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Granting "Time"

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Number 12. 

The people in my home league seem to have come to peace with it.  Not so much the travel teams.  "When are you going to call time so that he can get up?"

 

 

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Last week at CDP, the batter holds up his hand, requesting time.  The pitcher was not taking too long, and there was no other reason for it.  I said quietly to him as the pitcher was winding up, "nope".

The kid hit a home run off that pitch.  When he came in to touch the plate, I asked him, "Aren't you glad I didn't call 'time'?"

"YUP!"

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13

I had a LL-Jr player ask for time after a pick-off attempt at 1B.  I shook my head, he stepped off the base anyway, in spite of 1BC telling him to stay on, and was tagged.  I banged the out.  Between innings the HC came to me and said "These kids are young and are just learning.  Couldn't you just give him time?"  I said "do you think he learned something?"  Coach shook his head.

I had this team 3 or 4 more times during the season.  Nobody asked for time after a pick-off attempt and nobody got tagged for stepping off the base.

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It is all about coaching.  In that tournament I was doing where I was accused of being the "only umpire in America" I believe it was a 14U game.  With my same partner a few games later we had 12U kids that "climbed the ladder" and never asked for time once on a pick-off attempt.  Some coaches take the easy way out and just tell their kids to request time so they don't have to ever be in danger of being put out for taking a hand off the bag.  And as long as many umpires allow it, there is not reason to change it for coaches that are more focused on winning versus developing players.

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14... 

On pick offs, if the tag is being held on the runner, I just announce "Let him up".  The well coached kids just climb the ladder regardless.  Seems like as this year went on, I was hearing "climb the ladder" a lot more so hopefully this is getting around.

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I've got a whole list of Time-wasting instances on a previous thread, so while I'm looking for it, please enjoy the following excerpt from Steve Orinick on the topic of (Not) Calling Time:

  • Don't call "time" until the base runners touch up. The play is not over until the runners touch their respective bases on an award. Anything could happen.
  • Don't call "time" every time a defensive player asks for it. It's not needed, makes a long game longer and you are taking a potential advantage away from the offense. A short-stop should be able to throw the ball back to the pitcher from the infield dirt area.
  • Never call "time" to get yourself back into position. I've seen umpires that call "time" in every instance that they have to return from the third base area or other positions on the infield. Again, the game is held up for no good reason. The ball could get loose. You've got a partner out there.

It is (now) a definite ump-peeve of mine when a partner declares, "My Time!". He will say it to brush off the plate, get himself back into position, or (worst yet) brush off the pitching rubber or a base! ... <grind teeth>... STOP THAT! STOP SAYING THAT! IT IS OBNOXIOUS AND INFURIATING! Seriously! It's something pulled out of Basketball or Football so as to indicate to the scorekeeper not to charge a timeout to a team. This is baseball and that call is stupid.

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I've got a whole list of Time-wasting instances on a previous thread, so while I'm looking for it, please enjoy the following excerpt from Steve Orinick on the topic of (Not) Calling Time:

  • Don't call "time" until the base runners touch up. The play is not over until the runners touch their respective bases on an award. Anything could happen.
  • Don't call "time" every time a defensive player asks for it. It's not needed, makes a long game longer and you are taking a potential advantage away from the offense. A short-stop should be able to throw the ball back to the pitcher from the infield dirt area.
  • Never call "time" to get yourself back into position. I've seen umpires that call "time" in every instance that they have to return from the third base area or other positions on the infield. Again, the game is held up for no good reason. The ball could get loose. You've got a partner out there.

It is (now) a definite ump-peeve of mine when a partner declares, "My Time!". He will say it to brush off the plate, get himself back into position, or (worst yet) brush off the pitching rubber or a base! ... <grind teeth>... STOP THAT! STOP SAYING THAT! IT IS OBNOXIOUS AND INFURIATING! Seriously! It's something pulled out of Basketball or Football so as to indicate to the scorekeeper not to charge a timeout to a team. This is baseball and that call is stupid.

Steve should read some of what he writes and embrace it.That website makes me wonder about some of what I read here as well. How many are as good on the field as they are in writing?

Just sayin......:stir

 

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An observation from a youth couch - we played a 51/75' 11U game yesterday, I was 1BC, final score 9-8 in 5 innings - so A LOT of base runners.  A lot of throws over to first and I payed particular attention to both teams requesting time on pick offs at the bases.  My guess, there were at least 30 throws to a base during the game, not once did a player ask for time that I can recall.  Our team we never coached the kids to ask for time, we taught them to "climb the ladder" as it's been described here.  Heck my son dove back in to the base on on PO attempt and he got up and looked like he had been dunked in a dirt tank.... his mom loved that ;-), even then no time requested. 

 

I agree with what most have stated there is no need for time in these situation.

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My favorite "no time" story.  F1 throws to F3 to drive back R1 who dives back easily.  As F3 is tossing ball back to F1, R1 and base coach are asking for time.  I'm shaking my head, saying "walk-it-up."  Coach is whining "oh, you're one of THOSE guys."  F1 gets ball back and immediately snaps another throw over toward 1st, throw handcuffs F3 and ends up in RF corner, R1 advances to 3rd.  Next pitch he scores on a ground out that would probably have been a double play if R1 had still been on first.  When I went back to A position, I couldn't resist the temptation...I said to the base coach  "you're welcome."  A couple of pitches later, I noticed base coach was smiling at me and laughing to himself...he finally got it.  When the inning was over, he tipped his cap toward me and silently mouthed "thank you."

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I hate when working in a 3 or 4-man crew when one of my partners calls "time" just so we can all move (back) to our positions prior to the next pitch after having executed a rotation or slide/reverse rotation.  AAARRRRRGGGGHHHH! 

I understand calling "time" if the ball went off the outfield wall and, thus, needs to be checked.  But otherwise, the crew should just look at each other, "release" the runner(s) to their crewmates (who will now have responsibility for any play against said runner(s)) and hustle (back) to their next position...all without calling "time".

RANT is now off.

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My response will make it an even dozen.  Granting time every time a runner asks for it will KILL the pace of the game.  If the pitcher throws to a base, I make the call.  If safe, and the player holds the tag on him and the runner is asking for time, I say "He's there, throw the ball in" or "Climb up" because I think the defense should be able to make a throw back to the pitcher, and runners should be taught to climb up.  I've worked with too many guys who forget to put the ball back in play and then when there is another pick off attempt, I have to explain "NO... he's got to put the ball back in play first."  

The same thing goes for the batter in the box.  Like @KenBAZ, I will also have the batters keep one foot in the box and that keeps it moving.  If I've got a QP, I'll deal with it accordingly.

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Knowing when to grant time is about having a sense for the game.  Is the pitcher trying to freeze the batter up?  Does the batter need to collect himself after taking an up-and-in pitch? Is the batter just asking for time to mess with the pitchers rhythm?  I'll generally give the batter one "freebie" (ie. time with no questions asked) during an at-bat.  After that, there better be a damn good reason.   The exception to the "freebie" is if the pitcher is starting his motion, in which case safety dictates tough sh*t for the batter.   

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Good story relating to this subject. I'm working high school age travel ball. Every time a kid slides into 3rd, coach asks for time. I say, "Sorry coach, let's keep it llve." Coach responds, "What's your problem, everyone always gives me time." I say, "I only grant time when it's needed. He can walk up the bag and I want to keep it live." Well, he fights me on this all day. Had the guy for a doubleheader. Finally, kid slides into 3rd and coach again asks for time. He had dirt in his eye, so I grant it. Right when I grant time F5 air-mails a ball over the pitcher's head and the coach sends the kid home. I just shake my head, smile at the coach and say, "This is why I don't like to grant time. Now there's a run you could have had but you stopped the game." Coach smiled. I could tell he got it.

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By rule the pitcher does have to wait for the batter to be ready to receive a pitch. Official Baseball Rules 6.02(a)(5) Comment [old rule 8.05e] states:

“A quick pitch is an illegal pitch. Umpires will judge a quick pitch as one delivered before the batter is reasonably set in the batter’s box. With runners on base the penalty is a balk; with no runners on base, it is a ball. The quick pitch is dangerous and should not be allowed.”

And here is an official interpretation in the 2014 edition of Carl Childress’ BRD—section 166, page 115--that uses the concept of the batter being ready to receive a pitch:

[The Wendelstedt school teaches that] the “Do not pitch” signal is not an appropriate mechanic. If the pitcher delivers a pitch when the batter is not appropriately ready, call an illegal pitch.

Besides the rule, it is a huge safety issue. You do not want the pitcher throwing when either your catcher or batter is not ready.

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[The Wendelstedt school teaches that] the “Do not pitch” signal is not an appropriate mechanic. If the pitcher delivers a pitch when the batter is not appropriately ready, call an illegal pitch.

 

Besides the rule, it is a huge safety issue. You do not want the pitcher throwing when either your catcher or batter is not ready.

I'm not sure which quotation comes from where, or whether or what Mr. Blue is endorsing.

Wendelstedt's instruction is appropriate for pro ball but not for amateur ball, and especially not for youth ball. The last quoted paragraph explains why not: nothing good can EVER happen when a pitcher pitches without everyone — batter, catcher, umpire — being ready.

So go ahead and use the "Do not pitch" signal, and remember that when you use it, you're calling time (we can't have a balk, for example, with our hand up). If you need to use the signal more than once per game, then you have a pitcher who is moving too fast, and this issue needs to be addressed independently.

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