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ArchAngel72

Unruly grandparent

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good game playoffs for town minor league 8-10

games going well last pitcher VT put in is struggling he's throwing well but he's just outside my slightly enlarged strike zone ( shoulders to bottom of knees ) plate is plate nothing extra.

I am to my knowledge Pretty darn on consistent, ( I know I missed 2 calls ) I  self ID'd them within 4 seconds of calling them, They were close but yeah I know one was a ball that was a strike the other was a strike that was a ball. 

So 4th inning VT pitcher is getting worse he's throwing more and more high and or outside.  He gets an occasional one in the zone and I call it strike but he is putting most of them 1 to 2 inches out of the strike zone. He's walking more people and after about the 3rd one the crowd on his side starts to get a little chippy.  I ignore it, its a comment or two, nothing horrible.

He gets out of the inning an we move on to the 5th HT is coming up and has a chance to 10 run them.  He walks the bases loaded .. they get a hit  He walks them loaded again course now I'm getting more from the fans.  He walks in the last run.  3-2 he threw it chin high on the outside corner I cant give him that so I call ball.. Yup the crowd on the VT side starts in the coaches calm them down.  I was supposed to walk past that crowd to get my pay.. decided nope head to the car our the other side

I get halfway to the car and this speed walking grandfather catches up to me and starts in.  I'm horrible that was awful how can you be so one sided etc etc etc .. I say I'm sorry you feel that way but that's your opinion and my zone was the same for both teams.  I keep walking

He starts in on how he was a pro ball player and he's never seen anyone ever that bad ...  HEH I'm chuckling to myself now..

I say Oh that's wonderful  you should take a class and umpire then

he starts in on how im awful and that i was not there for the kids and im one sided etc etc

I asked him where he played 

He says he played in the babe ruth world series

I say oh cool I played all the way up to Legion Ball  when did you play in that..

74 75 he says

I'm laughing (inside) I was born in 72 

Oh wow I played legion ball in the early 90's you probably don't know my coach  

At this point he starts railing on the Awful one sided etc again as I have reached my truck

about that point the Treasurer of the league comes out and jumps on him sheep dogging him off and herding him away, He heads for his convertible beemer and jumps in still railing on about awful and one sided etc etc 

he drives off still hammering on it.  The Treasurer approaches me ID's himself as to why he was there and doing what he was doing apologized to me and said he would find out who he was and he would be dealt with.  I was giggling about it cause I know deep down he was the pitchers granddad and he's just wound up.  He did not hurt my feelings or threaten me but eh hey I know that league has had issues in the past.

 

So yeah I probably should not have engaged him but I was trying to steer him away from the "abusive" style he was on. But eh whatever it was words I aint hurt.  But he sure will enjoy his permanent ban from the park.  LOL

 

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They're 8-10?

33 minutes ago, ArchAngel72 said:

good game playoffs for town minor league 8-10

games going well last pitcher VT put in is struggling he's throwing well but he's just outside my slightly enlarged strike zone ( shoulders to bottom of knees ) plate is plate nothing extra.

I am to my knowledge Pretty darn on consistent, ( I know I missed 2 calls ) I  self ID'd them within 4 seconds of calling them, They were close but yeah I know one was a ball that was a strike the other was a strike that was a ball. 

So 4th inning VT pitcher is getting worse he's throwing more and more high and or outside.  He gets an occasional one in the zone and I call it strike but he is putting most of them 1 to 2 inches out of the strike zone. He's walking more people and after about the 3rd one the crowd on his side starts to get a little chippy.  I ignore it, its a comment or two, nothing horrible.

He gets out of the inning an we move on to the 5th HT is coming up and has a chance to 10 run them.  He walks the bases loaded .. they get a hit  He walks them loaded again course now I'm getting more from the fans.  He walks in the last run.  3-2 he threw it chin high on the outside corner I cant give him that so I call ball.. Yup the crowd on the VT side starts in the coaches calm them down.  I was supposed to walk past that crowd to get my pay.. decided nope head to the car our the other side

 

 

I might consider a bigger zone. In many places, keeping the pitch between the batters box lines is acceptable, gets more strikes, and keeps the game moving. No one wants a walk fest. 

And they're 8-10.

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15 hours ago, Kevin_K said:

They're 8-10?

I might consider a bigger zone. In many places, keeping the pitch between the batters box lines is acceptable, gets more strikes, and keeps the game moving. No one wants a walk fest. 

And they're 8-10.

While I agree with you in regular season. This was their playoffs so I tightened it up on the sides just a little from what I did during the season.  It was not the zone I give to the 12 yr olds and all the pitchers that were throwing had no problems with it except this last kid in the last 2 innings for the VT. 

So if its the same for all 6 pitchers and 1 had an issue would you still think I was too tight?

 

 

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33 minutes ago, ArchAngel72 said:

While I agree with you in regular season. This was their playoffs so I tightened it up on the sides just a little from what I did during the season.  It was not the zone I give to the 12 yr olds and all the pitchers that were throwing had no problems with it except this last kid in the last 2 innings for the VT. 

So if its the same for all 6 pitchers and 1 had an issue would you still think I was too tight?

 

 

Sounds like you have a good league or at least good pitchers.  I think LL ball varies from area-to-area.  I don't / won't do LL anymore due to parents and coaches, but in my area we'd have to open it up like @Kevin_K suggests in order to keep it from becoming a walk-fest. 

There are times even in Babe Ruth and Freshmen ball that I'll open it up from line-to-line and elbows-to-knees just to keep the game moving along.  It seems some kids would rather walk than hit - and coaches encourage it by having them take until a strike is called.   For me, I try to watch the pitchers warm up and see how they're doing and if their mechanics look good or not.  If they're all over the place, I know I'm going to need to call a bigger zone that game.   For Varsity ball or Sr Legion, then I'll call it a lot tighter and more "by the book", but I'm always a pitchers umpire I guess as I prefer strikes over balls.

Do what works best for you as you know your area.  We all face different levels and quality of baseball, so what works here might be silly for you and vice versa.

Have fun out there!

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7 minutes ago, wolfe_man said:

Have fun out there!

I was,  I even was feeling bad about that kid throwing balls.  I thought about opening up the Zone, but it was the 5th and 6th inning and it had been the same all night with no problems like he was having. I felt that would have been unfair to the other team.

I called ball 4 like 3 times with full counts and thoughts hit me.  If I were that kids coach I would not be happy he watched one THAT close with 2 strikes and did not swing.

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I’m fully with you ArchAngel.  I don’t mind opening the zone up if the level of play warrants it, but I am not going to do it:

a) with a change to my zone late in the game.

b) for one pitcher out of several.

c) late in the season/tournament when pitchers should be hitting the proper zone.

 

Here is the problem, and I posted on this in another thread ... the coaches then start to expect it all the time.  I posted on a 10u softball game where the pitchers were damned good so I wasn’t opening it up at all.  One of the coaches bitched and grumbled the whole time because he was used to his ace benefitting even more from the extra help of a “10u zone”.  I told him it was a compliment, but he wasn’t getting that zone because neither his pitcher nor the other team’s pitcher needed it.

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On ‎6‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 1:15 PM, ArchAngel72 said:

good game playoffs for town minor league 8-10

games going well last pitcher VT put in is struggling he's throwing well but he's just outside my slightly enlarged strike zone ( shoulders to bottom of knees ) plate is plate nothing extra.

I am to my knowledge Pretty darn on consistent, ( I know I missed 2 calls ) I  self ID'd them within 4 seconds of calling them, They were close but yeah I know one was a ball that was a strike the other was a strike that was a ball. 

So 4th inning VT pitcher is getting worse he's throwing more and more high and or outside.  He gets an occasional one in the zone and I call it strike but he is putting most of them 1 to 2 inches out of the strike zone. He's walking more people and after about the 3rd one the crowd on his side starts to get a little chippy.  I ignore it, its a comment or two, nothing horrible.

He gets out of the inning an we move on to the 5th HT is coming up and has a chance to 10 run them.  He walks the bases loaded .. they get a hit  He walks them loaded again course now I'm getting more from the fans.  He walks in the last run.  3-2 he threw it chin high on the outside corner I cant give him that so I call ball.. Yup the crowd on the VT side starts in the coaches calm them down.  I was supposed to walk past that crowd to get my pay.. decided nope head to the car our the other side

I get halfway to the car and this speed walking grandfather catches up to me and starts in.  I'm horrible that was awful how can you be so one sided etc etc etc .. I say I'm sorry you feel that way but that's your opinion and my zone was the same for both teams.  I keep walking

He starts in on how he was a pro ball player and he's never seen anyone ever that bad ...  HEH I'm chuckling to myself now..

I say Oh that's wonderful  you should take a class and umpire then

he starts in on how im awful and that i was not there for the kids and im one sided etc etc

I asked him where he played 

He says he played in the babe ruth world series

I say oh cool I played all the way up to Legion Ball  when did you play in that..

74 75 he says

I'm laughing (inside) I was born in 72 

Oh wow I played legion ball in the early 90's you probably don't know my coach  

At this point he starts railing on the Awful one sided etc again as I have reached my truck

about that point the Treasurer of the league comes out and jumps on him sheep dogging him off and herding him away, He heads for his convertible beemer and jumps in still railing on about awful and one sided etc etc 

he drives off still hammering on it.  The Treasurer approaches me ID's himself as to why he was there and doing what he was doing apologized to me and said he would find out who he was and he would be dealt with.  I was giggling about it cause I know deep down he was the pitchers granddad and he's just wound up.  He did not hurt my feelings or threaten me but eh hey I know that league has had issues in the past.

 

So yeah I probably should not have engaged him but I was trying to steer him away from the "abusive" style he was on. But eh whatever it was words I aint hurt.  But he sure will enjoy his permanent ban from the park.  LOL

 

Let me get this correct. You're not calling balls 1-2 inches off the plate in LL minors strikes? You're giving the plate and nothing else? Your up and down sounds fine, but in/out is way too tight, especially for 8-10's.

If so, that is not a proper strike zone for LL minors, or even LL as a whole. Western Region umpire clinics, of which I have instructed at and attended many, tell umpires that you should be calling pitches that are 1-2 balls off the plate outside, and 1 ball off the plate inside, strikes. This is not just for LL, but should be applied to all 8-10 levels, if not higher.

You need to open up your zone and get the kids swinging. They are not MLB hitters, and they certainly are not MLB pitchers. They are 8-10 years old for gosh sakes. Crowd was probably getting chippy because you were too tight for this level.

Even MiLB umpire school teaches a generous zone.

JMHO

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I do a lot of LL, and I'm not sure I'm good enough to discern 1-2 inches out on those looping pitches (my faulty binocular vision), so....Strike!

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On 6/12/2019 at 8:26 AM, ArchAngel72 said:

While I agree with you in regular season. This was their playoffs so I tightened it up on the sides just a little from what I did during the season.  It was not the zone I give to the 12 yr olds and all the pitchers that were throwing had no problems with it except this last kid in the last 2 innings for the VT. 

So if its the same for all 6 pitchers and 1 had an issue would you still think I was too tight?

 

 

I think that's too tight for 8-10 year olds.

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19 hours ago, JonnyCat said:

Let me get this correct. You're not calling balls 1-2 inches off the plate in LL minors strikes? You're giving the plate and nothing else? Your up and down sounds fine, but in/out is way too tight, especially for 8-10's.   I was giving them corners and if the ball crossed thru or across an edge or an edge of a ball did. I was calling that. I was not giving my customary ball in between the batters box line and the plate call during the season I did that, this is playoffs so I did not. No one but this one pitcher had a problem with that and he was in relief in the 5th and 6th inning.. 

If so, that is not a proper strike zone for LL minors, or even LL as a whole. Western Region umpire clinics, of which I have instructed at and attended many, tell umpires that you should be calling pitches that are 1-2 balls off the plate outside, and 1 ball off the plate inside, strikes. This is not just for LL, but should be applied to all 8-10 levels, if not higher.  I give them 1 ball width off the plate widened it that much I'm not tight during the season but this is playoffs I need to be consistent and when we do 12 yr old districts we call the zone as it is we do not open it up.  I actually called the same team last night they had 0 issue with the zone as did that same pitcher WHO WAS not eligible to pitch. Whoopsie on the coach..

You need to open up your zone and get the kids swinging. They are not MLB hitters, and they certainly are not MLB pitchers. They are 8-10 years old for gosh sakes. Crowd was probably getting chippy because you were too tight for this level.

Even MiLB umpire school teaches a generous zone.

JMHO

I get your thoughts.. those are mine

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So little update on this.

 

I had the same team last night they were HT

 

the HTC started off apologizing profusely for the grandfather stated there would be NO repeat of that tonight and mentioned how he actually tried to calm him down himself several times during the game.

We chatted we chuckled we both agreed it was not needed and I told him hey that was all in the past and it was not going to effect the game tonight. I told him good luck we went over the kids, sportsmanship, and ready to play and properly equipped etc. and I wished them both good luck.

His 1st pitcher struggled to find the zone his mechanics were off and he was tossing himself off balance trying to deliver,  He did throw enough over the plate to get batters to swing and was lucky enough to get fielded balls for outs, but he walked a few and one stole 2 bases about the 6th batter his coach and he clicked on what the coach was instructing him on with his leg and kick and it clicked for him. he started delivering pitches where he nearly wanted them to be.  They got out of that inning with only 1 run given up. 

After that half I walked over to the home plate side and told the coach thank you for working with him on that it looked like he got it and great communication with the kid as to how he conducted the instruction, it was helpful and teaching not demeaning and down-putting. 

But man oh man did I get beat up.  took 11 wild pitches/foul balls, past balls in the 1st inning.  One catcher after an inside pitch was fouled back and hit my CP picked up the ball and said how come you get hit so much.  I wanted to say "cause you aren't catching them". But I just said "dunno just lucky I guess"

phew 1 cup hit, 2 shinguard hits, 2 thigh hits 1 straight on face mask hit, 3 CP hits, and 2 left forearm hits that hit in the exact same spot, 2nd one caused a 1.5 inch goose egg and brought both coaches out to see me. HTC got me an ice bag that I used in between innings.

But anyway, Same strike zone and no one had a walk fest and no one overly complained about the zone and .. No one chased me to the parking lot.

 

 

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Slot, man!  Work the slot!  :D

When the catcher asked why you get hit so much, you should have said “I must be a bigger target.  He seems to be missing you most of the time”.

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I was in the Slot

just getting "lucky"

However I moved more center after that inning and oddly took less hits, to be honest only one more hit during the whole game.  I would call it "cold" catchers

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I had a JV softball pitcher beat the living hell out of me in just 3 innings on a Friday night.  After the fourth hit in the first inning, the catcher turns around and says “I am so sorry.  I’ve never caught before.”  :banghead:

I got home to voicemail advising me my V/JV doubleheader the next morning had been changed to just a JV DH (same pay).  

When I arrived at the park that morning the HTHC was I the parking lot.  “You’re going to have to work the plate, your partner pulled something and said he can’t do it.”

I said “That’s fine.  I got the hell beat out of me by a JV pitcher last night over at Smallville High so it’s just as well I’m not running around on the bases.”

The coach goes pale ... “That’s who we are playing ...”. :Horse:

 

It’s amazing how they can’t hit the strike zone, but they can thread that needle in the slot consistently.

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16 minutes ago, The Man in Blue said:

I had a JV softball pitcher beat the living hell out of me in just 3 innings on a Friday night.  After the fourth hit in the first inning, the catcher turns around and says “I am so sorry.  I’ve never caught before.”  :banghead:

I got home to voicemail advising me my V/JV doubleheader the next morning had been changed to just a JV DH (same pay).  

When I arrived at the park that morning the HTHC was I the parking lot.  “You’re going to have to work the plate, your partner pulled something and said he can’t do it.”

I said “That’s fine.  I got the hell beat out of me by a JV pitcher last night over at Smallville High so it’s just as well I’m not running around on the bases.”

The coach goes pale ... “That’s who we are playing ...”. :Horse:

 

It’s amazing how they can’t hit the strike zone, but they can thread that needle in the slot consistently.

 

OHH  that sucks..  So sorry.

I feel a little better with mine being only minor little league whats tops there maybe 50mph  maaaybe....

most of mine were foul balls on inside pitches although I did have one take a weird bounce under the catcher come up and graze the bottom of my cup that set me back a couple steps.

 

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I never understood how anyone can take 8-10 year old ball more than instructional.  There's no sense in calling a "tight" zone at this age. They're learning the coordination of pitching and batters are learning to hit live pitching in a game situation.  IMO, these games should be instructional for young umpires as well.  HS kids looking to make a few bucks should be encouraged to try working these games without ANY comments from parents/spectators.  I know this is easier said than done.  Oh well....just my two cents.

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On 6/11/2019 at 1:15 PM, ArchAngel72 said:

He heads for his convertible beemer and jumps in still railing on about awful and one sided etc etc 

 

Well, he clearly was a graduate of the required BMW a-hole training...

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3 hours ago, grayhawk said:

Well, he clearly was a graduate of the required BMW a-hole training...

I thought that’s what Audi Stood for

A- $$ holes

U-sually 

D- rive 

I-t

 

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On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 7:01 PM, JonnyCat said:

you should be calling pitches that are 1-2 balls off the plate outside, and 1 ball off the plate inside, strikes.

/\ /\ /\ This!  8-10, if they can reach it, they need to be swinging.   Remember, you WANT them swinging.  I even drop words of encouragement when getting a drink.  Hey guys, like coach says good things happen when you swing the bat!   I prefer a 2 hour 8-10 instructional game, to a 3 hour 8-10 walk fest.  The game is called baseball not baseONballs.

As mentioned, your up/down sounded fine.  I go as far to tell my JR umpires that, at that level, if it had air under it when it crossed the plate, it most likely went through the strike zone at some point.  Face it, 8-10 aren't throwing BB's. there is a definite arc to their pitch, and it's not from coach calling the old #2 pitch.

The best advice I ever received was before going on a championship game that was televised.  There was a bit of a pucker factor, I'll admit it.  This mentor reminded me to start with an ample zone.  You can ALWAYS tighten it up a little, and the coaches never know.  If you start with zone too tight and then open it, everyone knows.  Zoned stayed the same and went into bottom of 6th with a walk off GS.

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21 hours ago, urout17 said:

I never understood how anyone can take 8-10 year old ball more than instructional.  There's no sense in calling a "tight" zone at this age. They're learning the coordination of pitching and batters are learning to hit live pitching in a game situation.  IMO, these games should be instructional for young umpires as well.  HS kids looking to make a few bucks should be encouraged to try working these games without ANY comments from parents/spectators.  I know this is easier said than done.  Oh well....just my two cents.

So you're calling my zone of shoulders to bottom of knees and 1 ball width outside or inside tight?

Now mind you LL is armpits to top of knees and the plate width 

I basically expand it about one more width of the ball all the way around.

One of my "partners" says his strike zone is the size of a bread box. I joke mine for 10 yr olds is the size of a garment bag..  Now its really NOT that big but it does get my point across ..

My main complaint so far this year has been I call them too low.  I realized my "error" in thinking I was and do on 10's call the bottom of the knee ( which is supposed to be MLB) LL rules are top of knee..  yep I expanded it too much there.. I have in the last two games "corrected" that but I know I blew 3 or 4 calls in those two games because I called what I WAS accustomed too.. I did realize it right after  I called strike but eh.. 2 games 3 or 4 bad low strike calls.. whatever.. I'm adjusting it and I'm getting better.  All I know is the more experience I get the more confident I get and the better I feel about my zone.  I Do call it slightly different between 12 yrs and 10 yrs but that's what we need to do.

anyway thank you all for all the advice and etc.  Its appreciated 

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On ‎6‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 4:15 PM, ArchAngel72 said:

plate is plate nothing extra.

I was going off what you had in the OP.  if you were out 1 ball on either side, I would call that "extra" based on what you had posted.

13 minutes ago, ArchAngel72 said:

mine for 10 yr olds is the size of a garment bag

LOVE IT!

I too have joked with coaches on occasion when they asked if we were going" box to box & nose to toes".  Nope, not tonight coach..........Coast to Coast & heaven to hell!  Have 'em swinging.

 

I've searched, but could not find it.  There used to be a document posted about an umpire selling a used strike zone.  It was used for many years, pretty beat up, the bottom had fallen out of it, etc......  

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On 6/14/2019 at 5:59 AM, ArchAngel72 said:

I was in the Slot

just getting "lucky"

However I moved more center after that inning and oddly took less hits, to be honest only one more hit during the whole game.  I would call it "cold" catchers

Work the pillow man, work the pillow!

LL minors... I don't use anything else.

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1 hour ago, Mudisfun said:

Work the pillow man, work the pillow!

LL minors... I don't use anything else.

Sorry but no.  Just NO.. 

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20 hours ago, ArchAngel72 said:

Sorry but no.  Just NO.. 

Too bad. I love the pillow for Minors... too many F1's can't pitch and too many F2's can't catch.

You haven't been bruised enough yet... 

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33 minutes ago, Mudisfun said:

Too bad. I love the pillow for Minors... too many F1's can't pitch and too many F2's can't catch.

You haven't been bruised enough yet... 

This!:rock

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