press, leg curl, and some aerobic stuff. The good news is that the large muscles are coming along fast. But the smaller fast twitch muscles are not tuned up yet. I need to start balance and core exercises. My plan is to get back into jogging in about 4 more weeks with gym visits in the mean time. I think I can do the plate, but I am not sure yet of the A to B pivot or busting out from behind the plate; that motion is just not quite ready yet. I think with some good knee supports, I'll be able to jump right into the season. With orthoscopic surgery, you have to be patient! If you have stem cell channels, you can't stress the joint until you are ready. At my age, I am happy to be so mobile at all! Just focusing the rehab for the game of baseball! See you on the diamond! Mike Las Vegas
  6. I agree! Just stay locked down, and if the pitcher delivers, grant a huge strike zone! I hate these cat and mouse games. In Little League, the batter may not just step out. First time: warning. Next time, strike! If he wants to ask for time, he's got to stay in and see if the ump grants it or not. Would I grant time? If I did, I would make it clear that we were not going to play cat and mouse games. If I didn't, I wait to see if the pitcher stepped off [then call time], or if he delivered, and I'd rule a generous strike zone. These head games don't belong in youth ball IMO. They waste time. And most games I officiate have a time limit. Mike Las Vegas
  7. I agree wholeheartedly, especially about sunglasses. You make eye contact with the manager, and you are being genuine and heart-to-heart. You are respecting his dignity and thus he should respect yours. As for the mask, I have seen plate umps take off their mask to check a swing with U1. Too much! OOO! But, even if you wear a helmet, take it off to do administrative things. BTW, do not EVER put your mask or helmet down while you are working something. I did a European tournament once when the PU stuck his mask by the throat protector into the fence while he did the plate conference. Some of us colleagues promptly wire-tied his mask to the screen! That was a hoot! But the lesson is that once you take the field, have your headgear with you at all times. You look professional! At the WR Academy, you went EVERYWHERE (except the mess hall) with your mask and indicator in your left hand. I think they were trying to impress something on you. Mike Las Vegas
  8. In Little League, especially the lower levels, when the ball is hit, all the infielders instinctively go to a "spot"--just like PeeWee basketball. Most of the time, they stand on the bag anticipating a throw for a play there. And the batter-runner is obstructed many times. I had one game where the OM was constantly on my case when his runners were (or were NOT) obstructed near a base. He dutifully asked for time and then came out at adjutant's pace to me to get into face! "My runner was interfered with [OBSTRUCTED] at that base! Why doesn't he get another base? Why didn't you call it? Didn't you see it?" I told him (calmly) that I DID see the OBSTRUCTION, I signaled it, and I ruled on it. This clown didn't know the difference between Type A and Type B which all of these were. I told him that in my judgement the runner was protected to 2B (to only 1B on one occasion) and that's where he would have ended up absent the OBS. He insisted (loudly!) that the runners were entitled to another base. Since no play was being made on said runner(s), it was Type B and no automatic award was warranted. Her got loud again, and I suggested that he get educated him the rules. The OBS was called! And the award/non-award was made in accordance with the rules. When an umpire calls Type B OBS, he immediately must judge to which base in the runner/BR is entitled had the OBS not occurred. Should the runner reach that protected base and proceeds the least bit further, his protection under OBS is no longer in force, and he is in jeopardy. If the OBS legitimately thwarts the runner from successfully advancing, you MAY award that base. 100% judgement. Note that OBS can also occur when a runner is attempting to RETURN to a base. Nothing about Type B is automatic most of the time. Mike Las Vegas
  9. I go in Tuesday for ortho on the right knee. (Had the left knee done in February). Sixteen weeks of a leg brace should put be "Code 1" by the Spring season. Might be a little goofy for the holidays, though! See you on the diamond! Mike Las Vegas PS: Happy Veterans Day to all who have a DD-214!
  10. Textbook! Should be shown in all the clinics! Mike Las Vegas
  11. We don't need to change anything in the rule book or the bag configuration. What we need is a set of broadcasters who either have a clue about the rules or have somebody with them who does! Mike Las Vegas
  12. Jim, I am going to respectfully take you to task on this one. The reason that you don't see this called more often is that you don't have all three criteria necessary to make the call: runner out of the lane, the reason the play was not complete was solely because the runner WAS out of the lane, and the throw had to be a quality throw. Most of the time in lower levels of ball, the rule is not enforced because the throws were terrible! In 33 years, I have seen the call made twice (all Little League baseball, where you would really expect it to happen more often!) I think the rule is fine! The education of the players AND the media is what is in order! [Similar thread on this board above.] Every time I have seen this play in pro baseball, it has been properly called or no-called correctly by the rules! I just don't think it needs to be changed! JMO. Mike Las Vegas
  13. This rule is rarely called because you rarely have all the three criteria needed for an out for 3-ft lane INT. In this case, I had the same call--and that's HUGE for a rabid Nats fan! :-) But I think the main point of the article was that the media was so way out of line! Not once did the post-game ESPN analysis mention anything about the fact that the PU called it right. This morning on First Take, the pundit was literally whining as to why Turner should have been safe. It is almost 24 hours later and NO ONE has gone into even the basic text of the rule nor the analytical discussions contained therein. It's not a simple rule, but umpires who work the plate know what to look for. Sportscasters don't! (Joe Morgan: "Hands are part of the bat!") Makes me want to hurl! Mike Las Vegas
  14. Vegas_Ump


    Since Andy Konyar retired, there has been NO standardization among the regions. While you might see similar mechanics, rule understanding has been allowed to vary. (For example, I have heard some wild interpretations on 7.13!) When you get a third world play in the LLWS--and there were a few--sometimes the umpire crews dropkicked the calls into next year! So even with standard training, you can't always get equivalent skills. My personal peeve is starting with bearing: Look sharp! Shine your shoes! Try to get into shape! But even then, hustle always! And try to stay awake on the field! (No kidding!) Being OVER-bearing does not help! Do not work on the transactional analysis plane: "I'm OK! You're all hosed up!" Won't work. Sorry for the spleen, but being crisp with a call is not a vice! Mike Las Vegas
  15. Technique: Give the count a LOT! Give the count no later than the third pitch of the at-bat. Always give the count if the ball were out of play (requested time out, foul ball, etc) Always give the count with 3 balls and/or two strikes. The next pitch might be significant. If all else fails, punish stupidity whenever possible! Let the runners end up how and where they try to advance. Then bring the batter back. But if you had given the count steadily (and loudly), no excuse for the defense or offense to complain. Mike Las Vegas
  16. Vegas_Ump

    Pitch Framing

    I remember a AAA Fall Ball game where a catcher was really trying to frame the pitches, and I was NOT giving him the strikes. Once, he pulled one over by a great deal and held it for many seconds after I had called a "Ball!" He just held it there. Then I said, "Hey kid! While you were trying to frame that pitch and show me up, the runner just stole second base! Way to go!" Mike Las Vegas
  17. My topic comes up from the NFL, but it applies to all sports, including baseball. Of late, the NFL Referees have been taking a beating by the pundits (and sometimes the retired referee in the TV booth) as being really bad. And on the sports shows, you hear some really uncomplimentary verbiage aimed at referees in general in the NFL. [By the way, I have been impressed by the teamwork and bearing of the refs in many of the NCAA games I have seen.....] Anyway, in my neighborhood, people take baseball seriously. And our assigner is apoplectic because a lot of umps DO NOT want to do the plate during Fall Ball playoffs! They are just tired of the managers and fans riding their butts. I know what they are talking about because I'll call a close strike, and some parent will yell, "That was WAY outside!" in a most derogatory manner. That stuff does not bother me, but I sense that it's open season on all sports officials, and it's sifting its way down to the baseball that I officiate. I have done WR in 2017, so I have seen some high-paced play, high quality play, and so Fall Ball is a bit of a letdown. But I think it's a shame that umps won't take plates! Heck! I'll take every plate I can get! Just venting some spleen! Sportsmanship seems to be going the way of "journalism": an undefined quantity these days! Mike Las Vegas
  18. Yaw: With all due respect, I would have been dead by now had I not stayed in shape and ran like I did! My arteries were genetically narrow and clogged up: The "widow maker" was 85% blocked, and I felt no pain! (Should have!) The surgeon on my triple bypass said that there was all kinds of extra vascularity on my heart because it was doing the job that the arteries could not! That came from 40 years of distance running. And once my knees get well, I can run, although maybe only 20 minutes. But heck! I am 71! Cannot complain! I outlived my brother who died at 46 with the same artery defect. So I am living on extra-granted time. I'll still do the plate and stay svelt! Yes, I'll count my blessings, and it won't be long before I am back behind the plate and doing easy jogs! See you at the resurrection! Mike Vegas!
  19. Rats! Now the right knee is messed up! I go under the knife again on Nov 12. Fall ball is going fine on the left knee, but the right knee has years of baseball and Marathon running! So it's time! I should be back ready to go for the Spring. More "deranged" meniscus problems! See you at the clinics! Mike Las Vegas
  20. I have high end pro shin guards since I am tall to begin with. I get the flaps that cover the lower thigh as well. I got one of those inside pitches and it went THUNK off my left shin guard. The fans made a similar reaction. (They thought I had been schwacked!) I just said, "Kick save my Marc Andre Fleury!" (Goalie for our terrific Las Vegas Golden Knights!) Mike Vegas
  21. Vegas_Ump

    Live ball

    Hey! Just because the first base coach or manager yells at you "Tie goes to the runner!" , so what evidence do they have that its a tie in the first place? :-) Mike Las Vegas
  22. Vegas_Ump

    Live ball

    How many times does a pitcher issue a walk and the DM comes briskly out of the dugout to talk to his pitcher......and DOES NOT ask for time. That's because everybody thinks the ball is out of play. Remember that a BR who is headed for first may attempt (at his own risk) to advance, as may other runners. I will usually wave at the manager to get back into the dugout until BR reaches first and the play is relaxed. As was pointed out above, too many ball players and coaches watch too much MLB! Mike Las Vegas
  23. All rulebooks: DM wants a visit to the mound. You go back and take a drink, brush the plate......and the visit is still going. So you start walking out to the mound. "Time to play ball, coach! Let's go!" And the scrum continues. What can you do? And what rule do you use when you might want to justify what you decide to do? In the LL Book, I don't see any guidance! Mike Las Vegas
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