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Guest Dave 69

Caught ball?

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Guest Dave 69

Are umpires required to yell catch or ground on a questionable shoestring catch to let baserunners know his ruling.

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If its a catch an out signal and verbalization should be made.  If no catch nothing I suppose.

 

for me if is close to the fair line I point down if its fair if its not caught

 

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6 minutes ago, ArchAngel72 said:

for me if is close to the fair line I point down if its fair if its not caught

 

Point fair first, then give the safe sign while verbalizing something like "It's down!"

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1 minute ago, Matt said:

Point fair first, then give the safe sign while verbalizing something like "It's down!"

Sorry meant that I point down and fair.

 

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"required" is a sticky word - no, they are not.   A good umpire will be a good communicator.  Coming up big with an "out" or a "no catch" is appropriate for good game management and avoiding the clusterF*#Ks that inevitably occur when nobody knows what the umpires judgment is.  A bureaucrat doesn't make a good ump, and I have run across many whose response is "I don't have to say anything".

 

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37 minutes ago, Guest Dave 69 said:

Are umpires required to yell catch or ground on a questionable shoestring catch to let baserunners know his ruling.

Yes and no.

The guideline I was taught is to signal and verbalize when the ball is caught below the fielder's waist or while he's running. So, yes, we should signal and verbalize on a shoestring catch.

But there's no mechanic manual that has us verbalize "ground." The mechanic is "No catch!" and signal safe. Sell it on a trapped ball.

When in doubt, signal and verbalize. We're in the communication business, so why keep our rulings secret?

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5 minutes ago, maven said:

Yes and no.

The guideline I was taught is to signal and verbalize when the ball is caught below the fielder's waist or while he's running. So, yes, we should signal and verbalize on a shoestring catch.

But there's no mechanic manual that has us verbalize "ground." The mechanic is "No catch!" and signal safe. Sell it on a trapped ball.

When in doubt, signal and verbalize. We're in the communication business, so why keep our rulings secret?

 

With that argument, could it not be assessed when the umpire did not signal OUT that there was no catch. 

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4 minutes ago, ArchAngel72 said:

 

With that argument, could it not be assessed when the umpire did not signal OUT that there was no catch. 

Except that we also don't signal on a routine fly -- and that's not "no catch."

 

And, without a signal, it looks like we are still assessing the situation -- and that affects the runners.

And, not everyone is as good at that "if he didn't signal A, then it must be B" logic.

And, there's no penalty (well, other than the risk of shoulder injury to the umpire in extending his arms) to signal either way when it's close.

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2 minutes ago, ArchAngel72 said:

 

With that argument, could it not be assessed when the umpire did not signal OUT that there was no catch. 

:confused: I understand the vernacular, but still not sure I'd call it an argument @ArchAngel72...............I'm willing to bet it's a sure thing considering the source.

ma·ven
 
NOUN
NORTH AMERICAN
informal
mavens (plural noun)
  1. an expert or connoisseur.
    synonyms:
    intelligent person · learned person · highbrow · academic · bookworm · bookish person · man of letters · woman of letters · bluestocking · thinker · brain · scholar · sage ·

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3 hours ago, Guest Dave 69 said:

Are umpires required to yell catch or ground on a questionable shoestring catch to let baserunners know his ruling.

Let's take all of the issues in this thread one at a time. 

First, (as pointed out above by @beerguy55) "required" is a sticky word.  They are not required by rule to yell "catch" or "ground".  However, an umpire does have certain requirements placed on him/her by various umpire mechanics manuals (different manuals exist for different organizations).  If an umpire fails to follow a required umpire mechanic...it could affect his/her ability to advance as an umpire, but there is nothing much a team can do during the course of that game as a result of an umpire not following a proper or required mechanic.

Second, as for the mechanics, on any play, an umpire has a hierarchy of calls that should (required on the MiLB level) be followed at all times.  On a given play, the umpires should rule on aspects of that play in this order:

1.  Fair/Foul

2.  Catch/No Catch

3.  (React to) next play

Thus, on a sinking line drive down the left-field line that has F7 diving to make a catch attempt, the umpire should first rule on whether the ball is fair or foul.  Thus, the first mechanic one should see from the umpire is either (1) a point fair (2) a point foul or (3) the time mechanic followed by a point foul (for an uncaught foul).  After the fair or foul mechanic has been given, the umpire (using proper timing...especially on a catch) will then signal and voice a catch or no catch.  The umpire should vary the intensity of his call (both emphasis of his mechanic and the level of his voice) depending on how close the catch/no-catch was.  If (as is implied in the OP) the catch/no-catch is very close, the umpire should either give several emphatic safe signals while yelling "no catch! no catch!", or, if it is a catch, the umpire should raise his right arm (with his hand in a fist) up above his head while yelling "that's a catch! that's a catch!".  

The reason that fair/foul is ruled on first is because that is what happens first.  For instance, a batted ball hit in the air to the outfield (beyond first or third base) becomes fair or foul the split second it is touched by the defensive player (or hits the ground).  However, a catch is not completed until the fielder shows complete control and voluntary release of the ball...which can be several seconds AFTER the ball became fair or foul.  

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10 minutes ago, ArchAngel72 said:

 

With that argument, could it not be assessed when the umpire did not signal OUT that there was no catch. 

No, a catch is a catch whether the umpire communicates it or not.    There are a handful of times a umpire's call can't be reversed, but for the most part safes, outs, etc are factual, even if the judgment resides only in the umpire's mind...their communication or lack thereof doesn't change the facts.

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From the Little League perspective, I believe the "official" mechanic is to signal and verbalize safe and then point down and verbalize "ball on the ground" if it's uncaught.  It's just an out verbal and signal if it is caught.

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The old-school--very old-school--mechanic about verbalizing that I was taught about 40 years ago was similar to fair/foul: "catch" + out signal or safe signal and no verbalization. In both, the rationale was silence versus sound to alert the players. But times--and mechanics--change.

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Shoot - not only do baserunners need to know, but partners need to know as well. I had a very, very bad situation last weekend where my partner paused for 1-2 beats on a liner to the pitcher  (I was in C - outside diamond with view of pitcher's back) before performing a mechanic that was somewhere between a convulsion and Elaine's dance from Seinfeld. I interpreted this as an out call and called rest of play accordingly. 

When later asked, partner said ball hit ground. We then had to try and figure out how to solve for placement of batters and runners. Defense was not very happy (rightfully). It was no fun all the way around.

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14 minutes ago, LRZ said:

The old-school--very old-school--mechanic about verbalizing that I was taught about 40 years ago was similar to fair/foul: "catch" + out signal or safe signal and no verbalization. In both, the rationale was silence versus sound to alert the players. But times--and mechanics--change.

I will add -- the *worst* verbalization is "no catch."  Everyone only tends to hear the last word in that sequence.

 

So, just use "no" or "on the ground" or "safe" or something along those lines.

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2 minutes ago, noumpere said:

I will add -- the *worst* verbalization is "no catch."  Everyone only tends to hear the last word in that sequence.

 

So, just use "no" or "on the ground" or "safe" or something along those lines.

(1)  That is not the proper mechanic as taught by MiLB or NCAA.  They absolutely teach the verbal mechanic of "no catch! no catch!"   If "no catch" works on those levels (big crowds, big stadiums) it can work at lower levels.

(2) Since I was trained in proper mechanics in 1997, I have never had the problem you reference in your post.  By emphatically giving the safe mechanic at the same time as yelling "no catch", I have never once had anyone get confused.  I've certainly had arguments over my call...but never confusion as to what I called.

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19 minutes ago, lawump said:

(1)  That is not the proper mechanic as taught by MiLB or NCAA.  They absolutely teach the verbal mechanic of "no catch! no catch!"   If "no catch" works on those levels (big crowds, big stadiums) it can work at lower levels.

 

I am not disputing that is what is taught.  I suspect it works because the players / coaches are *also* more attuned to what is going on.

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46 minutes ago, noumpere said:

I am not disputing that is what is taught.  I suspect it works because the players / coaches are *also* more attuned to what is going on.

I cannot argue; I haven't worked a game with players younger than the high school level in a long time.

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1 hour ago, noumpere said:

I will add -- the *worst* verbalization is "no catch."  Everyone only tends to hear the last word in that sequence.

 

So, just use "no" or "on the ground" or "safe" or something along those lines.

I would disagree from my experience simply because I don't know if I've ever heard an umpire say "catch"...they say "out"...and the occasional "yes" or "he got it"...I would agree if umpires routinely called "catch" and "no catch" - that would be the equivalent of calling both "foul ball" and "fair ball" and would be disastrous.  But that's not been my experience.  We've heard "no catch" many times and it's never caused confusion, to my recollection.  So the potential confusion you anticipate is addressed by a learned (through experience) set of expectations.    "out"  vs "no catch" ,  "foul ball" vs silence 

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48 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

I would disagree from my experience simply because I don't know if I've ever heard an umpire say "catch"...they say "out"...and the occasional "yes" or "he got it"...I would agree if umpires routinely called "catch" and "no catch" - that would be the equivalent of calling both "foul ball" and "fair ball" and would be disastrous.  But that's not been my experience.  We've heard "no catch" many times and it's never caused confusion, to my recollection.  So the potential confusion you anticipate is addressed by a learned (through experience) set of expectations.    "out"  vs "no catch" ,  "foul ball" vs silence 

I cannot remember the last time neither my partner nor I failed to call "catch" at some time during a game. Whether it was on a non-routine fly ball or on a routine fly ball where PU is simply informing his partner(s) on the status of the ball, which one or more of his partners may not be looking at because they are watching runners touch bases.

Just because @beerguy55 has not heard it doesn't mean it wasn't called.... just like all those plate meeting where coaches positively respond to the questions on legal equipment and uniforms and then plead ignorance when their team is called on it.

My .02.  YMMV

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1 hour ago, beerguy55 said:

I would disagree from my experience simply because I don't know if I've ever heard an umpire say "catch"...they say "out"...and the occasional "yes" or "he got it"...I would agree if umpires routinely called "catch" and "no catch" - that would be the equivalent of calling both "foul ball" and "fair ball" and would be disastrous. 

Then you need me to work your games, routinely or otherwise.

I say "That's a catch" on EVERY fly ball that's in my jurisdiction and is caught.  I don't give a signal, or a weak one, if it 's a can o' corn, but I say it, so my partner knows, for sure.  If it's not caught, and it's a tight play, I'm yelling "NO CATCH!!".  If it's a more "obvious" play - like a dropped ball, or the OF didn't get it, and I'm calling it as plate guy, I'm at least calling out "It's down!  It's down!" at least loud enough for my partner, so he knows the situation.  And I'm pretty sure most partners I have are like that, so it's getting verbalized.

(I can't be 100% here, since this is my first year in Texas, but it's pretty consistent here, too.)

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