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The Short Umpire

One Player, Two BAD Calls

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I've always believed in backing up my partner's calls. I've also always tried to assume the best intentions from the people I work with. I understand that no umpire has the right to over-rule their partner. It starts all sorts of issues that no one needs. Today however I had two games. In the first game I was PU. Ground ball to F6 who bobbles the ball but makes the throw. Runner clearly beat the ball by full 2 steps but my partner calls him out. Second game the same team is playing a double header. I am now BU. Kid who got called out in first game is up to bat. Count is 3-2. Pitch is way down and out and PU rings him up. These were the only calls all game that I thought were wrong. Now I'm not accusing my partner of anything, but I found it interesting that the same kid got the short stick twice in the same night. But I was curious if any of you ever had a game where you really wondered if you partner wasn't calling the game straight up and how you handled it? Also, like I said I've never been one to advocate overturning my partner's calls but is there ever an appropriate time to do so? I would think not, no matter how bad the call because a coach can't appeal a judgement play like that. Also this I my first post and really appreciate everything I've learned from this website so far!

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20 minutes ago, The Short Umpire said:

I've always believed in backing up my partner's calls. I've also always tried to assume the best intentions from the people I work with. I understand that no umpire has the right to over-rule their partner. It starts all sorts of issues that no one needs. Today however I had two games. In the first game I was PU. Ground ball to F6 who bobbles the ball but makes the throw. Runner clearly beat the ball by full 2 steps but my partner calls him out. Second game the same team is playing a double header. I am now BU. Kid who got called out in first game is up to bat. Count is 3-2. Pitch is way down and out and PU rings him up. These were the only calls all game that I thought were wrong. Now I'm not accusing my partner of anything, but I found it interesting that the same kid got the short stick twice in the same night. But I was curious if any of you ever had a game where you really wondered if you partner wasn't calling the game straight up and how you handled it? No. Also, like I said I've never been one to advocate overturning my partner's calls but is there ever an appropriate time to do so? No. There are a select few times where you can give help unsolicited (these are not them,) but never overturn. I would think not, no matter how bad the call because a coach can't appeal a judgement play like that. Also this I my first post and really appreciate everything I've learned from this website so far!

This situation is probably more coincidence than anything. Some have bad games, others are simply bad.

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In Game #1, you thought the "runner clearly beat the ball by full 2 steps"; I wonder what your partner saw. Maybe he just plain got it wrong, or maybe he was right and you were wrong. 

In Game #2, if your partner made only one ball/strike call you thought wrong, he had a great game, and I would not even begin to question his integrity.

 

 

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1 hour ago, LRZ said:

In Game #1, you thought the "runner clearly beat the ball by full 2 steps"; I wonder what your partner saw. Maybe he just plain got it wrong, or maybe he was right and you were wrong. 

In Game #2, if your partner made only one ball/strike call you thought wrong, he had a great game, and I would not even begin to question his integrity.

 

 

1. I completely agree. I probably didn't give quite as context as I could have, but I'm always open to being wrong, especially because from behind the plate I don't have the correct angle to really see that play. 

2. I also agree. He had a great game and I don't question him, or his integrity. I've done lots of games with him and have known him for years.

What I was really trying to say was that it was a weird coincidence that the only calls I would have called the opposite way were against the same kid. That being said some people would take that situation and possibly have doubts which got me to the hypothetical "what if I truly deep down suspected my partner of doing something like this?" I wasn't trying to accuse my partner, just kind of a day dream, but I should have chosen my words differently as to not give that impression.

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11 minutes ago, ousafe said:

Clearly it was his own kid.

I'm not sure if you're saying it was my kid or my partner's but I certainly hope not since it was 13u ball and I'm only 23 and my partner 18. LOL

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26 minutes ago, The Short Umpire said:

I'm not sure if you're saying it was my kid or my partner's but I certainly hope not since it was 13u ball and I'm only 23 and my partner 18. LOL

He's pulling your leg. :sarcasm:

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13u game and a coach didn't question his runner not beating the throw? Maybe it wasn't as clear as you thought.

As for the strike zone, I've always told my 13 year old, that it's very important to know where the umpires calling, and then you can work the count. Last night, he says, "This guy is all over the place.". My response, "Well, now you know that anything close has a chance of being a strike. Learn from it and welcome to youth baseball. Also, in a 15-2 game in which you are winning, the strike zone does tend to get way bigger for you." 

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Never anything that I thought was deliberate bias ... but I have had a few partners that I wondered what game they were watching or if they could even see.

I had a Varsity baseball game where the HC came to me after four rough innings and said “I know he is twice your age and is a 3-time State umpire, but you have got to do something.”  I bit my tongue.  “Coach, I’m going to give you my best game.  I’m happy to help where I can, but his judgment is his judgment.  I’m sorry, but I can’t do anything about that.”  Of course I got the obligatory “He’s making you look bad.”  My response to that was “[The Man in Blue] ... my name is [The Man in Blue].  He is [Mr. Magoo].  When you fill out your ratings it will ask you to identify us individually.”

Twice I have had partners make calls that were obviously “get us out of here” calls that were egregious enough that I simply said “Please don’t do that again if you are on the field with me.”  Both were offended.  I’ve never worked with either of them again.

It is a good question though ... what do you do when your partner is awful, whether it is on purpose or not?

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1 hour ago, The Man in Blue said:

Never anything that I thought was deliberate bias ... but I have had a few partners that I wondered what game they were watching or if they could even see.

I had a Varsity baseball game where the HC came to me after four rough innings and said “I know he is twice your age and is a 3-time State umpire, but you have got to do something.”  I bit my tongue.  “Coach, I’m going to give you my best game.  I’m happy to help where I can, but his judgment is his judgment.  I’m sorry, but I can’t do anything about that.”  Of course I got the obligatory “He’s making you look bad.”  My response to that was “[The Man in Blue] ... my name is [The Man in Blue].  He is [Mr. Magoo].  When you fill out your ratings it will ask you to identify us individually."

Don't even entertain the conversation. After his first comment, you need to shut it down--do not respond in any way that addresses the comment and make it clear that there is no discussing it.

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On 6/14/2019 at 1:54 PM, The Man in Blue said:

 My response to that was “[The Man in Blue] ... my name is [The Man in Blue].  He is [Mr. Magoo].  When you fill out your ratings it will ask you to identify us individually.” 

You're not gonna like this very much, I'm thinking, but that right there is Bad Partner Talk.  I clearly don't know you, and have never worked with you, but even if I *sucked* at a game, if I found out you did that, damn right you'd never work with me again.

As has been pointed out, that convo should have never reached the point of those comments, because you don't let a coach talk SH*# about your partner.

EDITED TO ADD SOME MORE:  That ended up harsher than I kinda intended, since, to me, you've seemed to have a history of knowing what you're doing.  But man oh MAN, that's really throwing a partner under the bus.  Certainly tell him after the game that it was a bad effort, or terrible, or whatever you want to say.  But to give The Rat ammo?  Not a good look to me.

Easy for me to say, as any evals I got in Virginia were from Evaluators from within the association, and here in Texas, I'm aware there are coach evals and/or scratches, but have no idea if we EVER get to see 'em.  So, I guess I just don't care what the coaches think.

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No, I appreciate the feedback.  I did not intend that to sound that way.  It was meant as a rebuttal to remind the coach that we are rated separately, so his comment held no water.  Looking back, I can totally see how you guys are interpreting it though.

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I appreciate all the feedback on this post. I should apologize though because it probably wasn't a very tasteful question. I mean I've never walked onto a field wondering if my partner was going to throw a game for one of the teams and that shouldn't be anywhere near your pre-game thought process, since there are far more important things to worry about, things might I add, that won't destroy any trust that your partner has in you. Looking at the comments has been a good reminder for me to strictly have partner's back, but not being afraid to privately and tactfully tell him when I see something he can do better at. I say that because I always hope for my partners to notice at least one thing that I need to do better. Again I am new here and have learned a lot about the trade already and hope that I will learn a lot more from this great team here. 

Another thing I have realized, from experience and from other threads I have read is that as an umpire you will be hyper-analyzed by everyone, so it is crucial to not do things that even give off a bad appearance, like being too chummy with one teams parents through the back stop. It's just reminded me to not do things that could be twisted to fit a narrative where someone could accuse me of being the one to throw a game. Again, not the most tactful question for which I apologize but thanks for all the great feedback. 

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On 6/13/2019 at 1:30 AM, The Short Umpire said:

Ground ball to F6 who bobbles the ball but makes the throw. Runner clearly beat the ball by full 2 steps but my partner calls him out.

 

On 6/13/2019 at 12:24 PM, The Short Umpire said:

because from behind the plate I don't have the correct angle to really see that play. 

What was the situation here? Unless you had a runner on 2B or 3B, you should have a great angle on the play. With no runners on, you should be coming up the line to watch the play; with R1, you should be coming out in front of the mound to watch the potential play at 2B and give you an angle to watch the play at 1B if the throw goes there.

Even with R2 and/or R3, you still shouldn't be planting yourself to not have some angle to watch that play at 1B.

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On the same topic here...what's a good reply to "he's making you look bad!" Just silence, I guess? Try to keep your integrity, even if your partner sucks? You have to have his back, sure, but sometimes you know your partner is just bad (starting with appearance), and you have to officiate as well as you can just to make up for it and hope they notice your effort and accuracy.  It's uncomfortable all around.

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34 minutes ago, Thatsnotyou said:

what's a good reply to "he's making you look bad!"

You worry about your players making you looking bad...I'll worry about my partner.

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Short Umpire — no need to apologize.  It is a great and educational conversation because we have all been there.  From the partner who walks on the field in his Mr. T Starter Kit to the partner who can’t tell an out from outhouse ... we’ve all been there.

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On 6/13/2019 at 10:46 AM, Mister B said:

13u game and a coach didn't question his runner not beating the throw? Maybe it wasn't as clear as you thought.

As for the strike zone, I've always told my 13 year old, that it's very important to know where the umpires calling, and then you can work the count. Last night, he says, "This guy is all over the place.". My response, "Well, now you know that anything close has a chance of being a strike. Learn from it and welcome to youth baseball. Also, in a 15-2 game in which you are winning, the strike zone does tend to get way bigger for you." 

In a 15-2 game that strike zone better be big for both teams.

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On 6/13/2019 at 9:24 AM, The Short Umpire said:

1. I completely agree. I probably didn't give quite as context as I could have, but I'm always open to being wrong, especially because from behind the plate I don't have the correct angle to really see that play. 

2. I also agree. He had a great game and I don't question him, or his integrity. I've done lots of games with him and have known him for years.

What I was really trying to say was that it was a weird coincidence that the only calls I would have called the opposite way were against the same kid. That being said some people would take that situation and possibly have doubts which got me to the hypothetical "what if I truly deep down suspected my partner of doing something like this?" I wasn't trying to accuse my partner, just kind of a day dream, but I should have chosen my words differently as to not give that impression.

Well, I have worked with a guy who has had it in for a team and some individual players and it sucked working with him.  Big reason why?  He is nowhere the umpire he thinks he is and is getting a lot of favors because his pop was a big time official.  Other umpires don't like working with him either, because he's pretty lazy.  I've seen him tossing a ball with an outfielder during a game, real game, and other little things like this.   Plus, he's rude at association meetings, continually interrupting with comments he thinks are witty and cute, but which other umpires would just want him to shut up so good info can be put out.  So, yes there are a hole umpires that do what you've asked about.  They're not fun to work with.

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4 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

Short Umpire — no need to apologize.  It is a great and educational conversation because we have all been there.  From the partner who walks on the field in his Mr. T Starter Kit to the partner who can’t tell an out from outhouse ... we’ve all been there.

That is some pretty great imagery! Thank you for that!

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@umpstu I appreciate your response. I think we all know a couple kids like this, except most of the time it seems their dad is the coach not a big shot official. When other umpires say he is lazy, what kind of things is he doing to get them to say that? I'm just curious so that I make sure I'm not doing the same thing. I liked @Thatsnotyou pointing out the need to get out from behind  HP.(Which on the play in question, I recall that I probably am guilty of not doing. Tonight however I worked another 13u game by myself and made sure to sprint to position on every play).  But what other things are considered "lazy?" Also, I see you've listed Bermuda Dunes as your location, I lived in Desert Hot Springs for a short time and am really missing the warm weather, we had rain nearly every day of May here in Utah. Hopefully you are staying cool enough though! 

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9 hours ago, The Short Umpire said:

Tonight however I worked another 13u game by myself and made sure to sprint to position on every play 

Watch out for over-hustling. Sprinting isn't always the option - being in position is.

Always remember this - especially in solo games: angle over distance. Working by yourself, you always have to be ready for intervening plays.

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59 minutes ago, yawetag said:

Watch out for over-hustling. Sprinting isn't always the option - being in position is.

Always remember this - especially in solo games: angle over distance. Working by yourself, you always have to be ready for intervening plays.

Movement with a person.

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5 hours ago, umpstu said:

Movement with a person.

That's dancing.... or something else more personal.

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1 hour ago, yawetag said:

That's dancing.... or something else more personal.

Damn it.  Purpose, not person.  Drugs.  They'll mess up your typing.

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