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Firestorm of ejections


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I am about ready to lose it.

Little League game, just trying to have a season and this is their championship. My partner is a no-show, that's fine I've done the majority of my games 1-man this year. 

The 1st inning I'm already hearing it from the VT dugout (These are 11-12 year olds...), this goes on for about an inning and a half until top of 2nd 2 outs batter hits a ball that looks close to the line. I see it foul the whole way and call it as such. The VHC is IRATE, screaming about how that ball was fair and I missed it, to which I immediately warn him. Following the inning, I warn their bench that any more of this and they're gone.

Fast forward to the bottom of the 4th, runners on 1st and 2nd 1 out, the batter hits a fly ball in the infield that I immediately signal an infield fly. Following the conclusion of the play I reaffirm my call, to which the HHC storms over to me screaming "are you joking?!" followed by him trying to argue that it was not even close to being an infield fly. He starts to get more and more aggressive to the point where I toss him. He storms off the field and heads to the bullpen, to which I tell his assistant to get him to leave. The league's VICE PRESIDENT tries to step in and prevent him from getting tossed but to no avail, I'm not restarting the game until he's gone. At this point everyone is out for blood, the VP is fuming on the phone with the board because I tossed his buddy out, and the parents are about ready to rip my head off. Finally we resume.

After 5 innings we're passed our time limit, the sun is down and we don't have any lights at the field. I go to the VHC to explain the situation and that we're done. He is absolutely IRATE, screaming how I'm screwing over his team and calling the game "30 seconds" after the cutoff (more or less a few minutes). I tell him there's nothing I can do (I have rules to follow) to which, the SAME coach who asked me earlier in the inning to go by the books definition of the time limit, goes ballistic again, to which I tossed him.

Following that Mr. Vice President decides he needs to talk to me. He goes on about how the board'll be having a conversation on "rule interpretations", after which he's done talking and I left the field.

What gets me about this one isn't the fact I tossed both coaches, it's the fact that this VP had the balls to try and override my control over what occurred on the field.

Pretty sure I've got it all out, I'm going to go grab a cold one now.

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And here's another good reason why I won't do LL baseball.  I can't deal with all that anymore.

Tip of the cap to you for having to put up with it all and standing firm.

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7 hours ago, BlueClue said:

I am about ready to lose it.

Little League game, just trying to have a season and this is their championship. My partner is a no-show, that's fine I've done the majority of my games 1-man this year. 

The 1st inning I'm already hearing it from the VT dugout (These are 11-12 year olds...), this goes on for about an inning and a half until top of 2nd 2 outs batter hits a ball that looks close to the line. I see it foul the whole way and call it as such. The VHC is IRATE, screaming about how that ball was fair and I missed it, to which I immediately warn him. Following the inning, I warn their bench that any more of this and they're gone.

Fast forward to the bottom of the 4th, runners on 1st and 2nd 1 out, the batter hits a fly ball in the infield that I immediately signal an infield fly. Following the conclusion of the play I reaffirm my call, to which the HHC storms over to me screaming "are you joking?!" followed by him trying to argue that it was not even close to being an infield fly. He starts to get more and more aggressive to the point where I toss him. He storms off the field and heads to the bullpen, to which I tell his assistant to get him to leave. The league's VICE PRESIDENT tries to step in and prevent him from getting tossed but to no avail, I'm not restarting the game until he's gone. At this point everyone is out for blood, the VP is fuming on the phone with the board because I tossed his buddy out, and the parents are about ready to rip my head off. Finally we resume.

After 5 innings we're passed our time limit, the sun is down and we don't have any lights at the field. I go to the VHC to explain the situation and that we're done. He is absolutely IRATE, screaming how I'm screwing over his team and calling the game "30 seconds" after the cutoff (more or less a few minutes). I tell him there's nothing I can do (I have rules to follow) to which, the SAME coach who asked me earlier in the inning to go by the books definition of the time limit, goes ballistic again, to which I tossed him.

Following that Mr. Vice President decides he needs to talk to me. He goes on about how the board'll be having a conversation on "rule interpretations", after which he's done talking and I left the field.

What gets me about this one isn't the fact I tossed both coaches, it's the fact that this VP had the balls to try and override my control over what occurred on the field.

Pretty sure I've got it all out, I'm going to go grab a cold one now.

Have you had these teams prior in the season?  Where there any issues in that game (if any)?  Seems like a lot of IRATE-ness for what appears to be little things.   I'm suspecting there's some underlying issues somewhere.

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May I offer several curmudgeonly thoughts?

7 hours ago, BlueClue said:

this goes on for about an inning and a half

Why put up with this kind of garbage for so long? Shut it down promptly.

7 hours ago, BlueClue said:

HHC storms over to me screaming "are you joking?!" followed by him trying to argue that it was not even close to being an infield fly. He starts to get more and more aggressive to the point where I toss him

What took you so long to toss him? After the initial conversation and your brief explanation for your ruling, don't argue further or even respond; likewise, after you eject him, don't respond, just wait until he leaves.

I hope you called your assigner and let him/her know what happened, starting with your partner's no-show. He/she should tell the league they will have to play without umpires if this kind of nonsense is not quashed. And I don't see this as a LL problem, particularly. It is a problem for any association, at any level and age, that allows coaches and parents to act this way. In the adage, we promote what we permit.

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I could not agree more with @wolfe_man...

I love LL. I do. I played there, I umped there and I coached there. For a time, one of my goals was to try and climb the umpire ladder to Williamsport. Honestly, they could call me tomorrow and tell me I can hand pick my crew...and I would decline.

Ever since I moved over to scholastic, youth travel and men's leagues (while no picnics either) I have ZERO desire to ever step onto a LL field again. It's a great league that has given me and millions of others a great deal. I hope the LLWS can return soon and I look forward to watching.

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11 hours ago, BlueClue said:

What gets me about this one isn't the fact I tossed both coaches, it's the fact that this VP had the balls to try and override my control over what occurred on the field.

This is becoming more and more common. I shared earlier this summer a story of doing a game. At the time in mid-June it was the only baseball in the state pretty much and a very good and respected SEC/Sunbelt ump was working up there. 14U kid, at bat, started arguing balls/strikes with the SEC guy behind the plate which gets so bad he ejects him. Next inning he is back at F6, as the tournament director put him back in the game.

After the game they went to the TD only to be told "these teams pay a lot of money to play, not sit in the parking lot". So your experience is becoming common, unfortunately. 

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8 hours ago, Thunderheads said:

Have you had these teams prior in the season?  Where there any issues in that game (if any)?  Seems like a lot of IRATE-ness for what appears to be little things.   I'm suspecting there's some underlying issues somewhere.

The only time I had any encounter with either of these teams was when I was supervising some of our younger umpires and one of the teams just happened to be playing. No prior history whatsoever with either teams or coaches for that matter.

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5 hours ago, aaluck said:

After the game they went to the TD only to be told "these teams pay a lot of money to play, not sit in the parking lot."

"OK, but I hope you can get someone to work this game, because I'm done for the day."

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Absolutely, @LRZ...absolutely. We hold the power. When we as umpires knowingly allow ejected coaches and players to return without walking away from that field ourselves? We give our permission for that to continue.

I encourage all of you, if you encounter a situation where an ejected coach or player is permitted to return prior to what the written rules allow, please give serious consideration to refusing to work that game until the coach or player is required to fully serve their punishment. To quote Honig's, without us it's just a scrimmage.

~Dog

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"Next inning he is back at F6."

I'd call "Time" and ask the manager why an ejected player is back in the game.  When he says the TD says it's OK for him to keep playing, I'd call for the TD. 

I'd tell the TD either the kid plays or I umpire but not both, your choice!

In either case, subsequently, a call/report to my Assignor will follow.

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I tossed a TD, in a (discretionary manner) once when he came on the field and tried a similar ploy as in aaluck's situation. I quietly told him "everything outside this fence he is responsible for,  . . . everything inside this fence I'm responsible for. Feel free to assume my position." He left without any further discussion. Game continued without the ejected personnel.     

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I was doing a LL game in the field when I called a 7:13 on R1.  Batter hit a clean double and advanced on the play to home (by errors).  I put R1 on 3B and the BR on 2B.

Nobody had a clue and I got the (semi notional banter) for the rest of the game.  Tried answering the questions including to a League VP.

I was blackballed for 2 years from ever officiating at that league.  

That league really became dysfunctional with umpires being accosted in the parking lot, racial discussions on the field, etc.  I didn't miss them at all!

Mike

Las Vegas

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17 hours ago, LRZ said:

"OK, but I hope you can get someone to work this game, because I'm done for the day."

I agree with ALL of the comments above and the SEC guy did, in fact, leave. 

Unfortunately, for someone like my son (20), that makes all of his college money for the year working baseball all summer he did not have that as a option. This was the ONLY place playing baseball at the time and he was getting 3-4 games a day, 7 days a week @ $70 per. So, yes, the right thing to do is leave, but he did not have that luxury. Kind of like working a crappy job with a horrible boss--but you still have to put food on the table.

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Nobody screams where I'm working more than once. 

If the VP comes out, I'm not talking to him. "One of us is leaving immediately. You have no place interrupting this game. I'll be happy to speak to you by phone after the game."

These leagues treat umpires like shît and then bîtch about the terrible quality of their umpires. Ha. You sow what you reap.

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1 hour ago, aaluck said:

you still have to put food on the table

Isn't your 20 y/o son still living at home? YOU have to put his food on the table! ;)

On 8/27/2020 at 10:56 AM, aaluck said:

At the time in mid-June it was the only baseball in the state pretty much

I hope your son has other umpiring/income-producing opportunities now, so he no longer has to put up with that TD.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, LRZ said:

Isn't your 20 y/o son still living at home? YOU have to put his food on the table! ;)

True, I MAY have exaggerated that a bit.  I should have said he needs to build his savings for his "fun" while at college. :huh:

Actually, after about 3 weeks the TD was replaced with another guy that didn't get involved with any aspect of the umping. Worked out great and made a good bit of money.

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  • 1 month later...
On 10/20/2020 at 4:07 PM, blue32 said:

My motto has always been, and always will be:

"I don't do it for the money, but I won't do it for free."

Biggest challenge facing the training of new(ish) umpires. 

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I could write a six paragraph rant about how much I despise the ridiculous whining about people only umpiring for money. GTFOH with that garbage. Nobody should care why someone is out there as long as they're making an effort to do it right. 

The common theme I've seen among those who refuse to shut up about how "they're only here for the kids" and talk poorly about other officials who they think "only do it for the money," is they absolutely suck and think they're Gods gift to baseball. Prove me wrong. You can't. :P

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On 8/26/2020 at 9:18 PM, BlueClue said:

I am about ready to lose it.

Little League game, just trying to have a season and this is their championship. My partner is a no-show, that's fine I've done the majority of my games 1-man this year. 

The 1st inning I'm already hearing it from the VT dugout (These are 11-12 year olds...), this goes on for about an inning and a half until top of 2nd 2 outs batter hits a ball that looks close to the line. I see it foul the whole way and call it as such. The VHC is IRATE, screaming about how that ball was fair and I missed it, to which I immediately warn him. Following the inning, I warn their bench that any more of this and they're gone.

Fast forward to the bottom of the 4th, runners on 1st and 2nd 1 out, the batter hits a fly ball in the infield that I immediately signal an infield fly. Following the conclusion of the play I reaffirm my call, to which the HHC storms over to me screaming "are you joking?!" followed by him trying to argue that it was not even close to being an infield fly. He starts to get more and more aggressive to the point where I toss him. He storms off the field and heads to the bullpen, to which I tell his assistant to get him to leave. The league's VICE PRESIDENT tries to step in and prevent him from getting tossed but to no avail, I'm not restarting the game until he's gone. At this point everyone is out for blood, the VP is fuming on the phone with the board because I tossed his buddy out, and the parents are about ready to rip my head off. Finally we resume.

After 5 innings we're passed our time limit, the sun is down and we don't have any lights at the field. I go to the VHC to explain the situation and that we're done. He is absolutely IRATE, screaming how I'm screwing over his team and calling the game "30 seconds" after the cutoff (more or less a few minutes). I tell him there's nothing I can do (I have rules to follow) to which, the SAME coach who asked me earlier in the inning to go by the books definition of the time limit, goes ballistic again, to which I tossed him.

Following that Mr. Vice President decides he needs to talk to me. He goes on about how the board'll be having a conversation on "rule interpretations", after which he's done talking and I left the field.

What gets me about this one isn't the fact I tossed both coaches, it's the fact that this VP had the balls to try and override my control over what occurred on the field.

Pretty sure I've got it all out, I'm going to go grab a cold one now.

Know what's tragic and sad? Lost in this hurricane of crap (and I'm not minimizing @BlueClue at all) are the 20-or-so 11 and 12 year olds who... well... you know what, all of you adults?... just want to play baseball with their friends!!! 

I don't care if you're one of the six assistant coaches on that Little League team, or if you're the President of the entire freakin' league. Your only purpose in this proceeding is to facilitate the kids' participation. You turn the key on the gate, you flip on the lights, you drop them off at the dugout, you make sure they wear a helmet, you put band-aids on their scrapes, and you take them out for ice cream afterwards.

That's it. 

If you have a calling for community service, and find yourself in a position that you can give your time in one of these roles – and it just so happens that it is officiating (umpiring) these games, then God bless you, and more respect to you. As soon as it becomes anything beyond that, then you, we, all of us involved have no grounds to complain. Any time there is a pursuit of (more) money or more notoriety / prestige / recognition, we've departed from any credible claim that this is "for the kids".

Do you know what ruined Little League? ESPN. It sold everyone involved on the lie that amateur youth sports can be celebrated by proxy and in a vaccuum disassociated with money. 

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Since this has already run astray of the original subject, I'll toss in my non-baseball experience.   I spent over a decade officiating at a Saturday-night NASCAR track (think minor leagues).   One day they ask if I can officiate a go-kart (mostly kids) event hosted at my track.   Learn the only thing worse than drivers are driver's parents.   When one starts to get in my face, I calmly point out that I'm not sure what they are used to in officiating, but that we don't do that here and if he doesn't sit down, I'll have that nice police officer over there escort both him and his kid off the premises.

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