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call at 1st from position A


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No runners on, I was in position A.  I don't remember how many outs there were but it's irrelevant.  The batter hit a hard grounder past the first baseman.  I knew it was going to get past him, so I ran infield and did my pivot, planning to make the call at 1st from near the cutout.  This is how my association teaches it; it may be different where you are.  In my peripheral vision, I see the right fielder charging in HARD and FAST to field the ball.  He made the play much faster than I anticipated, and the throw hit the 1st baseman's glove while I was still moving.  Bad on me, I know.  

The throw beat the runner clearly; there was no doubt.  I made sure to come to a complete stop and get set before signaling my call, thinking maybe no one would notice I had still been moving when the critical action happened.  No one argued or chirped -- what worked in my favor was that it wasn't a very close play.  

It just happened much faster than I expected, but even if I had anticipated the right fielder's speed, I still could not have gotten into position on time.  So even though the position I moved to is what my association teaches, I'm wondering if maybe I should have moved the other direction farther into foul territory and made the call from there.  What do you suggest?

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I had the exact opposite last weekend ... I saw it coming and moved to a "reverse 45" for that very play and the RF airmailed one that had me looking like a greyhound after a rabbit.  Chased the kid a

When you are pushed by F3 or F4, you should go to foul territory (but you need to watch for BR peeling off toward foul ground after the bag).   That said, too many newer umpires try this and

Ha!  It's SOP in all HS and college two-man games I did -- if BU gets pushed foul, PU takes the runner to second and BU follows the ball to rule on any out of play situation.   I've used thi

I had the exact opposite last weekend ... I saw it coming and moved to a "reverse 45" for that very play and the RF airmailed one that had me looking like a greyhound after a rabbit.  Chased the kid all the way to third base.

A grandma stopped me in the parking lot after the game and told me how impressed she was that I ran that kid down!  Being a little older and built like a bowling ball, I took that for a compliment.

 

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9 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

I had the exact opposite last weekend ... I saw it coming and moved to a "reverse 45" for that very play and the RF airmailed one that had me looking like a greyhound after a rabbit.  Chased the kid all the way to third base.

A grandma stopped me in the parking lot after the game and told me how impressed she was that I ran that kid down!  Being a little older and built like a bowling ball, I took that for a compliment.

 

That's no different than BU getting pushed foul on a ball to F4 -- PU should then take the BR to second.

 

On the OP -- it's more important to get to A spot and stopped than to get all the way to THE spot (cutout) here -- if the ball is overthrown, you'll still have time to move out of the way to take the BR to second.  IOW, get the best spot possible; don't worry about getting to the best possible spot.

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On 5/28/2021 at 10:26 PM, mac266 said:

What do you suggest?

This is a tough one for all of us I think--fortunately it happens rarely.  I agree with @noumperehere.  I try to get a 'feel' for where everyone is moving and get set in a place they are not AND where any potential over throw does not put me in a bad place. Our association tells us to get where we can make the call.

I like to get past 1st near the coaches box (obviously in foul territory) as it is only a few steps from A.  This way I can see everything--never have back turned to play trying to 'get into position'. I'm also completely out of the way on any throws. Finally, I will head to the back of the mound on any over throws so I cut the distance of chasing the runner and I can call second/third as needed.

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I had a tweener this past weekend if I might pile on.  A hard grounder to 1B playing 10-15 feet in back and to the right of the bag that ate him up.  He scrambled for it towards the foul line and I stopped just in fair territory 10 ft behind the bag.  He ends up lunging to the bag as the runner arrived and his body blocked me from seeing his glove on the bag.  Made the best call I could, couldn't get help from PU obviously.   I don't know why I thought stopping would get me a good view, I should have kept going in as usual and I would have seen it no problem.

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35 minutes ago, agdz59 said:

I had a tweener this past weekend if I might pile on.  A hard grounder to 1B playing 10-15 feet in back and to the right of the bag that ate him up.  He scrambled for it towards the foul line and I stopped just in fair territory 10 ft behind the bag.  He ends up lunging to the bag as the runner arrived and his body blocked me from seeing his glove on the bag.  Made the best call I could, couldn't get help from PU obviously.   I don't know why I thought stopping would get me a good view, I should have kept going in as usual and I would have seen it no problem.

When you are pushed by F3 or F4, you should go to foul territory (but you need to watch for BR peeling off toward foul ground after the bag).

 

That said, too many newer umpires try this and like it so much they begin to do it when it's not needed.  It's a fairly rare occurrence that you need to do so.

 

While your angle was wrong, you were right to be stopped to see this -- you don't want to be moving (and certainly not running) to see the play

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One of the things I'm working on again this year is taking a longer read step with balls hit to right field while I'm in A. There's actually lots of time to read the quality of the hit, as well as the right fielder. I used to just come charging in pretty quickly, or making the decision to come in or go out too quickly (probably still do that too quickly too often--I'm a work in progress :-). An old timer once told me to "count" my steps to slow down, and once I figured out what he meant, that helped. I've had this exact play you describe, and it's always nerve racking if I just come charging in and pivot--possible throw from F-9 coming from behind me that I can't see--situation fairly common in youth ball games, much less common when F-9 playing deeper. For me, my past mistake in this situation was that I didn't take the time to properly read the hit and the fielders before deciding to bust in.

If I pivot on my right foot and put my left foot also on the foul line facing the field and "Stop", it's amazing how much I'll see (trouble, routine, being pressured/being pushed as others above refer to it), and it's also amazing how much time I actually have to do that. If I read a short bounding ball to F-9 and he's charging in, I'll know there's a reasonable chance of a throw to 1st, and a very low chance of a double (BR only going to second if there's an overthrow--in which case there's plenty of time to get to the working area or even into the cutout at 2nd). So, from A, I run towards the 1st base dugout to get the best angle and distance in foul territory that the play allows for a throw to 1st--but not so foul that I can't get to 2nd. If I do that, the call is easy peezy. BR is not going anywhere--the anticipated "play" will be at 1st or there won't be one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Since I also do softball this is a common play since F9 plays shallow.

‘If I sense that F9 is trying to make a play I don’t break in from the A.

I turn, face F9 and turn with the play to 1B—if any.

If something happens that causes the B/R to go to second I don’t chase but rely on the PU to take him to extra bases.

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16 hours ago, MT73 said:

If something happens that causes the B/R to go to second I don’t chase but rely on the PU to take him to extra bases.

And this is where you as BU catch grief from your PU partners, because there are some guys who either feel so upset and burdened about having to do “your (BU) job”, or are so immobile that it’d take a seismic charge to uproot them from the plate. 

I’m not talking the older, or physically limited guys – I can work around and accommodate them. I’m talking the guys that “punch the time card” on PU, and think that their entire role as PU is to call Bs & Ks, and _all_ Fair/Fouls (I’m on the lines, ain’t I?), and that’s pretty much it… and oh, now I have a TD who wants me to keep a scorecard, too?! The nerve!!

CDP has taught this particular “ad-hoc rotation” (I’ll concede, it ain’t remotely standard) for years, because of the F4s range and the propensity of F9s to come up throwing… and every year, without fail, there are umpires who scoff at it, and dismiss it as some hokey, kooky rotation that they’ll never be a part of, and not how Big Boy Ball does it. 

Invariably, they’re the first to nearly get a lobotomy from stepping in on a sharp liner to F9, or once the ball is caroming down to the plate from an overthrow, they freeze, with a spooked look on their face like a deer surrounded by wolves. 

I suppose the thing to do is pre-game it. But, most of you know my sentiments about that. 🤨

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6 minutes ago, MadMax said:

 and not how Big Boy Ball does it. 

 

Ha!  It's SOP in all HS and college two-man games I did -- if BU gets pushed foul, PU takes the runner to second and BU follows the ball to rule on any out of play situation.

 

I've used this analogy before -- it's like taking one of those old-fashioned Arthur Murray dance classes.  They can put all the exact footsteps on the floor / diagram, but sometimes you just have to read your partner.

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