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Guest Cleveland Coach

Catcher/Umpire Courtesy

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Guest Cleveland Coach

I always instruct my catchers to take care of umpires. If the home plate ump gets nicked, walk the ball back to the pitcher and give him a second or two. Last game of last season. The batter swings and fouls it back and the home plate ump takes in the collarbone region (I think most umps have taken that one more than once) and he's obviously feeling it. My catcher walks the ball out to the pitcher after a quick check that the ump doesn't need medical attention. All is good. The game continues. A few innings later a batter fouls a ball off the plate that hits under my catcher's cup. He's feeling it to say the least. Home plate umpire doesn't walk the ball back out or dust off the plate. He just stands over my catcher saying:  "Shake it off. Let's go. play ball."  Doesn't even give him 10 seconds before he's saying these things. This wasn't a love tap. This was a solid hit that had fans in right field wincing. Catcher sets up, but you can tell by his stance he's not ready. (One knee on the ground)  but we made it through all right. My catcher was a little miffed, but didn't say anything until the end of the game where he made a joke of it, telling the ump: "I thought we were in this together. That was cold what you did to me." Ump merely gives him the look and walks off the field. Do you all have a standard protocol when a catcher "takes one?"

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I show the same courtesy to him that you speak of. I walk the ball out to the pitcher, check my lineup, etc. Give him time to recoup. Player safety is number 1 priority, right after my safety. :P

I applaud you for teaching your catcher's to take care of his umpires.

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That is an unfortunate situation. I hope at some point this umpire learns this unwritten rule. 

 

Even when the catcher says he's ok I'll take an extra moment to clean the plate, get more baseballs, hand deliver the pitcher a new baseball. 

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Cheers to you for teaching your players this!...

 

In my opinion, this guy was a Tool. 

 

I'm not wishing ill on him, but Karma's real--and she's a fickle lady. 

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What level was this and how experienced was the umpire?

 

sometimes this doesn't get taught in the classes and until someone clues in the umpire he's unaware (both wondering why your catcher is out with the pitcher when the umpire is hit and not acting appropriately when the catcher is hit)

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That is an unfortunate situation. I hope at some point this umpire learns this unwritten rule. 

 

Even when the catcher says he's ok I'll take an extra moment to clean the plate, get more baseballs, hand deliver the pitcher a new baseball. 

THIS!!!

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Not only do I give the catcher time if he gets hit, I'll come out and clean the plate if he's had to go hard after a foul ball. Give him a second to catch his breath and regroup.

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If we want our F2s to take care of us, we gotta give the professional courtesy in return. Reciprocity.

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That particular umpire was likely a former pitcher, if he even played the game.

 

As a former catcher, I am sometimes amazed at how some shots I've witnessed as the PU are shaken off pretty quickly by a high-school age F2. Ah, the benefits (or lunacy) of youth.

 

As long as its not a headshot that's felled the F2 like a toppled over lawn gnome, I'll typically head towards the mound to short-toss a new baseball to the pitcher, and then start headed back to the plate. I'll check on F2 (if he's still meditating) by appearing to brush home plate (no, I'm not going to sweep dust into his face).

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Most likely an inexperienced ump that never played the game much.  I'd give him the benefit of the doubt unless you know the guy is just a jerk...then he's a heartless jerk!

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I always take the time to let F2 catch his breath. Walk the ball to the pitcher and ask him if the ball is white and round, clean the plate and the accidentally kicking more dirt on it so I can clean it again, tie my shoes, watch an airplane, anything to give him time, regardless of where he gets hit.

 

It usually ends with me leisurely sweeping the plate and looking him in the eye to make sure that he is ready to go. Only then do we continue.

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Unfortunately there is no mandatory formal universal umpire development or training program. This guy is most probably not experienced or properly trained in the unwritten customs and courtesies of the game.

Or then again, maybe he's a dick.

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Unfortunately there is no mandatory formal universal umpire development or training program. This guy is most probably not experienced or properly trained in the unwritten customs and courtesies of the game.

Or then again, maybe he's a dick.

Maybe he's a dick that's inexperienced or not properly trained in the unwritten customs and courtesies of the game. :shrug:

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As a former catcher - I always go verbal with the catcher right away something like "you got time" as I walk around to sweep the plate, then look at him while sweeping. Amazing how much an expression can tell you how much time you need to give him. Then there is the walk to the mound.

 

It is hard to tell on some hits to the catcher, but some sounds just make me cringe. Sometimes the catcher will reply right away 'I'm good', but he still gets a clean plate.

 

They keep us alive, we have to respect them !! The umpire in the OP is a tool !

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I hope a good post game was done and this got brought up.

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Sometimes I will ask the pitcher when I hand him the baseball how his F2 looks back there.

"How's he look back there? He got dinged pretty hard. Does it look like he's ready?" Gives me a chance to have a bit of dialogue w/ F1 too.

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We had it drilled into us in class to develop a good rapport with our catchers.  At the top and bottom of the first, I introduce myself and shake their hands.  If they get dinged (or worse) I check on them, ask if they're okay and give them some time.  So far, it's gone both ways.  Every time I've taken one, the catchers have always checked on my well-being.  One catcher blew me away before the start of one game.  He jogged right up to me, stuck his hand out and before I could say anything, he said, "Good evening, sir.  My names is Jake and I'll be protecting you all night."  His coach and parents should be proud.

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As a BU in this situation, I'm not adverse to calling time and walking over to the pitcher and tell him I'm just giving your catcher a minute. I've never had to do that, but I have done it when my partner has gotten nailed and the F2 didn't walk the ball back to give my partner some time. 

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I try to just call the pitch. That said, human nature...If I've got an F2 who's dong a great job - Sticking pitches, not holding the glove for an inordinate amount of time when it's a ball, etc, he's probably going to get the benefit of the doubt on a boarderline pitch if he takes it. 

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Cleveland Coach...

 

Thanks for coming aboard and sharing this story of this 'idiot' who makes us all look bad.   As you can see, ...we ALL totally concur with you, and would have extended the EXACT same courtesy your F2 did for him.   As @Trakes2 said, thanks for teaching him this!

 

I hope you see by coming on here that this umpire you had in this situation was certainly the EXCEPTION and NOT the rule!

 

Please feel free to post and ask more questions!

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I always instruct my catchers to take care of umpires...Do you all have a standard protocol when a catcher "takes one?"

 

It's admirable to coach your catchers to establish a harmony among the only two on the field facing the same way as the batter.  And, as said above, no, umpires don't have a "standard protocol" just as catchers don't have one.  But, most umpires and most catchers, particularly shaving-aged ones with whom I've worked, do "take care" of each other when either get plunked. 

 

But, if the catcher were truly suffering as in the OP, a team is permitted to request time to check on suspected injuries.  It may even get the adults on the field in closer proximity to "discuss" perceived "standard procedures" as adults.  

 

And, since this thread has begun drifting in that direction, I do like to see catchers hit.  Most work as hard or harder than others on their team, so, to the best of my ability on any given day, I'm not going to strike a pitch when a catcher is beside the plate if that same pitch doesn't get called a strike when that catcher is behind the plate.  Beside, we all know that catchers make the best umpires and I'm forever recruiting, particularly if he's about my size.  

 

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Let's take it one step further. Borderline pitch on your catcher, either one? Ball or strike?

Call it what it is.

My courtesy and hypocrisy only go so far.

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As a BU in this situation, I'm not adverse to calling time and walking over to the pitcher and tell him I'm just giving your catcher a minute. I've never had to do that, but I have done it when my partner has gotten nailed and the F2 didn't walk the ball back to give my partner some time. 

 

I had this happen in a MSBL game a few summers ago. I was BU and the F2 took a hard shot off of his facemask. My partner just threw the ball in and set up ready to go.  F1 was all set as well.  F2 was still on his knees so I called time to "inspect" the ball and F1 started complaining that he was ready to go.  I told him you might be, but your catcher sure isn't.  When I got back to 'A', the F3/manager thanked me and said that sometimes his pitcher doesn't think.

 

I was more upset with my partner.  Ironically, Karma paid a visit to him later in that same game.

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I ALWAYS take care of my F2s.  Even if it's the smallest of hits, I still give them time to shake it off.  I'll clean the plate and walk a ball out to F1.  I even do what MidAmUmp mentioned...give him a breather if he's busted his arse running down a foul ball.  We can't expect F2s to take care of us if we don't take care of them.  Besides your partner(s), F2s are your next best friends on a diamond.

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The world is full of morons, people who will never get it.

That's the most teachable piece for your kids. Being nice to people because it's the right thing to do and expecting nothing in return is something I wish I would've learned earlier. It's way easier living this way.

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