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BlueClue

Ball-Strike Ejection

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2 ejections in 2 weeks? This is definitely not my year!

1-man Babe Ruth (U18) using OBR. Top of 1, pitcher is struggling to find the zone. He throws a dozen or so pitches outside on the batters box line or further, his coach screams "Where were those pitches?!" and I tell him they're outside. He gives the most oh-my-god-are-you-blind expression I've seen while umpiring. He decides to use a visit to say to his pitcher "I'm going to take all the damn time I want. Obviously we're not going to get the f---ing corner so just throw it down the middle" before leaving.

For the next couple innings I can hear him bickering about pitches with his coaches but nothing too egregious until the bottom of the 3rd. His team is batting, the pitcher throws a pitch that looked like it was at the top of the batters zone for strike 3. As soon as I call the pitch that same oh-my-god-are-you-blind expression comes out. He's just laying on a chorus of "Wow! Oh my god!"' followed by a half a dozen or so "That's unbelievable never seen that one before." Finally I warn him and get another oh-my-god-are-you-blind expression from him. The next pitch is a ball at the knees that I call a strike, to which he immediately says in a sarcastic tone "Oh my god! What did we ever do to you!" to which I immediately eject him.

He storms out of the dugout screaming at me "Do you know why you threw me out?! It's not because we're getting s---kicked, and you're kicking us while we're down, it's because you're f---ing terrified! You're scared! If you want to do this at this level you need to grow a f---ing backbone!" to which I tell him he was thrown out for arguing balls and strikes. He doesn't like that and tries to reaffirm that I'm "terrified" (Buddy I've umpired more games than you've coached. If anyone's terrified at this point it's you.) before he walks away screaming.

After he gets back to the dugout, he decides that he's going to take his sweet time getting his stuff, adding half a dozen "You're terrible" while doing so. Finally when he leaves the field proper, he decides it's a good idea to linger around the backstop and s--- talk and brag with some parents right in plain sight (Bragging about your ejection to parents isn't cool coach.) After the batter strikes out, he decides he's not going to go anywhere. I tell him that he needs to leave, and I get yet another oh-my-god-are-you-blind expression before his assistant (acting HC) tells him to leave.

It's truly a shame because that entire team was really good except for him, and his assistants were great to work with, but once you eject the coach you almost always lose the team. But what can you do? Coaches will be coaches.

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No problem with the ejection.  He pretty much ejected himself.

One question, how do you know what he said to his pitcher during his visit?  Was he yelling or is your hearing that good?

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3 minutes ago, Lou B said:

No problem with the ejection.  He pretty much ejected himself.

One question, how do you know what he said to his pitcher during his visit?  Was he yelling or is your hearing that good?

I'm right behind the mound for these games, so I was only 15-20 feet away and he was loud enough that it was fairly clear from where I was.

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23 minutes ago, BlueClue said:

I'm right behind the mound for these games, so I was only 15-20 feet away and he was loud enough that it was fairly clear from where I was.

Makes sense

He's arguing balls/strikes that you're calling from behind the mound. He deserves to get tossed.

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I offer this as what I hope comes across as constructive advice, not criticism: as with your first ejection, you let too much trash go by before dealing decisively. Bickering over several innings loud enough that you hear him? Nope--cut it off early. It just builds up, and your responses are too passive and too patient, in my judgment. By the time you eject the coach, what is the point of telling the coach why he was ejected? He knows why.

Considering the coach's obnoxious conduct, I disagree that "once you eject the coach you almost always lose the team." You may find that if you stop this garbage earlier or if you eject earlier, the rest of the game will be much quieter and much more enjoyable.

I hope you follow up an incident like this with a full report to your assigner and league commissioner, outlining the coach's transgressions.

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+1 to @LRZ...you're under OBR. Unless there are local modifications I am unaware of, you have full authority to eject when and where you deem coaches or players have ejected themselves. (With the requisite reporting out to central command...) And yes, teams run by a coach like this are often relieved when he is gone...assume nothing about the remainder of the game and as always, continue to let the game come to you.

Good ejection...next time, you can go sooner in this kind of scenario. Absolutely...

~Dog

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1 hour ago, LRZ said:

I offer this as what I hope comes across as constructive advice, not criticism: as with your first ejection, you let too much trash go by before dealing decisively. Bickering over several innings loud enough that you hear him? Nope--cut it off early. It just builds up, and your responses are too passive and too patient, in my judgment. By the time you eject the coach, what is the point of telling the coach why he was ejected? He knows why.

Considering the coach's obnoxious conduct, I disagree that "once you eject the coach you almost always lose the team." You may find that if you stop this garbage earlier or if you eject earlier, the rest of the game will be much quieter and much more enjoyable.

I hope you follow up an incident like this with a full report to your assigner and league commissioner, outlining the coach's transgressions.

I agree with you completely. I made sure to list in the report that the incident was too prolonged and he should've been ejected earlier.

I appreciate the feedback!

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Good comments so far ... Nip this in the bud and do it early.  Especially when you are calling from behind the mound.  Everybody knows that is not ideal, and if you are going to complain about it as a coach then you need to go immediately.  You agreed to play the game under this circumstance, we are not screwing around.

I will take this a little further though ... I'm not sure how much time he took while "gathering his things" (so this could be true sooner) but at the point that he moved behind the backstop the game is over.  Everybody can collect their things.

@BlueClue, I went seven years before I had an ejection.  Then I had several in three weeks.  I was going home asking myself "Is there something wrong with me?"  That is always a possibility, but my partners all assured me they were good ejections.

I am not working this year, but from anecdotal stories I'm heaing, it sounds as if people are stressed out and even antsier than normal.

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34 minutes ago, The Man in Blue said:

 

I will take this a little further though ... I'm not sure how much time he took while "gathering his things" (so this could be true sooner) but at the point that he moved behind the backstop the game is over.  Everybody can collect their things.

 

I guessing Babe Ruth might have additional rules regarding what an ejected manager can do but I don't know if you can forfeit an OBR game if the manager was in the stands in uniform. It might just be a report to MLB/MiLB with a possible fine.

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39 minutes ago, The Man in Blue said:

I will take this a little further though ... I'm not sure how much time he took while "gathering his things" (so this could be true sooner) but at the point that he moved behind the backstop the game is over.  Everybody can collect their things.

Not a chance. The OP handled it exactly the way it needed to be done.

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I'm not sure of the exact sequence, that is, when Blue Clue noticed the coach hanging around after being ejected and when play recommenced: "Finally when he leaves the field proper, he decides it's a good idea to linger around the backstop.... After the batter strikes out, he decides he's not going to go anywhere. I tell him that he needs to leave...." When you see the coach hanging around, stop play and wait until he goes, maybe saying quietly to the new HC (the former AC), "Bill, we're not going to start again until he's gone." 

Beyond that, I agree with Matt--I would not punish the entire team because the HC is a jerk.

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I've been thinking about this beyond my immediate reaction of things went on too long before the ejection, which has been stated by many here.

For mound visits, BU has traditionally left the grass and stayed on the dirt, monitoring the situation and waiting for the call to the bullpen. With the situation here, we have "PU" in the same vicinity. I would suggest that pseudo-PU also vacate the grass and go to a spot just off of it behind the coach's back. 

Here's why: there are many reasons for a mound visit. Of these, the biggest one to recognize is a mound visit as an excuse for a coach to get their two cents in regarding the umpire's performance. When we have a traditional PU, this is a bit easier to recognize--they'll be looking at PU the whole way, there won't be much conversation between them and their players, etc. When that happens, they are going to stay out there until PU comes out to move the visit along. However, umpires need to treat the visit similarly to the dugout--coaches need to have frank conversations with their team, and understanding when something is being said to them vice to the umpire is key.

By leaving the grass and being behind the coach, they cannot surreptitiously snipe the umpire unless they go out of their way to do so, making it obvious, or until pseudo-PU comes to break it up. By being off the grass and looping around to approach the coach from the front, it shows control and gives the umpire a bit of time to react to anything the coach says. I cannot tell if the quote in the OP was directed at his pitcher or to the umpire (disguised as a statement to his pitcher.) Making it untenable for the coaches to argue balls and strikes under the guise of ambiguous statements is the goal.

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8 hours ago, Matt said:

Not a chance. The OP handled it exactly the way it needed to be done.

We all have our opinions.  Granted, the level of play (pro, minor league, college, youth) will have some influence on your action.

IMO, 18u Babe Ruth is still “youth” baseball.  Regardless of rule set, (again, IMO so you can tell me how wrong I am) an ejection of an adult from youth sports means “you can no longer be where I can see or hear you” not “you can continue to be a horse’s ass and make a joke of this, you just have to do it 20 feet to your left.”  

Failure to comply means game over.  Yes, it sucks for the team and I give the coach every possible opportunity to avoid costing his team the game.  Just like ejections though, they do it to themselves.  I just enforce it.

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8 hours ago, LRZ said:

I'm not sure of the exact sequence, that is, when Blue Clue noticed the coach hanging around after being ejected and when play recommenced: "Finally when he leaves the field proper, he decides it's a good idea to linger around the backstop.... After the batter strikes out, he decides he's not going to go anywhere. I tell him that he needs to leave...." When you see the coach hanging around, stop play and wait until he goes, maybe saying quietly to the new HC (the former AC), "Bill, we're not going to start again until he's gone." 

Beyond that, I agree with Matt--I would not punish the entire team because the HC is a jerk.

I agree with all of this and have done this.  However, keep in mind that YOU are not the one punishing the team.  The coach is.

I would never enforce that lightly or abruptly, but I would enforce it.  If you aren’t, then why bother with the ejection in the first place?

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2 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

I agree with all of this and have done this.  However, keep in mind that YOU are not the one punishing the team.  The coach is.

I would never enforce that lightly or abruptly, but I would enforce it.  If you aren’t, then why bother with the ejection in the first place?

So what OBR rule are you using to forfeit?

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2 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

We all have our opinions.  

That doesn't mean they're of equal validity.

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On 8/1/2020 at 11:08 PM, Matt said:

That doesn't mean they're of equal validity.

Maybe, but does it then follow you gotta take a shot?

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2 minutes ago, HokieUmp said:

Maybe, but does it then follow you gotta take a shot?

It's all about context, and I wouldn't have said it if I felt it wasn't necessary in this one.

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29 minutes ago, Matt said:

It's all about context, and I wouldn't have said it if I felt it wasn't necessary in this one.

Maybe it's semantics, then.  I mean, I've told the occasional coach "sight and sound, skip," when they've dis-invited themselves from the game.  And if they had happened to refuse, then I'd tell the teams we're done.  More than likely, that would spur someone to chase the idiot away, and we'd stay.  If not, I'd kill it.

On the other hand, I wouldn't call it a forfeit - at least, if it's a game that has some kind of sanctioning body.  I'd write an incident report, and send it to my assigner, and let him and the league decide.  If it's one of these rolling circuses that make up travel ball, it'd be as good as a forfeit to me, since no one's gonna do anything, anyway, but I'd just call it 'suspended,' if nothing else.

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3 hours ago, HokieUmp said:

Maybe it's semantics, then.  I mean, I've told the occasional coach "sight and sound, skip," when they've dis-invited themselves from the game.  And if they had happened to refuse, then I'd tell the teams we're done.  More than likely, that would spur someone to chase the idiot away, and we'd stay.  If not, I'd kill it.

On the other hand, I wouldn't call it a forfeit - at least, if it's a game that has some kind of sanctioning body.  I'd write an incident report, and send it to my assigner, and let him and the league decide.  If it's one of these rolling circuses that make up travel ball, it'd be as good as a forfeit to me, since no one's gonna do anything, anyway, but I'd just call it 'suspended,' if nothing else.

That is precisely what I would do, and I wouldn't call it semantics.

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