Jump to content
Phu Bai

Ball and Strike Specialists

Recommended Posts

   This may have been discussed before...I apologize if I am rehashing an old subject  BUT
      In MLB there are certain umpires that are better than others calling the game from behind the plate. 
      I realize that the PU "works" much harder than base umpires, but has there ever been an effort to "specialize" the PU position?
     Surely this would create a series of issues, schedules, pay rates, ratings etc.
    But

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

We already have Ball/Strike Specialists ... they sit in the bleachers.

I prefer to think of them as the "Quality Control Committee."

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think at all levels we have umpires who are better at B/S and I don't think of a higher compliment than when someone calls you a " good ball and strike guy".  An old adage held that a good Umpire reputation is made behind the plate and not on the bases.   

I know the lower level of ball I used to call,  the more Plates I seemed to be assigned. At higher levels, and among the better umpires I know, it can be a fist fight to see who gets the dish on the better games......   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Stan W. said:

I think at all levels we have umpires who are better at B/S and I don't think of a higher compliment than when someone calls you a " good ball and strike guy".  An old adage held that a good Umpire reputation is made behind the plate and not on the bases.   

I know the lower level of ball I used to call,  the more Plates I seemed to be assigned. At higher levels, and among the better umpires I know, it can be a fist fight to see who gets the dish on the better games......   

So, balls and strikes are BS.  ;)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, noumpere said:

Yet, at least anecdotally, most MiLB guys wash out because of their base work and not because of their plate work.

 

Personally, I have always found working the plate much "easier" than working the bases for newer umpires (including myself back when).  It seems from a teaching/learning perspective people pick up on it faster.  I don't know if it is because of more repetitions on fewer different tasks (I don't believe it is really fewer tasks, but it is a perception some people have told me), or if people just focus more on it because they put their own stress on it. 

It is far easier to get yourself in deeper trouble on the bases, IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

USSSA to Employ Automated Strike-Zone in 2020, Parents to Call Balls/Strikes from the Stands

https://thedingervilletimes.com/blog/2020/1/14/usssa-to-employ-automated-strike-zone-in-2020-parents-to-call-ballsstrikes-from-the-stands?rq=USSSA

The process is simple: After each pitch parents seated directly behind the backstop will yell whether the pitch was a ball or strike. If parents disagree, the loudest call wins. Following the call from the stands, the umpire will then make the signal.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That has to be a joke. No way USSSA will really be adopting that.

How would plate specialists be  reconciled with MLB's push for automated balls and strikes systems? If the better balls and strikes umpires become plate specialists, maybe we wouldn't need ABS (not that we need it now). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ilyazhito said:

If the better balls and strikes umpires become plate specialists, maybe we wouldn't need ABS (not that we need it now).

Nope, as soon as you/we identify "specialists", we introduce bias. As soon as we introduce bias, our integrity (as umpires) is even more called into question, and we've now painted a target on the backs of those "specialists". Could you see teams start throwing at certain umpire "specialists" because they don't want that particular umpire on their game or series? Since there isn't an ABS system in place, even as a fallback, who does the job of PU fall back on if the "specialist" is knocked out of the game? Right, a different umpire...

Believe it. This is a 130+ year old game, played by men who treat this as war. And, the phrase is very aptly applied here – "All's fair in war". 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ilyazhito said:

That has to be a joke. No way USSSA will really be adopting that.

How would plate specialists be  reconciled with MLB's push for automated balls and strikes systems? If the better balls and strikes umpires become plate specialists, maybe we wouldn't need ABS (not that we need it now). 

It is a satire site ... read some of the other articles.  It's good stuff!

https://thedingervilletimes.com/blog/2020/2/18/mlb-to-stop-using-radar-guns-hire-parents-to-determine-velocities-for-more-accuracy

"We first realized that our radar gun readings were off when we talked to a few parents at a high school game,” explained Bobby Mejia, a head scout for the MLB scouting bureau. “The scouting report said 91mph for a kid, but I kept getting 82 on the gun. I knew something was wrong.” 

It turns out that the scouting report was written by the prospect’s dad, who has been determining his velocity since he was 3. Since he knows his son’s velocity better than anyone else, Mejia concluded that his radar gun was off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/20/2020 at 10:24 AM, Stan W. said:

I think at all levels we have umpires who are better at B/S and I don't think of a higher compliment than when someone calls you a " good ball and strike guy".  An old adage held that a good Umpire reputation is made behind the plate and not on the bases.   

I know the lower level of ball I used to call,  the more Plates I seemed to be assigned. At higher levels, and among the better umpires I know, it can be a fist fight to see who gets the dish on the better games......   

Heard from that old guy i met a while back, that if you were an average plate umpire ( not getting yelled at all game) in his area, they fought for the plate because they could just park there and never move on a hot day, especially with the cooler outside protectors used all the time up till the 80's. First baseline extended for all plays at plate. Moved up to plate for RLI or if base umpire asked for swipe tag help. Moved to back line corner closest to dugout of right hand batters batter's box for all tag ups at third. PU could walk, not run for all positioning. PU called can of corn fly balls to outfield and base umpire gets all trap or diving plays and non can of corn to outfield. If needed, umpires of course huddled for final call.

I have seen a modified version with a little more movement at some games at the very few HS level i have attended more recently. They live with the angels many many times with plays that could happen, but don't, and they would be a long distant phone call away if that play did happen. And no, I am not talking about false hustle running around like chicken with its head cut off either. Just the top of the batters box corner up the line on either side (no, not even to the plate cutout either), rather than just up to the plate.

Base umpire had everything on bases and had to run around all day long.

Maybe the plate umpire was injured and could not back out of the game on the very few games I have seen recently, so I definitely would not say this is anywhere near the norm for the vast vast majority with such a small sampling. Coverage and all movement may be decided/modified upon by association or Nat. Federation and I would not know about that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/21/2020 at 11:03 AM, MadMax said:

Nope, as soon as you/we identify "specialists", we introduce bias. As soon as we introduce bias, our integrity (as umpires) is even more called into question, and we've now painted a target on the backs of those "specialists". Could you see teams start throwing at certain umpire "specialists" because they don't want that particular umpire on their game or series? Since there isn't an ABS system in place, even as a fallback, who does the job of PU fall back on if the "specialist" is knocked out of the game? Right, a different umpire...

Believe it. This is a 130+ year old game, played by men who treat this as war. And, the phrase is very aptly applied here – "All's fair in war". 

I think many, such as yourself, are already "recognized" as a "specialist", just without all the hoopla, or a title, or badge on the sleeve, or special shirt color. Happens everywhere for pretty much everything, whether on the records or off the records.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Phu Bai said:

Anyone ever call a game from behind the pitcher?

Call 1-800-tim mcclelland about MLB spring training game. 

Seen it at 'LL minors game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, dumbdumb said:

Heard from that old guy i met a while back, that if you were an average plate umpire ( not getting yelled at all game) in his area, they fought for the plate because they could just park there and never move on a hot day, especially with the cooler outside protectors used all the time up till the 80's. First baseline extended for all plays at plate. Moved up to plate for RLI or if base umpire asked for swipe tag help. Moved to back line corner closest to dugout of right hand batters batter's box for all tag ups at third. PU could walk, not run for all positioning. PU called can of corn fly balls to outfield and base umpire gets all trap or diving plays and non can of corn to outfield. If needed, umpires of course huddled for final call.

I have seen a modified version with a little more movement at some games at the very few HS level i have attended more recently. They live with the angels many many times with plays that could happen, but don't, and they would be a long distant phone call away if that play did happen. And no, I am not talking about false hustle running around like chicken with its head cut off either. Just the top of the batters box corner up the line on either side (no, not even to the plate cutout either), rather than just up to the plate.

Base umpire had everything on bases and had to run around all day long.

Maybe the plate umpire was injured and could not back out of the game on the very few games I have seen recently, so I definitely would not say this is anywhere near the norm for the vast vast majority with such a small sampling. Coverage and all movement may be decided/modified upon by association or Nat. Federation and I would not know about that.

The key word in your post about the "take the plate so you don't have to move" strategy is OLD.  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Phu Bai said:

Anyone ever call a game from behind the pitcher?

 

Back before I knew better, yes.  It is like calling balls and strikes in your living room while herding kittens with a leaf blower.  You can't tell when the ball actually enters the strike zone.  You can get into many positions quicker, but your neck gets sore from your head twisting around as you try to make calls at first and third simultaneously.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/23/2020 at 10:34 AM, dumbdumb said:

Heard from that old guy i met a while back, that if you were an average plate umpire ( not getting yelled at all game) in his area, they fought for the plate because they could just park there and never move on a hot day, especially with the cooler outside protectors used all the time up till the 80's. First baseline extended for all plays at plate. Moved up to plate for RLI or if base umpire asked for swipe tag help. Moved to back line corner closest to dugout of right hand batters batter's box for all tag ups at third. PU could walk, not run for all positioning. PU called can of corn fly balls to outfield and base umpire gets all trap or diving plays and non can of corn to outfield. If needed, umpires of course huddled for final call.

I have seen a modified version with a little more movement at some games at the very few HS level i have attended more recently. They live with the angels many many times with plays that could happen, but don't, and they would be a long distant phone call away if that play did happen. And no, I am not talking about false hustle running around like chicken with its head cut off either. Just the top of the batters box corner up the line on either side (no, not even to the plate cutout either), rather than just up to the plate.

Base umpire had everything on bases and had to run around all day long.

Maybe the plate umpire was injured and could not back out of the game on the very few games I have seen recently, so I definitely would not say this is anywhere near the norm for the vast vast majority with such a small sampling. Coverage and all movement may be decided/modified upon by association or Nat. Federation and I would not know about that.

My reference to a "fist fight to see who gets the plate" was a reference to be who "controls the game"................not just to park there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Long ago I had a partner get blasted and the teams didn't want to travel again and I being new did always bring gear. so yeah behind the mound.  But on the original topic didn't in the old day they not rotate? I though I read that as CC Klem took the plate every day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Radwaste50 said:

Long ago I had a partner get blasted and the teams didn't want to travel again and I being new did always bring gear. so yeah behind the mound.  But on the original topic didn't in the old day they not rotate? I though I read that as CC Klem took the plate every day.

At one time you had no choice as baseball would not pay for a second umpire. Some umpires worked in back of the bat until someone reached base. Then they would go behind the mound. Some worked everything from behind the mound. It took Ban Johnson of the Jr circuit to hire an extra umpire or two and they rotated between crews. Finally in 1912, both the Sr and Jr circuit hired a staff of 10 umpires so they could work 2 man for most games unless injured or missing the train etc.

As the acknowledged best plate umpire Klemm did tend to work more games behind the plate. However if you go retrosheet his career, you will see he was doing a lot more games on the bases as time passes, and then when they went to 3 man, even less.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...