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I love this game management!


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I think this sets a great tone an hopefully prevents the kid from catching one in the ear hole next AB.... Okay now a days it would be ribs, thigh vs earhole, but still great preventative umpiring.
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You're right: no umpiring manual has a chapter on "speeding the runner who just homered on his way."  That's the nature of game management: it's built on umpire experience and knowledge of the ga

This isn't an apples to apples comparison at many levels, but it has some relevance here. A couple of weeks ago Yermin Mercedes hit a 3-0 pitch out of the park while the White Sox were already leading

i think this needs to turn into other examples of when we coach and whether the book says it is coaching in the mechanics or in the rules. not being a rules magnet, as is so obvious by my user na

I feel like I’m gonna get hammered for this opinion, but can anyone point to a book or case where we are taught to do this?

Im not usually one to take a known situation and turn it into a “what if hypothetical, but I’m going to here.

What if that hit had caromed off the wall and not gone over?  By yelling at the BR to go, he actually potentially disadvantaged the defense as perhaps the batter would have had to stay at first, or been thrown out at second.

Wouldnt that have been a better discussion after the fact? (After he crossed home)

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You're right: no umpiring manual has a chapter on "speeding the runner who just homered on his way." 

That's the nature of game management: it's built on umpire experience and knowledge of the game, including the so-called "unwritten rules" that the players love so much. One of those is, "don't showboat after a big hit."

This umpire's choice is unusual, which is why it drew attention. It won't work for everyone or in every situation (it STILL won't be in any manual, though it might make an NCAA training tape or two). 

But for this umpire, in this game, in this situation—I like it too. It's a little visual, and could have been handled with a verbal KTSO, and then we wouldn't be talking about it. But maybe visual was good: the other team probably saw it too, which maybe made it more effective by communicating both ways.

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You're right: no umpiring manual has a chapter on "speeding the runner who just homered on his way." 
That's the nature of game management: it's built on umpire experience and knowledge of the game, including the so-called "unwritten rules" that the players love so much. One of those is, "don't showboat after a big hit."
This umpire's choice is unusual, which is why it drew attention. It won't work for everyone or in every situation (it STILL won't be in any manual, though it might make an NCAA training tape or two). 
But for this umpire, in this game, in this situation—I like it too. It's a little visual, and could have been handled with a verbal KTSO, and then we wouldn't be talking about it. But maybe visual was good: the other team probably saw it too, which maybe made it more effective by communicating both ways.

Well said, Maven. Not everything can be answered by only the rules book.


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44 minutes ago, maven said:

You're right: no umpiring manual has a chapter on "speeding the runner who just homered on his way." 

That's the nature of game management: it's built on umpire experience and knowledge of the game, including the so-called "unwritten rules" that the players love so much. One of those is, "don't showboat after a big hit."

This umpire's choice is unusual, which is why it drew attention. It won't work for everyone or in every situation (it STILL won't be in any manual, though it might make an NCAA training tape or two). 

But for this umpire, in this game, in this situation—I like it too. It's a little visual, and could have been handled with a verbal KTSO, and then we wouldn't be talking about it. But maybe visual was good: the other team probably saw it too, which maybe made it more effective by communicating both ways.

I get that completely, and respect the information.

Can you address the ramifications of what might have happened if, for example, the ball hit the fence and batter barely slid in safely to second?

I guess I’m just torn on this being borderline “coaching” unless the ball was absolutely tattooed and there was no chance it wouldn’t be a home run

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18 minutes ago, SH0102 said:

I get that completely, and respect the information.

Can you address the ramifications of what might have happened if, for example, the ball hit the fence and batter barely slid in safely to second?

I guess I’m just torn on this being borderline “coaching” unless the ball was absolutely tattooed and there was no chance it wouldn’t be a home run

That ain't borderline coaching.  It's 100% good umpiring.

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17 minutes ago, umpstu said:

That ain't borderline coaching.  It's 100% good umpiring.

I guess this is why hypotheticals don't work...they just get ignored...

I am not arguing good game management...I respect Maven's knowledge tremendously and agree that it likely helped prevent an issue that otherwise may have happened.

But he did that pretty quickly after that ball was hit....what if it hit the top of the wall?  Now you have an issue where you just told the batter to run where he otherwise would have admired...and now he is further along the base paths than he would have been...

I am not arguing, just asking for clarification on would that be an issue (for assignors, evaluators, defensive HC, etc) or not if that hypothetical played out

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4 hours ago, SH0102 said:

Can you address the ramifications of what might have happened if, for example, the ball hit the fence and batter barely slid in safely to second?

At this level, nobody is going to think this umpire is coaching the player. Part of the reason: everybody knows exactly why he's telling the player to run, and it ain't to help him beat the throw at 2B.

Some amateur umpires (not at this level) are so scared of appearing to coach that their game management becomes weak. They don't intervene even when it's warranted. Of course, learning where the line is requires...yup, experience! Game management is hard.

Frankly, I think coaching and game management end up being mutually exclusive: if you're doing one, then you're not doing the other.

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4 minutes ago, maven said:

At this level, nobody is going to think this umpire is coaching the player. Part of the reason: everybody knows exactly why he's telling the player to run, and it ain't to help him beat the throw at 2B.

Some amateur umpires (not at this level) are so scared of appearing to coach that their game management becomes weak. They don't intervene even when it's warranted. Of course, learning where the line is requires...yup, experience! Game management is hard.

Frankly, I think coaching and game management end up being mutually exclusive: if you're doing one, then you're not doing the other.

Fair enough, thank you

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18 hours ago, maven said:

But maybe visual was good: the other team probably saw it too, which maybe made it more effective by communicating both ways.

This isn't an apples to apples comparison at many levels, but it has some relevance here. A couple of weeks ago Yermin Mercedes hit a 3-0 pitch out of the park while the White Sox were already leading 15-4 in the 9th inning.

Dissimilarities: Level of play MLB they know all the unwritten rules. And the play itself.

Similarities: Breaking an unwritten rule.

What happened the next night??? Mercedes got one thrown behind him.

In MLB you'd better fear reprisal, not as much in NCAA. 

But the umpire showed awareness and took control. As @maven said it was seen by both teams and set the tone that the situation had been handled. 

 

Now about it being coaching. As umpires it's not our domain at all. By us telling him to get his butt moving we're more giving him instruction towards the administration of the game, much like we might tell a batter to get in the box. If the ball had not gone out and he be called safe at second because we told him to get moving I have no problem at all and would tell an arguing coach the same thing. 

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On 6/9/2021 at 1:00 PM, SH0102 said:

I feel like I’m gonna get hammered for this opinion, but can anyone point to a book or case where we are taught to do this?

Im not usually one to take a known situation and turn it into a “what if hypothetical, but I’m going to here.

What if that hit had caromed off the wall and not gone over?  By yelling at the BR to go, he actually potentially disadvantaged the defense as perhaps the batter would have had to stay at first, or been thrown out at second.

Wouldnt that have been a better discussion after the fact? (After he crossed home)

Call it unsportsmanlike conduct if you need rulebook verbiage.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've always "enjoyed" how baseball "fans" say that the hardest thing in sports...is hitting a HR. I would argue other things are harder but, that's not the issue.

The issue is...it's apparently so hard that batters shouldn't enjoy doing "the hardest thing in sports". From an umpiring perspective, I don't care about preventative umpiring here in this case. You are darn right that if it doesn't leave the park and there's a close play, the manager is absolutely coming out on me on that. And he should. And short of magic words or actions there, I should stand there and say nothing until he turns and walks away. Please...tell me more about what precisely you are preventing THERE.

If batter wants to pimp a HR? I don't care. I really don't. Most of the games I work have a time limit, save HS and a few men's leagues games. If that's how they want to spend their game clock...fine. I suppose once the ball is adjudged a HR, I would ask him if he wouldn't mind too much moving it along. If the team in the field wants to plunk him his next time up, we have an answer for that.

By the way, I assume either this is 2-man mechanics and there were runners on so U1 was in B or C and the ball was hit in the cone or it's 3+ man mechanics right? Because if it's 2man with nobody on so U1 is in A and the ball is in the cone or down the LF line or it's 2man with runners on so U1 is in B or C and the ball is hit down either line...isn't PU supposed to be adjudicating the outcome of the batted ball and not running Johnny Law amateur hour at the plate again...on a batter who "did the hardest thing in sports"?

We do not make the game about us. We do not escalate situations. We read them and respond to them as the situation requires. This umpire went rogue. He made it about him. He was wrong.

Please tell me or show me any other time you have seen this mechanic...Does umpiring evolve? Absolutely. And no one is teaching this mechanic.

He hit a HR. It's the "hardest thing to do". Either let them enjoy it or stop telling me how hard it is to do.

~Dawg

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i think this needs to turn into other examples of when we coach and whether the book says it is coaching in the mechanics or in the rules.

not being a rules magnet, as is so obvious by my user name, i will say what i have seen in some games at all levels i have been to.

i have seen, umpires call ball 1, ball 2, ball 3 ball 4, but pretty much just say strike with no number attached. sounds like coaching on one side but not on the other to me. and i cannot find where it says to give the number anyway.

i personally think saying the number on a ball is coaching. if you just gave the count as 3-2 verbally and with your fingers and the batter is as dense as i am, and you say ball on the next pitch and the batter just stands there, anything you do would be coaching, ie repeating the call, pointing, saying take your base, anything after calling ball on the 4th ball is coaching. same thing with strike 3 and he just stands there. let them figure it out.

giving the coach the location of the pitch, either by turning you head to the side or if he asks, telling him, is coaching. if you tell them, then they can compensate, which you could say is legalized cheating. let them figure out your zone and where the pitch is by your call. you do not have to give them the location ever. if the pitch is outside/inside the zone,  its a ball/strike, plain and simple, and if they start yelling or if they get mad because you will not tell them, there is a solution to that. no i am not saying you cannot do that, just an example of coaching maybe

i have seen a player get deked at second and get injured on a slide on a hit up the middle. he is screaming in pain and the umpire calls time with the ball in the center fielders glove and 50 feet from the infield running the ball in. that is coaching because normally if you would call time at all, you would make it get back into the infield. maybe the runner comes off the bag grabbing his ankle and could have been tagged. At some point you just got to umpire.

I will let the smarter one on here comes up with more examples of where we coach, maybe some we are not aware of. and then of course we get to argue/discuss who is the one of us that gets to be declared the higher authority/grand pooh bah on what is and what isn't coaching or should or should not be declared coaching by the book with the rules or the mechanics.

i have seen more that one Scott Clines say this at a minor league game before, when i get to go, i am not saying this is a correct mechanic or rule, nor whether they got chewed out by a supervisor and been dismissed at the end of the year, who may have seen that. i do know Scott Cline worked in the minor leagues, (and just because he did, that does not make him the be all end all in umpiring life) and at least at that level, i am pretty sure you do not want a fight to break out, even though there are ejection ways to handle it when it does happen. you also don't want to send that animosity, i would imagine, amateur or pro, to the next crew that has the two teams the next time they play and they decide to settle the issue at that time, or if they do not see each other, spring training or a game the following year. there is a lot of money, (think scholarships here as well as pros) involved in those phenom draft choices when it comes to how they get injured, even though that may be none of our business by rule or mechanic.

 

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On 6/25/2021 at 10:12 PM, SeeingEyeDog said:

Most of the games I work have a time limit, save HS and a few men's leagues games.

Which likely means most of the games won't have the other teams taking this as taunting, or yelling at the batter, or throwing a pitch at the next batter leading to a brawl, or ...

 

Game management is important at all levels.  The specifics of what works is very different.

 

And, I think it's likely that this game had more than two umpires.

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On 6/9/2021 at 2:27 PM, umpstu said:

That ain't borderline coaching.  It's 100% good umpiring.

My last two NCAA plates last year (took the year off this year for mainly positive reasons) had three things in common, lots of jockeying, lots of EJs, and lots of me yelling at dudes to get up the blank, blank, blank line.  Get up their a$$ and follow em to first if you have to.  Tell your guys on the wings to be ready for that. It saves fights, more jockeying, and less HBP.  Only thing your gonna hear about "coaching" might be from some grad assistant in his first year that needs a lesson.  I do think this is one of the few things we do that skippers appreciate.  There's actually a lot of what we do that is not in the rule book.  

These principles work at lower levels too, I think the worst misconception about umpiring is that the higher the level the higher the redassness needed to navigate a game.  I've found the opposite to be true.  Pull it out when you need to 🙃 The former pro guys I work with run a tight ship, but are always professional and chill until they can't be anymore. 

As for coaching, an older an wiser man told me once, "if you're worried about it, keep your mouth shut."  

If you do something that can be construed as coaching but were told to by your super, group leader, or at a camp, there is a reason and they will have your back.  If you have nothing to say, fall back on safety.  

 

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