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Obnoxious Coach

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Happened a few years back but curious if I should have handled it differently.

Team A is pounding team B in a 10U summer travel league and clearly has team B out matched in talent and experience.

Team A is up by ten runs and is on offense.

Their manager is coaching 3B where  his runner is safe on a not so  close play.

Defensive player F6 has the ball and is confused what to do.

Meanwhile the B/R is going into second base so the offensive coach tells the kid to throw to 2B—- which has zero chance of making an out.

F 6 does so and the coach, with a chuckle, sends his runner in to score. 

I was unsure if this was a violation of Babe Ruth Rules so I let it slide but am curious if I should have said something to the manager.

Any suggestions?

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Ejection is severe, but prescribed under some rule sets.

Minimum, I’m going with an interference call.  Runner that went home is out, runner headed to second is going back.  Coach is getting a warning for unsporting conduct.  Minimum.

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Had a similar situation this weekend. 12u. Offense is HT and down by a ton. 4th inning. Playing by a 10 after 5 or 1:45. I’m on the bases. Visiting team is starting to struggle with getting the last two outs. R1. Batter hits a shot to center field and ends up with a double. At the end of the play defense called time to switch the pitcher. I was out behind the mound and the first base coach came out to discuss something with me. He said, “Did you see that on first?” I asked what he was referring to and he said the first basemen purposely tried tripping his runner. I told him I missed it but would keep a better eye on it. I thought everything was fine and he started walking away. The pitcher finishes up his warm-up pitches and I look to check that everyone is back to where they are supposed to be and noticed the first base coach talking to the first-basemen. So I start to listen and hear, “if you get in my runners way again I’ll tell them to just run you over.” At this point I start to go over there and break it up. The kid said, “sorry I didn’t mean to.” And the coach responded “don’t lie to me, just get the hell out of the way!” That was it, he was immediately gone. The funniest part was he couldn’t understand what for. I explained what happened to the head coach and he was appalled. He went over to apologize to the kid and was truly embarrassed. I think the first base coach felt like a jerk afterwards though cause the other parents on the team let him have it once they found out what he said. 

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I haven’t found anything relevant in the Babe Ruth rule book. But I think most, if not all, leagues have a Code of Conduct for managers and coaches that might be of help. From the 2016 BRD (section 325, p. 215): 

OBR Official Interpretation:  Wendelstedt:  In the judgment of the umpire, if members of the offense, including a coach, should yell remarks that confuse the defense, the runner who was aided is out; other runners remain TOI.

Play 182-325: With R2 advancing on the pitch, B1 grounds to short. The offensive coach or players on the bench yell: “Third! Third!” The shortstop, confused: (a) throws to third, where R2 is safe as BR reaches first; or (b) hesitates, turns toward third, and then fires too late to first. Ruling:  In FED/OBR, if the umpire judges the shortstop’s confusion resulted from the “help” given him by his opponents, the ball is immediately dead because of verbal interference. In (a), R2 is out, with BR remaining on first, credited as reaching base on a fielder’s choice. In (b), BR is out and R2 remains TOI. In NCAA, the play stands in either (a) or (b).

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Depends on how sick of the coach you are.

  1. If it's garden-variety asshattery, just call time and send the BR back to 1B.
  2. If you've had enough but aren't ready to toss, you can do #1 and/or give him a written warning (in FED, this would have included restriction).
  3. If he needs to ply his wares elsewhere, you can do #1 and/or eject him for unsporting behavior.

Other (non-FED) codes do not include verbal OBS, so I recommend not trying to call that in this kind of situation.

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The OP asks about verbal interference not verbal obstruction--they are two different things. In the OP the third base coach yells something that confuses the defense that allows a runner to score—that’s verbal interference. FED clearly differentiates the two actions in its rules 2-21-1 and 2-22-1. However, in OBR (and Babe Ruth plays under OBR rules) there is no rule to rely on but there is an official interpretation which I have already provided in addition to a case play. Just to reinforce what I have posted earlier, here is another case play—this one is from the 2013 Wendelstedt manual (p. 240):

Play P366:  R1, R2, one out, 1-1 count. The batter hits a fly ball to right field that is caught. R2 tags up and attempts to advance to third while R1 goes halfway to second. As the throw comes into third, the third base coach yells, “Cut it! Cut it!” The second baseman cut the ball off. R1 returns to first base and R2 reaches third safely.

Ruling:  The umpire should signal interference and call time when the coach convinces the defense to cut off the throw. R2 is out, and R1 remains at first base.

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3 hours ago, maven said:

Depends on how sick of the coach you are.

  1. If it's garden-variety asshattery, just call time and send the BR back to 1B.
  2. If you've had enough but aren't ready to toss, you can do #1 and/or give him a written warning (in FED, this would have included restriction).
  3. If he needs to ply his wares elsewhere, you can do #1 and/or eject him for unsporting behavior.

Other (non-FED) codes do not include verbal OBS, so I recommend not trying to call that in this kind of situation.

 

They may not include it by name, but they do include it.

Never let this behavior go unaddressed.

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26 minutes ago, The Man in Blue said:

They may not include it by name, but they do include it.

No, it's not in OBR. In fact, there's a pro interp that explicitly allows it.

I haven't tallied your exact score, but you seem to be in the range of 30–40% correct answers. I recommend that you do a little homework before answering.

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Because there is nothing in non-fed rules that would offer legitimacy to ejecting the coach, I would likely have a much tighter leash on everything he does. 

  • Outside the coach's box - ""Stay in the box coach (and specifically not use his name)"
  • Standing in the dugout opening  - "In the dugout coach"
  • Wants to chat me up - STFU stare and walk away
  • Balls and strikes - Ignore, Acknowledge, Warn, Eject

Should he ever wonder why, I would likely let him know discreetly.

 

 

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2 hours ago, maven said:

No, it's not in OBR. In fact, there's a pro interp that explicitly allows it.

I haven't tallied your exact score, but you seem to be in the range of 30–40% correct answers. I recommend that you do a little homework before answering.

 

5 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

The OP asks about verbal interference not verbal obstruction--they are two different things. In the OP the third base coach yells something that confuses the defense that allows a runner to score—that’s verbal interference. FED clearly differentiates the two actions in its rules 2-21-1 and 2-22-1. However, in OBR (and Babe Ruth plays under OBR rules) there is no rule to rely on but there is an official interpretation which I have already provided in addition to a case play. Just to reinforce what I have posted earlier, here is another case play—this one is from the 2013 Wendelstedt manual (p. 240):

Play P366:  R1, R2, one out, 1-1 count. The batter hits a fly ball to right field that is caught. R2 tags up and attempts to advance to third while R1 goes halfway to second. As the throw comes into third, the third base coach yells, “Cut it! Cut it!” The second baseman cut the ball off. R1 returns to first base and R2 reaches third safely.

Ruling:  The umpire should signal interference and call time when the coach convinces the defense to cut off the throw. R2 is out, and R1 remains at first base.

Huh.  I originally did start to answer differently, but then I actually took some time to read Senor Azul’s post.

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There's one passing reference in an instructor comment in the Little League RIM (2019) to verbal interference.  That, plus the definition of interference as "any act which...confuses any fielder attempting to make a play," is enough for me to get it in that code. 

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Mr. stevis, I agree with your conclusion but could you tell us please where that “passing reference” to verbal interference can be found in the LL RIM. I think the following rule could conceivably be used to arrive at the same conclusion and there is something in the regulation XIV—Field Decorum that might be used.

2019 LL rule 4.05(d) talk to members of their own team only. An offending base coach shall be removed from the base coach’s box.

 

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