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That's B%llSH*# Blue


clasonater

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16u game last weekend. I'm PU.  One of those days where you can tell the catcher hates your guts... and the feeling is mutual.  Line drive down the first base line (partner in B) hits the middle of the foul line about ten feet past the bag.  I faired it.  Catcher turns around, points at me and yells, "thats BullSH*# Blue." I threw him out.  After the parents calmed down I didn't hear anything the rest of the game.  Makes me think that I should have found a way to do it sooner.  Second game of the double header my partner rings up a player from the same team on strike three.  The kid bends over brushes of the plate with his hand and walks back to the dugout.  My partner didn't say a word.  

I walk down and ask my partner WTF.  He replied, "he didn't say anything to me so I couldn't justify an ejection."  My jaw may as well hit the ground.

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Makes me think that I should have found a way to do it sooner. 

Careful here.  Why would you go looking for a reason to EJ a player?  Let him give you one.  The fact that you you said you hated his guts makes me think you weren't the impartial official you should have been. Don't let emotions rule your actions.  Be a bigger man than allowing yourself to get pulled into his negativity.  If you think F2 hates you, figure out some better game management techniques or find a way to build a better rapport with him.  Look for what responsibility you can take to prevent the situation from getting that bad, or at least a way to make it better.

 

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Careful here.  Why would you go looking for a reason to EJ a player?  Let him give you one.  The fact that you you said you hated his guts makes me think you weren't the impartial official you should have been. Don't let emotions rule your actions.  Be a bigger man than allowing yourself to get pulled into his negativity.  If you think F2 hates you, figure out some better game management techniques or find a way to build a better rapport with him.  Look for what responsibility you can take to prevent the situation from getting that bad, or at least a way to make it better.

 

Screw that.  I'm not there to make a kid like me.  If a 16U catcher comes out and acts like a jerk, let's find one that doesn't.

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@ElkOil. If I remember you're relatively new to umpiring. @RichMSN is right. We don't owe these self-serving, entitled pricks anything except consistency of judgment, hustle and strong knowledge of the rules. I am cordial and if they reciprocate we have a nice time. But remember this; they will turn on you for any reason, tell their coaches and teammates EVERYTHING you say to them but twist it to suit their needs and desires and take umbrage at any call you make that doesn't serve their purposes. 

Sorry but you're just wrong on this one. Get about five to ten more years of experience and you'll know what I'm taking about and agree with Rich as well. 

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Careful here.  Why would you go looking for a reason to EJ a player?  Let him give you one.  The fact that you you said you hated his guts makes me think you weren't the impartial official you should have been. Don't let emotions rule your actions.  Be a bigger man than allowing yourself to get pulled into his negativity.  If you think F2 hates you, figure out some better game management techniques or find a way to build a better rapport with him.  Look for what responsibility you can take to prevent the situation from getting that bad, or at least a way to make it better.

 

Because the catcher, above anyone else on the field, can take your game and ruin it. He's got two jobs--to make his pitcher look good and to protect you. A catcher that hates you is going to shove pitches up your ass and destroy your ability to manage the game, as well as not giving two SH*#s as to catching obvious balls with no runners on. He isn't going to magically start liking you in the fifth inning if you build rapport--there is none to be built as he's got his mind made up. Catchers that play that game invariably give at least one ejectable moment in each game. Take it. It'll help ease everyone else.

Edited by Matt
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Two thoughts with regards to the OP

(1) I have often said that in amateur baseball, one ejection often shuts up everyone (at least the game participants...maybe not the fans) for the remainder of the game.  Once they realize, "oh crap, we have an umpire who'll actually eject us," they tend to be quiet the remainder of the day.  This is especially true, I have found, in leagues that have a mandatory suspension and/or fine.  So many amateur umpires let so much go without ejecting that the game participants feel they can get away with a lot of unsportsmanlike behavior.  Once a sacrificial lamb has been ejected, the rest quickly learn that they won't be getting away with any unsportsmanlike behavior in this game!

(2)  Here's another F2 who just hasn't learned.  Seems like he gets tossed every couple of months.  Eventually the manager will realize that the umpires are not the problem, F2 is the problem, and F2 and the manager will have a little talk about the need for F2 to stay in games.  (Matt Williams and Bryce Harper had this very talk earlier this season):  http://www.closecallsports.com/2015/08/mlb-ejection-182-alan-porter-2.html

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  • 2 weeks later...

Maybe it's my zone, or my game management style, but I've never had a game where I felt the catcher "hated my guts" (that term is a cognitive distortion anyway.  It's not productive to think that someone hates your guts.  it's a ridiculous oversimplification of a complex situation).  A catcher might disagree on pitches, but I'm the kind of umpire who's willing to dialogue on the strike zone.  It's the kind of dialogue where I maintain 100% control of the situation, but it's still a dialogue.  So I might not get assent, but I'll certainly get respect.  The fact that the OP says "one of those days" implies that there's probably something wrong with his game management approach.  To Rich's comment, why on earth would a 16U catcher come out and act like a jerk?  That would be beyond crazy, to preemptively antagonize the guy that's going to be calling strikes behind you all day.  If he's acting like a jerk, you probably rubbed him the wrong way.  Maybe your behavior was "reasonable", but it antagonized the player in some way.  Players are people too.  If you're already butting heads before the first pitch, I'm sorry, but your approach is wrong.  I think a lot of players don't appreciate umpires who "front" -that is- cultivate some kind of "tough guy", or "stern" persona for absolutely no reason at all.  The player is out there to play.  He's not waiting for the first opportunity to undermine your authority.    

Edited by PonyUmpire
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  To Rich's comment, why on earth would a 16U catcher come out and act like a jerk?     

Have you actually met a teenager? That's an age you can breath wrong and they hate you. Even a normally good natured well seasoned 16u catcher is still a teen and will have those moments so it's not out of the realm of possibilities for him to hate an ump for no reason. 

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Have you actually met a teenager? That's an age you can breath wrong and they hate you. Even a normally good natured well seasoned 16u catcher is still a teen and will have those moments so it's not out of the realm of possibilities for him to hate an ump for no reason. 

It's never "no reason".  There's always a reason.  I think if umpires used their people skills more, and applied their social instincts to managing the game, so many situations could be avoided.  Think how a coach interacts with his players.  There's no doubt about who's in charge, but a good coach empathizes with his players and uses his understanding of them to coach them in the right way.  A good coach doesn't say "Oh, what can you do?  The kid just hates me".  He doesn't oversimplify the situation as umpires often do, into a very cut and dry, us vs. them mentality.  I think a lot of umpires just give up on trying to work with a coach or player, and then try to justify their failure by saying something like, "oh, he's just a rat", or, "oh, he's just a hothead".  He's not a rat.  He's not a hothead.  They're people, and all (99.9%) people can be understood and reasoned with.  With a high intensity situation like a sports event, though, it takes more effort than it normally would.

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It's never "no reason".  There's always a reason.  I think if umpires used their people skills more, and applied their social instincts to managing the game, so many situations could be avoided.  Think how a coach interacts with his players.  There's no doubt about who's in charge, but a good coach empathizes with his players and uses his understanding of them to coach them in the right way.  A good coach doesn't say "Oh, what can you do?  The kid just hates me".  He doesn't oversimplify the situation as umpires often do, into a very cut and dry, us vs. them mentality.  I think a lot of umpires just give up on trying to work with a coach or player, and then try to justify their failure by saying something like, "oh, he's just a rat", or, "oh, he's just a hothead".  He's not a rat.  He's not a hothead.  They're people, and all (99.9%) people can be understood and reasoned with.  With a high intensity situation like a sports event, though, it takes more effort than it normally would.

So you haven't met a teenager then... Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
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I umpire high school varsity baseball.

@Tksjewelry Not to dismiss your opinion.  Every umpire is different in their game management strategy, and from your posts is seems like you don't have many problems in your games.  It's just that I know many umpires who have the skillset to umpire in a more "people smart" way, but they instead follow conventional widsom and stick to some script (not that there's anything wrong with saying "that's enough", just don't be an emotionless robot), or sink into the conception that all coaches are rats (which is going to be a self fulfilling prophecy).  EXPECTATION OFTEN BECOMES REALITY.  So even though I might encounter a player who I can't deal with, and I have to eject (which I have), it's counter-productive to generalize about all teenage players. 

Edited by PonyUmpire
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@Tksjewelry Not to dismiss your opinion.  Every umpire is different in their game management strategy, and from your posts is seems like you don't have many problems in your games.  It's just that I know many umpires who have the skillset to umpire in a more "people smart" way, but they instead follow conventional widsom and stick to some script (not that there's anything wrong with saying "that's enough", just don't be an emotionless robot), or sink into the conception that all coaches are rats (which is going to be a self fulfilling prophecy).  EXPECTATION OFTEN BECOMES REALITY.  So even though I might encounter a player who I can't deal with, and I have to eject (which I have), it's counter-productive to generalize about all teenage players. 

I like what you say and agree.  Even though my opinions got roundly dismissed earlier in this thread, I'll not change my stance that we absolutely owe it to the teams and whatever organization they belong to, to do our best and yes, try even harder at times to manage the game agreeably and successfully.  EJs are a last resort, in my mind, after proper escalation has failed, but there's a lot that goes into how to manage that escalation.  At least there should be.  Building rapport, working the relationships and establishing ourselves as fair, credible and respected are all part of it and we have limited time in which to do it well.  Remember that the organizations who hire our organizations are our customers and can choose to not renew our contracts or block us individually. I'd rather be asked back and have everyone say, "Oh good, it's THIS guy," when I walk onto the field rather than "Oh no, it's THIS guy."  I'm representing my association on that field and I want to do so favorably while managing the game properly.

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@Tksjewelry Not to dismiss your opinion.  Every umpire is different in their game management strategy, and from your posts is seems like you don't have many problems in your games.  It's just that I know many umpires who have the skillset to umpire in a more "people smart" way, but they instead follow conventional widsom and stick to some script (not that there's anything wrong with saying "that's enough", just don't be an emotionless robot), or sink into the conception that all coaches are rats (which is going to be a self fulfilling prophecy).  EXPECTATION OFTEN BECOMES REALITY.  So even though I might encounter a player who I can't deal with, and I have to eject (which I have), it's counter-productive to generalize about all teenage players. 

I was with you until the highlighted area.  If you think that is only a concept and not reality, you are sorely mistaken.

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I was with you until the highlighted area.  If you think that is only a concept and not reality, you are sorely mistaken.

It might be a good idea to consider what was written after the highlighted area:

or sink into the conception that all coaches are rats (which is going to be a self fulfilling prophecy).  EXPECTATION OFTEN BECOMES REALITY.  

It may be a reality for you because of your expectations.

Mike

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Rich,  if you truly believe this, I feel sorry for you.  

 

Yes they are, I've been doing this since 1975, all levels above 16U and each and every coach I've met are rats.  A lot of them a good guys, but they're all rats.

Who are you to pass judgment on any participant?  That's not what you're there for.  You're their to call a fair game and leave.  It's not about you in any way shape or form.  Honestly, it sounds like you think you're bigger than the game, and if that's the case, then get the hell off the field.  

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Well your an idiot and you sound like a coach to me. And what the hell is a Pony umpire? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I appreciate the input.  Tell me this: is walking onto a field and immediately forming an opinion (always the same negative one) of several people you don't know consistent with what it means to be a good umpire?  How can you possibly put yourself and your flawed preconceptions above people who wouldn't be out there if they didn't have an intense love for the game.  Baseball is a sport.  It is played between two teams of passionate PLAYERS, guided by passionate COACHES.  That's baseball.  Your job is to keep it fair, and funnel that intensity into something beautiful.  Why are you more important than (at the higher levels) upwards of 30 people, who basically devote their entire lives to baseball (I umpire 3 to 4 high school games a week, and go to camps and clinics, but a high school player is putting in so much more work than I am)?  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not passing judgement on you as a person, but it really seems like you've lost track of what's important.

Edited by PonyUmpire
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Well your an idiot and you sound like a coach to me. And what the hell is a Pony umpire? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

oh the irony there.  

 

I'm only a coach and here too learn and expand my knowledge base, the broad stroke your comments paint are frankly ignorant IMHO, would be the same if I said anyone from the hollers of TN were in-bread rednecks.  

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