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Messed up the count


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I announced count of 3-1 before the pitch. The defensive coach asked me "isnt it 2-2?" I said "No, it is 3-1" and put fingers up to indicate 3-1. Next pitch comes in and is a called strike. At that point, I realized that the coach actually was correct and the count was 2-2 before the pitch. I went and checked with my partner and he said he has three strikes and the batter out. I called the batter out and dealt with an understanbly upset batter and offensive coach. 

Please ignore the obvious error that I didnt check with my partner when I was originally questioned. I know that was the biggest screwup. As it played out, did I do the right thing by saying the batter was out?

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Guest Guest, you still haven’t told us what rule set was used for your game. I’m guessing from your second post that it was, indeed, a FED game. So here are a couple of case plays I found dealing with

Under high school rules both teams are responsible to know the count and the number of outs. From the 2016 BRD (section 548, p. 359): FED Official Interpretation:  Rumble:  An umpire who becomes

Heavily recommended by whom? If it was 2-1 and is now 3-1, I would announce the count -- the next pitch can result in a change in status.  I'd also give it on 0-2.

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51 minutes ago, Guest Guest said:

I announced count of 3-1 before the pitch. The defensive coach asked me "isnt it 2-2?" I said "No, it is 3-1" and put fingers up to indicate 3-1. Next pitch comes in and is a called strike. At that point, I realized that the coach actually was correct and the count was 2-2 before the pitch. I went and checked with my partner and he said he has three strikes and the batter out. I called the batter out and dealt with an understanbly upset batter and offensive coach. 

Please ignore the obvious error that I didnt check with my partner when I was originally questioned. I know that was the biggest screwup. As it played out, did I do the right thing by saying the batter was out?

You got the call correct, so yes.  

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Under high school rules both teams are responsible to know the count and the number of outs. From the 2016 BRD (section 548, p. 359):

FED Official Interpretation:  Rumble:  An umpire who becomes convinced his call was in error, until a pitch or a play, may reverse his call.

FED Official Interpretation:  Hopkins:  An umpire may not correct the ball and strike count after a pitch.

From the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 8.4, p. 125):

In a situation where the umpire crew cannot determine the correct ball-strike count, the suggested procedure is to contact the official scorer.

From the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 8.5, p. 126): If an umpire’s error such as a missed count or number of outs clearly affects the play, every attempt should be made to correct the error, if possible.

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6 hours ago, Guest Guest said:

Please ignore the obvious error that I didnt check with my partner when I was originally questioned.

Can’t ignore it. 

6 hours ago, Guest Guest said:

I announced count of 3-1 before the pitch.

Why did you announce it? What led you to believe that it was, mistakenly, 3-1? 

A heavily recommended practice is to announce only on the 3rd and 5th pitch – 3-0, 2-1, 1-2 and 3-2. Additionally, we should be announcing any time there is a change in status on the bases – a steal is attempted, a backpick is attempted (from F2, post-pitch), or a Runner is successfully picked off. This change of status includes Balks... we should give the count if/after a Balk is called. 

It needs to be pointed out, you need to keep the count straight, especially with two strikes. If you believe it to be 2-2, and it’s actually 3-1, if the next pitch: 

  1. Is a ball, then it’s awkward, but correctable; you place the Batter back in the box, say the correct current count, and go... 
  2. Is a strike, and you ring up the Batter in the most grandiose, exaggerated rip-n-punch dance you dreamed up, then have laugh it off / cower in embarrassment because it’s actually now 2 strikes; you place the Batter back in the box, demonstrate some humility, say the correct current count and go... 

But see, if you short-count on the strikes, you can’t fix that next pitch. You’ve imperiled the Batter, because maybe, or most likely, he was prompted to take that pitch under the pretense that you – Mister Man In Charge Umpire – told him and everyone else that there was only one strike! 

I know, I know, there are Rule citations that say both teams should know the count. Sorry, this isn’t an excuse. You/we must do better. 

So why not consult your partner, or the official (home, typically) scorebook, or even entertain the insight from the folks running the GameChanger for that game, or perhaps get a consensus amongst the plate trio (Batter, F2, and you PU)? Why not? Take a moment, get the count correct, strive to do better in the future, and press on. How much more of an arse do you look, now having to call the Batter Out when you yourself announced it wrong, than if you simply asked someone else to verify the count? 

Another thing I would recommend is to actually announce less. Let the game naturally ebb and flow, and work within it, instead of trying to control it and put your stamp upon it. 

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3 hours ago, MadMax said:

Can’t ignore it. 

Why did you announce it? What led you to believe that it was, mistakenly, 3-1? 

A heavily recommended practice is to announce only on the 3rd and 5th pitch – 3-0, 2-1, 1-2 and 3-2. Additionally, we should be announcing any time there is a change in status on the bases – a steal is attempted, a backpick is attempted (from F2, post-pitch), or a Runner is successfully picked off. This change of status includes Balks... we should give the count if/after a Balk is called.

Heavily recommended by whom?

If it was 2-1 and is now 3-1, I would announce the count -- the next pitch can result in a change in status.  I'd also give it on 0-2.

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27 minutes ago, noumpere said:

Heavily recommended by whom?

If it was 2-1 and is now 3-1, I would announce the count -- the next pitch can result in a change in status.  I'd also give it on 0-2.

I'd avoid giving it on 0-2 or 3-0. 

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@Senor Azul Thank you for the detailed reply. I'm a little confused because it seems like the statements contradict each other? The part about both teams being responsible for knowing the count makes it seem like the batter should be out. But then the next part says that the umpire cant correct the count after another pitch is thrown, so that makes it seem like the batter would still be hitting with a 3-2 count. 

@Madmax I agree. This was definitely the biggest error Ive made in ~900 games of umpiring and it ate at me even though it was near the end of a blowout game. 

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25 minutes ago, Guest Guest said:

@Senor Azul Thank you for the detailed reply. I'm a little confused because it seems like the statements contradict each other? The part about both teams being responsible for knowing the count makes it seem like the batter should be out. But then the next part says that the umpire cant correct the count after another pitch is thrown, so that makes it seem like the batter would still be hitting with a 3-2 count. 

@Madmax I agree. This was definitely the biggest error Ive made in ~900 games of umpiring and it ate at me even though it was near the end of a blowout game. 

@ guestguest.....MadMax isn't wrong in principle, as we improve ourselves and our craft, things like focus are always within our control, and losing the count is just that, a lack of focus even just for a minute.

What MadMax forgot to include is the fact that we are all human.  We have great days, we have bad days.  How can one umpire be phenomenal one day and miss a pitch the next?  Because we are human, like the players, like the coaches, like the fans.

If this is on ESPN in the D1 World Series, okay, you're be eating some crow for a long time, but I also watched a D1 World Series years back, and watched a spin move pickoff to 2nd, and U2 punched him out with an out signal that was beautiful, except that the ball was rolling into center field.

That guy probably was a pro school graduate, was in the minors, is at the top of his field at the D1 level, and he made a mistake and got too fast.  We all do it, even the best of the best, they just do it far less often.

So again, MadMax isn't wrong, but don't let his post make you feel small.  Learn from it and move on.

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Guest Guest, you still haven’t told us what rule set was used for your game. I’m guessing from your second post that it was, indeed, a FED game. So here are a couple of case plays I found dealing with a lost count.

2000 NFHS Baseball Rule Interpretations SITUATION 10: With R2 attempting to steal third, the left-handed B2 swings to protect R2. The plate umpire does not see the batter swing. The next pitch is a called strike, and the plate umpire announces the count as 1-1. The coach of the defensive team wants the count corrected to 0-2. RULING: Since a pitch has been taken on the disputed ball/strike call, the count is 1-1. (10-2-3i note)

2010 NFHS Baseball Rules Interpretations SITUATION 19: Bases are loaded with two outs and a 1-1 count on B6. The scoreboard has a 0-2 count. The plate umpire gives the correct count and verbally states “1-1.” B6 swings and misses the next pitch to make the count 1-2, but F2, thinking it is strike three, tosses the ball toward the mound as the infield players begin to leave the diamond. The third-base coach has his runners running and all of them cross home plate. The visiting defensive head coach protests that the runs should not score since the scoreboard was in error and it put them at a disadvantage. RULING: The umpires did not err on the play and both teams are responsible to know the count and the number of outs. The play stands and all three runs count. (10-2-3g)

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In the end, just make it right.  But yeah if there is a concern with the count stop and ask your partner to verify what you have is correct.

 

If I am alone I go to the home teams book.  It does not happen a lot but if some oddity happens and I clear my counter I cannot look at the scoreboard and go by it.

I find myself actually saying the count so the dubs behind me will change the board so I do not have to hear the batter say " hey don't I have 3 balls"   "Yes you do, don't pay attention to the board listen to me"  " 3 Balls 1 Strike"

Usually then they fix the board at that point.

But anyway. Stop and get it right,  Don't let a chance of you making a simple mistake lead to bigger issues.

 

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Guest guest: Re Senor Azul's BRD quotes being contradictory. They are not.

Note the difference between correcting the count before the next pitch versus after the next pitch. The former is correctable per Rumble; the latter not correctable per Hopkins.

 

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