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MPLSMatt

Catcher Holding Pitches

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How do you guys address a catcher who is holding pitches on you? It's been many years since I've had a situation where a quick "back to the pitcher - none of that garbage today" didn't fix it, but had that situation today in a 12AAA (of all friggen ages) game.  Kid is a total Bryce Harper wannabe - scowling at me over pitches he didn't get (while hitting), complaining about everything,  slamming his bat on the plate after a called strike, but the real problem was that when catching, he started holding the pitches he didn't get well after the call was made.  I told him, "still a ball. Get it back to the pitcher" but he kept doing it.  Would you escalate this? Warning?  I'm not sure I was ready to eject at 12 year old over this, so I didn't want to throw out a warning I wasn't prepared to act on.   At this level, would you recommend going to the coach (who happened to be the kid's dad in this case)? How would you handle it? 

 

 

 

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How do you guys address a catcher who is holding pitches on you? It's been many years since I've had a situation where a quick "back to the pitcher - none of that garbage today" didn't fix it, but had that situation today in a 12AAA (of all friggen ages) game.  Kid is a total Bryce Harper wannabe - scowling at me over pitches he didn't get (while hitting), complaining about everything,  slamming his bat on the plate after a called strike, but the real problem was that when catching, he started holding the pitches he didn't get well after the call was made.  I told him, "still a ball. Get it back to the pitcher" but he kept doing it.  Would you escalate this? Warning?  I'm not sure I was ready to eject at 12 year old over this, so I didn't want to throw out a warning I wasn't prepared to act on.   At this level, would you recommend going to the coach (who happened to be the kid's dad in this case)? How would you handle it? 

 

 

 

He knows what he's doing... you gave him a warning... get rid of him.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

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By the time he began holding pitches, he had already used up his warnings, in my opinion. Scowling at pitches (plural, i.e., repeatedly)? Slamming his bat? I doubt he would have still been around to catch. That kind of conduct can only escalate, if not controlled. If you wanted to keep the kid in the game--or try to--go to the coach much, much earlier--at the least, when he slammed the bat--and suggest he get the kid under control.

By the way, I recently had a 10 y/o hold a pitch. I said, "Don't do that, son, umpires hate to be shown up," and he apologized. 

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When a catcher starts holding close pitches on me, I usually say, "you can hold that mitt there for another ten minutes if you want, but the pitch is still gonna be a ball." They usually get the message after that.

If they persist with that nonsense, I'll tell them something like, "You know, Steve...some folks consider holding pitches there like that to be showing up the umpire. And I'm about this close to becoming one of those folks." That usually puts and end to it.

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Sounds like he needs a paddlin.

 

If the catcher's not such a heathen, I like to make a joke when I see them try to frame a couple. I just say "I see you tryin to frame it there!" and they usually chuckle. Hitter a couple weeks ago said "hey, some umps fall for it!"

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Once told a kid, "That looks like you're trying to show me up.  I've already called that pitch a ball and it's not going to change. If you do this when you get to high school you're going have a lot of umpires not like working with you. Just throw it back."  Never held one on me again and he wound up getting a scholarship for college and also became a first round draft pick.  A really good kid.

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I agree with the others.  Fix it, and fix it early.  I once told a catcher "I know you wanted that one, so I'll be sure to call it a strike when you're batting."  He didn't do it for the rest of the game.

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7 minutes ago, stkjock said:

so indulge this question please, how long is too long?

 

The catcher shouldn't frame the pitch after he has time to react to the call.

 

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4 hours ago, stkjock said:

so indulge this question please, how long is too long?

 

 

4 hours ago, basejester said:

The catcher shouldn't frame the pitch after he has time to react to the call.

 

Exactly.  If he holds it more than a second after I've made my call, it's too long.  This kid was holding it a good 3 seconds AFTER my call.  That's too long. 

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4 hours ago, stkjock said:

so indulge this question please, how long is too long?

 

Longer than it takes to reach in the glove, remove the ball, and throw it back to the pitcher. I'm being facetious, but, c'mon, it's like Potter Stewart's famous quote about pornography: you know it when you see it. Can't be quantified precisely and is somewhat situational.

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Deal with it early.  Sounds like this kid was getting away with way too much - and for probably way too long in the season because other umpires weren't dealing with it.

The budding prima donna probably needs a lesson by way of an early exit from the game.  I think we'd all try to keep a 12 year old in the game but if they're working this hard to leave, no sense in putting it off on the next guy.

My line for when a catchers is holding the ball is usually "the longer you hold it there, the smaller the zone is gonna get."

 

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