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SteveJ

Did I dump the HC for no reason?

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Opinions please.......

 

Freshman HS league semi-final game - I am working bases

 

Bottom of 7 - Visitors up 8-5

 

Home Team batting - runner on 1B – 1 out

 

Close play at 2B. I had the visitor’s 2nd baseman coming off the bag and the home team’s R1 sliding into 2B safely. I gave the standard pulled foot signal with a verbal "off the bag" & safe call/signal. I was in great position to make the call and was (and still am) 100% sure of my call.

 

Moans and complaints regarding the call from the visitor’s dugout, as would be expected and not of an ejectable nature. HC did not come out to ask for an explanation.

 

Home team came back to tie the game 8-8 in the 7th and won it in the 8th inning

 

Between 7th & 8th inning.  Visitor’s Assistant Coach says to me, "That was a bad call at second", I said "What?". He said, "You made a bad call at second base". So I ejected him.

 

His HC comes out to find out why I ejected the AC. I told him why and that he, the HC, was the only one that could ask me about calls. The HC said, "What did you see?" I told him and then he yells "That's crap!" So I ejected him too.

 

Now that I have had time to settle down and replay the events in my head I believe that I should not have ejected HC for what he said. But at the time, in the heat of the moment, it seemed appropriate.

 

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If the AC said that to me in a calm voice, I would not EJ immediately. If he's not questioning my integrity, showing me up, or otherwise being abusive, I'll let him have his opinion about the call. I would have given him an opportunity to stop before the EJ -- something like "Sorry you see it that way, but we're not discussing it" or even just "that's enough." I wasn't there and didn't hear the bench jockeying that led up to it, nor did I hear his tone, see his demeanor or anything like that. But based on how I see it in my head, it feels a bit like a quick hook.

 

Without the EJ of the AC, there's likely no EJ of the HC, but if he's yelling "That's crap!" in my face, there's a good chance he goes, too. If it's not an absolute no-brainer EJ, I usually like to give that opportunity for the participant to come to their senses and walk away, but we're just armchair QB's here and there's usually much more context around these situations that's hard to communicate in a post or email.

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I think he gave you a reason, but as @Chip put it, maybe all could have been avoided.  But you were there, we weren't, if you felt the first ejection was warranted, then the second one probably was as well....

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Where are you between innings where an assistant coach can talk to you?  As far as the ejections are concerned,  AC was warranted, HC maybe not. It depends on who could hear the discussion.

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Where are you between innings where an assistant coach can talk to you?  As far as the ejections are concerned,  AC was warranted, HC maybe not. It depends on who could hear the discussion.

I had just jogged over to "A" from my position in shallow right field (on the grass watching the warm-up pitches). AC was around the coach's box.

 

Like I said, After "calming down" and thinking about it I feel that saying "that's crap" probably wasn't reason enough to eject the HC.

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I had just jogged over to "A" from my position in shallow right field (on the grass watching the warm-up pitches). AC was around the coach's box.

 

 

Rule 3-3-1g6 says "leave the vicinity of the dugout or coaching box ...."

 

I agree the comment needs to be addressed -- and I think something other than an immediate ejection is a better way to address it.

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Between 7th & 8th inning.  Visitor’s Assistant Coach says to me, "That was a bad call at second", I said "What?". He said, "You made a bad call at second base". So I ejected him.

 

His HC comes out to find out why I ejected the AC. I told him why and that he, the HC, was the only one that could ask me about calls. The HC said, "What did you see?" I told him and then he yells "That's crap!" So I ejected him too.

 

 

 

I don't like either EJ. If you don't EJ the AC, you'd never have to EJ the HC.

 

First, the AC is entitled to his opinion. When he tells you his opinion, say, "OK," and walk away. What the hell difference does it make if he thinks you missed the call?

 

Second, he was complaining about a call, not about you. He has not violated the 3 P's (personal, prolonged, or profane). Let it go.

 

Third, if you feel that you must address his comment (due to its tone or volume, perhaps), say, "that's enough, coach," and walk away. Then you've warned him: if he persists, you can EJ him for that, not for thinking you missed a call. And again, when the HC comes out about it and you explain that you had warned the AC and he kept at it, you're not going to have to EJ the HC (unless he decides to be a jackwagon himself).

 

Finally, the HC was also complaining about a call (the EJ of the AC), and had not violated the 3 P's. So let that go, too.

 

Look: we're never going to convince everyone that we're right, and it wouldn't matter if we did. Get to your spot, see the whole play, and make your call. Some won't like it, but too bad for them: yours is the only opinion that counts. They are entitled to their opinions, and we should not be EJ'ing people left and right for disagreeing with us or for expressing that disagreement.

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Between 7th & 8th inning.  Visitor’s Assistant Coach says to me, "That was a bad call at second", I said "What?". He said, "You made a bad call at second base". So I ejected him.

Personally I don't consider the phrase "That was a bad call at second" or  "You made a bad call at second base" ejection worthy. Coaches are entitled to their opinion about our work...even assistant coaches as long as, just like @maven said, the opinion is neither personal, prolonged, or profane.  When you replied to the coaches comment with "What?" he responds back, then you eject? This can be considered as baiting. You responding with "what?" implies that you didn't hear him. What do you think the coach will do when you ask him "what?" He is going to repeat himself.  When it comes to cheap shots by coaches and ejections, you have to make sure you have warned when appropriate. Why not give a stern "That's enough" If he continues, restrict him to the dugout...then if that is still not enough, then eject. There is no assigner in America that would have a problem with an ejection if you use this process. This may not apply to all ejections because sometimes some coaches go from 0-ejection in a split second. We as umpires have to work harder to keep coaches in the game when appropriate especially at the HS level. The best way to do that is by getting in your warnings if possible before ejecting.

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Between 7th & 8th inning.  Visitor’s Assistant Coach says to me, "That was a bad call at second", I said "What?". He said, "You made a bad call at second base". So I ejected him.

 

His HC comes out to find out why I ejected the AC. I told him why and that he, the HC, was the only one that could ask me about calls. The HC said, "What did you see?" I told him and then he yells "That's crap!" So I ejected him too.

 

 

 

I don't like either EJ. If you don't EJ the AC, you'd never have to EJ the HC.

 

First, the AC is entitled to his opinion. When he tells you his opinion, say, "OK," and walk away. What the hell difference does it make if he thinks you missed the call?

 

Second, he was complaining about a call, not about you. He has not violated the 3 P's (personal, prolonged, or profane). Let it go.

 

Third, if you feel that you must address his comment (due to its tone or volume, perhaps), say, "that's enough, coach," and walk away. Then you've warned him: if he persists, you can EJ him for that, not for thinking you missed a call. And again, when the HC comes out about it and you explain that you had warned the AC and he kept at it, you're not going to have to EJ the HC (unless he decides to be a jackwagon himself).

 

Finally, the HC was also complaining about a call (the EJ of the AC), and had not violated the 3 P's. So let that go, too.

 

Look: we're never going to convince everyone that we're right, and it wouldn't matter if we did. Get to your spot, see the whole play, and make your call. Some won't like it, but too bad for them: yours is the only opinion that counts. They are entitled to their opinions, and we should not be EJ'ing people left and right for disagreeing with us or for expressing that disagreement.

 

You are 100% correct.....  I know this. I have been in this game for a long time.  I guess what concerns me most is why I didn't use the skills that I have learned over the years to handle this situation properly. Maybe it's due to my growing dislike for the the overall lack of respect shown umpires (of course this didn't help).  That's something only I can figure out and correct (or hang up my mask if I can't deal with it).  Thanks again everyone!

 

I appreciate everyone's feedback although I already knew what it would be. I guess it helped to hear it from others.

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You are 100% correct.....  I know this. I have been in this game for a long time.  I guess what concerns me most is why I didn't use the skills that I have learned over the years to handle this situation properly. Maybe it's due to my growing dislike for the the overall lack of respect shown umpires (of course this didn't help).  That's something only I can figure out and correct (or hang up my mask if I can't deal with it).  Thanks again everyone!

 

I appreciate everyone's feedback although I already knew what it would be. I guess it helped to hear it from others.

OK, I'll take off my scolding hat and put on my support hat.

 

Game management is the hardest thing, and it's what distinguishes the top of the top of the umpiring world. You can't be a doormat, but you can't be a redazz either. Each situation is different, and each coach and player is different. No one approach works 100% of the time, which is what makes it so hard. Good game management (and I'm still learning too — I have been known to fail to take care of business, or to do so too slowly) takes years of experience and good judgment.

 

So file this away as a learning experience, and try not to care so much what others think of our calls. This is difficult for human beings to do: our brains are wired to make us more social and more concerned about what others think of us, so that partly explains why ignoring others' opinions can be a challenge.

 

But necessary sometimes. ;)

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A lot of it has to do with the time in the season.  My hypothesis is that ejection peak about 3/4 of the way through a season.  Umpires are tired of hearing the same old crap from coaches, and coaches are tired of seeing the same old missed calls from umpires.  The playoffs are still "a long way away" but the crappy teams are just playing out the string and getting frustrated.

 

So, when something happens, a coach says maybe a little more than he would have an umpire reacts a little more strongly than he would have.  It becomes the straw that breaks the camel's back.

 

Knowing that it's that time, helps deal with it.

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A.  He's the assistant

B.  He said the word "you" thats making it personal.  That call was crap, crud, BS whatever is fine. as soon as he says "you" Im running him. 

 

HC - probably not. 

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B.  He said the word "you" thats making it personal.  That call was crap, crud, BS whatever is fine. as soon as he says "you" Im running him. 

 

There is no substantive difference between "That call was crap," and "You made a crap call."

 

There is a substantive difference between "That call was crap," and "You're crap."

 

The word "you" is neither necessary nor sufficient to make a comment personal.

  • Not necessary: "Cheater!"
  • Not sufficient: "You made a crap call."

 

Umpires who eject when they hear the word "you" and are not sensitive to these distinctions don't advance far, because they never get good at game management.

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Not only did you dump the HC for no reason, but there wasn't much reason to dump the AC.  God knows we all handle the odd situation poorly, and I have had more than my fair share, but they can also be great learning experiences. Had you perhaps said any number of things like, that's enough, or sure, or ok or thanks for your opinion coach instead of what this situation may have worked out differently.  For me personally I've come to find that stopping and saying "what" to a coach is a direct challenge or dare to them to repeat (usually one they feel the need to repeat in a more explicit fashion) what I had clearly heard.  Now that I have challenged the coach by escalating the situation they respond in kind and then whammo there is an EJ because I escalated the situation in the first place.  There's always a chance in using non confrontational words that the coach is an ass and will just get louder and nastier, but in that case he has made his own bed and it will be blatantly obvious to everyone else (whether they agree with it or not) that it wasn't  me trying to provoke things. In that situation HC is not coming out for an explanation, he will know perfectly well why his AC got the hook and I avoid that extra paperwork

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@SteveJ I think you got some solid responses here and I think you had a learning experience. So it's not an all bad situation.

 

I think noumpere hit a good point about time of ejections going up as well. 

 

Also it may be a factor of you and the level of the game, and I'm hope this doesn't come accross as an insult because it isn't it is just what I see as matter of fact and I fall into this category.

 

Umpires can grow a certain level of disdain for certain levels of baseball. And just working in those environments at those levels can be a precursor of bad things to come. 

 

Speaking for myself, I did my first youth rec game in a while last week and amazingly I didn't go into the game with a bad attitude. But that changed before the first pitch and continued on for 2 hours (thank God for time limits). The kids didn't hustle between innings despite my promptings, the coaches changed where kids played every inning and took forever, the parents are worse the lower down the ladder you go, and it was an incredibly poorly played game. 

 

In that game I had a parent who with whine every time there was a speck of dust on the plate, and with virtually no backstop he was literally 10' from me. He whined and complained about every call. And took a few too many cheap shots at me and my partner.

 

  • 8+ years ago I would have been too "nice", too little confidence to authoritatively dealt with the lack of hustle or the parent
  • 5ish years ago I would have been overly aggressive.
    • Probably addressing the parent directly, (btw you shouldn't do).
    • Probably would have made some sort of smart/dumb ass comment to the coaches about their team's lack of hustle
    • These situations would have led to me ejecting someone more likely than not.
  • 3ish years ago I would have tried to employ some "game management" strategies for both
    • Ask the coach to take care of the parent
    • Be more assertive in hustling the players, talk with coaches and get their "buy in" on hustling their players so they can get as much game in as they can within their time limit, limiting warm up pitches, issue balls or strikes accordingly, 
  • Now these games have all but defeated me. None of the above techniques work at the youth rec levels.
    • So I fume in silence at the parent
    • I give moderate prompting to hustle, but screw it it is their game and their time limit. They want to be slow it's their problem.
    • Fume in silence about the playing ability.

 

In my area we don't have any Freshman level baseball. Many middle schools don't even have baseball. But maybe this Freshman level is not above your ability, but maybe it is above your ability to endure.

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Without having read any other responses......

Ignore

Acknowledge

Warn

Eject

I believe you jumped the gun just a bit.

First comment by an AC gets a hard look.

2nd gets the HC a warning. Trust me, he'll take care of it.

You engaged HC about why you EJd his AC. Fine. But the time to discuss the call has passed. Your mistake was in allowing and particioating in an after-the-fact conversation. I'm assuming that his what did you see question was about the play at 2B. Sorry, but he missed his window.

I personally wouldn't have ejected either one. And, had you not dumped the AC, there would be no reason to dump HC.

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Like I said earlier I appreciate everyone’s comments. I knew right away that I had mishandled the situation and was very disappointed in myself because I know better. It helped to hear from everyone. Now I have “Worst game of my career†story to tell.

 

I think that I have discovered what the problem was…it was my attitude. I guess working at levels lower than I am accustomed to where the coaches/fans/players are more vocal bothered me more than I realized. So the other night I was, as my mom would always say, “Crusin’ for a bruisin’†and that’s a piss-poor attitude to take on the field.

 

So after kicking myself (and having others kick me), plus a couple of talks with my psychiatrist (it helps to be married to one) I was on the field again last night for another semi-final game (plate). This time I took the proper attitude. The game went very smoothly and I had a great time (hadn’t done that for awhile).

 

On a positive note, I have documented how I mishandled the situation and will use it as a tool to help train new umpires coming into our league. I worked with the same (fairly new) partner last night that I worked with the night of my “melt-down†so I was able to go over the things I did wrong and how it should have been handled.

 

Now it’s break time from baseball for me since our league will take a break until mid-May and I will soon head off to Las Vegas for two WSOP events in early June flowed by 3 weeks of vacation traveling around in my motorhome with grandkids.

 

Thanks again & good luck to you all!

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Maven - Agreed. If it was the HC that came out and said it he'd be fine, add the assistant who isnt allowed to speak and he's done.  Maybe I didnt get that point across properly. 

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Maven - Agreed. If it was the HC that came out and said it he'd be fine, add the assistant who isnt allowed to speak and he's done.  Maybe I didnt get that point across properly. 

 

You're right: AC's get a lot less rope than HC's.

 

The OP mentions it's a HS game, and FED has a rule prohibiting AC's from leaving their spots to argue. If he does, I'm still reminding him before I EJ: "Coach, by rule you cannot leave your spot to argue a call."

 

OBR has no such rule, but I'm still warning before tossing: "Coach, let me get with your HC to talk about this, if he has a question."

 

If any coach says magic words, of course, he's gotta go, but if he's just cheesed off by a call I'll handle it that way.

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Maven, good advise, just curious if the coach would have said - "you made a crap call just like the one 2 innings ago."  Would you dump him then?

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Maven, good advise, just curious if the coach would have said - "you made a crap call just like the one 2 innings ago."  Would you dump him then?

 

Nope. Might tell him I'm not there for a history lesson, and to knock it off.

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:smachhead: If the coach brings it up again or brings up a prior incident, then he gets dumped!! :givebeer:

 

I will not go out of my way to "miss him" just so he can't say anything.  IF the coach intend to say something, then he'll say it and if warranted, he gets dumped!

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:smachhead: If the coach brings it up again or brings up a prior incident, then he gets dumped!! :givebeer:

 

I will not go out of my way to "miss him" just so he can't say anything.  IF the coach intend to say something, then he'll say it and if warranted, he gets dumped!

 

Let's take a look at that logic.

 

If he intends to say something, he'll say it...so why wouldn't you make it as obvious as possible that he is the one in the wrong? Make him look like the ass; don't meet him halfway.

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