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The Man in Blue

Didn’t pop him

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Middle school scholastic contest last night ... two private/parochial schools in their first game of the year.  It was a game that should have been over in the 4th inning (run rule) but the visiting coach goofed and put his subs in an inning too early.  We end up playing an abysmal 7 inning game ...

HT down 17-5 I the bottom of the 7th (VT scored the “needed” runs in the top of the 7th of course).  For the second out, I rung up a batter on three straight pitches all sitting right on the outside black.  Before I have even pulled the ripcord the kid turns around, looks right at me, and angrily SCREAMS “That was low!”  I immediately started to walk down the third base line to talk to the coach as the hitter is headed back to the third base dugout.  It looked like I was following him which was unintentional.  I tell the coach “There is one out to go, you can take care of that or I can.”

After the next out the first base coach comes running over and rather giddily asks  “Did you toss him?”   I told him no I didn’t due to the timing, but the kid wouldn’t get any slack the rest of the year (I have them a few more times).  The coach seemed disappointed.

I forgot who posted that great suggestion (“you can or I can”) on here, but thank you!  Saved me some paperwork and a headache in an already atrocious game.

 

Post game note:  We had two different teams for the second game (I wasn’t supposed to have a DH, but ended up with one).  The coach of one of those teams asks if I tossed the kid and I say no.  He explains the first base coach’s reaction (seeming like he hoped I did) — he probably wanted me to because the kid is a problem (he’s been kicked off three teams so his parents keep changing schools).

 

 

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On 8/21/2019 at 8:04 PM, The Man in Blue said:

but the kid wouldn’t get any slack the rest of the year

Be careful about saying things like that. It might sound like you now have a vendetta, but more importantly, every game is/should be a fresh start. That next game, you will know who you are dealing with, but it's a bad idea to express it. Suppose you toss the kid in a later game, and the coach does not think the ejection was warranted. Now it's "You've had it in for him ever since that earlier game."

That is, don't say things that can come back to haunt you.

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11 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

The coach of one of those teams asks if I tossed the kid and I say no.  He explains the first base coach’s reaction (seeming like he hoped I did) — he probably wanted me to because the kid is a problem (he’s been kicked off three teams so his parents keep changing schools).

Herein lies another piece of "the problem." He's a known problem child, yet the coaches have no fortitude to kick him off the team (or allow him to join, apparently).

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4 hours ago, yawetag said:

Herein lies another piece of "the problem." He's a known problem child, yet the coaches have no fortitude to kick him off the team (or allow him to join, apparently).

 

I agree completely.  “Can you handle this for me?” was how I read that situation.

However, I have to say I am a bit conflicted here.  Because I do agree with LRZ that I shouldn’t have added what I did to the conversation, where is that fine line between me saying he was on a short leash for the rest of the year and a coach preventing a kid from playing because he has a reputation?  They boil down to the same thing IMO.

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21 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

Middle school

.....

(he’s been kicked off three teams so his parents keep changing schools).

I just wanted to tighten up your post a little, so that my reaction will make sense:  :wow:  :WTF

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You can watch my plate job (its archived for the next few weeks at www.ESPN3.com) from Sunday at the Legion World Series (North Dakota vs. Massachusetts).  In the middle of the game, the assistant coaches (they had 8) started yelling at me about balls and strikes.  You can actually see me look in the third base dugout and turn my hands up by my side as if to say, "really?".  (Note:  Massachusetts was losing 8-1 or 9-1 at this point and would be eliminated if they lost.)  Shortly thereafter, between innings, I called the manager (they are not "head coaches" in Legion ball) out, took out my line-up card (to make it look like I was talking to him about a line-up issue) and told him that "either he could take care of his assistant coaches yelling at me about balls or strikes, or that I would  And, if I handle it, several of them are not likely to be around for the end of the game."  

The bottom line was that I was not going to be their punching bag because they were getting crushed and about to be eliminated from the tournament...especially when I was having a solid plate job.  Amazingly, I didn't hear another comment from an assistant coach for the rest of the game.  The moral of the story is that sometimes giving the head coach/manager a chance to handle his team is the best option.  It can be a very useful game management tool.

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An EJ isn't going to kill anybody. A properly timed EJ tends to accomplish the following, especially with youngsters:

1. This guy will not take any $hit.

2. You might be the first adult to put youngster in his place 

3. Everybody else in the stadium, including the other team sees what happens when you act like a donkey

4. It helps the next crew/umpire who comes in behind you to work that team. 

It is not necessarily the job of the coach to handle unsportsmanlike conduct before or after the fact. We need to do a better job of taking care of OUR business. 

Sometimes...the method @lawump used will work. But if it doesn't be prepared for the next steps. The national visibility of games like that tend to gain a little more compliance from team leadership on those types of issues. 

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1 hour ago, stkjock said:

@lawump do you recall what inning that was?

No.  I'll try to find it when I go home tonight.  Massachusetts was batting, and they were bitching about a called strike.  Probably 5th.

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cool, I can't seem to find the game on ESPN, the ALWS games also don't seem to be dated on their site as to when they were played.

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49 minutes ago, johnnyg08 said:

An EJ isn't going to kill anybody. A properly timed EJ tends to accomplish the following, especially with youngsters:

It is not necessarily the job of the coach to handle unsportsmanlike conduct before or after the fact. We need to do a better job of taking care of OUR business. 

 

I’m going to agree and disagree ...

A properly time EJ — agreed 110% ... and that was what kept this kid from getting the heave-ho.  With one out to go in a 10+ run ballgame that was closing in on the 2:45 mark but should have been over almost 90 minutes before, there was nothing to be gained by dropping him.  An ejection would have looked petty IMO.

I will also agree that we need to do a better job taking care of our business as it will, in the long run, eventually lead to cleaning some of the issues that have become “part of the culture of the game”.

I really disagree with saying it is not the coach’s job to take care of sportsmanship issues, particularly at the youth level.  That is ABSOLUTELY the coach’s job.  We should be the last resort.  Back to us taking care of our business ... because we have failed to do so consistently, we have built that culture that allows coaches to not only turn their backs on the problems, but to often become part of the problem.  It starts with simple things like all of the coaches milling around outside the dugout during play and/or sitting on buckets in live ball territory.  Because we don’t take care of issues like that, it festers and grows to the point that coaches don’t feel certain rules or types of rules should be applied.

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46 minutes ago, lawump said:

No.  I'll try to find it when I go home tonight.  Massachusetts was batting, and they were bitching about a called strike.  Probably 5th.

found it

http://www.espn.com/watch/player?categoryId=e364bfcd-493d-3bfb-ac83-bd27d66fedd0&id=e21acf45-38e2-4cf8-9e4f-30a633a4f524

 

I think it must have been the 6th but I didn't catch it on camera - but I'm trying to work too.. LOL

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51 minutes ago, The Man in Blue said:

I really disagree with saying it is not the coach’s job to take care of sportsmanship issues, particularly at the youth level.  That is ABSOLUTELY the coach’s job.  We should be the last resort.  Back to us taking care of our business ... because we have failed to do so consistently, we have built that culture that allows coaches to not only turn their backs on the problems, but to often become part of the problem.  It starts with simple things like all of the coaches milling around outside the dugout during play and/or sitting on buckets in live ball territory.  Because we don’t take care of issues like that, it festers and grows to the point that coaches don’t feel certain rules or types of rules should be applied.

Maybe so, but whether they do or not, is outside of our jurisdiction. It's not our job to worry about it. Some will, some won't. We have no control over who does/doesn't. Maybe that's a better way of saying what I wanted to say. 

I do agree about managing the game with regard to buckets, outside the dugout, etc..

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3 hours ago, stkjock said:

found it

http://www.espn.com/watch/player?categoryId=e364bfcd-493d-3bfb-ac83-bd27d66fedd0&id=e21acf45-38e2-4cf8-9e4f-30a633a4f524

 

I think it must have been the 6th but I didn't catch it on camera - but I'm trying to work too.. LOL

The 19:00 minute mark is where I turn my hands up as if to say "really?" and give them a look.  Two pitches later I got to call the batter out for RLI.  That, of course, got all of the coaches in an even bigger tizzy (even though the replay (which was shown before the top of the 5th...after they came back from the commercial) showed I got the call 100%, correct).  It felt great to make that call.  LOL.

So, after the bottom of the fourth, I spent that half inning discussing the RLI call with the manager.  Then, during the Top of the 5th, I heard a couple of more comments (because they're really mad after the RLI call) on some "ball" calls.  So, in the middle of the 5th the manager and I had the "come to Jesus" talk about the assistant coaches.

Thanks for posting the link; it refreshed my memory.

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Cool. I did take note if the RLI and there was a second play that caught my eye at the time.....a fair - foul call maybe, I forget now. 

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6 hours ago, johnnyg08 said:

Maybe so, but whether they do or not, is outside of our jurisdiction. It's not our job to worry about it. Some will, some won't. We have no control over who does/doesn't. Maybe that's a better way of saying what I wanted to say. 

I do agree about managing the game with regard to buckets, outside the dugout, etc..

Perhaps it depends on the code you are calling, but in NFHS we absolutely have jurisdiction over the coach’s responsibility to control his players, coaching staff, and even his team’s fans.  If the coach refuses to administer those duties, he gets to spend some quality time with the offender outside while we continue to play.

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Follow up ... had the team for the final game of the regular season as well ... I was on the bases.

The big guy played first base.  He was pleasant and even offered me a few pieces of gum.  :hi5:

Doubt I’d have gotten the Dubble Bubble if I had tossed him.  

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I've been accused more then once of having a slow hook. I also believe that if the HC is a good baseball guy most issues can be handled by him without everyone knowing about it. Late in a game like that you just want it over.
Having said all that; a middle school kid turning around and screaming at me about balls and strikes?
Gone, past tense, as in you were playing in a game and now you're not.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

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On 8/21/2019 at 8:04 PM, The Man in Blue said:

Middle school scholastic contest last night ... two private/parochial schools in their first game of the year.  It was a game that should have been over in the 4th inning (run rule) but the visiting coach goofed and put his subs in an inning too early.  We end up playing an abysmal 7 inning game ...

HT down 17-5 I the bottom of the 7th (VT scored the “needed” runs in the top of the 7th of course).  For the second out, I rung up a batter on three straight pitches all sitting right on the outside black.  Before I have even pulled the ripcord the kid turns around, looks right at me, and angrily SCREAMS “That was low!”  I immediately started to walk down the third base line to talk to the coach as the hitter is headed back to the third base dugout.  It looked like I was following him which was unintentional.  I tell the coach “There is one out to go, you can take care of that or I can.”

After the next out the first base coach comes running over and rather giddily asks  “Did you toss him?”   I told him no I didn’t due to the timing, but the kid wouldn’t get any slack the rest of the year (I have them a few more times).  The coach seemed disappointed.

I forgot who posted that great suggestion (“you can or I can”) on here, but thank you!  Saved me some paperwork and a headache in an already atrocious game.

 

Post game note:  We had two different teams for the second game (I wasn’t supposed to have a DH, but ended up with one).  The coach of one of those teams asks if I tossed the kid and I say no.  He explains the first base coach’s reaction (seeming like he hoped I did) — he probably wanted me to because the kid is a problem (he’s been kicked off three teams so his parents keep changing schools).

 

 

Yeah, I disagree with just about all of this.

 

You ring a kid up and he verbally disagrees with you?  So what.  If he's demonstrative, hand up, "knock it off", go from there.  If he continues, dump him.

 

Why would you follow the kid down the line?  You said it looked like you were following him, no, you were following him.  Terrible look.  If he's headed back to the dugout, let him go.

 

The coaches say the kid is a problem (for them).  They obviously haven't taken care of it.

 

If the kid becomes a problem for you, take care of it.  Period.  If not, leave it alone.

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