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Granting "Time"


umpire_scott

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So I received advice on this board last year to try and limit granting time unless it is necessary.  So rather than hold my hand out while a batter positions himself in the box I have allowed the pitcher to notice and not begin his motion.  On the few occasions where they have begun early I've stopped play and asked them to step off and then simply told them to not begin their pitch until the batter is ready.  So the other day I had a coach say "if he is in the box my pitcher does not have to wait".  I replied "yes he does", he replied "no he doesn't".  I dropped it at that point and continued the game.  Part of me felt like I should have clarified that today during my game your pitcher has to wait.  First off am I handling the situation correctly and would you have said anything more to the coach?

I've also taken a stance I noticed from another umpire I worked with, plus a general philosophy regarding not granting time to the kids that call time every time they dive back into a base or when middle infielders jog the ball into the pitcher.  My logic and understanding is that baseball is a live ball game and therefore time should only be granted when there is a reason for it. With this in mind on plays where a fielder is not "keeping the tag on him" I generally have not granted "time requests".  I've caught a lot of flack from some coaches that teach their kids to call time constantly for this stuff.  Do you guys just grant "time" if asked or do you use your discretion?

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First, a pitcher doesn't have to wait for the batter.  If he chooses not to, it's a quick pitch and therefore illegal.  Call a ball or a balk, depending on if there's a runner on.  That situation will correct itself pretty quick.  

Second, I use my discretion to call time if asked by a player.  Unless it's asked in order to tie a shoe or get some pads off the field, I don't grant it.  Just tell them to play on.

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I think you handled the situation with the coach just fine. I probably would have done the same thing. As far as calling a quick pitch, I would only do this if the pitcher did it repeatedly and then only after warning him that you will call an illegal pitch the next time he did it. I actually had the same situation once and that's how I handled it. Did call it on him once and balked in a run. Didn't have a problem with it the rest of the game. Of course, the coach decide he wanted to watch the remainder of the game from the parking lot.

As far as granting time, I only grant it if it is necessary. And that does not include standing up after a pickoff play or an infielder wanting time to throw the ball to the pitcher.

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Young kids, I'll tell them walk it up.

Older, you should know better. I am not calling it unless he has to tie his shoes, clean dirt out of his uni, gets injured, etc. 

I was told that I shouldn't ever hold up while the batter gets in the box, but that was because my partner told me he can get out off a pick off, and me holding my hand out prevents that. 

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First, a pitcher doesn't have to wait for the batter.  If he chooses not to, it's a quick pitch and therefore illegal.  Call a ball or a balk, depending on if there's a runner on.  That situation will correct itself pretty quick.  

Second, I use my discretion to call time if asked by a player.  Unless it's asked in order to tie a shoe or get some pads off the field, I don't grant it.  Just tell them to play on

I had a situation where on a pickoff to second in the first inning the ball skipped into CF, F4 had fallen down next to R2 and was contacting him.  The kid wanted time and I said "you're fine, you don't need time".  The fans started in about not granting him time while F4 was laying on top of him.  Which he wasn't, but that is beside the point.  Then later that inning pick-off at first and the kid literally dove back in and turned and asked for time immediately.  I told him "climb the ladder" and he was fine.  The first base coach asked me to explain why I was not granting his kids time.  I said they don't need time, and quickly explained that baseball is a live ball sport and time should only be granted when necessary.  He responded that I was the only umpire in America that would not grant his kids time in those situations.

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I had a situation where on a pickoff to second in the first inning the ball skipped into CF, F4 had fallen down next to R2 and was contacting him.  The kid wanted time and I said "you're fine, you don't need time".  The fans started in about not granting him time while F4 was laying on top of him.  Which he wasn't, but that is beside the point.  Then later that inning pick-off at first and the kid literally dove back in and turned and asked for time immediately.  I told him "climb the ladder" and he was fine.  The first base coach asked me to explain why I was not granting his kids time.  I said they don't need time, and quickly explained that baseball is a live ball sport and time should only be granted when necessary.  He responded that I was the only umpire in America that would not grant his kids time in those situations.

The coach is clearly exaggerating.  I'm the other umpire in America who won't grant time.

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I'm the 4th! Let's see how many we can rack up! ;)

I almost never grant time on dives back into bases or slides into bases. I only grant time if there is an obvious need for it. And I have never had any coach or fan complain. Maybe it's because I'm so handsome. Now that I think about it, nobody ever complains about anything I do while umpiring! Hahahaha yeah, right. But, I have never had a complain about not granting time on slides, etc. I do say things like, "You don't need it" and then the kid just stands up or walks it up. Maybe I don't look angry when I say it.

As for the batter asking for time as he steps into the box, I don't generally grant that time either. And I don't call a balk or illegal pitch if the pitcher starts his windup before the batter is ready/looking at the pitcher. I do what @NorthTexasUmp does. I kill it if the pitcher starts before the batter is ready, and I tell him to wait until the batter ready. I only call a balk or quick pitch if the pitcher actually throws the pitch before the batter is ready. My thinking is other things can happen (as @jpperez14 says) and I don't want to be excessively calling Time and Play. But more importantly, I don't want the pitcher throwing a pitch before the batter is looking!! That is a real safety issue more important than letting the pitcher get himself called for a balk or quick pitch.

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 He responded that I was the only umpire in America that would not grant his kids time in those situations.

The correct response here is a very sincere, "Thank you." (And, you could correct his grammar. ;) )

On the OP, if you want, you could respond, "You won't like it if I have to enforce the QP rule."

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I'm big on the idea and language of asking for time and us granting or calling time. Coaches will tell players to "call" time when they should be teaching them to ask for time. When I get a superfluous request for time on the bases I'll sometimes ask why they need time. If the baserunning can't get up without coming off the bag I want the defense to have a chance at an out. If the defense can't get the ball back to their pitcher without letting a runner advance I don't want to denied the offense. Pitcher, catchers and hitters need to learn to keep moving. I want to keep hitters in the box and work off the pitcher's pace. If they are going too fast or too slow I will grant time. If the hitter is in the box he should be ready because I may not grant time if the pitcher is ready to go. Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk

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Try to keep the ball in play as much as possible.

I hate when a 1st baseman holds a tag on a runner, so in those instances I'll make my safe call then call time. It just slows down the game hoping the kid will come off the base as he's getting up.

I'll call time if a runner hits a double and needs to take off his Barry Bonds Starter Kit.

I don't usually call time for an infielder to walk or throw the ball to the pitcher. Sometimes I will if my partner(s) or I need a breather after maybe a rotation or something like that. Otherwise I tell them to throw it back or I'll ask if they are going to talk to the pitcher.

I had a good one a few weeks ago - a kid hit a triple and slid into 3rd. The coach immediately asked for time. The ball had gotten away from the cutoff man and was still rolling away when he asked for time. His demeanor made me think the kid had to have gotten hurt on the play so I called time. Just at that second the runner jumped up and ran home and scored. I stopped everything, put the runner back on 3rd and took the run off the board. The coach knew and understood what happened. As luck would have it, they lost by 1 run.........

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Had a similar situation a few years back when I was more liberal in granting time and was part of the impetus to my stopping that practice.  I'm in "C" with R2 only. Ball 4 and BR runs down to to first.  R2 is running on the pitch.  I sprint over towards the cutout for the steal attempt.  Runner is safe on a close call, slides to avoid possible tag and barely hangs onto the bag.  F5 holds the tag a little and I have to keep close eye on runner coming off back or being pushed off bag. 3B coach tells his runner to ask for time which I grant.  Then I turn around and notice BR is about almost to second base.  I send BR back to first and 3B coach argues that the runner was almost there when time was called.  I said unless they were standing on second they are going back to first. 

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I had a similar "Time" situation to @MidAmUmp , had a coach telling his kids to request time every time they slid back in to a base, I told them I didn't have to grant time and they told me that I did.  Next time there was a throw over, the ball went down the RF line but the runner put his hand up requesting time. I called "Time" but the runner didn't hear me nor did the coach and R1 took off and reached 3B because the foul territory at that field was HUGE.  When I told the runner he had to return to 1B, he asked why?  Asked him if he put his hand up to request time and he said yes so I told him that I granted him time while he was still on first.  When he got back to 1B, I looked at him and the 1B coach and said "That gentlemen is why you don't request time so much".  Didn't have another runner requesting time the rest of the night.

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