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Should I have done something


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Had a Middle School game last night. I was on the plate again ( that's a different story ), and it was a very well played game. We were an hour and fifteen in and already in the bottom of the 5th with HT winning 3-1. We had R1 and R2 with 1 out. F1 comes set and then wheels towards 2nd and catches R2 stealing. He completes the feint and disengages and throws to third for an obvious out. I was on my way towards third in case of a run down and was expecting an out call but instead hear my partner call " that's a balk".

 

I immediately looked at him and gave him my best WTF look to let him know I didn't see anything. He looked at me and then began explaining to the VC, who was now standing beside him, he needed to throw to 2nd on that play. Now, I never worked with this guy before but he told me it was his fourth season so he was definately no rookie and he seemed competent enough during our pregame and thus far during the game.

 

I debated as to whether to go out there while he was talking to the coach but decided to let him handle it. The coach never blew up and we got back to playing baseball but the HT proceeded to score about 5 runs that inning however the score ended up 8-1  so those runs made no difference.

 

After the game I explained that a throw was not needed in that situation and it was a good move, he thanked me for explaining it to him because he thought he might have kicked it. I told him he should have asked for help if he was unsure. I think I did right by staying out but just wanted to ask some of you guys if you would have jumped in there, in that situation.

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umpirebrianc, I disagree, you have to stay out unless he asks. If not you will completely cut his legs out from under him. 

I agree that if you kick a call, go ask. If your partner does, in most cases, this one included, he needs to ask you. In this case the coach is as much to blame as the umpire that screwed up. He came

What are you going to do if the coach protests? If you hear your partner give an explanation that is an obvious misapplication of a rule, you need to intervene. I would just tell the coach to give

This is one of my nightmare situations, partner kicks a rule and I know it.  I don't think that you can win.  Because the coach was already in discussion with your partner I think I would do the same thing you did, but that doesn't mean I'm right either.  If I have the opportunity to appropriately call time and get my partners attention and into a conversation before the coach can get to him I think we can work it out.  I do like the recommendation to ask if unsure, gets him into that conference.

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You did the right thing.

But how do you know the 5 runs didn't make a difference?

May that's what made the team play less motivated and took the fight out of them?

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No you can't let a rule be misapplied.  It doesn't matter if a coach was in a conversation or not.  If you know that your partner has misapplied a rule you have to correct that.  This is not a judgment call, you don't live with it.  When it comes to rules there are no excuses for not getting it right especially when one person knows the rule is being misapplied.  However it looks doesn't matter at that point, get the rule right.  That is one of the biggest things that will keep you from moving up is misapplication of rules or not correcting when you know it is wrong.

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No you can't let a rule be misapplied. It doesn't matter if a coach was in a conversation or not. If you know that your partner has misapplied a rule you have to correct that. This is not a judgment call, you don't live with it. When it comes to rules there are no excuses for not getting it right especially when one person knows the rule is being misapplied. However it looks doesn't matter at that point, get the rule right. That is one of the biggest things that will keep you from moving up is misapplication of rules or not correcting when you know it is wrong.

I see what you're saying, just not clear how you would hanlde it. I'm BU and I balk it. You echo, because that's what partners do. HC comes to get an explanation, and I give him this dumb story. Take it from there and tell me how you would correct my mistake, please.
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This is the one time you HAVE to intervene when it is a rule misapplication.  The most heated emails I get from my supervisors are situations where guys have misapplied a rule and NO ONE corrected it.  Remember in a lot of situations rule mistakes are protest situations so you can't have it occur.  Again I go back to this is not a judgment situation but a rule situation and is handled differently.  There is no excuse to EVER get a rule wrong especially if one of you knows it is being misapplied.  You may say you cut his legs from under him, but you cut them from under yourself as you knowingly allowed a rule to be applied incorrectly - YOU are just at fault in that situation and supervisors are going to blame you both you don't get off the hook.

 

Jocko - you are going to have to call your partner over in this situation regardless of how it looks.  Make sure you send the coach back to the dugout before you discuss anything with your partner (this is a rule of thumb to always use anytime you discuss anything between you).

 

If your partner is pissed at you after the game just look at him and tell him "I guess you better read the rule book so I don't have to do that again.  You caused that situation yourself by not knowing the rules."

 

I would hope we would be thankful with our partners if they caught us misapplying a rule.

 

I hope everyone understands the difference between judgment and rules and how they are handled differently.

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I agree you have to get it right. I have had situations where I've been on both sides of the rule misapplication. In the end, you have to get together and get it right. Yeah, someone is going to lose a little face, but at least your pride didn't misapply a rule.

I was HP. I called a balk. As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I KNEW I had kicked it. Before HC got to me to ask, I gave him the stop sign and called my partner in. We got together and I said, "I kicked the sh*t outta that one didn't I?" "Sure did. He stepped off." I said, "Ok. I'm gonna rescind my call." We broke and I waved it off and sent the runner back. The other HC comes out and I had to admit I kicked it.

I was BU and HP awarded bases wrong on an OOP situation. I gave him the "I have info" sign and we got together. I gave him whaat I had and we got it right.

At the end of the game, judgement calls are what they are. Rules are black and white. I'm as high on the baseball food chain as I wish to be right now, so 'moving up' is a moot point. I believe I could call any game on any field at any level and do a good job. My priority is to best the best umpire on the field wherever I call. If I have to eat a call to get it right, I have salt in my FSB :unsure:

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 If you intervene, how are you going to "fix" this ? Under Fed rules, a balk call is an immediate dead ball. If the runner was in a run-down, that stops at the point of the balk call. What do you do next ? You can't call the runner out, because once the play was killed, you cannot assume an out. so the only option remaining is to put the runner back at 2B, and basically you have one big "do-over". Either way, someone (most likely the defense) is getting hosed. But we do what we must, for the sake of getting the ruling right.

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How do I know what my BU is trying to sell the coach? Was he that loud about t it that you could hear them from 100 feet away?

So if I don't know why he balked F1 how am I supposed to "GET THE CALL RIGHT!"?

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I agree that if you kick a call, go ask. If your partner does, in most cases, this one included, he needs to ask you. In this case the coach is as much to blame as the umpire that screwed up. He came out, listened to the explanation and accepted it. He needs to either ask the crew to get together or he needs to protest. If he asked and the umpire refuses then he made a mistake and complicated it  with a second mistake. 

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OP, you did the correct thing.  Only get involved if your partner asks for help, or if his discussion gets heated and you need to intervene to get an ejected coach off of the field.  Protest rules vary by state so I would not necessarily go in with the mindset that this is a protestable offense and have that guide your actions.

 

Be careful about making assumptions about what your partner has called or why he has called it.  It is his call and he owns it.  If he's unsure of the rule or thinks he kicked it he should have the confidence to come to you (away from the coach) to get info or an interpretation.

 

All that I may have done different is give the "I have info" signal if you pre-gamed this, that at least lets him know you are in a position to give him something if he feels he needs it.

 

If you did a good post-game with him he won't kick this one again.

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In this situation, it's possible your partner had a flinch by the pitcher, which makes it a start and stop balk. If so, stepping in may make the situation worse.

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I'm in the "get the call right" camp when it's a blatant rule misapplication. If he's a little hurt, don't blow a simple rule next time. 

 

Once he started explaining the balk as a "he had to throw", step in. Check with him. If he realizes he was wrong, call the runner out. Can't allow a blatant misapplication of rules.

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Im honestly torn on this one. I have a duty to the game as well as a duty to my crew. I dont hesitate getting together anytime I need info. If I have any doubt, I will initiate the meeting (my call not his). I will never intervene on my partner's talk with the coach. I will give th signal (Hat in right hand). If partner sees and initiates, it worked. If he doesn't initiate, he can mow his own yard. I tried. But never will I jump my own fence to get to his yard. :no:

And my partners better not either :BD:

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What are you going to do if the coach protests?

If you hear your partner give an explanation that is an obvious misapplication of a rule, you need to intervene. I would just tell the coach to give you a minute, get with him, verify what he had and tell him the rule. Let him change it.

It's your job to enforce the rules. Kicking a judgment call is one thing. Kicking a rule is entirely different. You have to step in and get it right or sink with the ship if you lose the protest.

A D1 guy lost post season play a few years ago because the crew missed a base award. He knew they were wrong with their award but didn't step in and say anything.

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This is a tricky situation.

 

First of all, you don't know WHY your partner called the balk. As others have suggested, he may have seen something you didn't.

 

If you subsequently become aware that your partner blatantly misapplied a rule (as apparently happened in the OP), I think it's incumbent upon you to let your partner know that you've got some information he needs. Ideally, he "gets the hint" based on whatever pre-arranged signal you decided on in your pre-game.

 

If he ignores you, or "resists" you, I think it's appropriate to insist on a private conversation with him. If the coach makes a formal protest, I believe you are required to get together.

 

The problem is, you might be unable to convince him that your understanding of the rule is correct and his is incorrect.

 

In which case, his incorrect ruling is going to stand.

 

I was at an NCAA clinic last fall and during one of the games where I was on the field, we had a CI call. The PU improperly placed the runners after the play. I realized this as he put the ball back in play for the next batter. I immediately called Time and went and had a private conversation with him. He found me unpersuasive. I dropped it.

 

In our "debrief" with the instructors when we came off the field, I was commended for trying to fix the rule mis-application but "dinged" for not calling the 3rd member of the crew into the discussion and being unable to convince my partner.

 

JM

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What are you going to do if the coach protests?

If you hear your partner give an explanation that is an obvious misapplication of a rule, you need to intervene. I would just tell the coach to give you a minute, get with him, verify what he had and tell him the rule. Let him change it.

It's your job to enforce the rules. Kicking a judgment call is one thing. Kicking a rule is entirely different. You have to step in and get it right or sink with the ship if you lose the protest.

A D1 guy lost post season play a few years ago because the crew missed a base award. He knew they were wrong with their award but didn't step in and say anything.

 

Doesn't a protest make it easy?  Then you have to get together and discuss, right?  Sems to me (a non-umpire) that this is only diifficult when there is not a protest and you're tyring to figure out if your partner is having a brain spasm.  (Which seems to me to make a sbutle I-have-info-you-might-want signal useful.)

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What are you going to do if the coach protests?

If you hear your partner give an explanation that is an obvious misapplication of a rule, you need to intervene. I would just tell the coach to give you a minute, get with him, verify what he had and tell him the rule. Let him change it.

It's your job to enforce the rules. Kicking a judgment call is one thing. Kicking a rule is entirely different. You have to step in and get it right or sink with the ship if you lose the protest.

A D1 guy lost post season play a few years ago because the crew missed a base award. He knew they were wrong with their award but didn't step in and say anything.

 

Doesn't a protest make it easy?  Then you have to get together and discuss, right?  Sems to me (a non-umpire) that this is only diifficult when there is not a protest and you're tyring to figure out if your partner is having a brain spasm.  (Which seems to me to make a sbutle I-have-info-you-might-want signal useful.)

Some were advocating let your partner hang himself.  I was asking: What are you going to do if you're going to let him die with the call, knowing fully well he's misapplying a rule, and now the coach says he's going to protest the game?

 

The last thing an umpire ever wants to hear is the word PROTEST.  Depending on the league, conference, level, etc. umpires have to report a protest even if it was resolved on the field.  Supervisors don't like getting those reports and will ask the questions - Why don't you know the rules?  Why didn't you step in before it got to a protest?

 

Another question worth asking: What are you going to do if the coach doesn't protest?  Now, later on the coach contacts an assigner/supervisor and asks about it.  That guy isn't going to be very happy which leads me back to my story about the NCAA D-I umpire losing post season assignments because he didn't step in and let his partners know they had a base award wrong.

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