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Everything posted by Vegas_Ump

  1. The umpire is neither the 10th defensive player nor is he the third offensive coacher. Supposing the fielder can't throw back to the pitcher--air mails it over his head. You might just deny the runner(s) a chance to advance or score if you gave the runner time to dust off. Mike Umpire n, where "n" is an increasing integer! 🙂
  2. Vegas_Ump

    Hit by pitch

    Have had this one many times! The manager goes ape when I call an IBB (if he hits it). "How can you be sure he was out of the box? There's no chalk left!" Well duh! I know where the batter's box AIN'T! Mike Las Vegas
  3. You will have plenty of opportunities in Little League to rule BI or NOT! And there are enough myths to go around that I assure you ejections will follow! First, if the catcher cleanly catches a pitch then wants to make a play at 3B, you cannot expect the batter to just disappear! As long as he does not intentionally try to interfere with the play, you can't have BI on that one. You must judge intent! And of course, that will be a source of a kerfuffle! [This is where the Myth described below comes in.] What I usually see is a passed ball/wild pitch. A lot of coaches teach their batters to get out of the way quickly, and get to the screen! Smart! But now, if the batter happens to step in the way of the throw, you can rule Definitional Offensive Interference (not BI!) A lot of times, the batter will just stay in the batter's box because he thinks it's a sanctuary from BI. [Myth if the pitch is not cleanly caught!] And, if the catcher cranks and stops the throw because the batter is in the way, there is no play to interfere with! If he did throw wild or clank one off the batter's melon, you might have OI as I mentioned above. But to have OI, you have to have a play interfered with and obvious intent! Lot's of opportunities for judgment, an impromptu rule clinic, argument, or ejection! 🙂 Now, if you hear the coach tell his catcher to brain the batter next time that happens, I'll give a warning and an ejection if it happens. I will not tolerate brutal play in LL. So much has to do with the skill level of the game your are officiating. Mostly the little kids don't have a clue, and you don't have a lot of specifics in the rules to teach the managers. This is JMO. Fire away! Again, I am looking at less skilled players (and adults). Mike Las Vegas
  4. This ain't baseball! The SHIFT or bringing an outfielder close to the infield is a brilliant defensive strategy. And batters can learn to hit 'em where they ain't, right? Try laying down a bunt! Why do you pay these "stars" so much $$$$ if they can't adapt their batting style! The basic rule was that the pitcher had to be on the rubber and the catcher had to be in the catcher's box. ll other defenders needed to be in fair territory ANYWHERE! Period! Well, what difference does it make? Nobody watches baseball anymore. Mike
  5. Jay: First, I spent 27 years in D-10, Chantilly! Glad to see a fellow ump from NoVA! The positioning of the LL field ump (60') is based on Rule 7.13 - runner leaving early. He's got to get a view of the runner(s) leaving early, so being behind the infield is supposed to give him the best view. Therefore, other leagues have different rules and manifest different mechanics. Frankly, having an ump inside the diamond is asking for trouble as you pointed out. That's the best explanation I have. Good luck! Mike Las Vegas
  6. Here's my take: The list of call priority I think is based on a two-man crew. So a series of events might prompt the partner umpires to position based on information they are collecting quickly! Priority 1: Fair/Foul - If it's foul, the ball is dead, and you re-set. If it's fair, something else is likely to happen. But a call might need to be urgently made! Example, a nubber at the plate. PU needs to rule foul if the batter was hit while in the box, tangle-untangle, RLI, etc. Huge priority there! Priority 2: Catch/No-catch. A fly ball to center is clearly over fair territory. But a ball close to the line might be foul. I was told that for scoring purposes, a pop fly caught in foul territory needs to be articulated that way for the benefit of the official scorer. (For youth ball, probably a nit.) If a popup is dropped, you need to get back to Priority 1 quick! Priority 3: The play where the ball takes you. Clearly the duties of which umpire covers what is covered in your pre-game, so you react to that. And trust your partner. Priority 4: The play where the ball isn't! Consider that the umpires are looking for touches on the bases while they are positioning for Priority 1, 2, or 3, and might get really busy! An example here is a tag up on a Sac Fly. Umpires practice their mechanics to make all of this look seamless. In conclusion, these "priorities" are really aids to your positioning and crew coordination. Don't get hung up on these, but if you visualize a situation, you will always be there to make the right call. This is a useful teaching aid I have used for years. JMO. Mike Las Vegas
  7. No! The point at which a runner may leave is at the "Beginning of the Catch." Think about this: What if an outfielder was way deep and the winning run was on 3B. Fly ball comes out an he deliberately juggles the ball and continues the juggling act until he's walked back into the infield. Had the ump rules as in your case, R3 could never leave third to score the winning run. So it's at the point of first touch. So, how did the protest come out? Mike Las Vegas
  8. Basic comment for new umpires, managers, coaches, and parents on Rule 7.13 in LL: Read the rule a few times. Work out the examples in your mind. It's an easy rule to apply if you know it! (Like, how many people don't know the whole rule on IFF or a U3K?) RTFRB! Mike Las Vegas
  9. I have had this happen to me a few times. I recognized the batter's frustration, but I wanted to ensure that deportment and decorum were first on my mind. So I went over to the dugout, and I wanted the parents to hear this too: "Hey dummy! The taxpayers paid for this ball park!" Never got a peep the rest of the season. Mike Las Vegas
  10. Over 30 years ago, I was cutting my teeth as a LL umpire. I was doing softball in a Summer league. And I had the following exchange. (HT coach looked like Popeye with Black Birth-Control Glasses.) The other team had a strong infield with a first baseman that was tall, athletic, and very agile. A lot of throws required her to stretch sideways, but her length made it a well-earned out. Then I heard from the HT dugout: "I want an Interference call there!" (He meant Obstruction, but there was none IMJ.) Also, he was a coacher, not the manager, so he had no standing. Nonetheless, one other time in that inning, and twice in the next inning I got the same rant: "I want an Interference call!" Next play, the throw from F5 just went over the outstretched glove of the "condor" first baseman. BR made second on the error. And it happened again: "I want an interference call on that play!" So I pointed to the BR at second base: "Hey Number 21! Your coach wants an interference call. You are out for interference!" I turned to Popeye and asked, "Happy now?" Mike Las Vegas
  11. How many times does the cutoff man walk the ball in from the outfield and he's asking you for time? (Rant topic #1) How many times does the third base coach ask for time so his runner can dust off while F5 still has the ball? (Rant topic #2 - Ask Curacao about that one.) The umpire is NOT the 10th defensive player nor is he the 3rd Offensive coach. I think the discussion of when to use some judgment is good here. But Rich Ives and I have been on boards before where the term "Punish Stupidity When Possible" applied. Mike Las Vegas
  12. On rule 7.13: If there is a violation by any runner leaving early here's a Cliff's Notes version of what you do: First, Place the batter: Is he still at bat? Put everybody back. Is he retired on the first play or any subsequent play (thrown out at second trying to stretch a single)? Put him in the dugout and put all runners back. He hits a home run, but he was retired for failure to touch a base on a properly executed appeal: Put him in the dugout, and put all the runners back! Batter hits safely: award the batter the clean value of a hit. He may have hit a clean double and advanced to 3B on an error. Put him back on second. Now, back fill the runners where you can. (Thus it is possible for runs to score!) Then there is the "poof" play: bases loaded and the batter hits safely or reaches on an error in the infield. R3 goes poof! No run! No out! Remember: This is a violation by the offense! They must pay a penalty. It may look Orwellian, but its the rule! SIDE NOTE: For every Congress that was held in my 34 years as a LL umpire, at least one District or State Association sent a rule change recommendation to align the baseball rule 7.13 with softball: I.e., Time! Out! Every time, it was rejected. (So don't hold your breath!) Have fun! Mike Las Vegas
  13. Jeff, I am trying to figure out how you un-foul a call. As they often do in the NFL, they can call it fair, let the play complete, and then change it on replay. But it really looks bizarre the other way around. Once it's called foul, the ball is dead and no runs can score. Either way, it looks bad. Mike
  14. WR has the most standardized training and it shows! Mike Las Vegas, WR 2017
  15. I saw the play live. The bounding ball broke the pane of glass right over the bag. It was a fair ball. That's what the PU called--but it was NOT his call! U3 called it foul. Material happens! Only Angel Hernandez can un-foul a ball. Was justice served? Yeah, I guess so. But that's a blown call that they better just eat! Because everybody went relaxed when U3 called it foul. Mike Las Vegas
  16. PS: I also did Euro-Middle East Regionals in Kutno, Poland in 2008, 2010, and 2012. I met a lot of umps from West and Northwest Region. Had a blast, and we saw the European umpires grow in skills! I know that COVID messed everything up, but they had a great umpire development program, and I was pleased to part of it. Mike
  17. Yes! Fine umpire! We had one heck of a call when I was the plate and Chains was U1. We coordinated on an U3K on a checked swing, and we made it look slick! UIC said "You guys looked like you have been practicing that for 6 months!" Chains was the finest umpire I ever worked with! Mike
  18. A couple of points. LL needs standardized training especially for the tournaments. In the past, I have seen a wild range of proficiency in mechanics and movement. Standardized mechanics will seek to have consistent strike zones at the very least. OK, so it looks a little robotic; get a deck of cards and deal with it! People are so quick to criticize! Watching the regionals, I don't see the proficiency of the kids like there used to be either. And everybody expects the umps to get it right. Now that they are up to 10 Regions (Mountain and Metro are new this year) you have fewer teams and umpires around anymore. COVID had something to do with it, but the demographics are changing and there are fewer leagues and kids playing ball. Similarly there are fewer people able to volunteer as umpires. (Economics is killing us here in Nevada; our association had to give up supporting two entire leagues because they didn't have enough umpires. People need to work other jobs to earn extra money to deal with the recession.) Four man groups are more than adequate for 60'. San Bernardino is running THREE regional tournaments! Managing the umpires will be a huge deal. Mike, Las Vegas D-4 34-year LL Volunteer Umpire; West Regional Umpire 2017
  19. I remember a MLB playoff game where the bases were loaded, tie game, and B4 hits an apparent granny! R3 touched home plate, all other runners did advance, but BR joined the mosh pit after touching first base. The official scorer awarded ONLY the walk-off run from R3. Well, one run was enough to win the game, but the sportswriters were going nuts trying to figure out the value of the hit (it was awarded as a single), and how many RBI's the batter got credit for. They won the game, and that was sufficient! Over the years I guess I do recall the Approved Rulings and Interpretations of the OP sitch as changing. My advice is don't go looking for trouble, but rule on what eventually happens. Mike Las Vegas
  20. Crossover step to the side opposite the batter. 1. You want everybody to see you calling time. 2. This will keep your gear square and protect you. JMO Mike Las Vegas
  21. The PU has the catch in the infield. So the BU needs to move during that time in order to be able to call three existential plays: 1) appeal on R1, 2) if the ball is dropped, then the force at 2B, 3) if the ball is dropped, then the play at 1B on the BR. The OP suggested it was not much of a popup, so that means you had less time to position. Better to be solidly still to see the play than be running around. If you were 100% sure the bag was depressing because of R1's foot, then you got the call right. Post-game discussion with the PU is always useful, but he was busy with his duty and maybe 90-100 feet away when the play happened. I have kicked closer calls than that, and it was what it was. Now if you are NOT 100% sure, a conference with the PU might be ok. But I'd be wary of a coach who thinks his umpire mechanics are better than yours or who is "mining" for a call. Mike Las Vegas
  22. Your analysis is correct Jonny. But remember that before the pitch, the batter must have both feet completely within the confines of the batter's box (and the chalk counts). So if he's even partially out of the box before the pitch, call time and rectify the situation. Continued violations means ejection. That having been said, you and I both know that batters try to obliterate the inside line of the batter's box. Well, I know what 4" is in LL or 6" in 90' play. I won't go looking for boogers, but I'm sure I can see if the foot is far enough out of what's left of the batter's box to call time and reset the batter. Once the pitch commences, Jonny's point applies. Mike Las Vegas
  23. Not sure if this response fits...... In 2017 I had cataract surgery. The good news is that my eyes had a ton of obstructions removed from the optical train; the bad news is that a strange phenomenon that was affecting my left eye was now really observable! [OK, this happens when you get to be my age! No excuses!] Optical noise was interfering with my vision at about the 10 o'clock position. It was in the UV spectrum, and it was annoying! It made the contrast on a cloudy day so bad that I could not pick up the ball off the bat when i was doing the field. The solution was to wear wrap-around glasses of any kind: clear, yellow-tinted, or conventional sunglasses. The material in the lenses filtered that UV noise out, and I was fine. I wear yellow-tinted glasses for night games as the Musco lights put out a lot of that UV noise! I use Wiley glasses--a little high end, but they have excellent optical purity. Good luck! Mike Las Vegas
  24. I guarantee you will see umpires in the LLWS yell "dead ball" for an HBP. [Yeeeech!] When I was as WR Academy, if you said "Dead Ball!" sometimes some instructors would come out with a stretcher, put the ball on it, sing "Amazing Grace!" and then carry the ball to the graveyard! Time! Foul! are the only two words used to signal that the ball is no longer in play. And never say "Fair Ball!" on something like a nubber in front of the plate. If you didn't say "Foul!" the defense has to know to play the ball. If replay or help from your partner proves that the ball was foul, fine! That's easy! But only Angel Hernandez can un-foul a ball! [Seen it twice!] Mike Las Vegas
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