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The Man in Blue

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Everything posted by The Man in Blue

  1. After 10 years of being cheap and stingy (and getting most of the kids out of the house) I am starting to spend more money on better gear. I agree it isn’t much in the grand scheme, but when you are used to spending $5 that lasts 2-3 seasons ... Then again, I look at money spent on more foolish things ...
  2. The same way it calls a strike that bounces through the zone.
  3. I suppose there is a factor we hadn’t discussed, in hand with @Senor Azulposting the rule ... What is the outcome? If he is over there trying to take flight and nobody is paying any attention to him, it’s hard to say there is any harm being done. If he is over there auditioning for the Flying Wallendas AND it is causing a commotion with the crowd or team feeding off of it ... different story.
  4. Just to add to this enthralling parade of shrugs and emphatic points to the rule book ... 😉 If an umpire is calling 50% when the expected number is 80% ... he is missing 37.5% of the calls, not 30%.
  5. Just to add to this enthralling parade of shrugs and emphatic points to the rule book ... 😉 If an umpire is calling 50% when the expected number is 80% ... he is missing 37.5% of the calls, not 30%.
  6. Don’t ask what happens when the runner takes a lead in the outfield, F3 is not “holding on the bag”, and the pitcher throws to F3 for pickoff attempt ... 🤪
  7. Finally, a mask @MadMax will approve with my powder blue shirts! 😁 Hmmm ... @JimKirk ... any chance Ump-Attire will match this? I think I'm willing to bite on both just for fun.
  8. I can understand the many here who don't have an issue with it, but I don't agree. This isn't an automatic reaction from me, but there is one facility that I work that the TD expressly puts it in the information that goes out to teams and the UIC expressly tells us do not allow it. Warn, eject ... and carry your warning over from previous games. I can't say I agree with all that either. There are the ones who do it as an occasional emotional expression, and I get that. You might get one of those good quips from me or just a "hey, knock it off." However, you have those who are non-stop, and IMO those are no different than a batter drawing a line or a manger bringing the book on the field. It is an effort to show up the umpire. Big picture, nip it in the bud. Put an end to this practice before it does become a bigger problem. Edit: Another fun one (no, don't do this) ... call time and yell that you need an ambulance since the first base coach seems to keep losing his balance.
  9. I use the 4-dial Champro that @ArchAngel72 posted. I have to replace them every couple of years due to the ridges wearing down and just general gunk build-up (sweat, sunblock, and dirt). I had been getting them from our USA rep for $5. I’ve eyeballed the All-Star a few times, @kylehutson, but that price tag has always held me back. Call me odd, but I have always wanted to start collecting indicators. Not sure what odd ones are out there. I remember seeing a blue “see through” plastic one a few years back at a clinic, but I’ve never come back across it since.
  10. Well, if that banger goes against the coach we can look forward to the posts that start “I should have known when the goober showed up with ONE GREY ball bag that we were going to get screwed … sure enough, Blind Bob missed the call at the plate by six miles. Now all my kids, knowing that loss will prevent them from full D1 rides to pay for college, have turned to a life of crime and drugs. One grey ball bag? Jeesh. He couldn’t even see to get dressed!” But you do get full approval for posting hot younger Marissa Tomei, not to be confused with hot older Marissa Tomei.
  11. Yay! I was worried about you @Senor Azul! I think I finally reached an internal understanding on my issue with these interpretations. I don't know why it was this one that helped me put the pieces together ... While I fully agree with the ruling Mr. Wendelstedt and Mr. Childress offer, I have trouble seeing it as an interpretation rather than an instruction. Mr. Wendelstedt says "call 'em out" but provides no logic or guidance on how he arrives at that interpretation. It does not help umpires interpret rules, it just directs them on an outcome.
  12. But it looks so handy! 🙄 Wait, maybe Data?
  13. Absolutely a great ball bag and especially for that price. I replaced my navy ones a few years ago with a set of these and it is the only ones I have bought since (needed a black pair). As others have mentioned, lots of space and the expanding aspect means they are well built for not just holding balls, but holding them in place when you move (as opposed to those bags that taper). I've been very impressed with the durability and quality -- no sun fading, no loose stitching, and they clean up in the wash with my shirts and pants.
  14. Huh ... MLB is lacking on that one. As @maven stated, the on deck hitter's actions are not expressly forbidden. 5.09(b)(13), the only place I am finding actions by a "member of his team" (i.e., not a runner, not a coach) expressly states it is for interfering with a fielder's attempt on a thrown ball. I cannot believe the intent is to allow assistance by non-game participants though. I know we have our purists who believe "if it isn't written ..." (which, IMO, is obviously negated by the clause allowing umpires to rule on scenarios not covered in the book). I argued against using this one in another thread (because of the throw) ... but if you won't accept 8.01(c), I'm going to: 6.01(a)(4) Any member or members of the offensive team stand or gather around any base to which a runner is advancing, to confuse, hinder or add to the difficulty of the fielders. Such runner shall be declared out for the interference of his teammate or teammates; Side note: has anybody seen @Senor Azul lately?
  15. I certainly would not expect that at that level.
  16. If you have a local league that you can work with one guy and never have a problem, all the more power to you. In general, my thought is it sounds like a problem when you can't find umpires. It sounds like a problem when the number one reason is 'umpires are sick of the treatment they get.' Sounds like a problem that wasn't caused by umpires. Sounds like a problem that isn't an umpire's problem. Sounds like a problem that somebody should work on a good solution to. As umpires, our contributions to that solution are: to not put up with the treatment (from fans to TDs) ... this means things that may seem small like speaking up to combat the abusive culture against umpires. On another forum I read, a member posted about the Olympic softball games, but his thread title was something like "Team USA and an umpire who doesn't know what an out is." His actual post wasn't hostile at all, but the title was. Speak up when you see these unconscious/subconscious microaggressions. The person may not even know they are doing it, so be kind, but call attention to it as a major part of the problem. to promote/demand better working conditions. That means not encouraging the expectation that "We pissed off six other guys, so you should come put up with us by yourself." Yeah, that means you may turn down a game check or that Little Johnny has to have a game rescheduled because the adults can't behave. It also means that associations (and I see this more in softball as baseball is not as top-down here) may have to stop sanctioning 6 tournaments all within a hundred-mile radius of one another on the same weekend. then, we as umpires can begin rebuilding the umpire pool. In one of my previous lives I was a "clean up guy" for many retail establishments. When a manager and company had run a store into the ground, they sent me in to fix it. At one particular grueling assignment (a video store), one of the recommendations I made to upper management was: you need to get rid of 1/3rd to 1/2 of your customers at this store. This recommendation was based in several factors, but chief among them was that a significant portion of the customer base was toxic. They came into the store and treated the staff and other customers like dirt, and this culture had taken hold and was growing like a cancer. Upper management had a cow ... "but, paying customers!" You know what happens when you cut that cancer out? The rest of your customer base flourishes. They spend more money. They have a better experience. They promote your business. As I said, upper management had a cow ... we did it ... it worked. Shed the toxic customer base to improve the experience for the rest. I would bet for every tournament where the TD "lets a coach back in" or doesn't take care of a fan situation because he doesn't want to lose their money, he is losing money from at least one other team who won't be back because of how the tournament went. I used to have that same romantic sense of duty that all games must be umpired "for the kids!" Fact is ... no ... no they don't. It isn't feasible to continue to expect people to go out in dangerous (referring to multiple games played in extreme weather conditions) and hostile (referring to "those" games) working conditions and claim it is "for the kids" when it is not about the kids ... it's about money (and we aren't even really balking much about our end of that). If it was about the kids, we wouldn't be having this conversation EVER.
  17. @SeeingEyeDog -- All great advice! I'd like to take something you said a little further ... DO NOT WORK GAMES SOLO as a standard practice. I won't say "never" because things happen, but I implore umpires to make a practice of declining games that are contracted solo. My last game of the summer (14u state tournament), I drove home in full umpire gear because we were escorted off the field, out of the park, and onto the highway by police. I considered stopping at a gas station to take it off, but I didn't trust that somebody from the game wouldn't stop there. Fortunately I only had a 15-minute drive home. It's not easy driving in gear, but I guess it is added protection if you crash! As an umpiring community, we need to start standing up against the working conditions. Yes, that means losing some money, but we need to start turning down assignments from organizations (or teams) that do not provide a safe and productive work environment. I know they can't control the random rogue idiot, but we all know of places that it is a near-constant barrage of abuse from coaches and fans from the first pitch to the last out and the organizers do nothing because "paying customers." If anybody hear is from Colorado or Oklahoma, have you heard anything about "umpire strikes" in those areas? On the softball forum I frequent there have been posts about large tournaments in both those states (sorry, not sure about the cities) being canceled because they could not find umpires or umpires were refusing their contracts (twice the term "strike" was specifically used).
  18. Matt, for a change, this isn't to challenge your post ... can you point to any data source? That is something that has always interested me. Edit: Sorry, I may have misread your post. If you were talking about society in general, disregard. I thought you were talking about stats on sports officials.
  19. This may be a controversial take ... but that's easy to say when you are the guy getting a free extra hour for your money instead of working a pointless extra hour for no money. I agree with you that an umpire shouldn't lie about the time. One second? Sorry man, most of the time I'm telling you "game over." In my experience, the games that run over rarely do so because they are a good game that went extra innings. I won't say never. However, in my experience, easily 90% of games that run over do so because they are a blowout with the "wrong home team" and that team didn't manage to push across the last run to kill it or prevent a meaningless run that extended it. I would say that umpires should manage the clock better. That plate is a little dirty and you should probably double check the count with your partner, just to make sure. If you consider that screwing you out of time, sorry. I have a very hard time with coaches who think the time only matters in those final seconds. How much time did you waste arguing? Between innings when you thought you needed your whole team to meet outside the dugout? Trying to figure out your courtesy runner? Not warming up your pitcher while your catcher is getting dressed? What about when we started the clock immediately after the plate meeting and you took 5 minutes to get your team on the field? Yeah, I screwed your team out of time that you paid for. I will agree with you on drop dead times though. I think we covered that recently here. I know many people have an issue with it due to the tradition of the game, but that went out the window when you introduced the clock. Two things I favor in tournaments: drop dead time and drop dead run rule (meaning if the visiting team puts you down by the run rule, no, you don't get another at bat).
  20. I could be wrong ... but it seems the arm point (or the "Run Dummy Signal") was a huge part of the problem. The announcers, the coaches, and the players incorrectly took the arm point as the strike call and the hammer as the out. When the batter saw the umpire giving the "Run Dummy Signal", he took off. Again, if there is going to be a uniform signal in a code, there needs to be a uniform signal in a code. You can't have some umpires doing this and some doing that.
  21. ... and that is part of the culture of the game that needs to change. I am not talking about coach coming out and asking about a call or presenting what they think/hope happened. The practice of allowing them to act like an idiot UP TO A POINT needs to change. If the culture of hate towards umpires is going to change, that is a place where it needs to start.
  22. It was such a high-profile controversy ... that ... it ... uh ... when was it? Where was it? 😉 In other words, EVERYTHING is a high-profile controversy until the next thing happens. We MUST react swiftly, strongly, and with auth ... oooh ... look at that bullsh!t! [redirects outrage] (Not a dig at you @noumpere, I promise!) I don't object to there being a signal ... but the "Run Dummy Wars" over which mechanic needs to be fixed. Honestly, I don't even care if each code has a different mechanic. My issue is that many codes have NO mechanic while umpires insist on using one. If there is NO prescribed mechanic, don't do it.
  23. Which echoes my objection to using the words “This is your warning …”. It leads one to incorrectly infer there is an acceptable and expected amount of arguing.
  24. Wasn’t sure which area to put this in … don’t know any details, but this was posted on the softball forum I frequent.
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