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The Man in Blue

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Everything posted by The Man in Blue

  1. @SeeingEyeDog I have no reason to doubt your judgment, but if your description is the worst of it ... ๐Ÿ˜ Seriously though, have you discussed with him what he has learned from other umpires he has worked with? I would say MOST of the guys I work with tell me not to come up to third from home, that they will cover it (not my preference, but hey). I would also say I rarely see anybody go out on fly balls. It might be that you are the only one who has placed these expectations on him? Or he could be a complete Gump. I know pre-gaming all this stuff is the preferred method, but when I am PU I basically just keep an eye on what my partner is doing and key off of it. I work with too many different people who I don't know, and I'm not going to spend my life telling them to do it my way (whether that is the right way or not). That said, I can think of a few guys I don't like working with, but only one that I refuse to work with. He is from another area, so I've only encountered him three times, but two have been at a state tournament which he had NO business even attending, let alone umpiring. Honestly, I can't even tell you what he did for me to despise him so much, but that is because I lost track a long time ago. He is God's Greatest Gift to Umpiring and always lets me (and others) know how much he had to carry me (or them). I'm not sure if his backpack gets in his way while he is on the field (yeah, you read that right), or if he cannot stop talking to the fans long enough to actually call a game. Think of Chet in Weird Science. Yeah. You're getting it ...
  2. Well, we were warned by Ballpark Digest back in May ... Cicada crises expected in ballparks https://ballparkdigest.com/2021/05/10/cicada-crises-expected-in-ballparks/
  3. Drop dead is not uncommon around here, too. Typically there is no "reversion" (which is the correct way, IMO). I've had far too many "no new inning" games drag on 30+ minutes after the fact, typically because we had the wrong home team. I am a fan of drop dead in tournaments. Then again, I've been advocating for years that any run rule should apply immediately, regardless of who has or has not batted. If the visiting team goes up by 15 in the third inning (or whatever your limits are) ... ball game right there. There is no reason to allow them to waste another 45 minutes because the home team can't get an out, then screw around with the home team's feeble excuse for batting for another 15 minutes. The biggest issue I see with tournaments falling behind is TDs thinking 15 minutes between games is adequate IF everything stays on schedule. 15 minutes for teams to clear out, umpires to change out, an overstretched groundcrew to reset the field, and two new teams to come on and warm up (which they should have done already). Right. Games need a minimum 30 minutes scheduled in between with teams instructed that games could begin 30 minutes before the scheduled time. That builds in plenty of wiggle room on either side. Nobody wants to be standing around, but we need to be practical. Additionally, TDs and UICs need to be proactively looking for ways to help fields get back on track, even if that means moving games around to another field and assigning another umpiring crew. It drives me nuts to be on time or ahead, and then have to wait an hour or more for a team from another field.
  4. Could they be thinking about the "tryout" rule MLB has been experimenting with in the minors (requiring a pitcher to disengage for a pickoff)?
  5. Like I said before, they don't need robo-umps. They need to replace the pitchers with pitching machines.
  6. Dude, its t-ball. The correct answer is enjoy the little tykes and quit worrying about it. And for the love of all things great and small ... don't EVER bring umpires into t-ball.
  7. It's good to know that there is an org that does have a mechanic for these "strange" rules. That piece gets overlooked so often. That said, not knowing that, I would have gone the same route as @SeeingEyeDog, making the initial call as safe (showing that I saw the play) and then ruling the runner out for violating the slide rule. I would probably even give the safe sign, a point and say "illegal slide", but then apply the penalty after the play (much like an obstruction call). His reaction to the coach was a bit on the confrontational side. I can totally understand the coach coming out and would expect him to. They don't stop to think about the fact that the ball is live and we can "fix this in post." When I get a coach coming out like that, I will typically give him/her a "stop sign" or a "just a moment" finger and a head nod to signify "I got you, coach, but we are still in play." I can't think of a time that has gone wrong for me. Again, they think we don't see things so they need to jump on it right away. I am a fan of making calls that show that I am seeing everything going on. That runner comes diving into home plate as the ball flies to the backstop ... and I make an immediate "OUT" call ... there is going to be more chaos going on than if I call him safe and then apply the rule to call him out (as @SeeingEyeDog did).
  8. Edit to say this first ... shame on the league and your association for assigning you to another game involving that coach. Speaking from a person who has seen the sport from just about every angle ... player, parent, coach, league administrator, and umpire ... The main problem is too many organizations feel they are over a barrel ... tournaments don't want to chase away money and local organizations are desperate for coaches. Because of this, they don't want to chase away any warm body with a wallet. Umpires and umpire organizations need to start standing up to this. As has been said here, your organization needs to address this with the league. If the league followed its policies, not much more that can be said other than pressuring them to review their policies. If it did not follow its policies and is not going to step in with this coach, then your organization needs to terminate its "contract." Yeah, we all hate losing money, but we aren't paid to be somebody's emotional abuse doll. A few years back I had an ugly game where a coach and and assistant coach both ejected themselves from the game. The tournament rules said ejections = two games suspended after the ejection. After we finished for the day, the TD came over and asked us what we thought of allowing them to coach the next day (their next games). We advised him that it is his tournament, but he shouldn't even be asking us that question and we wouldn't be back the next day. (He didn't know we weren't contracted for the next day anyway.) We were told (by another umpire) the coaches did not coach and the team lost their first game to be eliminated.
  9. The good news is that it is now Wednesday and the game occurring in the OP is still going on ...
  10. The good news is that it is now Wednesday and the game occurring in the OP is still going on ...
  11. @SH0102 -- I agree and I know I am sometimes too quick on foul balls (even when certain). Killing it late is much better than killing it incorrectly. E few weeks ago I had a spinner between third and home that took off foul with F5 chasing it, and I called it immediately once I saw F5 grab it in foul territory. What I missed was, as the batter runner crossed in front of me, F5 actually did make contact with the ball in fair territory. Had I noticed F5 still trying to make a play, I might have put that together and let it play out. I could have gotten with my partner and asked him if he saw it hit the glove and we could have either let the play stand or retro-actively made the foul call. I kicked it. The third base coach came in and was very gracious about it. I apologized and told him that I killed it and I'm sorry if I kicked it, but we aren't going to un-ring the bell. We talked a moment longer about that concept (he agreed) and then the coach said "I think my runner was going to be thrown out anyway, so I'll take it." ๐Ÿ˜
  12. Thank you @noumpere -- didn't know that! Admittedly, I hadn't paid too much attention this year. https://www.mlb.com/news/baseball-rule-changes-tested-in-minor-leagues-in-2021 PICKOFF ATTEMPT LIMITS (ALL LOW-A) The Low-A leagues will each see a combination of rule changes, with both leagues having a limit on pickoff attempts combined with one other rule change: either pitch clocks or robo umps. This limit on pickoff attempts has the same intent as the step off rule in the High-A leagues but with a different method. It can become monotonous when a pitcher makes throw after throw after throw to first base in a vain attempt to pick off a pesky baserunner. This rule will limit pitchers to just two โ€œstep offsโ€ or pickoff attempts per plate appearance. On the third attempt, if the runner is not thrown out, the move is ruled a balk and any runners are automatically awarded the next base. Depending on the preliminary results of this change, MLB will consider further reducing the limitation to a single โ€œstep offโ€ or pickoff per plate appearance.
  13. The use of instant replay changes everything ... and maybe not for the better. Instant replay does allow us (theoretically) to actually get the call right with evidence. At that point, the umpires must judge what would have happened. No ... I am not changing a foul ball to a fair ball. I am a firm believer in "You can't un-ring that bell." By killing it, I deprived the defense of the chance to make a play, so why am I rewarding the offense? I'll just eat that one and apologize. But then, I likely will never have to contend with instant replay. Sidenote: to me, that was a bad look -- it appeared to be changing the call every time a coach said something.
  14. Maybe I am taking a different approach based on the way I am reading the unusual situation postulated ... Catcher catches the ball, possibly out over the plate, possibly not, and then holds it there. At that point the batter sees this and swings at the catcher's mitt. I'm not thinking catcher's obstruction. Once the ball is in the mitt and a swing was not already in progress, I do not believe the catcher has deprived the batter of an opportunity to hit the ball. The opportunity passed the batter by -- literally! -- and the batter did not take it. Now, what I am thinking when the batter swings at the catcher's mitt (not the ball inside it) is malicious contact and have a seat, junior.
  15. If "They" (note: capital "T" They) are going to talk about limiting foul balls, can we get something done with pickoff attempts, too? Asking for a friend.
  16. You are all wrong ... the correct answer is "It depends on how good the player is." Careful you don't poke your self on my jaded cynicism. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  17. I'm not sure why his volume level has anything to do with this.
  18. Lots of pieces of information above, but I'm not sure we can tell since the OP is incomplete. I think @noumpere has the best effort to reconstruct the missing info. However, we do not know if the team had any eligible substitutes and that is critical. First -- if the team had an eligible substitute (has not been in the game in any capacity other than a CR), that is who can be a courtesy runner. Next -- If there is no eligible sub, then the selected section @Senor Azul cited above kicks in. The LAST COMPLETED AT BAT may be used. When determining LCAB, you skip anybody who is on base, the pitcher and the catcher, and ANYBODY who already was a CR for the other position (pitcher or catcher). LCAB does not care what the outcome of the at-bat was (e.g., out), just that the at-bat was completed and the player is available. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- just get rid of courtesy runner rules. They do not speed up the game and they only cause problems. Except in Canada.
  19. The only code that gets it right, IMO. There is no reason for the bat to be out there other than an attempt to strike the ball.
  20. D'oh! And I am usually on top of that distinction! Thank you -- now I can say "No coach, that is not an appealable play." ๐Ÿ˜‰ My goal is NOT to be a redass with coaches making appeals. I do believe in the value of being and educator as well as an arbiter. That said, you are going to get what you give with me. If a coach is trying to do the right thing and just doesn't know, I am going to help him. If this is his sixth trip out after complaining the whole game ... well, sounds like he should be an expert to me. He doesn't need my help. Requiring a coach to be specific in his request may not be directly from the verbiage in the book, but has long been a standard in umpiring. I really feel what you said and what I said are the same, but you may not. Language from the book does not say ANY of those things. It does say "multiple appeals are permitted as long as they do not become a travesty of the game" (oh, that favorite clause again!). A fishing expedition of complaints meets "travesty of the game" in my book, so you better be particular on what you are asking. Sad truth is that most "appeals" or "asks for help" really are "I just didn't like your call." If you can come out and put together a semi-coherent sentence that amounts to "I think you may have missed this piece because of (feel free to say "I think you were out of position, or I think you got blocked out" -- those things happen), would you go for help?" then I will gladly do so. I need to know what and why though. The NFHS rule book also says the people eligible to appeal are "any fielder in possession of the ball" (live) or "a coach or any defensive player" (dead). Nowhere does it say an appeal can be made by any of the subs on the bench, the scorekeeper, Wilma the lady who runs the ice cream shop and has a sponsor sign in left field, any parent, or the bus driver. So no, bitching and moaning from the bench is neither an appeal nor an ask for help on a checked swing. In my games, that comes from one of two people: the coach or the catcher. It really surprises me you are advocating for a democratic election system from the stands on calls. I may have to write that last quote in my lineup card holder, but I like it! ๐Ÿ˜‰
  21. Alright, I'll go ahead and bring this up ... I was always taught (yes, even in clinics) that you don't go for help on bunt attempts. I don't know why and I have always disagreed with it (same as a swing to me), but I have followed what I was taught. In reality, I don't think it has ever even come up in one of my games. At least, I don't remember it. So what would be the logic of that? Is it just that a bunt attempt is easier to see (barring getting screened) and judge?
  22. NEVER use incorrect lines. That is just lazy. Yes, they are wrong for both teams, but you know what the foul line is by rule. That said, do NOT allow those lines to remain in place because now you are putting the players in an unfair position. Discuss it at your plate meeting -- "Coach, that line is wrong. You know and I know what the foul line actually is, so we are going to wipe the lines out and play ball the right way." Then wipe the lines out and play ball the right way.
  23. I'm going to take a slightly different approach ... You had the call you had for a very good reason -- the catcher blocked you out. NONE of that is a proper request for an appeal or reason for you to go to your partner. What do we always say about coach appeals? "They must be specific." What is it you think I missed coach? No fishing trips. The catcher got close (too late) but still did not ask the appropriate question. If you knew right away that you were missing part of the whole picture ... meaning once clear, you saw the batter with his bat still out there, I would suggest calling "Time" before saying anything about the pitch and then going to your partner to ask about the potential bunt attempt. You know the pitch was clearly out of the zone (no need to say "Ball"), but you know you missed something. In this case though, you said the batter "had the bat back" so you had no reason to think you missed something. We always hear bitching and complaining (which is not a valid appeal). An astute coach or catcher would have said "Hey Blue, I think I/my catcher screened you and you didn't see the attempt. Could you go to your partner?" At that point I am sure you would have gladly done it. Absolutely all that ^^.
  24. But is his hand a part of the money he is handing over? IF "the hand is part of the bat" then the foot is in solid contact with the ground to which the base is securely attached ... ergo all runners are always safe since they are part of the base.
  25. I appreciate that! Wait ... that was sarcasm! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I didn't ask you to go with what I say. I asked people to follow the rulebook which does NOT support that absurd interpretation. Why do we bother to have a rulebook?
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