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HBP called by BU

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Interesting scenario tonight.  I'm BU........RH P, RH B....pitch audibly/visibly nicks batter on the backside.  I raise my hands expecting the PU to call HBP.  I could hear it and I saw it.  PU does nothing and I immediately lower my hands, but it was too late.....the defense saw that I had something. 

The catcher/coach convinces the PU to come to me and he asks if I have an HBP.  I say "YES.  I saw it and I heard it, no question."  We award, opposite coach comes out, respectful/short discussion, and we play on.

My question is (and I think I know the answer):

1) Did I mess up as a BU signaling a call normally reserved for the PU?    

2) If I hadn't raised my hands nor been called on it by the defense, should I have gone to him on my own to let him know what I had?  It was obvious to ME (b/c I heard it and saw it)

 


 

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5 hours ago, BuckeyeMike said:

1) Did I mess up as a BU signaling a call normally reserved for the PU?    

2) If I hadn't raised my hands nor been called on it by the defense, should I have gone to him on my own to let him know what I had?  It was obvious to ME (b/c I heard it and saw it)

1. Yes.

2. No.

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If it hit the backside of the hitter, maybe the PU didn't have a view of it. Did the batter try to sell it?

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3 hours ago, stkjock said:

Why would the defense ask for a HBP to be enforced?

I have this same question.  Seems odd, unless something else happened on the play.

i.e. the ball went the backstop and runners were advancing.  Defense wanted the dead ball to keep the runners from moving up more than 1 base.

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I do t have anything unless the PU does. If he asks, I'll give him what I have, but I'm not making his call for him.

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I find this remarkably similar to a batted ball chopped downward and off the lead foot of the batter. We're of the understanding that if you definitely saw it, you call it. PU is likely shielded from seeing that, and is often going off sound and potentially player reaction.

If @BuckeyeMike saw it, he likely was at C (or at B, but my guess is C) so that means a R2 or R3. If it's simply a wild pitch, then those Runners advanced more than what a HBP awards, so of course the defense is going to be concerned.

Mike, I've worked with you before, and I think most of the answers here regarding Question 1 is due to the potential abuse of power and stepping on toes. Are you going to start calling swings and offerings without being asked? Are you going to call Balls and Strikes? No, of course not, that would be ridiculous. Perhaps you should have reserved your mechanic and waited to see if the PU picked up on it, or called time once all action had ceased, and then consulted the PU in a brief conference, conferring what you saw – you (he, because it's "his call") can always put the runners back if need be.

We're in this together, and while I don't want my BU flashing me the count, or calling Fouls for me, if he sees something that affects the progression of the game – like a HBP while I'm tracking the ball – then I'm going to want to know it. Not every PU is omniscient, and certainly all are not magnanimous.

 

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7 minutes ago, MadMax said:

I find this remarkably similar to a batted ball chopped downward and off the lead foot of the batter. We're of the understanding that if you definitely saw it, you call it. PU is likely shielded from seeing that, and is often going off sound and potentially player reaction.

If @BuckeyeMike saw it, he likely was at C (or at B, but my guess is C) so that means a R2 or R3. If it's simply a wild pitch, then those Runners advanced more than what a HBP awards, so of course the defense is going to be concerned.

Mike, I've worked with you before, and I think most of the answers here regarding Question 1 is due to the potential abuse of power and stepping on toes. Are you going to start calling swings and offerings without being asked? Are you going to call Balls and Strikes? No, of course not, that would be ridiculous. Perhaps you should have reserved your mechanic and waited to see if the PU picked up on it, or called time once all action had ceased, and then consulted the PU in a brief conference, conferring what you saw – you (he, because it's "his call") can always put the runners back if need be.

We're in this together, and while I don't want my BU flashing me the count, or calling Fouls for me, if he sees something that affects the progression of the game – like a HBP while I'm tracking the ball – then I'm going to want to know it. Not every PU is omniscient, and certainly all are not magnanimous.

 

Speaking for myself, I would appreciate a partner who would/could help me out in this type of sit. Maybe i am too naive as a first year umpire.

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A few years back, I had a BU do this to me on a WP. Yes ,it was a WP, not a HBP. I tracked it correctly, ball bounced near the plate and skipped away, never touching the batter. He never gave any indication it hit him. BU throws his hands up, "Time, Time!...that hit him!!!" I was livid. There was no way out of this mess (R2/R3 at the time) without one ticked off HC. I ended up "over ruling" the BU, advanced R3 and R2 one base, added a ball to the count, and dealt with the DHC, ( he took it pretty well considering).

I don't have a problem if, after the play, a coach or a batter questions if it hit the batter and my partner offers me some info in a private conversation, but under no circumstance do I want him bellowing out "Time. That hit him" on his own.

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9 hours ago, Richvee said:

A few years back, I had a BU do this to me on a WP. Yes ,it was a WP, not a HBP. I tracked it correctly, ball bounced near the plate and skipped away, never touching the batter. He never gave any indication it hit him. BU throws his hands up, "Time, Time!...that hit him!!!" I was livid.

I don't have a problem if, after the play, a coach or a batter questions if it hit the batter and my partner offers me some info in a private conversation, but under no circumstance do I want him bellowing out "Time. That hit him" on his own.

Sucks that this Smitty did this to you. He was an idiot. You probably had never worked with that guy before, and likely haven't since.

@BuckeyeMike is no idiot. If he's got something, like a HBP or a foul-off-the-foot, that I as PU didn't see, then I expect him to say something at some point soon. The how is what we're discussing here. While bellowing a call that shuts everything down isn't acceptable, there better be a structure of coordination and cooperation between the umpires at a game. 

Base Umpires aren't alone in outbursts like this... I've had a PU bellow out "Balk!" on a F1 who, upon receiving the ball back from his F2, non-chalantly faked a throw to R3 and 3B. He wasn't preparing to pitch, let alone engaged to the rubber – I could see that from ten feet away at C, as could the grandparents sitting over towards the RF foul pole.

But hey, the PU owns that Balk call, right? 

I'm not being snide with you, @Richvee – I'd work with you any time. I trust that you know what you're doing, and if you've got something that affects the game progression, whether you call it or we have a brief umpire-only conference about it, then I'm going to at least entertain your input.

Before I get any of the "regulars" descending on my comments, let me be clear – I'm speaking within the context of amateur baseball. Majors/Minors, NCAA, NFHS... they all have certification and evaluation processes and protocols in place to train out or wash out the buffoonery. All we're left with, at the youth-amateur levels, are the efforts of associations. Barring those, we're left with the experiences and relationships between individual umpires.

When I watch that video of the umpire calling a balk – on the catcher – for throwing to 3B when a R2 bluffed a steal attempt, I'm not aghast that the PU called it and enforced it, I'm wondering why his partner didn't correct and fix it?!!!!

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19 minutes ago, MadMax said:

But hey, the PU owns that Balk call, right? 

Buy, hey, a balk call when the pitcher is off the rubber is one of the items that can clearly be corrected by rule in NCAA and OBR (and I'd follow that in FED).

 

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10 hours ago, MadMax said:

Sucks that this Smitty did this to you. He was an idiot. You probably had never worked with that guy before, and likely haven't since.

@BuckeyeMike is no idiot. If he's got something, like a HBP or a foul-off-the-foot, that I as PU didn't see, then I expect him to say something at some point soon. The how is what we're discussing here. While bellowing a call that shuts everything down isn't acceptable, there better be a structure of coordination and cooperation between the umpires at a game. 

Base Umpires aren't alone in outbursts like this... I've had a PU bellow out "Balk!" on a F1 who, upon receiving the ball back from his F2, non-chalantly faked a throw to R3 and 3B. He wasn't preparing to pitch, let alone engaged to the rubber – I could see that from ten feet away at C, as could the grandparents sitting over towards the RF foul pole.

But hey, the PU owns that Balk call, right? 

I'm not being snide with you, @Richvee – I'd work with you any time. I trust that you know what you're doing, and if you've got something that affects the game progression, whether you call it or we have a brief umpire-only conference about it, then I'm going to at least entertain your input.

Before I get any of the "regulars" descending on my comments, let me be clear – I'm speaking within the context of amateur baseball. Majors/Minors, NCAA, NFHS... they all have certification and evaluation processes and protocols in place to train out or wash out the buffoonery. All we're left with, at the youth-amateur levels, are the efforts of associations. Barring those, we're left with the experiences and relationships between individual umpires.

When I watch that video of the umpire calling a balk – on the catcher – for throwing to 3B when a R2 bluffed a steal attempt, I'm not aghast that the PU called it and enforced it, I'm wondering why his partner didn't correct and fix it?!!!!

I need to clarify....In no way was I comparing what happened to Mike to what this Smitty did to me. His post just reminded me of what happened to me. Mike had a HBP for sure, and I'm sure if he had to do it again, he'd wait and get together with PU and discuss it. The fact that he posted it here and is talking about proves that. Apologies Mike, if you took my post the wrong way.

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No apologies necessary and I've taken no offense to anything said here.   I posted my error and solicited feedback (albeit KNOWING the answer) to improve and hopefully teach someone new to the avocation.  (BLUF: LET YOUR PU CALL HIS GAME)

My hands went up in pure visceral reaction thinking it was a no-brainer HBP.  It took me about .05 seconds to lower them when I realized the PU didn't see it.  It was not my  intent to insert myself into the PU's call/non-call, but by my over-zealousness (OOO) DID do just that.  Lesson learned. 

FWIW, it WAS the catcher/DHC that asked my PU and I to get together b/c of baserunner advances.  My PU came to me and asked if I had an HBP and I said, "YES!  It DEFINITELY hit him, and I DEFINITELY heard it."           I learned the hard way in JUCO last year not to kill the play as the BU b/c you're just 90% sure the ball went off the batter's foot.  And I pre-game this with partners now as a result......if you as a BU aren't 110% NO QUESTION sure, you better keep your yapper shut and your gestures to yourself.   It seems I've now learned this as it applies to other areas.  ;)

Thanks for the backing @MadMax, it was a pleasure working with you this past fall. 

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No balk belongs exclusively to one or the other...there are some where if one gets it, it means the other really missed something, but it can still be done.

HBP is the exclusive domain of PU. I don't care how sure BU is, he needs to keep his mouth shut unless asked.

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On 16/06/2016 at 6:07 PM, MadMax said:

I find this remarkably similar to a batted ball chopped downward and off the lead foot of the batter. We're of the understanding that if you definitely saw it, you call it. PU is likely shielded from seeing that, and is often going off sound and potentially player reaction.

If @BuckeyeMike saw it, he likely was at C (or at B, but my guess is C) so that means a R2 or R3. If it's simply a wild pitch, then those Runners advanced more than what a HBP awards, so of course the defense is going to be concerned.

Mike, I've worked with you before, and I think most of the answers here regarding Question 1 is due to the potential abuse of power and stepping on toes. Are you going to start calling swings and offerings without being asked? Are you going to call Balls and Strikes? No, of course not, that would be ridiculous. Perhaps you should have reserved your mechanic and waited to see if the PU picked up on it, or called time once all action had ceased, and then consulted the PU in a brief conference, conferring what you saw – you (he, because it's "his call") can always put the runners back if need be.

We're in this together, and while I don't want my BU flashing me the count, or calling Fouls for me, if he sees something that affects the progression of the game – like a HBP while I'm tracking the ball – then I'm going to want to know it. Not every PU is omniscient, and certainly all are not magnanimous.

 

Totally agree with you. 

A HP or a foul ball that hits the foot are sometimes difficult things to see and call...If my BU calls something that i didn't see with the intent to kill the play immediatly and make things clearer for everybody, i've got no problem with it.

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8 hours ago, grozzly said:

Totally agree with you. 

A HP or a foul ball that hits the foot are sometimes difficult things to see and call...If my BU calls something that i didn't see with the intent to kill the play immediatly and make things clearer for everybody, i've got no problem with it.

If a BU kills a play for HBP, it's the last game he's working with me. There is a fundamental difference between a foul ball and HBP--PU's primary responsibility is the pitch. He is watching the ball the whole way. If he doesn't have anything, it's probably not HBP. If something happens, he can ask. A foul ball means that the ball was batted and that PU might not be able to pick it up right away. That's why we have to treat these differently. 

Think about it. BU killing a HBP just told everyone he was doing a better job tracking the pitch than PU. Don't be that guy.

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you're not wrong....and something i didn't think about is the fact that only PU decides if the batter did try to avoid the pitch or not.....

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1 hour ago, Matt said:

Think about it. BU killing a HBP just told everyone he was doing a better job tracking the pitch than PU. Don't be that guy.

Exactly.

The parallel is not a foul ball off the foot, but PU calling safe/outs on steals of 2B. "But I had a great look at it" is not a satisfactory response.

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3 hours ago, Matt said:

If a BU kills a play for HBP, it's the last game he's working with me. There is a fundamental difference between a foul ball and HBP--PU's primary responsibility is the pitch. He is watching the ball the whole way. If he doesn't have anything, it's probably not HBP. If something happens, he can ask. A foul ball means that the ball was batted and that PU might not be able to pick it up right away. That's why we have to treat these differently. 

Think about it. BU killing a HBP just told everyone he was doing a better job tracking the pitch than PU. Don't be that guy.

I completely and respectfully concede this point, especially in regards to BU killing the pitch/play. Should (more like Shall) not be done.

That being said, if we've got bottom of the 7th (or other game-ending inning), R3, score tied, in a non-replay-equipped game, and VF1 pitches one that goes towards the back of the batter, causing him to lunge out of the way. The ball grazes the batter, somewhere in the back or butt or back of the leg area... BU (and we'll say VF1 and some infielders too) sees it. VF2 lunges, too, to try and catch it, but it's by him to the backstop. R3 trots in, touches the plate, HT starts celebrating... and PU stands there, processing all that he saw... and starts walking towards the gate! 

VF1 is pointing at the general vicinity of the plate, crying, "I hit him! That hit him!".

You're BU, standing at B (or C)... What do you do?

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2 minutes ago, MadMax said:

I completely and respectfully concede this point, especially in regards to BU killing the pitch/play. Should (more like Shall) not be done.

That being said, if we've got bottom of the 7th (or other game-ending inning), R3, score tied, in a non-replay-equipped game, and VF1 pitches one that goes towards the back of the batter, causing him to lunge out of the way. The ball grazes the batter, somewhere in the back or butt or back of the leg area... BU (and we'll say VF1 and some infielders too) sees it. VF2 lunges, too, to try and catch it, but it's by him to the backstop. R3 trots in, touches the plate, HT starts celebrating... and PU stands there, processing all that he saw... and starts walking towards the gate! 

VF1 is pointing at the general vicinity of the plate, crying, "I hit him! That hit him!".

You're BU, standing at B (or C)... What do you do?

The same thing as "R3, grounder, throw pulls F3 off the base, he swipes at BR and BU says "safe."  PU and everyone else saw the tag.  What do you do as PU?"

 

The answer -- give whatever "signal" you have to your partner that you might have information and wait to be asked.

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Found this citation in the online Umpire Bible.  This is how we approach it in our Association and honestly I'm glad we do.  This weekend I had this exact type of play.  Ball comes inside, catcher jumps up and I honestly did not see the ball at all once it got to the batter.  I was 100% blocked out.  Partner paused and made the call.

The key is you better be 100% sure you saw the ball hit the batter and then give the PU time to make the call. 

From umpirebible.com - "Batter hit by pitch. The PU will normally get this call, but sometimes he can't see it. If you see the ball hit the batter or graze his clothing, pause for a moment (giving your PU a chance to make the call), and if he doesn't then call it." 

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On 6/18/2016 at 8:13 PM, BuckeyeMike said:

No apologies necessary and I've taken no offense to anything said here.   I posted my error and solicited feedback (albeit KNOWING the answer) to improve and hopefully teach someone new to the avocation.  (BLUF: LET YOUR PU CALL HIS GAME)

My hands went up in pure visceral reaction thinking it was a no-brainer HBP.  It took me about .05 seconds to lower them when I realized the PU didn't see it.  It was not my  intent to insert myself into the PU's call/non-call, but by my over-zealousness (OOO) DID do just that.  Lesson learned. 

FWIW, it WAS the catcher/DHC that asked my PU and I to get together b/c of baserunner advances.  My PU came to me and asked if I had an HBP and I said, "YES!  It DEFINITELY hit him, and I DEFINITELY heard it."           I learned the hard way in JUCO last year not to kill the play as the BU b/c you're just 90% sure the ball went off the batter's foot.  And I pre-game this with partners now as a result......if you as a BU aren't 110% NO QUESTION sure, you better keep your yapper shut and your gestures to yourself.   It seems I've now learned this as it applies to other areas.  ;)

Thanks for the backing @MadMax, it was a pleasure working with you this past fall. 

Can confirm, he does pregame this.

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On 6/19/2016 at 8:45 PM, James88 said:

Found this citation in the online Umpire Bible.  This is how we approach it in our Association and honestly I'm glad we do.  This weekend I had this exact type of play.  Ball comes inside, catcher jumps up and I honestly did not see the ball at all once it got to the batter.  I was 100% blocked out.  Partner paused and made the call.

The key is you better be 100% sure you saw the ball hit the batter and then give the PU time to make the call. 

From umpirebible.com - "Batter hit by pitch. The PU will normally get this call, but sometimes he can't see it. If you see the ball hit the batter or graze his clothing, pause for a moment (giving your PU a chance to make the call), and if he doesn't then call it." 

Exactly.

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