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Matt_A_B

The Partner We All Have Nightmares About

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Well, this is really long, but a lot happened. Hopefully you’ll find this story so comical that you’ll want to read the whole thing.

So, I had that partner on Saturday that we hope we never have to deal with. He was by far the worst umpire I have ever worked with. I can handle a little rule ignorance, as long as it doesn’t blow up on us on the field, and as long as a person is willing to listen when you discreetly try to talk over a situation with them.

He had so many horrible moments in one game that I think I will just list them in bullet point style, in the order that they occurred.

It was a 10am game. I showed up a little before 9:30, and went to the shed were we meet up and get game balls before the game. At 9:58 there is still no sign of the guy, and the assignor is starting to get irritated. Then exactly at 10 I look at the field and he is already standing out there, BSing with the players and coaches. I rush out on the field, now looking like I am the one who is running late, because he never came to the meeting shed. I go up to him, and of course he doesn’t have games balls, because he never went to the shed to get any. Luckily I always bring extra balls out, even when I’m base ump, so we had some to start the game with. I was annoyed, but willing to overlook this and give the guy the benefit of the doubt.

Next we have runners on first and third, and of course what does the pitcher do? He fakes to third and spins to first. I immediately yell “That’s a balk!â€, to which my partner says, “No, these are 12 year olds.†I don’t think there is any rule exception for twelve year olds, because I usually don’t do much younger than 16, but there could be. However, in this situation, even if there is some special exemption for 12 year olds it wouldn’t matter, because the kids were 14. So, we get it straightened out, and send the runners up a base. This would, unfortunately, only be the beginning of his attempts to second guess my calls publicly during the game.

Next we have runners on first and second. The pitcher comes set, starts moving his shoulders, and then turns attempts to pick off the runner at second. Plate ump yells “Balk†as the pitcher airmails the ball into center field. Both runners are off and running and the kid on second was going to score, while the kid on first would have easily made it to third, except my partner starts screaming “Dead ball, dead ball! I called a balk. You have to stop at third.†I cringe a little but don’t react. I then went to him, as discreetly as possible between innings and simply said “Don’t kill the balk right away. If the runners want to advance at their own risk they are allowed to do that.†Well, you would have thought I had just insulted his mom. He came absolutely unglued and started shouting, very loudly, at me that I don’t know the rules, I need to understand what a balk is, read the rule book, etc… To top all of this off one of the coaches had walked up to us to report a change at this point, so he did most of this yelling at me with a coach watching a few feet away.

Next he makes a “Foul! Foul! Fair! Fair! Fair!†call. That should be pretty self explanatory.

Next we have a bases loaded situation, with two out, so I am in B. There is a little grounder hit to second, who throws to first. The first baseman catches the ball, and then comes off the bag. I rule he had procession before the pull and bang the kid out. The first base coach mildly disagrees, but doesn’t really argue or put up a fuss. As I get to shallow right and turn around I see my partner walk up to the first base coach and stop him on his way to the dugout. I wonder if he is actually going to tell the coach he disagreed with my call, but then I think “nah, this guy can’t be THAT stupid, can he?†Well, sure enough, the next inning the first coach comes up to me and says “you’re partner said you got that one wrong, and that the first baseman was off the bag.†I’m pretty well fuming on the inside at this point, but I keep it all inside.

The last incident didn’t directly involve me, but was still embarrassingly bad. In the seventh inning a kid was running from second to home on a hit to shallow right field. The throw beat the kid there by several steps, and was probably 15 feet up the line. The runner slows down to a light trot, and basically walks into the catcher’s tag. All of a sudden there’s a big “You are OUT OF THE GAME!!!†emanating from the plate umpire as he makes an ejection mechanic. He tossed the runner, for malicious contact, for not sliding, even though he was at least 15 feet away from the plate, simply walked into the tag. Nobody seemed quite sure what to make of that one.

All around it was a pretty miserable game. I won’t even get into the issues we had in the second game, when he was the base ump.

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I try to always call my partner the day before a game to make sure we are on the same page as to time, location, plate or base, shirt color, and where to meet at the field but sometimes games are just last minute deals and I don't know who I'm working with, usually LL. I absolutely hate it when my partner goes straight to the field before meeting up with me first. The worst is when I go ahead and put on my plate gear because he's not there and walk down to the field 10 minutes before game time only to find him standing there with plate gear on also.

 

I had this happen a couple of times, now I have learned that if he's not there 30 minutes before game time I will call his cell phone and if no answer I will walk down to the field and see if he's there before I start gearing up.

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I would have walked out. Or at least not worked the second game.

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This Month's Referee looks to have an interesting article about partners from hell. I only skimmed it after getting it yesterday. I'll read it when I get my next hooked on phonics dvd. ;)

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Yeah. Love to hear about game two. I may have walked on game one but definitely let him have it all on game #2. It amazes me that guys like that get any games. It hurts us all.

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Most of us would not want do the second game with this Smitty BUT if there is not a replacement abandoning a game when you can call ( no injury) may not be the best move.

If I was an assignor of UIC I would not be happy.

If the assignor and/or the UIC is there quietly request him to watch the second game.

Do both games and block this moron.

 

2 years ago I watched a umpire get into a tussel with his partner in the first inning and toss his mask in the air walk off of the field in front of 2 teams of 8 year olds. 

Great example for young players.

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Well, this is really long, but a lot happened. Hopefully you’ll find this story so comical that you’ll want to read the whole thing.

So, I had that partner on Saturday that we hope we never have to deal with. He was by far the worst umpire I have ever worked with. I can handle a little rule ignorance, as long as it doesn’t blow up on us on the field, and as long as a person is willing to listen when you discreetly try to talk over a situation with them.

He had so many horrible moments in one game that I think I will just list them in bullet point style, in the order that they occurred.

It was a 10am game. I showed up a little before 9:30, and went to the shed were we meet up and get game balls before the game. At 9:58 there is still no sign of the guy, and the assignor is starting to get irritated. Then exactly at 10 I look at the field and he is already standing out there, BSing with the players and coaches. I rush out on the field, now looking like I am the one who is running late, because he never came to the meeting shed. I go up to him, and of course he doesn’t have games balls, because he never went to the shed to get any. Luckily I always bring extra balls out, even when I’m base ump, so we had some to start the game with. I was annoyed, but willing to overlook this and give the guy the benefit of the doubt.

Next we have runners on first and third, and of course what does the pitcher do? He fakes to third and spins to first. I immediately yell “That’s a balk!â€, to which my partner says, “No, these are 12 year olds.†I don’t think there is any rule exception for twelve year olds, because I usually don’t do much younger than 16, but there could be. However, in this situation, even if there is some special exemption for 12 year olds it wouldn’t matter, because the kids were 14. So, we get it straightened out, and send the runners up a base. This would, unfortunately, only be the beginning of his attempts to second guess my calls publicly during the game.

Next we have runners on first and second. The pitcher comes set, starts moving his shoulders, and then turns attempts to pick off the runner at second. Plate ump yells “Balk†as the pitcher airmails the ball into center field. Both runners are off and running and the kid on second was going to score, while the kid on first would have easily made it to third, except my partner starts screaming “Dead ball, dead ball! I called a balk. You have to stop at third.†I cringe a little but don’t react. I then went to him, as discreetly as possible between innings and simply said “Don’t kill the balk right away. If the runners want to advance at their own risk they are allowed to do that.†Well, you would have thought I had just insulted his mom. He came absolutely unglued and started shouting, very loudly, at me that I don’t know the rules, I need to understand what a balk is, read the rule book, etc… To top all of this off one of the coaches had walked up to us to report a change at this point, so he did most of this yelling at me with a coach watching a few feet away.

 

. . . and, here's where I say to my partner: "You're on your own."  and walk away.

 

No - I've never had a partner this bad.  Maybe not even close to this bad, and I've had some bad partners (& for my 1st year or two, may have been a bad partner - but not this bad!) 

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Well, this is really long, but a lot happened. Hopefully you’ll find this story so comical that you’ll want to read the whole thing. So, I had that partner on Saturday that we hope we never have to deal with. He was by far the worst umpire I have ever worked with. I can handle a little rule ignorance, as long as it doesn’t blow up on us on the field, and as long as a person is willing to listen when you discreetly try to talk over a situation with them. He had so many horrible moments in one game that I think I will just list them in bullet point style, in the order that they occurred. It was a 10am game. I showed up a little before 9:30, and went to the shed were we meet up and get game balls before the game. At 9:58 there is still no sign of the guy, and the assignor is starting to get irritated. Then exactly at 10 I look at the field and he is already standing out there, BSing with the players and coaches. I rush out on the field, now looking like I am the one who is running late, because he never came to the meeting shed. I go up to him, and of course he doesn’t have games balls, because he never went to the shed to get any. Luckily I always bring extra balls out, even when I’m base ump, so we had some to start the game with. I was annoyed, but willing to overlook this and give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Next we have runners on first and third, and of course what does the pitcher do? He fakes to third and spins to first. I immediately yell “That’s a balk!â€, to which my partner says, “No, these are 12 year olds.†I don’t think there is any rule exception for twelve year olds, because I usually don’t do much younger than 16, but there could be. However, in this situation, even if there is some special exemption for 12 year olds it wouldn’t matter, because the kids were 14. So, we get it straightened out, and send the runners up a base. This would, unfortunately, only be the beginning of his attempts to second guess my calls publicly during the game. Next we have runners on first and second. The pitcher comes set, starts moving his shoulders, and then turns attempts to pick off the runner at second. Plate ump yells “Balk†as the pitcher airmails the ball into center field. Both runners are off and running and the kid on second was going to score, while the kid on first would have easily made it to third, except my partner starts screaming “Dead ball, dead ball! I called a balk. You have to stop at third.†I cringe a little but don’t react. I then went to him, as discreetly as possible between innings and simply said “Don’t kill the balk right away. If the runners want to advance at their own risk they are allowed to do that.†Well, you would have thought I had just insulted his mom. He came absolutely unglued and started shouting, very loudly, at me that I don’t know the rules, I need to understand what a balk is, read the rule book, etc… To top all of this off one of the coaches had walked up to us to report a change at this point, so he did most of this yelling at me with a coach watching a few feet away.
. . . and, here's where I say to my partner: "You're on your own." and walk away. No - I've never had a partner this bad. Maybe not even close to this bad, and I've had some bad partners (& for my 1st year or two, may have been a bad partner - but not this bad!) If you ever get to work with BigUmpire you will have that experience! 😄

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Well, this is really long, but a lot happened. Hopefully you’ll find this story so comical that you’ll want to read the whole thing. So, I had that partner on Saturday that we hope we never have to deal with. He was by far the worst umpire I have ever worked with. I can handle a little rule ignorance, as long as it doesn’t blow up on us on the field, and as long as a person is willing to listen when you discreetly try to talk over a situation with them. He had so many horrible moments in one game that I think I will just list them in bullet point style, in the order that they occurred. It was a 10am game. I showed up a little before 9:30, and went to the shed were we meet up and get game balls before the game. At 9:58 there is still no sign of the guy, and the assignor is starting to get irritated. Then exactly at 10 I look at the field and he is already standing out there, BSing with the players and coaches. I rush out on the field, now looking like I am the one who is running late, because he never came to the meeting shed. I go up to him, and of course he doesn’t have games balls, because he never went to the shed to get any. Luckily I always bring extra balls out, even when I’m base ump, so we had some to start the game with. I was annoyed, but willing to overlook this and give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Next we have runners on first and third, and of course what does the pitcher do? He fakes to third and spins to first. I immediately yell “That’s a balk!â€, to which my partner says, “No, these are 12 year olds.†I don’t think there is any rule exception for twelve year olds, because I usually don’t do much younger than 16, but there could be. However, in this situation, even if there is some special exemption for 12 year olds it wouldn’t matter, because the kids were 14. So, we get it straightened out, and send the runners up a base. This would, unfortunately, only be the beginning of his attempts to second guess my calls publicly during the game. Next we have runners on first and second. The pitcher comes set, starts moving his shoulders, and then turns attempts to pick off the runner at second. Plate ump yells “Balk†as the pitcher airmails the ball into center field. Both runners are off and running and the kid on second was going to score, while the kid on first would have easily made it to third, except my partner starts screaming “Dead ball, dead ball! I called a balk. You have to stop at third.†I cringe a little but don’t react. I then went to him, as discreetly as possible between innings and simply said “Don’t kill the balk right away. If the runners want to advance at their own risk they are allowed to do that.†Well, you would have thought I had just insulted his mom. He came absolutely unglued and started shouting, very loudly, at me that I don’t know the rules, I need to understand what a balk is, read the rule book, etc… To top all of this off one of the coaches had walked up to us to report a change at this point, so he did most of this yelling at me with a coach watching a few feet away.
. . . and, here's where I say to my partner: "You're on your own." and walk away. No - I've never had a partner this bad. Maybe not even close to this bad, and I've had some bad partners (& for my 1st year or two, may have been a bad partner - but not this bad!) If you ever get to work with BigUmpire you will have that experience!

 

How do you know I am that bad?

I may be worse!

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Personaly, I would never walk-off the field or not do a second game because of a stupid partner. It can only reflects bad on me. I won't enjoy my time and I will get on the phone with whoever is responsible of umpires after the games but the players/teams should not be penalized because my partner is a moron. I'll do my best and hope for the rest!

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Your assignor will remember you abandoning a game (no matter the issue) way more than just about any in-game dispute or issue between partners.  Be professional, finish out your game(s) however you need to, and report to the assignor post-game.

 

Out of curiosity, how did the Game 1 post-game discussion go?  :wacko:

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I've only had one situation where I actually got into a verbal spat with a partner.  I was doing a FP softball game with him and I had never worked with him before.  It was a league that had multiple fields running and his regular partner had to go fill-in for a no-show he was stuck with me.  His regular partner had brought plate gear to the field so they could dress and be ready faster than me.

 

After the first inning I went and brushed off second base (no comments it's required in FP).  I then looked at the pitching plate which looked brand new.  It literally had a few flakes of dirt on it, nothing else.  So I decided it was fine and went to short RF.  I notice my partner come out from behind the plate and brush off the pitching plate.  Second inning same thing, but this time after brushing it he glares at me and says "you know this is your job not mine".  I lost it.  I marched over to him and said "Don't ever talk to me like that again.  If you want me to brush the pitching plate every half inning whether it needs it or not, then just ask me to do it.  But don't play this stupid passive-aggressive game where you glare at me and then tell me what to do."  We did not say a word to each other the rest of the game.  I did call my assignor the next day and ask to never be paired with this guy again.  My assignor acknowledged that this umpire has had issues working with other umpires as well.  

 

Funny thing is 2 years or so later I was working a middle school basketball game for the same assignor and low and behold I'm with the same jerk.  I recognize him, but don't know if he recognized me.  Game actually went pretty well until as the trail ref he called a foul on a fast break layup attempt when I was 5 feet from the play right under the basket and he was at the opposite free throw line.  The coach understandably was incredulous.  And ref ended up tossing him.

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I know what you're all saying about walking off during a game, and believe me it's not something I've ever even considered before.  But, I'm not sure I'd be able to stay if my partner behaved as the OP reports.  Once he starts loudly calling me out in front of the game participants, my - hell, our - authority is all but gone.  That game is going to descend into the very depths of Hell from that point on and I'm not sure I'm up for the ride. 

 

He runs me over w/a bus; I give him his handbasket and to hell w/what the 'powers-that-be' think.

 

I'm not so hard-up for games that I need to deal w/that crap - a big part of the reason I umpire is that I enjoy it.  Sometimes, the games aren't that fun (but the stories that come from those games can be great!) but if it was my partner creating that bad experience, I'm not sure how I'd react.  I hope I never find out.

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a big part of the reason I umpire is that I enjoy it.
Bingo!!!

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Next we have runners on first and second. The pitcher comes set, starts moving his shoulders, and then turns attempts to pick off the runner at second. Plate ump yells “Balk†as the pitcher airmails the ball into center field. Both runners are off and running and the kid on second was going to score, while the kid on first would have easily made it to third, except my partner starts screaming “Dead ball, dead ball! I called a balk. You have to stop at third.†I cringe a little but don’t react. I then went to him, as discreetly as possible between innings and simply said “Don’t kill the balk right away. If the runners want to advance at their own risk they are allowed to do that.†Well, you would have thought I had just insulted his mom. He came absolutely unglued and started shouting, very loudly, at me that I don’t know the rules, I need to understand what a balk is, read the rule book, etc… "

 

As far as I know, unless all runners, including the batter advance at least one base, the balk is enforced, and the batter could not become a batter-runner in this situation. His reaction to your error was completely unwarranted, however.

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As far as I know, unless all runners, including the batter advance at least one base, the balk is enforced, and the batter could not become a batter-runner in this situation. His reaction to your error was completely unwarranted, however.

8.05 If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when—

 

. . . .

 

APPROVED RULING: In cases where a pitcher balks and throws wild, either to a

base or to home plate, a runner or runners may advance beyond the base to which

he is entitled at his own risk.

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As far as I know, unless all runners, including the batter advance at least one base, the balk is enforced, and the batter could not become a batter-runner in this situation. His reaction to your error was completely unwarranted, however.

8.05 If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when—

 

. . . .

 

APPROVED RULING: In cases where a pitcher balks and throws wild, either to a

base or to home plate, a runner or runners may advance beyond the base to which

he is entitled at his own risk.

 

 

 

And I'm getting forgetful in my advanced years. Thank you, and my apologies to the OP.

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Yikes!  That would burn me out real quick if I had to deal clowns like that.

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I'm still waiting for the report on the 2nd game......

I ve only once asked my assignor not to put me on the same game with a particular umpire, but that's because

he could not stick to the game.

If he ump a game on sunday and there was a call which the coach was not happy with, he would start the next game

of the team in question by reffering back to the incident. Reinforcing that his call was good cause he had afterwards

talked to other umpires and they said his ruling was ok. The only problem was, to each umpire he asked for a second opinion, the situation he explained was different. Every time the story was 'slightly' .

So as I didn't feel comfortable on the games with him, I requested to avoid putting us together on the games.

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He should have been docked a game's pay and suspended a few games.

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