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Mick

When to call "out" or "safe".

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We all know not to hurry a call.  We've all been taught different methods.  Here's a new one on me at CDP:  My seasoned partner had the plate, I had the bases.  He told me (for example) after a play is made at first base, don't call anything until the firstbaseman releases the ball.  He said that's the way it's done in the pros.  I did it to please him and avoid conflict.  Still, it didn't feel right waiting that long.

Any thoughts?

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My thought is that after you do it a few more games, it won't feel "right" to make a call any earlier.

 

(And, it's just a guideline, it's not an absolute, and there are times to make it before he releases the ball.)

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I appreciate you mentioning that it's not an absolute.  I can see it as a pretty good guideline.

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We all know not to hurry a call.  We've all been taught different methods.  Here's a new one on me at CDP:  My seasoned partner had the plate, I had the bases.  He told me (for example) after a play is made at first base, don't call anything until the firstbaseman releases the ball.  He said that's the way it's done in the pros.  I did it to please him and avoid conflict.  Still, it didn't feel right waiting that long.

Any thoughts?

I often find myself giving the out mechanic as F6 is receiving the throw from F3 as they "around the horn" the ball.

Proper timing = proper use of eyes.  If you have judged that the ball beat the runner (by watching the bag and listening for the pop of the glove), you should let your eyes travel up to F3's glove to ensure he has secure possession.  It's at this point he is usually reaching in to take the ball out and throw it.  NOW is the time to make your call.

If you judge that the runner beat the ball, then there is no need to wait for all of this.

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This depends on the kind of play.  On a routine out when the BR is out by a few steps and everyone knows it, there's no rush.  On a banger, you absolutely want to take that extra second to run over what you saw and heard, but F3 isn't going to throw anything around the horn until you make your call because he's going to be looking at you and maybe showing you the ball, especially if he scooped it.  Still other calls can be made quicker or slower depending on the situation.  It's not, to your point, an absolute.  But you certainly don't want to call too early by rushing.

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I often find myself giving the out mechanic as F6 is receiving the throw from F3 as they "around the horn" the ball.

Proper timing = proper use of eyes.  If you have judged that the ball beat the runner (by watching the bag and listening for the pop of the glove), you should let your eyes travel up to F3's glove to ensure he has secure possession.  It's at this point he is usually reaching in to take the ball out and throw it.  NOW is the time to make your call.

If you judge that the runner beat the ball, then there is no need to wait for all of this.

Once I establish a good throw, and drop my eyes to the bag and listen for the crack of the mitt, .... when that happens, ....I'll glance up and watch F3 throw it around, ...that's when I make my call (fairly routine) ....on bangers, F3 is going to hold the ball, but in that sitch you confirm he's secured it ....then bang 'em! :)

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We all know not to hurry a call.  We've all been taught different methods.  Here's a new one on me at CDP:  My seasoned partner had the plate, I had the bases.  He told me (for example) after a play is made at first base, don't call anything until the firstbaseman releases the ball.  He said that's the way it's done in the pros.  I did it to please him and avoid conflict.  Still, it didn't feel right waiting that long.

Any thoughts?

May I ask who this was? This is usually lacking at CDP (and around here, for that matter) since guys call stuff WayTooFast, often because of the "intensified" nature of small field, lots of eyes watching, intense competition, etc. Umpires' timing and positioning starts to get all kerfuffled.

Why would there be a conflict? 

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We all know not to hurry a call.  We've all been taught different methods.  Here's a new one on me at CDP:  My seasoned partner had the plate, I had the bases.  He told me (for example) after a play is made at first base, don't call anything until the firstbaseman releases the ball.  He said that's the way it's done in the pros.  I did it to please him and avoid conflict.  Still, it didn't feel right waiting that long.

Any thoughts?

May I ask who this was? This is usually lacking at CDP (and around here, for that matter) since guys call stuff WayTooFast, often because of the "intensified" nature of small field, lots of eyes watching, intense competition, etc. Umpires' timing and positioning starts to get all kerfuffled.

Why would there be a conflict? 

I'm sure he was just some old salt.  ;)

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after a play is made at first base, don't call anything until the firstbaseman releases the ball.

Short answer, this is good advice. There are a lot of reasons why, and few exceptions.

On most plays at first, most runners already know they're out, no reason to rush it.

@grayhawk explained it well

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One reason that this is a good practice that I forgot to mention is when the ball comes out.  Which looks better?

Ball beats runner.  "He's out."  F3 loses it on the transfer.  "He's still out!  On the transfer!"

OR

Ball beats runner.  Umpire waits to make the call.  F3 loses it on the transfer.  "He's out.  On the transfer."

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I think the only thing that should be different about a call is the intensity and volume of your call as it becomes a banger.  On routine plays at first I watch for the release and more than likely don't make my call until the BR is past me.  There is no rush.  It's nothing until you call it.  I believe your partner gave you some outstanding advice.

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I got bit on this in a high school game this spring. I'm in A, ground ball to F6. It was close but not exactly a banger - the ball popped the glove with maybe 1/2 to 1 full step on the runner. I relaxed and rather casually made a fist when the runner was 2 or 3 steps past the bag. The first baseman then stepped forward and picks the ball up off the ground, which had fallen directly away from me. Nobody had a problem with me changing my call since everybody in the ball park except me and possibly the right fielder behind me knew he missed the catch. His body language didn't give me the impression he missed the ball (presumably because he knew he was too late to get the runner), but I still felt foolish.

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The timing does not need to be artificial.  You don't need to wait until something else happens, 1B throws to SS, etc.  On a "nothing" play, just SLOW DOWN, then call and signal the out.

 

On a "something" play, see it, and like @umpstu said, change your volume and intensity of your call and your mechanic and call it.

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The timing does not need to be artificial.  You don't need to wait until something else happens, 1B throws to SS, etc.  On a "nothing" play, just SLOW DOWN, then call and signal the out.

 

On a "something" play, see it, and like @umpstu said, change your volume and intensity of your call and your mechanic and call it.

If it's a "nothing" play, then you just need a signal.  No verbal.

Advanced:  On some "something" plays, you can sell them better by using the same relaxed mechanic as before.  It's the effect of, "yawn... he was out by *at least* 6" "

 

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We all know not to hurry a call.  We've all been taught different methods.  Here's a new one on me at CDP:  My seasoned partner had the plate, I had the bases.  He told me (for example) after a play is made at first base, don't call anything until the firstbaseman releases the ball.  He said that's the way it's done in the pros.  I did it to please him and avoid conflict.  Still, it didn't feel right waiting that long.

Any thoughts?

I was taught to wait for the release, even if I had to wait until he was in the dugout.  It just so happened that I was taught that at CDP by my crew chief my first year up there, and he is also just down the road here in Georgia as well.  ( I will not know what to do when I go up there and don't have a crew chief from the state of Georgia)

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The timing does not need to be artificial.  You don't need to wait until something else happens, 1B throws to SS, etc.  On a "nothing" play, just SLOW DOWN, then call and signal the out.

 

On a "something" play, see it, and like @umpstu said, change your volume and intensity of your call and your mechanic and call it.

This is correct. Good timing is the proper use of the eyes. Good timing doesn't mean you wait for a certain event to happen.

I still give a quiet "Out" verbal even when the runner is out by 10 steps. 

 

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May I ask who this was? This is usually lacking at CDP (and around here, for that matter) since guys call stuff WayTooFast, often because of the "intensified" nature of small field, lots of eyes watching, intense competition, etc. Umpires' timing and positioning starts to get all kerfuffled.

Why would there be a conflict? 

The only reason it's a "conflict" (probably an unfortunate choice of words) is because I'm in agreement with what so many others are saying here:  it's a good guideline, but I think at times with a proper delay, knowing for certain the runner is safe or out, one doesn't have to wait until that given moment that the firstbaseman releases the ball.  I'm also in agreement that a "nothing" play requires a soft, non-verbal punch-out.

I think this is another example of good guidelines that can become someone else's absolute do-or-die rule.  Kind of like the in-depth discussion on the use of indicators by field umps I've heard so many times.  I know it's a rule in college play; it's a choice for so many others.  Some, at any level will absolutely insist with all black & white certitude that the field ump MUST have one, while others, with the same evangelical fervor, insist on the opposite. 

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One reason that this is a good practice that I forgot to mention is when the ball comes out.  Which looks better?

Ball beats runner.  "He's out."  F3 loses it on the transfer.  "He's still out!  On the transfer!"

OR

Ball beats runner.  Umpire waits to make the call.  F3 loses it on the transfer.  "He's out.  On the transfer."

I know this was rhetorical, but I prefer "He's out."  F3 loses it on the transfer.  "He's still out!  On the transfer!"  If we wait for a successful transfer, it somewhat implies that's information we need to make the call.

 

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I know this was rhetorical, but I prefer "He's out."  F3 loses it on the transfer.  "He's still out!  On the transfer!"  If we wait for a successful transfer, it somewhat implies that's information we need to make the call.

 

IMO, it looks much better to see the whole play and then make the call.

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We all know not to hurry a call.  We've all been taught different methods.  Here's a new one on me at CDP:  My seasoned partner had the plate, I had the bases.  He told me (for example) after a play is made at first base, don't call anything until the firstbaseman releases the ball.  He said that's the way it's done in the pros.  I did it to please him and avoid conflict.  Still, it didn't feel right waiting that long.

Any thoughts?

It's not terrible advice.  His reasoning wasn't as good as his advice.

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He's probably a college umpire. The NCAA definition of a catch has been interpreted as the catch hasn't been completed until there is voluntary releSe of the baseball. Thus, no voluntary release, no catch

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Were you taught to take extra seconds to call the obvious balls and strikes? If the first pitch of the game is taken down the middle, and you take a few extra seconds — AND KEEP IT UP — you can get away with buying a second when you really need to. It's the same thing with a no-brainer play at first, and there are few things to consider: 

1) No one is looking at you here. Your job is to tell people what they already know. Don't draw attention to yourself. Like a can of corn in the outfield, if you don't make a sign, no one will say anything.

2) So it helps keep your timing slower for when you really need it. Keep it up during the game as much as you can. If you have a slide play at a base, don't make a decision until the fielder comes up with the ball. Then you can make your call. Once again, it's all about saving the time for when you need it. 

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That was good advice he gave you. At the collegiate level we wait for as the rule sates "voluntary" release of the ball. This completes the play. When I first started doing this I no longer had an issue with the old did he drop it on the transfer situation or did he catch it. As you practice it more and more you become move comfortable with it. 

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