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Mike Prince

Fixing an Umpire mistake

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Our Rec association (which is under Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth if that matters) has a variety of local rules, one dealing with thrown bats.  The rule basically states that the first thrown bat results in a team warning, the second (by the warned team) is an immediate dead ball and the batter is out, no runners can advance.

 

So this past Saturday I get my first 9U games of the season.  First game has two teams with basically identical uniforms (Royals vs. Dodgers).  About the only difference was the logo on the cap.  HT only had 7 players (it was the last weekend of spring break here) and we have a local rule that a team with 7 can pick up an eighth player from another team as long as he bats last and plays one of the outfield positions.  So the VT picks up a kid in a red uniform from the Cardinals (the next game) and off we go.

 

First inning VT batter slings his bat into the catcher on a hit ball.  Once play stops I (I was PU) issue the requisite warning to the VT manager.  No problem.  We play a few more innings and get to a HT at bat.  The Cardinals kid is up, R1, less than 2 outs.  He hits the ball into the infield and proceeds to nail me with his bat, right across the CP.  Here is the mistake part.  I killed the play because I lost track of what team he was on (I momentarily forgot who had picked up the extra player and thought it was the 2nd offense) and was going to ring up the out.  Everyone basically stops.  Of course, play should have continued and a HT warning issued when play stopped.  So, the options seem to be:

 

1. Ring the batter up anyway and try to cover up the mistake (that's the "yeah, I meant to do that" option :D)

2. Leave the B/R on 1B and R1 on 2B

3. Call a "do over", issue the warning, and continue the AB with the current count (basically ignore the pitch and hit, but get the bat warning)

 

So to fix the error (hopefully this gets discussed before this veers into the ditch of an endless and pointless bat throwing rule/extra player rule debate which I am sure it will because it will :)), which of the options above would you choose, or is there another option I didn't think of in the millisecond I had to realize my mistake?  Cal Ripken plays under OBR with very slight modifications.

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Option 4.  The batter obviously fouled it off his foot before it went into the infield.  ;)

 

I suppose I would opt for #3.  You killed the play much like calling a ball foul that wasn't.  Call both coaches over and explain your mistake and your remedy and eat your crap sandwich.  Then pray that the batter hits the ball to the same place in the infield on the next pitch.   :angel4:

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I say,  a 'do over'. Orrrrrr  you could always pretend that you never killed the play and just blame temporary Tourettes Syndrome. :tantrum:

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This goes beyond accidental. This is careless. I have a general rule. If the bat TOUCHES me, someone (besides me) is going to be unhappy.

I know some of you will think/hear, "But he's only 9"

What better time to learn physics than right now? Every action has an equal/opposite reaction.

Sorry, but his age doesn't give him carte blanche to club me.

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This used to be a warning then EJ at my old park in KY.  This was around 17 years ago, needless to say I racked up a ton of EJs for slung and thrown bats.  As for this situation, I like option 2 better, the do over seems bad.    

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This goes beyond accidental. This is careless. I have a general rule. If the bat TOUCHES me, someone (besides me) is going to be unhappy.

I know some of you will think/hear, "But he's only 9"

What better time to learn physics than right now? Every action has an equal/opposite reaction.

Sorry, but his age doesn't give him carte blanche to club me.

 

So maybe you get an EJ.  But it ain't no out nowhere.

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Option 3.

 

Can't go with Option 2.  What if the infielder would have thrown him out?  Can't give the advantage to the offense.

 

9U? Not sure I would ring him up.  Definitely a warning.  Next bat tosser is gone.  

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I went with Option #2.  #1 would have resulted in a protest as we would not have been following the rules, and I didn't feel that this warranted a "do over".  So I ate the $&^! sandwich (actually from both coaches) and we left R1/R2.  Did not impact the game as both runners were left on base, neither scored.

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Good idea. let's EJ the 9 yr old kid.

he clubs me with the bat and I have no qualms with an EJ.
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Good idea. let's EJ the 9 yr old kid.

 

I've done it, didn't like it but I just enforce the rules.  I hope I never have to EJ a kid that young again.  It will keep you up at night. 

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@RingEmUp - not me. I don't have a conscience when I know I'm right and have rule support

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I nearly got clubbed tonight at a 7-8 LL Minors game. I let the play finish, picked up the bat, and gave the coach his team warning. Turns out he beat me to it.

 

Game ended about 5 minutes later due to time.

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This past Saturday I had to warn a kid and then call him out in his next at bat, next was the EJ but we go rained out after 3 innings.  I was actually glad this topic had come up before this happened to me.  After years of not umpiring this forum has helped me a ton in recognizing situations that I have forgotten about. 

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in LL, there is no OUT for a thrown bat. Only warn then EJ. most kids have played T-ball and Pony or other instructional level ball before they're 9 years old, so throwing the bat is a habit that should have long been broken. I'd have no problems sleeping after EJ a 9 year old for a second offense in one game. It's a safety issue, plain and simple.

 

Back to stupid Local rules, however, we've got one where warn, then can't bat because CBO is used. The kid can still play defense but is simply scratched from the BO.

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