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jonathantullos

I Left. Here's Why

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Well, I've made the decision to leave the field... Perhaps for only a while but it's likely I won't return. Here's why. Note: I'm not going to accept criticism. I know I let some things get out of hand but, again, reasons why are explained. Perhaps someone can use my words to help their association or governing body better understand why so many of us are leaving and hopefully do something about it.

https://revjktullos.com/2019/03/25/death-of-an-umpire/

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I'm sorry about your experience.  I wasn't there, so I won't comment on how things were handled.  I'm truly sorry it has caused you to walk away from something you enjoyed doing.

I blame a large part of the poor behavior in our culture today on cell phones and the internet. It has turned us into a ruder and more arrogant people.  I shudder to think what this country will look like in 20 years if things do not change.  I'm not speaking of politics either, but just old-fashioned kindness and consideration of others instead of being selfish.

 

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11 minutes ago, wolfe_man said:

I'm sorry about your experience.  I wasn't there, so I won't comment on how things were handled.  I'm truly sorry it has caused you to walk away from something you enjoyed doing.

I blame a large part of the poor behavior in our culture today on cell phones and the internet. It has turned us into a ruder and more arrogant people.  I shudder to think what this country will look like in 20 years if things do not change.  I'm not speaking of politics either, but just old-fashioned kindness and consideration of others instead of being selfish.

 

Disagree with your comment about cell phones and the internet.  I started umpiring in Memphis, Tn area in 1995 and people were absolutely rude back then.  Moved to Coachella Valley in SoCal in 1996 and people were rude here.   Spent 2 years living back in St Charles county in Missouri in 2006 and 2007 and I can tell you the people of that area being so nice and welcoming ain't the case anymore.  I grew up there. There has always been ass hats in the stand.  After 25 years it does seem to be getting worse, but I won't blame it on the internet or cell phones.  That's like saying millennials are all lazy and whiny.  Older people say the same thing about every following generation. Might have been time for the Preacher to pack it in.   He had just reached his BS level peak and decided it just wasn't worth it to be out there anymore.  If you're getting home from games and dwelling on what a bunch of idiots parents and coaches are it ain't worth your time, effort and money anymore.  

This year is the first year I've actually seen a game stopped until parents and fans have been cleared out from behind the plate area.  Both teams were struggling to find a zone and the umpire was grabbing strikes wherever and however he could get them.  Nonetheless Mom and Dad were merciless and after one ball call, foot off the plate, the umpire stopped the game and had the AD move the fans.  I was the base umpire and when I came to help the AD out had a fan make a comment about the plate umpire.  Think I kind of startled the Dad as I asked him if he knew how much he was embarrassing his kid when he acted like that?  Said it just loud enough that the stands could hear me,  but not the players or coaches.

Some of you might not like the idea of me talking with people in the stands, but I have a background of dealing with large groups of people.  I spent 20 years in the Navy as a cook and grew to be very thick skinned during my career.  Spent 3 of those years as a Recruiter dealing with the public.  Also spent 3 years as a Recruit Company Commander (Drill Instructor) and a tour on a spec op's submarine, spending 130 days straight under water once.  Try being the head cook for that and not being able to escape.  

I may not be the best umpire in the world, but do work well with the schools, coaches and kids.  I get immense pleasure out of having a player remembering me from 20 years ago and, seeing me umpiring their kid, informing me of their life path and how our conversations helped them in their life paths.  Still can't talk them into umpiring. lol

I would tell the Preacher to give it another go and just refuse to work those schools.  It's obvious he loves working with people.  

 

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I guess each of us have our own experience(s).   I'm sure there are many contributing factors.  I doubt any one (or two) things can be blamed for the full failure of it all.

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The following are broad observations. I know some areas have parts of this controlled better than others, but this is a generalization.

It's not because of the Internet and cell phones.

It's because there's no accountability to those who act this way, and everyone -- including umpires -- is responsible, some unwillingly and beyond their control. This follows in all levels -- kids, scholastic, amateur, professional -- of all sports -- baseball, football, basketball, hockey.

Spectators have nobody telling them to stop. Fans nearby, at the best, say nothing, and usually cheer on the spectator. Someone who does speak up is usually drowned out by the aggressor, or just simply ignored and mocked for being an upstanding person. With no apparent repercussions to their actions, they continue -- game after game, night after night -- and, even worse, encourage others to do the same. Yell at the officials, curse the opposing players, insult their families.

Parents think their child is the next [insert highest paid athlete in their sport here] and no one can tell them any different. After all, the moment you don't believe it is the moment the tower crumbles. Spending thousands on coaches, thousands on travel ball, and hundreds on the newest [insert applicable equipment here] -- all for an 8-year-old. They coddle their child, explain to them that the call went against them (even when it didn't), that everyone else is responsible for their bad night, that they're still the best on their team. These parents hear the above spectators and either completely agree or disagree, depending on what team they're biased toward - and all other opinions be damned! No one ever tells these parents that their child isn't as good as they think, will never be that good, and maybe Johnny just wants to pick daisies instead of fielding that 200th grounder you've fungoed to him and he's thrown back a third of the way.

Coaches are stuck a lot of times. They want to field a team that can win, but they constantly have parents telling him how to do his job. Who should be playing what position, how he should have made a different move at a different time, how he's not giving that child a chance. If a parent is misbehaving at a game, he risks looking like the bad guy by saying something. If he doesn't play someone enough, the parents argues. If he doesn't win enough games, everyone gets mad. BUT, coaches aren't wholly innocent either. Often, they are just as bad as parents when it comes to deflecting blame, often to officials or other non-team people. When a coach misbehaves, sometimes punishments don't do enough. A game suspension and fine may not stop a coach from doing it again. Often, the coach's actions are defended, especially when a call is wrong or even if the perception of an error against the team is there.

Even umpires are responsible. Many times, issues aren't handled appropriately at the time, leading to the next crew having to deal with it and hearing "they didn't say anything the last game". Sometimes umpires can be stuck, too. Whether it's an association pushing toward more warnings before an ejection, a UIC that won't back the correct actions of his umpires, or even a threat of every ejection possibly leading to missed opportunities in the future, umpires feel they have to give longer and longer leashes to players and coaches. These warnings rarely come with any punishment to the offenders, and all the umpire finds is a wake of coaches, players, and spectators who have no respect for his actions.

I could go on, but I think I've made the point. Through the years and very slowly, the line of accountability has moved. I don't know that it can be stopped. Even in MLB, coaches are expected to "get his money's worth" during arguments, while umpires are "putting himself in the game" in that same argument. Umpires are vilified as "awful" when fined for their actions; players and coaches are lauded when they are. Suspended umpires are 

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5 minutes ago, wolfe_man said:

I guess each of us ve our own experience(s).   Mine are true for me, but I guess not for you (and maybe others).

I've only been an umpire for 4 years, so can't compare to 20 years ago.   I am 40 though, so I can go back through my life and recall a time when folks were a lot gentler, kinder and considerate towards their fellow man.   In my experience, much has changed in the past 10-15 years.   Maybe it's not the internet and cell phones, but I can't think of anything else that has changed so fast in our culture as technology, so I blamed it and feel that is still my opinion.

I guess we'll agree to disagree.

I will concede your points on your other comments though.

Thanks for your comments you young whipper snapper.  lol  Once, while in Memphis, I had a 12 year old game with a catcher who introduced himself as Will the Thrill.  Loved my games with that kid. Just one of those kids you remember.  Anyways, when he was at bat I called a ball at the letters a strike.  Some Mom unloaded on me and Will the Thrill told me to not pay attention to her. Remember that the strike zone back then was the letters to the bottom of the knees, but called from the waist to the bottom of the knees, except for me.  So, Will the Thrill's team came back on defense with him still catching.  First pitch at the letters I ball it.  Lady starts in on me about how I called that a strike on her son's team.  I called time and proceeded to walk towards where the grieving mother was sitting, all the time disregarding Will the Thrill's pleading and begging of me to ignore that woman. I walked to the fence and said, "Look.  When I called it a strike on Will you told me it was a ball.  So I call it a ball and you tell me I should call it a strike.  You really need to work on your consistency", and I walked back to the plate.  As soon as I had turned my back on the fans they all busted up laughing and Will the Thrill soon recovered from his embarrassment.  From then on fans from that team never gave me any issues.

At a hs game I was working the dish I called a strike at the knees and the head coach replied, "NO WAY", from the the third base coach's box.  I waited until the coach was facing me, took off my mask and replied in my best Wayne's World voice,  "WAY".  Coach had to turn away from me because he had burst out laughing.  Next time he made a substitution he came to me and said, "Dude. That was the funniest thing I ever heard on a baseball field in my life".  

Now, this works for me and may not be for everybody and I'm sure that some will disagree with an umpire doing anything like this.  But, remember it's a high school baseball game. An extracurricular activity for high school kids.  Umpires aren't perfect, but they make fewer mistakes on a field than the players and coaches do.  After 25 seasons and thousands of games, I believe I'm correct in that assessment.

Sometimes it just takes a little humor to resolved a situation.  Find out what it takes that works for you to diffuse a situation and use it.  If you have to continuously get the AD to work the stands for you then you should look at what you need to do to improve.  And it takes years to become a really good umpire.  Give it time. 

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40 minutes ago, yawetag said:

The following are broad observations. I know some areas have parts of this controlled better than others, but this is a generalization.

It's not because of the Internet and cell phones.

It's because there's no accountability to those who act this way, and everyone -- including umpires -- is responsible, some unwillingly and beyond their control. This follows in all levels -- kids, scholastic, amateur, professional -- of all sports -- baseball, football, basketball, hockey.

Spectators have nobody telling them to stop. Fans nearby, at the best, say nothing, and usually cheer on the spectator. Someone who does speak up is usually drowned out by the aggressor, or just simply ignored and mocked for being an upstanding person. With no apparent repercussions to their actions, they continue -- game after game, night after night -- and, even worse, encourage others to do the same. Yell at the officials, curse the opposing players, insult their families.

Parents think their child is the next [insert highest paid athlete in their sport here] and no one can tell them any different. After all, the moment you don't believe it is the moment the tower crumbles. Spending thousands on coaches, thousands on travel ball, and hundreds on the newest [insert applicable equipment here] -- all for an 8-year-old. They coddle their child, explain to them that the call went against them (even when it didn't), that everyone else is responsible for their bad night, that they're still the best on their team. These parents hear the above spectators and either completely agree or disagree, depending on what team they're biased toward - and all other opinions be damned! No one ever tells these parents that their child isn't as good as they think, will never be that good, and maybe Johnny just wants to pick daisies instead of fielding that 200th grounder you've fungoed to him and he's thrown back a third of the way.

Coaches are stuck a lot of times. They want to field a team that can win, but they constantly have parents telling him how to do his job. Who should be playing what position, how he should have made a different move at a different time, how he's not giving that child a chance. If a parent is misbehaving at a game, he risks looking like the bad guy by saying something. If he doesn't play someone enough, the parents argues. If he doesn't win enough games, everyone gets mad. BUT, coaches aren't wholly innocent either. Often, they are just as bad as parents when it comes to deflecting blame, often to officials or other non-team people. When a coach misbehaves, sometimes punishments don't do enough. A game suspension and fine may not stop a coach from doing it again. Often, the coach's actions are defended, especially when a call is wrong or even if the perception of an error against the team is there.

Even umpires are responsible. Many times, issues aren't handled appropriately at the time, leading to the next crew having to deal with it and hearing "they didn't say anything the last game". Sometimes umpires can be stuck, too. Whether it's an association pushing toward more warnings before an ejection, a UIC that won't back the correct actions of his umpires, or even a threat of every ejection possibly leading to missed opportunities in the future, umpires feel they have to give longer and longer leashes to players and coaches. These warnings rarely come with any punishment to the offenders, and all the umpire finds is a wake of coaches, players, and spectators who have no respect for his actions.

I could go on, but I think I've made the point. Through the years and very slowly, the line of accountability has moved. I don't know that it can be stopped. Even in MLB, coaches are expected to "get his money's worth" during arguments, while umpires are "putting himself in the game" in that same argument. Umpires are vilified as "awful" when fined for their actions; players and coaches are lauded when they are. Suspended umpires are 

In MLB coaches have always got their money's worth. It is part of the MLB experience and the Manager might tell the umpire to toss him before the confrontation happens.  I had a coach at a college game tell us he wanted to leave early to go to his sister's wedding so please toss him.  In bottom of first he got tossed.

As for the rest of your points, SPOT ON.  Especially the umpire part.  Good post.

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What's interesting is that MLB managers are getting their money's worth less and less these days. With replay, there seems to be fewer arguments and fewer ejections. You don't see guys getting tossed like the used to over bangers, tag plays, etc. Now it's just "hey, we're challenging" and the replay shows one thing or another. The end. Ball/Strike stuff will always come up, but overall there aren't as many arguments.

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Sorry to hear about Jonathan's hard decision, but everyone has their limits, and you can't let caustic negative people lower your life quality. Enough is enough, and you know when you've had enough. Hopefully you are able to follow your Pastor passion more, and instead of it being a murder, it turns into just a (hard) push into another direction for you.. Everybody who officiates has stories like these, I imagine.

Someone once told me that 90% of all people are good, positive people.. 10% are A-holes.. Unless you are in a very rural area with less than 10 people, you are going to encounter them every day, so deviate from the Aholes and spend your time and energy on the good people...

With that, that's where you probably had gotten your enjoyment of officiating: you as an official are legitimately helping those "good" kids and coaches and parents be able to take their competition to the highest level they can. If they take the officials out, or only have officials that can be harassed, cajoled and intimidated into subjective calls, the level of play and competition degrades. So most of us work and train hard to be the most consistent, timely, rules saavy and in-position official we can be to help up the quality of the game for the "good kids". 

Problem is, sounds like it got way unbalanced for you, where the Aholes were taking over and degrading the whole thing to the point it was affecting you not only on the the field but off the field as well. Well, they made their own bed, and pooped in it then. By chasing away you and I'm sure other good guys and gals, they will degrade their game to the point that none of their "superstar' kids will go anywhere with the game, and may give it up just from the stress those same Aholes probably dump on their own kids..

As for the level of nonsense changing throughout the years, I think it was always there, at about the same frequency. The only big difference is with technology, Aholes and bullies have many more resources and power to attack and belittle more good people faster and in front of larger audiences...

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5 hours ago, BobUmp said:

Sorry to hear about Jonathan's hard decision, but everyone has their limits, and you can't let caustic negative people lower your life quality. Enough is enough, and you know when you've had enough. Hopefully you are able to follow your Pastor passion more, and instead of it being a murder, it turns into just a (hard) push into another direction for you.. Everybody who officiates has stories like these, I imagine.

Someone once told me that 90% of all people are good, positive people.. 10% are A-holes.. Unless you are in a very rural area with less than 10 people, you are going to encounter them every day, so deviate from the Aholes and spend your time and energy on the good people...

With that, that's where you probably had gotten your enjoyment of officiating: you as an official are legitimately helping those "good" kids and coaches and parents be able to take their competition to the highest level they can. If they take the officials out, or only have officials that can be harassed, cajoled and intimidated into subjective calls, the level of play and competition degrades. So most of us work and train hard to be the most consistent, timely, rules saavy and in-position official we can be to help up the quality of the game for the "good kids". 

Problem is, sounds like it got way unbalanced for you, where the Aholes were taking over and degrading the whole thing to the point it was affecting you not only on the the field but off the field as well. Well, they made their own bed, and pooped in it then. By chasing away you and I'm sure other good guys and gals, they will degrade their game to the point that none of their "superstar' kids will go anywhere with the game, and may give it up just from the stress those same Aholes probably dump on their own kids..

As for the level of nonsense changing throughout the years, I think it was always there, at about the same frequency. The only big difference is with technology, Aholes and bullies have many more resources and power to attack and belittle more good people faster and in front of larger audiences...

This post rocks.  Every point.

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@jonathantullos,

Sorry to hear that you have come to this decision. 

I do not know if this will help, but I am an umpire who stopped umpiring for 20 years, a lot of it from similar experiences to you. 

This is what I know helps keep people in black and charcoal.

  1. a support group of umpires who you work with; knowing that you are not alone.
  2. the group always wants to get better and learns from each other; everyone, no matter their age or experience, are open to new ideas and incorporating them into their on-field practice
  3. that group openly take on the roles of mentors and create a cross-generational community that engages both young and old. 
  4. the group picks up each other when times are tough and express how important each person is to their collective development and growth
  5. an Association that actively tackles behaviour and treatment of umpires with the leagues they officate; they work with leagues to create specific guidelines on players and coaches behaviour and gets the leagues on board with these guidelines of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

finally, its not about handling problems the way someone else does, but handling a problems on the field the way you handle problems. I guess I'm saying is: do what makes you successful on Sundays with your congregation. how are you a leader when you give your sermon, and be that natural leader you are on the field. Do you yell at your congrgation? Or, do you act calm, share your wisdom and explain your decisions in a thoughtful manner? Bottom line is: be the reverend on the field. 

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14 hours ago, BCBrad said:

@jonathantullos,

Sorry to hear that you have come to this decision. 

I do not know if this will help, but I am an umpire who stopped umpiring for 20 years, a lot of it from similar experiences to you. 

This is what I know helps keep people in black and charcoal.

  1. a support group of umpires who you work with; knowing that you are not alone.
  2. the group always wants to get better and learns from each other; everyone, no matter their age or experience, are open to new ideas and incorporating them into their on-field practice
  3. that group openly take on the roles of mentors and create a cross-generational community that engages both young and old. 
  4. the group picks up each other when times are tough and express how important each person is to their collective development and growth
  5. an Association that actively tackles behaviour and treatment of umpires with the leagues they officate; they work with leagues to create specific guidelines on players and coaches behaviour and gets the leagues on board with these guidelines of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

finally, its not about handling problems the way someone else does, but handling a problems on the field the way you handle problems. I guess I'm saying is: do what makes you successful on Sundays with your congregation. how are you a leader when you give your sermon, and be that natural leader you are on the field. Do you yell at your congrgation? Or, do you act calm, share your wisdom and explain your decisions in a thoughtful manner? Bottom line is: be the reverend on the field. 

Kind of one of the points I've been trying to make.  Do what works for you.  Also keep in mind that what works with some people won't work with all people so be able to be light on your feet and figure out other ways that work on the fly.  Don't let them cross the line though.  If they eject themselves, then they have to go.  But trying to work with a coach to resolve a situation in a  manner which keeps people in the game is always appreciated by all participants.

Good post BCBrad.

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@jonathantullos Sorry to hear that it ended this way. Looking at your post history and your website makes you seem like the kind of person the game not only wants, but needs, to be an umpire.

On a slightly different note, this kind of stuff is why I treat dealing with bad behavior from coaches/parents/players as a crusade. I have kind of internalized the "leave a place better than you found it" philosophy for my games. If parents and coaches are going to act poorly, they can leave. I think we over complicate EJs sometimes. Punch the ticket on the required warnings/restrictions/etc. and then get rid of them if they keep it up. Like everybody else has been saying: we become a major contributor to the problem if we don't take care of our business at our games.

Just my .02

BR

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Jonathan,

I wish you the best. I appreciated what you said in your post. We have all been there at one time or another. I hope someday you can get back on the field because whether you know it or not, more people appreciate YOU than not. It's not easy to forget A-holes, but this world is coming apart at the seams. Sometimes being on the baseball field can help take us away from all the crap we experience and work, home, you name it. When it no longer stays fun and takes this type of turn, take care of yourself first....

I wish there was something else I could say to keep you on the field. I would be proud to work with a guy like you as I'm sure others here and around the baseball world would too. But in the end, do what is right for you. I'm sure God has great plans for you and other's around you. Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us. And thank you for making us all realize more than ever we are the THIRD TEAM out there. We need to look out for each other no matter what!

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AMEN!

(being a smart @$$, I must admit that there was no pun intended in my comment.  I 100% agree with @Mad Mike.)

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As a Christian, I believe in the power of resurrection. My days as an official are not over yet.

After some counseling and many conversations with several fellow officials, I have decided to give it another whirl. I've already talked to my assignor and he has agreed to have me back in the association next season. I'm also planning to officiate football in the fall.

Ump-Attire ought to be happy with this news, as I will have to buy all new gear. So far, I've lost about 80 pounds with a bit more to go! I will be a much better official this time around.

Thanks for your support when I left earlier this year. It was partly what made me consider giving it another shot.

Jonathan

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3 hours ago, jonathantullos said:

As a Christian, I believe in the power of resurrection. My days as an official are not over yet.

After some counseling and many conversations with several fellow officials, I have decided to give it another whirl. I've already talked to my assignor and he has agreed to have me back in the association next season. I'm also planning to officiate football in the fall.

Ump-Attire ought to be happy with this news, as I will have to buy all new gear. So far, I've lost about 80 pounds with a bit more to go! I will be a much better official this time around.

Thanks for your support when I left earlier this year. It was partly what made me consider giving it another shot.

Jonathan

The umpire has risen.

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5 hours ago, jonathantullos said:

As a Christian, I believe in the power of resurrection. My days as an official are not over yet.

After some counseling and many conversations with several fellow officials, I have decided to give it another whirl. I've already talked to my assignor and he has agreed to have me back in the association next season. I'm also planning to officiate football in the fall.

Ump-Attire ought to be happy with this news, as I will have to buy all new gear. So far, I've lost about 80 pounds with a bit more to go! I will be a much better official this time around.

Thanks for your support when I left earlier this year. It was partly what made me consider giving it another shot.

Jonathan

Good luck. Just my personal opinion. Hope you at least stick with the football. It seems, although I am no psychological Einstein, that of the sports officials i have run into, football officials seem (notice i say seem) to have the most fun, at least at the high school level, maybe more so than younger levels. I strictly believe it is the strength in numbers theory, and last time I checked, football had the biggest numbers crew wise.

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1 hour ago, dumbdumb said:

Good luck. Just my personal opinion. Hope you at least stick with the football. It seems, although I am no psychological Einstein, that of the sports officials i have run into, football officials seem (notice i say seem) to have the most fun, at least at the high school level, maybe more so than younger levels. I strictly believe it is the strength in numbers theory, and last time I checked, football had the biggest numbers crew wise.

You never met Lance.

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Glad to hear you aren’t hanging it up Rev!  Sometimes we do need to take a step back and regain our perspective.

Another theory on the deterioration of sporting behavior: travel ball.  Teams no longer play in a local league where they see the same umpires night in and night out.  Those umpires are (were) probably their neighbors, co-workers, congregation members, etc. — people who they had to turn around and face the next day at the coffee shop or the bank.

Now teams can see as many as 10-12 different umpires in a day, all from another town or even another state that they will never see again.  Just like the rental cars and hotel rooms the teams are using, these disposable umpires do not evoke any feeling of personal long term responsibility.

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Umpires and basketball officials got screwed over when youth tournaments exploded. These complexes depend on that money and will kiss that coaches ass to keep him. Btw if you think baseball is bad basketball is worse  

- Did a baseball tournament last year at a complex I never worked as a favor to a friend. We were told before going out we were not to eject, tell TD or UIC and let them handle it. Well coaches must have either been told or caught on cause it was bad. Long story shot I dumped a coach in the first inning for telling me my zone F-ing sucked. After the game the TD and UIC come in to talk to me, long story short I got home early cause I walked off the field and 3 umps followed me. 

- Several years back we had an ump get attacked in the parking lot after his game by a coach with a bat. Thankfully parents grabbed him after the second swing, ump was not hurt but wow!!!! It is one of the reasons I carry a gun in my car. 

- 2 years ago had a coach come to one of my umps car (I am a UIC) get in his face and push him. My ump was 58 years old and the coach was 30. I lost my cool and shoved the coach down. He is banned from the park for life. 

I know we are taught silence can’t be quoted and be professional etc, but I just refuse to allow anyone on the field or in the stands to treat me like trash. I either give it back or eject. 

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I’ll agree with Dotteump on the complexes’ complacent complicity.  Not all of them, but they do play a role also.

A few years ago I started working at a complex about an hour away.   Very nice, very well run, and they take care of umpires like nobody else that I have encountered.  However ... 

One of my first ejections happened there.  The day started off with the UIC having to go to the gate to deal with Coach “Legendary Larry” who was refusing to use his team’s admission passes.  The volunteers at the gate (some very nice little old ladies) weren’t going to let him in unless he paid or used a pass.  (I guess the UIC was called because the guy was a coach, or maybe just because we all wear multiple hats in our “home” organizations.)

Later in the day I had “Legendary Larry”.  He did not come to the plate meeting, so he was not the head coach by our UIC’s specific instructions.  By our instructions, we only talk to head coaches.  Long story short, “Legendary Larry” wanted to argue something (I don’t even remember what) and I dumped him as an AC.  I got plenty of the “Do you know who I am?”  I honestly didn’t, and I didn’t care.  The UIC did back me, but did tell me he had to handle the guy like a VIP because of the number of teams he brings to their tournaments every year.

Afterwards, the “you dumped Legendary Larry!?” was coming from every umpire and coach I had contact with.  People were in awe and some actually admonished me.  But the most telling reaction was the next morning when the little old ladies at the gate had donuts waiting for me.  The exact quote was “Somebody needs to put that @$$hole in his place.  He treats us all like garbage and they just keep kissing his butt.  Thank you for trying.”  I love little old ladies.  :tongue:

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