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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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When a catcher gets hit, I normally walk back to the pitcher. When F2 says "I'm good," I'll make it a quick trip. Otherwise, I'll ask the pitcher to take a walk around the mound. I'll do the same when in the field, too, if I'm in B and C. 

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And, since this thread has begun drifting in that direction, I do like to see catchers hit.  

 

 

I readily admit that writing is a second language for me.  That line above may come across as something completely different than intended. 

 

Please don't think that I like to see catchers hit BY a baseball. 

 

It should read, "...I do like to see catchers, when at bat, hit the ball."

 

 

 

 

 

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All good info on helping out the catcher. I do the same if he's hit, but on the other hand there's something I've always wondered about.

 

If we want to give F2 a minute, why do we have to make up silly little tasks to fill up that minute? Why walk to the mound, or inspect the baseball, or check you line-up card, or dust the plate if it doesn't need it? It's not like we need to artificially create that minute. The game isn't going to start back up until we say so anyway. Why can't we just wait a minute without all the make-do busy work?

 

If a player gets hurt sliding into second base, what do we do? We give them all the time they need to see if they're okay- no artificial stalling required. Why can't we do the same with catchers? You need a minute? You got it!

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All good info on helping out the catcher. I do the same if he's hit, but on the other hand there's something I've always wondered about.

 

If we want to give F2 a minute, why do we have to make up silly little tasks to fill up that minute? Why walk to the mound, or inspect the baseball, or check you line-up card, or dust the plate if it doesn't need it? It's not like we need to artificially create that minute. The game isn't going to start back up until we say so anyway. Why can't we just wait a minute without all the make-do busy work?

 

If a player gets hurt sliding into second base, what do we do? We give them all the time they need to see if they're okay- no artificial stalling required. Why can't we do the same with catchers? You need a minute? You got it!

Because you don't want it to seem that you're showing him up. Just like you don't want the entire game to wait while you lick your wounds. You're both in it together, so you don't let him be the center of attention. If a runner or fielder is injured, there's nothing people can do. 

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The last thing I wanted to hear, as a catcher, while I was "meditating" and trying to regain feeling in that part of anatomy that got KO'd, was someone behind the backstop imploring, "So why'd they stop the game?"... Because, invariably, there'd be another voice right after it, saying "The catcher got hit in the... "

 

The jokes and snide comments from teammates in the dugout when the half-inning finally did end were bad enough.

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If we want to give F2 a minute, why do we have to make up silly little tasks to fill up that minute?

 

When there is a delay in the playing action, the cameras turn to see what it is.   

 

Director:  The plate guy is walking towards the hill.  What's up?  Camera One, get on him!

One:  Got 'em.

Director:  Two, see if you can get in close.  Is he checking the baseball?

Two: Trying.

Director: One, can you make out what he's doing?

One: They're both wincing.

Director: Three, shoot the dugout.  What's up?

Three: Got it.

Director: Color Man wants a shot of the plate.  One, go to the plate.

One:  Going.

Director: Two, why are they kicking the rosin bag?

Two: How would I know.  Ya' wanna shot of the rosin bag?

Director: One, find out why Color wants the plate?

One: I got nothing.  He's waiting for the umpire.

Director: Three, find something else in the dugout.

Three: There ain't anyting else.

Director: One get on the umpire.

One: Got him.

Director: Color said we spoiled his line.  Two, get on Color.

Two: Do you want the rosin bag or Color?  

Director: There's not that much difference.

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I was working a 16u game.  2nd or 3rd inning, F2 took a shot.  I walked the ball out to the pitcher, strolled back, cleaned the plate and we were good to go.

Close game, around the 10th inning, original F2 is now F1.  I take a foul off the hand.  As I'm trying to get the fingers working again.  F1 (original F2) calls the current F2 out to the mound.  When I'm ready, he comes back, he tells me "Jake said he owed you one."

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10u game yesterday, catcher took a foul ball sharp and direct from the bat to the forehead area of his mask.  He was wobbly. I brushed the plate, talked to him, walked the ball to the pitcher, talked again, called his dad (head coach) out and had to ask him if his kid was always that funny looking or if it was because of the foul ball.

They took a few minutes and then we continued. 

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As you can see, the unwritten rule is prevalent amongst those who have replied.  HS game just last night, F2 takes a foul ball of (what a I thought was his mask due to solid noice and distance of rebound) his shoulder.  He dropped 1 knee to the ground and I told him, take his time.  Now I don't care if this is the first pitch of first game and it's the first time anyone has seen the brand new home plate that was installed just moments before the game (yes, I'm reaching), THAT PLATE NEEDS BRUSHED OFF at a minimum.  As someone posted previously, looking at his face will tell you alot.  Once the plate was sufficiently cleaned, I turned around and called time so everyone was aware, before looking into the dugout.  Skipper came out to talk to his F2.  After about a minute of F2 rubbing his shoulder, he told skipper that he wanted to stay in.  I had him take 2 from F1 and throw back, and then the 3rd pitch we had him throw to 2nd to get a feel for it.

 

A little overboard?  Some may say yes, but I am confident in my mind that F2 realized that "we were in this together".

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10u game yesterday, catcher took a foul ball sharp and direct from the bat to the forehead area of his mask.  He was wobbly. I brushed the plate, talked to him, walked the ball to the pitcher, talked again, called his dad (head coach) out and had to ask him if his kid was always that funny looking or if it was because of the foul ball.

They took a few minutes and then we continued. 

 

I don't mean to pick on this or hijack the thread by any means, but a kid who's visibly wobbly after getting hit in the head? That young man is done for the day to me. By law in our state.

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I recall a few years ago watching a game where the catcher took a shot and the PU was giving F2 a few moments to get his wits back.  The commentators were discussing the delay and Mark Grace explained what was going on.  i think  the term, or phrase, he used was something along the lines of those guys (PU and F2) belong to the "fraternity of the mask."

 

Always thought that was kind of cool.

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All good info on helping out the catcher. I do the same if he's hit, but on the other hand there's something I've always wondered about.

 

If we want to give F2 a minute, why do we have to make up silly little tasks to fill up that minute? Why walk to the mound, or inspect the baseball, or check you line-up card, or dust the plate if it doesn't need it? It's not like we need to artificially create that minute. The game isn't going to start back up until we say so anyway. Why can't we just wait a minute without all the make-do busy work?

 

If a player gets hurt sliding into second base, what do we do? We give them all the time they need to see if they're okay- no artificial stalling required. Why can't we do the same with catchers? You need a minute? You got it!

As many have said, you don't want to call attention to the catcher. And his buddies will give him enough when he gets back in the dugout. But I'll add to this.

To set up back there and let someone throw at you for an entire game, you have to be wired different. When a kid slides at second, rarely do we expect for there to be an injury. Back there, your getting dinged and nicked all game. Even though you know that the chance of getting hurt is ridiculously high, it has to be the furthest thing from your mind. You can't play scared. As the PU, when you sweep the plate, walk a ball out to the pitcher etc, your taking all the attention off of him and allowing him to regain his composure with out being asked a million and one questions.

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All good info on helping out the catcher. I do the same if he's hit, but on the other hand there's something I've always wondered about.

 

If we want to give F2 a minute, why do we have to make up silly little tasks to fill up that minute? Why walk to the mound, or inspect the baseball, or check you line-up card, or dust the plate if it doesn't need it? It's not like we need to artificially create that minute. The game isn't going to start back up until we say so anyway. Why can't we just wait a minute without all the make-do busy work?

 

If a player gets hurt sliding into second base, what do we do? We give them all the time they need to see if they're okay- no artificial stalling required. Why can't we do the same with catchers? You need a minute? You got it!

As many have said, you don't want to call attention to the catcher. And his buddies will give him enough when he gets back in the dugout. But I'll add to this.

To set up back there and let someone throw at you for an entire game, you have to be wired different. When a kid slides at second, rarely do we expect for there to be an injury. Back there, your getting dinged and nicked all game. Even though you know that the chance of getting hurt is ridiculously high, it has to be the furthest thing from your mind. You can't play scared. As the PU, when you sweep the plate, walk a ball out to the pitcher etc, your taking all the attention off of him and allowing him to regain his composure with out being asked a million and one questions.

 

I would add this.  A lot of catchers are macho and might be in a great deal of pain, yet refuse to admit it.  Going to the mound gives them more time to regroup whether they want to admit they need it or not.

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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?"

I'm giving the kid a chance to recover.  Walk the ball out, clean the plate.  Check on him.

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Agree with you guys on this one.  I always shake the hand of each F2 and introduce myself.  I than tell them in a nice way with a smile "block it up for me, I am an old man" this usually gets a chuckle or a smile back from them followed by "do all that I can blue". 

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As a fairly new umpire (2nd year at high school level), I'm glad you brought this up. I played catcher, but only on rec league through middle-school - our high school didn't even have a team, and none of the pitchers ever threw it hard enough that I even noticed when a foul came off my mask or chest protector.

 

I wouldn't have even thought about it, once F2 says "I'm good". I'll definitely take this to heart and give my catcher some more time next time he gets banged up.

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What's a good time killer for something like this on a full turf field? I'm working on field with painted plate and I thought about this thread halfway through my game when I thought F2 caught one on the boys. It's a short field too so running the ball out takes no time.

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Walk slow. Give the pitcher a choice of baseballs and ask why he picked the one he did. Walk slow. Approach the team responsible for supplying baseballs and engage the manager in a conversation about wasting time.

 

Be creative. There are limitless ways to waste time.

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Since you don't know exactly what it feels like to get hit in the boys you could take a survey looking for descriptions of what that feels like from the pitcher, managers, etc.

Some people use more creative language to describe feelings like pain and emotions than others. That always interests me.

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What's a good time killer for something like this on a full turf field? I'm working on field with painted plate and I thought about this thread halfway through my game when I thought F2 caught one on the boys. It's a short field too so running the ball out takes no time.

get out your cell and update your FB :P :fuel:
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What's a good time killer for something like this on a full turf field? I'm working on field with painted plate and I thought about this thread halfway through my game when I thought F2 caught one on the boys. It's a short field too so running the ball out takes no time.

 

Brush off the pitcher's plate.

 

I keed, I keed.

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Anytime anyone on the field takes it in the junk, I'm calling time and giving them all the time they need and then a little more, foul or not.  Award bases as necessary.  If the opposing player/coach/whoever has a problem with this (which I can't imagine they will because all men feel and react when seeing another man take one in the junk), then kick them in the nuts and yell "Play ball"!

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Had a JV game earlier this week, took a foul ball dead center of chest protector.  Yeah, it sounded like a shotgun going off and got all of the ooh's and ahh's from the parents.  Didn't feel a thing, but I hear the VC yell out to his F2, "go talk to him" and he headed for the mound.  I looked over, smiled & just nodded my head in thanks, to which he replied "I'm trying to teach him blue".  F2 comes trotting back in from the mound and before we resumed play, I asked if he realized why the coach  sent him to the mound.  He says "yeah, cause you got hit & I didn't think of it first.  I'll try to stay on top of that next time blue!"

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I played catcher my entire life. Best thing to learn back behind home is it is basically you and that ump against the world at that point.

 

Plus, I always thought it helps my pitchers cause too if I made friends with the ump lol

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

As long as its not the 3rd strike, its a strike! If they protect you, protect them ONLY on a potential borderline 3rd strike. Remember, catchers protect you.

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