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The Man in Blue

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Everything posted by The Man in Blue

  1. Strike three, don’t say the batter is out and don’t signal him out. We strive for signal uniformity, yet this unnecessary signal is all over the map like Thelma and Louise giving Harold and Kumar a tour of a Family Circus cartoon. It amazes how the game ever survived all those years with no “run dummy” signal.
  2. Just keep in mind the batter has a limit as to how long he can horse around also … other than that, all good to me!
  3. The Man in Blue


    Why do I always envision NFHS committee meetings looking like this?
  4. Well, hell. I have challenge coins (emergency response events) and didn’t know that’s what they were called. Nobody ever bought me drink. I even used one for coin tosses ...and this is how I would quiz players who came to the toss: The tornado was tails (because a tornado has a tail) and the state was heads because we call the governor ... ?? The head of state.
  5. I think the @agdz59 scenario lies somewhere in the middle ... I agree with @agdz59 that sometimes managing the game requires something unorthodox, such as a comment to the crowd. I didn't take his comment as a dig at his partner, but I guess I see how others could. I took it as "That was close, and he did the right thing instead of the popular thing." While you might not agree with his exact comment, I feel it would have been a bigger "toss under the bus" to allow the crowd's animosity fester and ignore them like a red@ss. You can allow that to continue, and now you have two horse's asses who are out to get them, or you can step in and redirect some of that emotion. You absolutely should not jump ship on your partner, but a well-planned comment about how things look different from different angles or something about hustling to get into the right spot can take the heat off of both of you. NOW ... to me, it is VERY MUCH a "read the room" strategy NOT to be used in all situations. Like @agdz59, my thoughts on this have gotten me both into and out of trouble on the field and in life. Like many coaches, they just want to know they are being heard. In a very ugly state tournament to end my summer (story maybe coming soon), I had a parent late in the game yelling "I just have a question! Can't I ask a question, Blue?!" Without looking at the crowd or turning around, I just shook my head no. He replied with "Thank you, great talk!" and was fairly quiet after that. It probably wasn't the right game for me to do that in, but it worked just fine. I knew that he just wanted to be heard. I'm sure there are going to be different thoughts across the line between the pro-schooled and college guys and those who spend their summer 30-feet from the mob in youth ball.
  6. If only there was some statistically fair and random way for us to decide if we should continue this conversation ...
  7. So ... @flyingron has been exposed to FTX? Do we need to be concerned? Do I need to put my computer's mask back on? Just how contagious is FTX? (Apparently all MLB umpires now have it.)
  8. Not an NCAA vet, but the way he threw the bat away the first time concerns me more. IMO, that justifies a quick conversation. I get that he was excited and that is awesome, but that reaction was dangerous.
  9. If you wish to object, there is a $25 objection fee*, made payable directly to the commissioner's office. *This fee is the Official Objection Fee of Major League Baseball, brought to you by Gary's Gowns & Gavels. Gary's Gowns & Gavels is the official Major League Baseball Partner for all your legal adjudication attire and equipment. Visit any one of the 16 conveniently located Gary's Gowns & Gavel metropolitan locations, located near every major courthouse in the Tri-County area! (Parking will not be validated.)
  10. I have never heard “challenge coin” in my life. Coach: “Hey, Blue … hold on a second [tosses out the challenge flag] …” Umpire: [Pulls out challenge coin] Heads he’s out, tails he’s safe.” Flipping coin … https://www.ump-attire.com/Baseball-Umpire-Equipment/Bags-Tools/Flip-Coins/?page=1&perpage=36&cat=368&orderby=price desc&brand=&search= Never heard of the indicator game either. Guess I live in a cave.
  11. Better … Except that they are still currency and both sides are the same color.
  12. Orange? That’s a thing of the past! (Unless Home Depot wants to buy the rights to the balls.) It should be, like, red, white, and blue becaus it’s more ‘Murcan! Especially in the 18-34 males with two vowels in their names who were born on a Tuesday demographic.
  13. Just me being elitist. It looks unprofessional. Tossing a penny or a dime into the dirt looks like you were unprepared and were fortunate enough to find a coin on the way to the field. Get a flipping coin. Get one that makes a good conversation piece, but is easy to see. It shows you care enough to be prepared and properly equipped for the game. It makes the coin toss easy (instead of digging through powdery dirt to see if you have Roosevelt or torches). Besides, a fun story or joke related to the coin makes you personable and approachable. All part of the first impression. To tie this back to ball bags ... You wouldn't run your belt through the handles of plastic grocery bags to make ball bags, would you? So quit using currency for coin tosses.
  14. My issue with grey ball bags is they match nothing ... pants don't come in consistent shades either. And, as I pointed out in another thread, pants in many codes are just described as "grey" nowadays. Many places have stopped with trying to dictate heather/charcoal/light/dark. I have worked for several softball sanctions and have NEVER seen grey ballbags as part of any proper uniform. Perhaps some oddball obscure organization such as the Professional Association In Northwest Anchorage Slow-pitch Softball (PAINASS)? NCAA was not the first softball org to use that scheme. USA Softball introduced it more than a few years back (4?). I resisted them (because I'm cheap) for a few years, but now that I have converted, I really like the look and feel. The shirts USA uses are actually very lightweight and cooling. The colors are too flimsy though. USA offers light blue/navy, navy/light blue (my favorite look), white/navy, and pink/black. (We fully expected they would have finally put an actual logo on them by now, rather than the generic block print. Mainly because it would cause us to have to buy more gear, again. Which you can only buy through a USA Softball regional vendor.) It's interesting you say softball is a house divided ... and I can understand that point of view. I would say the generalized difference in softball and baseball is that softball orgs are really trying to put their brand out there and umpires are one of their chief tools to do it. Just as we are lamenting advertising on MLB umpires, that is really all it is. By requiring a different shirt with a different look or a different logo (did we mention you have to buy all this from US or our designated vendor?), each association "stands apart." In the softball umpiring community, this has led to many umpires saying they won't work for Code XYZ because we are sick of buying new shirts, hats, and ballbags to use just a few times each year. USSSA tries to go extreme by using red shirts (black trim) as their default. It is a sharp shirt, but red should NEVER be the default for umpires. I don't know why. I just don't like red. They also offer a black/red (very sharp, IMO, should be the default), a white/red, and a pink. (USSSA gear can only be purchased through Boombah.) In baseball, the orgs don't see umpires as a revenue stream or branding opportunity. (Again, over generalized.) In fact, many of them base their identity in trying to copy what kids see on TV, so they don't want to be different. I would also say there is a difference because softball orgs (typically) are catering to adult and youth players, whereas most (not all) baseball orgs are focused on the youth game. I need to count my shirts ... I've become a madman. Like I said, the main issue in softball is the different associations. EDIT: Nevermind, I'm a madman, not a MadMax. So ... in my ballbag pocket in my bag I have eight ballbags. Smitty XLs in navy, Smitty XLs in black, my old navy bags (as backups), and the USA Softball branded ones (navy). Black goes with black shirts, cream shirts (not fan, but becoming one), and the powder/light/whatever blue with black collar and the USSSA shirts. Navy goes with navy shirts, powder/light/whatever blue with the white/navy collar. I haven't caved on the red baseball shirt yet, so I appreciate the heads up that the accent is navy -- I thought it was black! ALWAYS two ballbags. I tend not to keep balls in my left bag (though I am very much in agreement with @Velho's OCD) ... my gear goes in the left: lineup card book, pen, brush, indicator when I am not using it, and flipping coin in tournaments. (Tangent rant -- quit using currency guys!) I know, that's a lot of space for those few things, but you will rarely see me fumbling for any of them. I like the individual pockets for each, but I find the size of the size of the pocket for my brush does tend to catch the brush so I haven't been using it. (I tried bristles down and handle down and both snag one way or the other.)
  15. Hey guys, I have a deep, dark secret that I need to let you in on. I know you may have heard rumblings about this in the past, and probably some wild conspiracy theories. Please, please, PLEASE do not share this outside this room ... ... Major League Baseball is a for-profit business. And ...
  16. 6.01 Interference, Obstruction, and Catcher Collisions (a) Batter or Runner Interference It is interference by a batter a runner when: (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; I suppose you could use that one, but I don't think it is the right one. Using that, there is no infraction until the on-deck batter got there and the collision happened. By that point, the runner had already crossed the plate and no runner was advancing to the plate ... no interference. As a coach, I would make the argument that he didn't "confuse, hinder, or add to the difficulty" as the runner had crossed the plate and nobody else was coming home ... he went up to get the bat. With 6.01(b) Fielder Right of Way none of that matters as the infraction occurs while the catcher is attempting to field a thrown ball. I'm not sure I am conveying what I am getting at since the time element is not explicit, but it is there. Or maybe I am wrong. 😜 This is just an exercise in rule-interpretation as the penalty will be the same either way if you choose to apply it ... you are still going to get the same runner on the out either way. Now you need to figure out which runner.
  17. I did miss the fact that it was a men’s game. That may change my approach, but not my method. They may legally be adults, but they are playing a kid’s game and acting like children so that is how I will treat them.
  18. As a player, I loved that play when it worked (meaning "we scored"). I was a catcher and never had it run against me, but as R3 I did it a few times. As an umpire, I love that your play went the way it did. I don't think I have ever seen that happen. Do you think the catcher knew the whole time, or was it a "the ump gave it away" moment?
  19. My initial reaction would have been the same as yours. Tear the language apart about intent apart and let's see what we get though ... WHO interfered? The on-deck batter is a member of the offense and is authorized to be on the field and is participating in the game. SO ... 6.01(d) Unintentional Interference (intended for non-team personnel) is not going to apply. We would go back up to 6.01(b) Fielder Right of Way. The players, coaches or any member of a team at bat shall vacate any space (including both dugouts or bullpens) needed by a fielder who is attempting to field a batted or thrown ball. Yes, that includes our guy, the on-deck hitter. If a member of the team at bat (other than a runner) hinders a fielder's attempt to field a thrown ball, the ball is dead, the runner on whom the play is being made shall be declared out and all runners return to the last legally occupied base at the time of the interference. On-deck hitter hindered the catcher, check. Catcher was going after a thrown ball, check. You declared the ball dead, check. Now it gets sticky and you need to apply some interpretation ... WHO was the runner being played on? I can see a few directions to go here depending on your judgment. If you deem the play was on the runner who scored (it doesn't matter if the play had a viable chance) ... in this case, erase the run, call R2 out, R1 goes to third, and the BR goes to first. (It is hard to say without having seen it, but this is the direction I am leaning for "the correct" answer.) If you deem the play was on R1 ... run scores, R1 is declared out, and the BR goes to first. If you deem there was no play (just an errant throw on an attempt to get the ball in) ... run scores, R1 on third, BR on first, no outs called. In the course of this exercise, I did find something fascinating that I will keep in my back pocket. While 6.01(d) is not about the team at bat (penalty-wise), the way it is written does provide us some guidance on intentional versus unintentional. The language in that rule completely changes the concept of "intent" as we (at least I) may traditionally be thinking of it. The language in the rule really states intent is about intent to to get out of the way NOT intent to interfere. "The question of intentional or unintentional interference shall be decided on the basis of the person's actions." It goes on to say that an effort to get out of the way must be made for it to be considered unintentional "regardless of what his thought may have been." In the "PLAY" section the language "... if the umpire felt that the coach did all he could do to avoid interfering with the play, no interference need be called."
  20. I actually like your brief conversation with the kid coming up to bat! I might have added a little bit at the end to soften it, such as "I'm not going to ask you who it was, but I'd appreciate it if you could help out by trying to calm him down." As for not seeing/knowing specifically who made the comment, I don't see that as an issue. Sure, we all would like to be spot on, but it isn't always possible. In that case, I would have a conversation with the coach. If the coach is being unreasonable, you run the risk that it may fuel the fire; if he is level-headed and if you approach the situation calmly, the coach should understand. "Hey coach, your guys need to cool it. I'm not sure who it is, so this is a warning for your team. If it continues and I cannot tell who it is, it may be you that takes the fall." If it comes time to eject (and if you are warning you damned-well be ready to eject), I would rather go with the coach who didn't control his team after being instructed than accidentally punishing the wrong kid by removing him from the game.
  21. Hell yes. Can't have Little Johnny playing in the local house league ... he'll NEVER get scouted into a good private kindergarten from there. Seriously though, if you are going to do travel ball, 4U is the way to go. Kids are much cheaper to feed and entertain at 4U than 14U. All those "kids eat/stay free" deals ... why didn't I think of this sooner!
  22. @Rock Bottom ... Plastic!? Bah! 😁
  23. But I devise all my plans from the sofa-cushions. Except for the really good plans ... you don't want to know where I am sitting when I come up with those. 😁 @MadMax, I know I have seen a few lengthy posts about fitting the Schutt. Do you have a "101" or sticky anywhere that you recommend rather than wading through all those?
  24. No cussing is covered under 11.3.4 ... if you don't see it in the book, try punching it into a calculator. 😜
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