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Everything posted by SeeingEyeDog

  1. Thanks, @Velho...yeah, I didn't try to do any detective work/psychological analysis. I just said, "Coach, you have an illegal bat here. This is a non-wood bat with no USA Baseball stamp. Please remove it from play." and he said, "Ok..." and that was the end of it. For what it's worth, I think LL has dialed the bats back too much. Which for umpires is a good thing as dead bats mean more defensive opportunities. Before the big bat adjustment in 2018 was it?...the number of HRs hit at Williamsport was simply too much and did not make for good baseball. I'm sure someone has the statistics on the Internet somewhere but, to my naked eye...pre-2018 the bats were too lively, now they are far too dead...again, just my opinion, obviously since this is LL safety is on everyone's mind. ~Dawg
  2. Greetings brothers, At a district 12U all-star game this morning, I found an illegal bat presented for pre-game inspection. Non-wood bat with no "USA Baseball" stamp. I brought it to the coach's attention and didn't see it for the remainder of the day. 2 questions... 1) How does this happen? I know the leagues send out emails and conduct mandatory pre-tournament meetings and we all absorb and apply information differently but, when you've been bombarded about legal/illegal equipment, how does a non-conforming piece of equipment get presented for inspection? Travel kid playing under different bat rules with travel ball and "just forgot"? 2) Why are pre-equipment checks put on the umpires? Why not put this on the district reps/game administrators? ~Dawg
  3. Up next! On The Ocho! 10U consolation baseball! Back to you, Cotton! ~Dawg
  4. I've got a couple of LLs around me who will call me for a spot start to work some Juniors and Seniors and occasionally a district all-star game and I'll work them but, I refuse to jump into the cesspool of LL as an umpire full-time. It's simple economics...there is better baseball in my market that pays more than LL does. Why would I take less consistently to work lesser baseball if I'm not on a Williamsport track? ~Dawg
  5. Yeah, I get that...it's not about leash so much as when things go sideways and a warning is issued, I also want to communicate that to the head coach. On a FED game...that's easy. The person who took the plate meeting from that team. On an OBR game...we're now playing whack-a-mole to determine who is the manager so, they are aware of the warning. This is also an especially fun endeavor in a men's league game where the manager might also be a player... ~Dawg
  6. I bang the drum unabashedly for Hoberg. He is a fantastic umpire. I'm not entirely familiar with MLB's collective bargaining when it comes to punishment for an umpire who has placed wagers. Presumably we'll get a responsible, thorough investigation of the facts and if so, whatever rules and associated punishments should be applied. Currently, the public knows very little. I think we can all agree that any umpire betting on games they worked is not the same as any umpire betting on baseball is not the same as any umpire betting on college field hockey and my hope is the MLB's rules and punishments are structured with that in mind. One question I have...and I hope this is eventually revealed to the public regardless of the findings of the league, how do these kinds of stories come to light? Are sports books given a list of all active NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL and NCAA officials and then are they required to report any wagers made by anyone with those names back to the league? Obviously, as Lindsay states in her video...anyone could call up MLB's offices and say they have reason to believe this person or that person has placed wagers and the league is going to look into it. Can anyone explain how else these situations are reported? We know in the Ohtani case it was the sports book that revealed Ohtani/Ippei Mizuhara. ~Dawg
  7. Coach Dale: Buddy, hold this tape measure to the batter's box...[measures] what is it? Buddy: 6 feet by 4 feet... Dale: 6 feet by 4 feet...measure this to the fence...how far? Buddy: 320 feet... Dale: 320 feet...I think you'll find it's the exact same measurements as our stadium back in Hickory.. Well, I guess it all breaks down in baseball because all the fields AREN'T exactly the same measurements...still a great scene... ~Dawg
  8. OHHHHHHHH YES! And don't forget the punchline! Appropriate since this is an Illinois related conversation... ~Dawg
  9. @The Man in Blue, the only positive thing I can say is...I do like that they have built small increases in year over year. I used to do work booked on a contracted basis for 15 years. I had clients who pre-dated me with the company by 5-10 years. All of those "legacy" clients had contracts for 2 years minimum some for up to 5 years at the same rates for the same goods and services. These were my most contentious and challenging clients because no matter how much homework you do preparing a contract, the economy even in the best of times, is simply too fluid for a contracted rate to continue to make financial sense for both parties to continue to be happy with the relationship. Either those clients ended up crying uncle before the end of the contract wanting to re-negotiate or my bosses were screaming at me that I negotiated a poor deal and now we are stuck. Solution? All NEW clients I brought on board were signed to 1 year contracts. And by the time I left the job, this became my company's culture and best practice for all clients new and returning. And it became a nice annual tradition to sit down to generous meals of celebration with all of our clients' teams individually and review our relationship. What did we do together that year? How much goods and services were consumed and how much money changed hands? And finally, what were they anticipating for the needs of their company going into the next year? More of the same? A growth year? Things going to slow down a bit? And that gave us a jumping off point for next year's pricing... I don't know how all of this translates to umpiring but, I will agree with @Velho...the schools we work for are united. Umpires and officials need to be united too. It may sound like rhetoric but, it's true...there is strength in numbers. We are all more easily taken advantage of professionally as individuals. Ok, great...the conferences have presented their pricing. It's time to start calling every umpire who works these games and get their reactions to these terms and start scheduling meetings of these umpires to talk about what terms you will present as a counter-negotiation for the terms you all will agree to work under. They collude? You collude. If you harnessed all the collective bargaining power of all the working umpires in the market...what else is the client going to do? Where else are they going to go to get their umpires and officials? Who's going to blink first? ~Dawg
  10. It's summertime, high school baseball is over and it's time for the Dad coaches to rise up and assume their mantle running the travel teams...look, I'm grateful. We all are. Like umpires, we cannot have youth baseball without coaches. So, as umpires, we know in FED that by rule, the individual from each team that attends the plate meeting IS the team's head coach and as such is the only person from the team who should be addressing the umpires. And we also know, we make exceptions to this on a case by case, situational basis. And as umpires we also know that for leagues that play under OBR, the manager or his "designated representative" may attend the plate meeting on behalf of their team. Many, many times (not always) when I have an OBR game, not only does the actual manager never attend the plate meeting but, teams seem to like this shuck and jive where the guy they do send to the plate is a sweetheart who seldom gives umpires any problems while the true "manager" of the team...is a nightmare. Is anyone else experiencing this? Why are teams run this way? In closing, it also makes it awkward under OBR because we cannot presume the guy at the plate IS in fact the manager. Is it appropriate to confirm this verbally without offending someone? "Coach, are you the team's manager or are you here taking this plate meeting as the manager's team representative and if so, can you please point out your manager?" Your turn, brothers... ~Dawg
  11. Pro tip for parents... If you ever have a son who plays sports and is not wearing his protective cup all you need to do is put his cup in a jockstrap (clean, of course...) and place it in the back of your vehicle. Drop your son at their game and tell them you'll be along shortly. Park, wait 5 minutes, then grab the jockstrap and cup and walk to the field. When you get about 50 feet from the dugout, start running and waving the jock and cup wildly while calling your son's name...loudly. "Johnny! Johnny! You forgot your cup! You forgot your cup!" Your son will never "forget" his cup again...or so I'm told. ~Dawg
  12. Do you accommodate Real Men of Carriage? ~Dawg
  13. YES! YES! YES! ...and I should have added that if you give me an app and the umpires scheduled to work the game are not all up on that app and a guy on the crew says, "He's not adding another app..." sketchy or otherwise, we will communicate that to you. If you like you may again pivot to another app or another payment option or...find a new umpire amenable to your terms who can replace the one who is not. As always, we are independent contractors. We are each running our own little umpire shop. When I worked in sales, we had an expression...the piece of business is not considered closed until payment has been collected. If you are not able or unwilling to collect payments, you do not have a business. You have a hobby. Each of us has to decide how we are going to manage the collection department of our individual umpire shops. Anybody can book and work games...it all means nothing if you don't get paid. ~Dawg
  14. Cash game? Great! I require FULL fees for the entire crew for ALL games AT the plate meeting. And by cash...we mean cash. Greenbacks. Sawbucks. Simoleans. US American Dollars only, please and no...we do not make change. E-Pay is NOT cash. E-Pay is E-Pay. If you want to pay via E-Pay, my crew and I need to know that in advance and we need to know which specific app so we can be loaded and configured and ready to receive your e-cash, confirmed, at the plate before the game can begin. A check is NOT cash. A check is a check. Telling us it's a cash game and then presenting us with a check is an unprofessional move. If you are a known client, we will begrudgingly accept your pivot to a check payment with a healthy dose of shade ONE TIME. Going forward, never again and we do keep records. If you are an unknown client, we will NOT accept a check if you said cash. My crew might allow an unknown client to pivot to E-Pay but again, we will not work the game until payment receipt can be confirmed. If you do not provide FULL payment as described at the plate meeting, my crew and I are not working your game(s). One game fee is not going to make or break an umpire. It's not about the money, it's about honesty, trust and professionalism. ~Dawg
  15. Any umpire who "likes" this part of The Craft is a psycho-/socio-path in my unprofessional diagnosis. We should never shy or shirk from these situations. After all, we are not responsible for how others react or speak to us. We are only responsible (professionally and morally) for how we react and speak to others. We do not "make it about us". We do not arbitrarily insert ourselves into situations looking for things to brew up into problems. We use our senses, our powers of observation and deduction and our rules knowledge to adjudicate a given situation on a baseball field. Coaches and players, by rule, are simply supposed to respect and accept the umpires' decisions and rulings. Yes, umpires make mistakes. Yes, umpires make calls that "go against one team". Neither, by rule, gives a player or a coach the authority to verbally abuse or disrupt everyone's good time at the ballpark because they disagree with the call. But, to take the field "looking" for these arguments or discussions or "liking" them? No, that person needs to re-think their life choices. And we have all worked with umpires who umpire like that. If and when you see this, call your partner out on that and make them aware they are making poor choices...discretely and professionally, of course. ~Dawg
  16. Interesting evaluation...it begs the question for The Craft...We know not just anyone can umpire. But is there a certain personality type that makes the best umpire? I say no because when you think about the very best umpires you have ever worked a game with, they are a mish mosh of personality types. Which I think leaves us at...certain personality types have to work harder to achieve excellence as an umpire because they come into The Craft having to overcome their instincts. If you have an emotional personality, you really have to learn how to tamp that down and embrace stoicism and neutrality of your entire mind, body and spirit to excel in The Craft. Closing question before I give this link to Mrs. Dawg...Do matching personality types from this test make the best relationships? Or opposing? 'Cause I got an opposites attract situation that began in the last century and we make it work. ~Dawg
  17. You're safe, Blue Man... @Velho embedded that clip in his post so, it will run right there on the page when you press the play button without opening a new window and taking you to the X platform...formerly Twitter. ~Dawg
  18. @Slippery Fish you have to ask yourself...What kind of umpire do I want to be? What kind of reputation do I want my umpire brothers, my assignors, and the coaches and players on my fields to have for me? It's going to take YEARS and HUNDREDS of games to get there but, you HAVE to have a DESTINATION or a GOAL on this. Meditate and think on this solo in your free time away from the ballpark. What are you going to tolerate on your ballfield? Think about being in a restaurant or public place with minors present and how you would react if someone started doing and saying some of the things we hear and see on a ballfield. (lol...you can't warn or eject people in public places but, would you address it? How would you address it?) Know the culture and rules of the leagues and umpire association(s) you work for. Talk with your local umpire brothers and crew partners about game management. Without seeing you work and the situations you're dealing with, the number one piece of advice I can give you is...if you hear or see something that is personal, prolonged or profane? Address it and address it immediately. If you let coaches or players go on "throughout the game" as you described above, it becomes more and more difficult to regain authoritative control. It's been my experience that on the FIRST instance when I hear or see something and I give them the stop sign with my hand and say simply, "That's enough of that, please..." or "Let's not have anymore of that, please..." in 90% of cases, I don't hear another thing the rest of the game. In closing remember the old saying, it's old for a reason...What we permit, we promote. And if you had game management concerns during your game, either ones you addressed or didn't address, talk them over in your post-games with your partner. It takes time, brother...you got this and we're all here with you. ~Dawg
  19. Congratulations to all of those on that list! ~Dawg
  20. In a world of phone book rippers and lawn mower starters...Tumpane's 3K mechanic is truly sublime and unique. That being said, I would not be comfortable using that mechanic outside of televised baseball where indeed the scoreboard op has the game on TV and can see that call. Even elevated and behind the backstop as most high school press boxes are, it would be tough to see this mechanic from anywhere but a TV CAM 1 angle. Maybe that's why we also use our voice? I have no concern at all for spectators and their needs. I umpire for The Game and all those inside the fences. Eventually those outside the fences will figure things out... ~Dawg
  21. @Velho...nice reference. One of the all-time "My Parents Said I'm Too Young To See This In The Theatre So I'm Going To Find The Older Kids Around The Neighborhood Who Have And Listen To Them Talk About It" films...the late 70's was the Golden Age of cinema. Every decade has its signature films but the 70's started with "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and ended with "The Warriors" with many legendary stops in between. As for pointing...I just want to further the echoes of those above and remind everyone that in 2-man especially, it's very, very important that you maintain a position with your head such that you can continue to follow any post-pitch extended action around the plate. Now, does this mean you "must" keep your head firmly locked forward? No. Our perspective has some angle to it so, we can turn our heads a bit to one side or the other and still see what is right in front of us. I point to the right and look to the right for hitters from either side of the plate however, I point and look somewhere to the right of a neutrally playing F5 and left of 1B, in order that I can see anything additionally in front of me. And I also swivel my head back to the left so I am again square to the catcher and pitcher after making my pitch call. Not a suggestion...just my way... ~Dawg
  22. You always know where the advanced, critical, next-level thought is going to go, Maven... Given Harper's high-profile and inexplicable popularity, I have this being repeated and on YouTube in youth baseball inside a month... ~Dawg
  23. So, I went to grab my unwritten rules of baseball off my shelf and inexplicably...they weren't there, what with them being unwritten and all. I understand we don't play American baseball in our former oppressor's homeland everyday but, how is this any different from "admiring a HR"? Which incidentally...he also did. My slide rule cannot compute all of this advanced calculus...what do you have, brothers? ~Dawg
  24. At our next lodge meeting, I would like to nominate @Velho for the position of U-E International Ambassador. It's like being an ambassador with the U.N. but, wayyyyyyyyy more important... ~Dawg
  25. I was starting to vibe...and then they said "L-Screen", "pitchers take it easy" and "no sliders or curves". So, that's not baseball... Play a regular game under regular lighting and then have a HR Derby in the cosmic conditions and call it a night. ~Dawg
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