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The Man in Blue

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Everything posted by The Man in Blue

  1. I downloaded it earlier. Should have time to read it in the next day or two.
  2. That’s why I said “Know your codes.” In NFHS baseball that would be an appropriate appeal. In my case, it was USA Softball (and still correct).
  3. Sorry Brandon, I am going to have to pass. The first line in the description says: ”I've been yelled at, cussed out, spit on and ridiculed.” I am a staunch believer in the Oxford comma. This just won’t do. Ok, fine ... I will check it out. Nope, nope, I’m out again. How can you mention “chaos on every pitch” and NOT mention a knuckleball? NOTE: I am serious about the Oxford comma, though.
  4. I was going to point out that you will want to be familiar with the appeal process for the code you are working. Some require live ball appeals, some do not. Softball, 18u State Tournament. Pool play was winding down and we had a great game. The home team was down by 1-run in the bottom of the 7th. A batter crushes a 3-run shot to win the game. The batter comes rushing home to celebrate with her teammates and I watch her step around home plate — not even close. As the home team starts to clear away from the plate with their celebration, the catcher looks at me. I smiled and waited. After a moment the catcher says, “Blue? I know it doesn’t matter, but the batter didn’t touch home plate.” ”You saw that too?” I asked. She nodded. I nodded and said “Good job.” Then I pointed at the plate and signaled “out”. I grabbed my partner and explained it to him and said “We need to make sure the coaches and the scorekeepers know this was a 3-2 final and not a 4-2 final, just in case runs come into play for any tiebreakers.” No issues explaining it to anybody. No ball put back into play because that code allowed it. Otherwise, the catcher would have needed to shepherd her teammates back onto the field to make the appeal.
  5. I wanted to separate these posts to allow for responses ... My experience before my first “real” game ... When I was 13-15 years old I worked softball games for the community league that I played baseball in. No training. When I was much older and running the community league my kids played in, I slowly was drafted into covering games that my usual (unlicensed) guys couldn’t cover. They both had been umpiring in the league since before my time (20+ years). I always joked that they were there before the fields. From there I started doing it more regularly. Again, no training, but I started reading PONY rule books as an administrator (not an umpire) so I could deal with coaches. Fast forward another few years and I paid my $60 to get my Fed (IHSA) license. I worked my first game before taking my test or attending any kind of a clinic. Hell, IHSA doesn’t even provide us rule books every year anymore! As for what is required in the codes I work ... the ONLY requirement before you work a game is to pay your fee. IHSA — each year: pay your fee, take a test in the spring; every other year: attend a clinic (loosely defined) USA — each year: pay your fee, attend a local meeting USSSA — each year: pay your fee Anything beyond that is up to the individual umpire to find opportunities to continue to learn. Some of us do. Some of us don’t. Yes, it is virtually ALL learning on the job. When my son and one of my daughters started umpiring, I told them “There is no practice. You work games and you learn.” When I get discouraged with volleyball as it is not “natural” to me, my wife tells me “There is no practice. You work games and you learn. That’s what you told the kids.” I can only smile and nod.
  6. I agree with you that it is our duty, but I don’t agree with “only one person to blame”, @yawetag. Maybe it is my work experience, but I have this unusual philosophy: A worker can fail on his or her own, however it takes the whole organization to allow the individual to do it. A waiter/waitress can provide terrible service, but somewhere there is a supervisor, manager, trainer, etc. that allows that to happen. A salesperson can lie and cheat or just screw things up from ignorance. Somewhere there were the people above who trained that, encouraged that, or just looked away with a blind eye. An umpire can jump on a field after paying his fee with absolutely NO actual knowledge. Whether you are talking about sanctioning bodies or local associations, those organization allow it and do nothing to prevent it. Yes, there are guys and gals who will put in the extra effort like you, but they are few and far between. Hell, I’d wager money most of the senior/experienced officials (around me at least) have rarely, if ever, opened a rule book.
  7. On page 2 of the 2020 NFHS Preseason Guide is an article about an editorial change to 8-4-3(d). This was an editorial change to clean up language so that it applies to runners and the batter runner, no longer including the batter. (It never should have included the batter.) In the article it includes a case play with two parts (a and b). The part a I am fine with, but I think the information on part b is incorrect. With a runner on first base and no outs, a batter swings at a 3-2 pitch in the dirt. The ball gets past the catcher who then picks the ball up with her helmet/mask. According to the article, R1 is awarded second base (yes) and the batter (designated as B2) is awarded first base. I disagree with that ... the batter was retired (she is no longer the batter) and does not have the opportunity to become a batter runner on the uncaught third strike (due to the runner on first), thus she should NOT be awarded first base. (Part a is the same play, but with a 2-0 count. The ruling on it is correct: award the base runner second, the batter stays at bat with a 2-1 count.) Am I missing something?
  8. I’ve got a catch also ... assuming the pocket was up. If the pocket was down and the glove over the ball (potential trap), then I’m with you.
  9. Wait ... where was the computer generated square?! How did the announcers know anything without the box?
  10. Because the pitcher/catcher is not batting. The DH is batting. You cannot courtesy run for the DH. Yes, it is a flaw. And yes, we will get some cockamamie correction in a year or two. Or, better yet we won’t bother to fix the rule, we will just make up another interpretation.
  11. A.). That was part of my point ... it actually diminishes the actual purpose. B.) Rant correct on all parts. C.) Who the hell downvoted noumpere’s answer?! Show your face coward! D.). It’s Friday and I am exhausted this week, so I am being a little more glib than usual. E.) I believe there should be a constitutional amendment outlawing the designated hitter. 6.) Just remembered there is a new episode of The Mandalorian out today ... that cute little guy makes me smile. VII.) Going to go pick up Chinese and crack open a beer.
  12. Exactly. You wouldn’t have allowed a CR for a DH before, so don’t do it now. Side rant ... Courtesy runners may be used by the offense, but they are NOT about the offense. They are about get the defense moving quicker at the top of the inning. (This rule seems to be counterproductive in that regard, but that isn’t what I am ranting about.)
  13. I’m going to go with: you could have called it either way, but it is a definite “had to see it” to know. I would also say the way you call this is going to be different based on the age and experience level, despite the rule book that tries to apply itself to both. Low level, younger kids ... I’m asking myself “is that something the runner would be expected to do (right or wrong) OR did he do it to get in the way?” If it was a dumb kid mistake, I think you did the right thing. Competitive play, high school, adults ... I probably have an out on the BR. The reason the penalty applies to the batter runner is because he is the only player still in play AND he is the one who benefitted.
  14. Don’t get me started on what a sham the MPAA ratings system is ... Too many years running movie theaters and video stores ... and still a movie geek.
  15. Doesn’t that make them “jewelry” in New Jersey?
  16. Ok, my turn to be sarcastic towards the game ... nobody wants to do slow pitch. Although you do make a very good point about the cost barrier to entry. I had a long conversation with a local UIC last night and we talked about “younger” umpires. In the last four years of summer softball (USA, USSSA), we could only name four “under 30” new umpires that we had seen at the complex. Two of those were my kids. One is still doing it (my son in college). He started with baseball and prefers baseball, but has more opportunity to make money with softball. In NFHS, even fewer. All other “young” umpires have typically been 30-40, and there haven’t been many of them either. I would easily guess the average age of umpires that I work with to be over 50 (maybe even 55). Many of the guys in the area are well into the 60s and even 70s. That is true for both baseball and softball. I need to take a look at our state roster over the weekend. I’ll try to put together some actual statistics (though those won’t give age, they will give the number of years the person has been licensed).
  17. Not personal DD ... ... BUT ... You earned your name with that one. Was there a question in there or just that off-base comment? Honestly, in my experience most young guys getting started want to get started in baseball. They are more familiar with it and more comfortable with it. Likewise, most young gals getting started want softball because they are familiar with it. Not all, but most. As umpires get older/more comfortable, they get more adventurous and test the waters on the other side. Guys move into softball and gals move into baseball. Some older guys move to softball because the field is smaller (ironically, the game moves much faster). Some move over because of the $$ (faster games = more games). In person, have seen more and worse injuries to softball umpires than baseball umpires. Less reaction time. Contrary to the name, the ball isn’t soft.
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