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SteveJ

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During a conversation with a group of umpires a couple of differences of opinions came up - so I thought that I would ask everyone on here their opinions

 

 

1.  Do you (or should you) call timeout before brushing off the plate the plate?  Some said "always" others (a D1 umpire evaluator) said "no"

 

 

2.  Should the base umpire come set (hands on knees) when F1 steps on the rubber?  Again, some said "no" and others said "yes, which indicates to the PU that something illegal can now happen"

 

 

Thanks

 

 

As for me: 

#1 - I call time with runners on.

#2 - I do

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1) With no runners on I generally will just quickly dust off the plate. I mostly wait for time to be called for something else and then dust it off, if runners are on base. 

2) I will get on HOK when the pitcher toes the rubber, not sure everyone does this or not, but I do. 

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If there's a runner on 3rd, sure. Otherwise, doubtful unless it's a low-level youth game or something where crazy stuff seems to happen a lot.

 

As to HOK as an auto-mechanic once the pitcher touches the rubber? Can't say that I've even thought that much of it. But I'll sure as heck be watching intently from that point on.

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1) with runners on I do

 

2) I like the idea and it was discussed at one of our meetings, but no one that i work with uses it (or at least i haven't noticed/we haven't pregamed)

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1. As long as I have a partner, no. Solo I'll call time

 

2. I try to do it. I don't think my partners usually pick up on it. I use it as a kind of "locking in" mechanism on the bases. F1 toes the rubber, I go HOK and now I'm looking for infractions. 

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It's a pet peeve of mine when I have the bases and partner calls time to clean the plate.

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1. No. If working solo I let it be known at plate meeting that if I turn around to clean off the plate nothing can happen because at my age it takes longer to straighten back up.

2. Absolutely hands on knees

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1. Unless the plate's just been buried by a runner sliding in, I'll wait for time to be requested by someone else (or when its otherwise required) to brush of the plate. If there's still runners on with the buried plate, I'll make sure all action is over before calling time, but then again I work a lot of games on my own and am encouraged by the league I do the vast majority of my solo work (all but 1 solo game in fact) to work behind the mound when solo. (I know, I know...)

 

2. With runner's on we're required to go HOK when the pitcher engages the rubber. It's highly recommended with no runners on to do the same, with the requirement to be HOK before the pitch reaches the plate if you have any check-swing responsibilities.

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1.  With no runner, or if just one corner needs kicked off...no.  But, if I'm going to bend over and turn my back on the entire field and the ball, you bet.  PS, I usually try to wait till some time when the ball is already dead.

 

2.  Getting in to a good, solid set position once the pitcher has engaged is a habit/routine I have followed for MANY years.  Do it, don't do it, whatever floats your boat.

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What do you guys think is going to happen if you don't call time? NOTHING!!!! Do not call time!!!

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1. I almost never call time to dust the plate. Only exception is 60 foot bases when the kids are prone to craziness OR if I'm working solo and the plate is buried under dirt.

 

2. Yes

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1) I do not call time unless the plate has been buried by a scoring attempt slide. And only after the "dust has settled" so to speak. If there's (now) no runners on, there's no point. Besides, there might be an Appeal coming, which needs to be Live Ball anyway. Only point at which I call Time is if the plate is buried and there's still runners on, and everyone's lookin' edgy. ;)

Other than that, the only time I even pull the plate brush out is when the ball is already Dead (mound visit, between innings, etc). I actually use it as a "time thing". If there's a mound visit, I fish out the brush, brush the plate, count to three, and start walking towards the mound. :) During gameplay, the ball stays Live and I typically just kick or foot-sweep the two front corners of the plate if either is obscured. Having a little dust on the plate isn't the end of the world.

New Balance plate shoes are better at this than Reebok Zigs. ;)

2) I came into umpiring after years of competitive participation in other major sports, like hockey, soccer, football... Where your stance or position at various instances mean something. If there's about to be a puck-drop in my zone, you better believe, as a goalie, I am going to be in a ready-to-block position, crouched. So too, I found it natural to get into a HOK ready position as a base/field umpire, but I didn't really think of the purpose. A mentoring umpire explained to me the purpose behind it (HOK when contacting rubber, visual cue), and it made perfect sense, so now I have made this routine. Any trainee or new umpires looking for feedback, I impart on them this same method.

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1. I was told by an umpire who is a lot further up the chain of command than I am, the only time you call time to clean off the plate is when there is a runner on 3rd. All other times if something happens on the bases it's not your responsibility. It made sense to me so that's what I do.

2. Same guy. HOK when the pitcher toes the rubber tells the PU he is on the Rubber. Made sense so I do both.

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1.  Rarely call time to brush the plate. Usually only with R3 or if BU needs to get into another position

2.  Always go HOK when pitcher engages the rubber.  Just a habit I got into a long time ago.  Not that anybody is really paying attention (other than another umpire who may be around) but I think it shows that I'm engaged in the festivities.

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I don't call time to brush off the plate.  If I have a partner, I usually just show him my plate brush so he knows.  If I'm solo, I just make sure nothing is happening first.  I don't really work below 13U anymore, so the players typically don't try anything crazy.

 

I go HOK when the pitcher engages.  Good practice to stay focused, and lets my partner know that the pitching regulations are in effect.

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Here's the PBUC policy for "hands on knees" for all its minor league umpires:

 

In all Minor League Baseball leagues, the base umpire is to assume a "ready" position with his hands on his knees prior to each pitch. (The concept here is to have the umpire ready and in a set position when the pitch is delivered.) When runners are on base, it is recommended that the umpire assume this position when the pitcher takes his sign from the catcher. With no runners on base, the umpire should be in the "ready" position as the pitcher is preparing to deliver the ball to the batter. Following the pitch, if the batter does not hit the ball, the base umpire should come up out of his hands on knees position. ...

 

This also has been the policy of my high school association (going back at least 20 years), my travel ball association (for approximately 10 years), and my rec league association.

 

 

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1) If I have a partner, I never call time to sweep the plate. I will make eye contact and point to him/her to communicate that I need them to keep an eye out.

2) I set when F1 sets.

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1) If I have a partner, I never call time to sweep the plate. I will make eye contact and point to him/her to communicate that I need them to keep an eye out.

2) I set when F1 sets.

 

Set before then. You can miss a lot due to bouncing eyes if you are waiting. You should be in your set before he's in the stretch.

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1) If I have a partner, I never call time to sweep the plate. I will make eye contact and point to him/her to communicate that I need them to keep an eye out.

2) I set when F1 sets.

Set before then. You can miss a lot due to bouncing eyes if you are waiting. You should be in your set before he's in the stretch.

So your thoughts are then to set at first contact to the plate? As what I mean by set, is dropping to hands on knees position when F1 sets. Im already in my spot and angle when he gets on the bump.

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