Jump to content

How do you avoid being assigned a particular partner?


Recommended Posts

Greetings brothers,

     So, I have an uncomfortable situation...I have a member of the brethren that I am having trouble trusting and I don't want to be on the field with him. He never rotates to third when he's on the plate and he never goes out from A on trouble balls to RF when he's in the field. I have pre- and post- gamed these situations repeatedly over the course of 4 games since March...and no change. I am no physician but, he appears to be in full possession of his faculties.

     The shortest path would be to avoid working with him but, I'm not sure how to go about talking about this with my assignors. A comparison would be having to take the car keys and otherwise eliminate access to vehicles to someone for whom it is no longer safe for them or the public to drive. I'm also very conscious of the fact that reporting this situation to an assignor means I might be indirectly involved in having someone have their livelihood taken away. Any assistance in handling this would be most appreciated...

~Dawg 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

Greetings brothers,

     So, I have an uncomfortable situation...I have a member of the brethren that I am having trouble trusting and I don't want to be on the field with him. He never rotates to third when he's on the plate and he never goes out from A on trouble balls to RF when he's in the field. I have pre- and post- gamed these situations repeatedly over the course of 4 games since March...and no change. I am no physician but, he appears to be in full possession of his faculties.

     The shortest path would be to avoid working with him but, I'm not sure how to go about talking about this with my assignors. A comparison would be having to take the car keys and otherwise eliminate access to vehicles to someone for whom it is no longer safe for them or the public to drive. I'm also very conscious of the fact that reporting this situation to an assignor means I might be indirectly involved in having someone have their livelihood taken away. Any assistance in handling this would be most appreciated...

~Dawg 

Are your games assigned through arbiter? If so, there’s a function that allows you to block a specific person so you can’t be assigned games with them.

If not, then the best thing to do is have a polite conversation with someone…

You theoretically could tell the assignor that you wish to respectfully not be placed with ____ but in the interest of being polite and professional, wish to keep the reasons why to yourself.

Then you aren’t asking he never be assigned, that’s not your call, just not with you.
 

 Maybe where you live there is plethora of umpires and not enough games to use people, but that would be rare.  The guy will still likely be used unless he is a danger to others, maybe get demoted to younger ages or solo games if the reasons were known, but that’s it

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, SH0102 said:

Are your games assigned through arbiter? If so, there’s a function that allows you to block a specific person so you can’t be assigned games with them.

Only if the assigner enables that function.

Just tell your assigners that you don't want to work with the guy; if asked for a reason, either decline and ask not to be put on the spot or tell them factually and objectively. His "livelihood" is not your concern; he can still get games, just not with you. Besides, analogize it to ejections, where we say we didn't eject the coach, he ejected himself--this guy, by his lack of professionalism, blackballed himself.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm also very conscious of the fact that reporting this situation to an assignor means I might be indirectly involved in having someone have their livelihood taken away. Any assistance in handling this would be most appreciated...
~Dawg 


I understand this thought, it’s a natural human emotion. However, it’s not your responsibility to protect and support him. You are just asking not to work with him - he’s free to work any manner of games with any manner of other official. This is not on you.

The poster above me is correct, have a brief and succinct talk with your assignor. It’s professional and will work out.

I, in fact, am doing the same after a tournament this weekend. I worked a HS game back in April with this weekend guy. This weekend it was a poor performance that absolutely showed and honestly reflected poor on both of us a team. Nice fellow, friendly, just not an association I want to be working with. Especially as I had the same situations as you with rotations - including: his physical shape and age (brought up by him, not me) would leave him STANDING in A when we had can of corn fly balls to the OF. He’s just stand there and gaze. Never before had I prayed so hard for catches. He would not even come into the infield, which I would have been happy to have all catches…..at least we wouldn’t be standing there holding our peckers out. A plus is he’s in the middle to take the runner at a minimum.

You’ll be fine moving on without ever working with this guy again, and this is NOT on you to be his savior - his “livelihood” as you put, it is not your responsibility.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Arbiter does (at least did) have a feature you could block partners. I only had one assigner actually give us that ability.

Otherwise have a conversation with the assigner.

Sit back story time with uncle Warren

I had to do this once.

I had a partner that is technically pretty good but he had to insert himself into the game as much as possible. And he personified his "... ego writing checks your body cant cash."

Post games were always horrible with him, when he had issues and know it he'd always have an excuse to get out as soon after the game as possible.

If you tried to have a real discussion on anything he may have done wrong he'd get super defensive and tell you why he was right and you were wrong. 

My final game with him was a 3.5 hr 9 inning game in tremendous heat and humidity. I was the BU and it was one of those games which you hate as a BU because the game is calling itself and you're just a decoration out on the field. 

My partner was having a rough game. Both sides were all over him about his zone (which in all fairness was normally pretty tight, but seemed extra tight that day) and frequent balk calls. 

Between innings one coach came out to bring me a water bottle and asked we we can do to have us switch positions. I struggled not to laugh.

We get to the locker room and he starts with his reason why he cant do a complete post-game, so I just ask him "What do you have for me?"

He started that I gad a really bad game and I missed 5-6 calls and went on to why he thinks I missed 5-6 calls. I didn't even have 5-6 calls to make the entire game where I wasn't just stating the obvious. There was maybe 1-2 plays that actually required me to make a call which might not have been obvious, but neither were  bangers or that close.  Next he tells me I need to be echoing his balk calls better. 

I let him rant about how bad I was before he had to run off for something more important. 

But when I got home I sent my assigner a nicely worded email asking not to work with this person any more. The assignor called me back, we had a nice conversation and I never had to work for him again.

But...

I've also been the recipient of a I don't want to work with Warren any more (And the person is now a member here ;) I know this from his avatar and email address)

I was a newer umpire was assigned a little over my skills at the time, but my greatest ability was my availability. From the moment I arrived things were going wrong. Then on the field I didn't have the best day. He was apparently so irritated with me he didn't want to do a post-game and just left.

After the game, he sent a not so nicely worded email to our assignor about never wanting to work with me again. I got a phone call that night from our assigner we talked and then he actually sent me the email. I was stunned, I knew it didn't go well, but I didn't think it was that bad. But I never worked with that person again either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Umpire in Chief...Warren, thank you for sharing this. Perspective is everything and I am truly humbled.

First situation was handled professionally. (And why wouldn't it be? This is you here.)

Second situation...that's unprofessional. Part of amateur umpiring is working with partners who are working above their abilities due to their availability.

Anytime I work with a new partner whom I have never worked with, the first thing I ask them is how long they have been in the association and how long have they been umpiring. Because I have this information when I take the field, I can instantly make a connection between an inexperienced partner and his struggles.

Would I call an assignor after that game and give an assessment? Yes, absolutely! But, if you're the kind of umpire who is going to murder out an inexperienced partner to an assignor and say you don't want to work with that guy again? You should be hanged for treason against the brotherhood.

Warren, on behalf of all of us, I am very sorry that happened to you. And every user on this site owes you a debt for this website and the fact that on that day and getting that message from your assignor you went right back out, strapped up the gear and kept on umpiring. From all of us...thank you, sir and I'll work with you anytime.

~Dawg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will always work happily with any mobility issues a willing, dedicated, and reliable partner might have due to bad knees, hips, lower back, or just plain old age, or even simply being young and inexperienced. Some of my favorite partners over the years have been older veterans who I knew couldn't get up to 3rd from the plate (I just didn't go out or rimmed on trouble balls and they'd have my touch and throw back at 1st), or who I knew couldn't get to 3rd from A. I always learned a lot from those guys (they usually had the most perfect angle possible on any play--however far away they were). Can't remember any play we kicked, but I can remember getting a better work out than other games, which was always good for me. I also remember the fun, and learning what they had to share. Some eventually got new knees or a new hip!

But stress the "willing, dedicated, and reliable" part. Even inexperienced is fine. Big difference between physical limitations, and laziness or ineptitude. The latter two having no place on a ball field.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

Greetings brothers,

     So, I have an uncomfortable situation...I have a member of the brethren that I am having trouble trusting and I don't want to be on the field with him. He never rotates to third when he's on the plate and he never goes out from A on trouble balls to RF when he's in the field. I have pre- and post- gamed these situations repeatedly over the course of 4 games since March...and no change. I am no physician but, he appears to be in full possession of his faculties.

     The shortest path would be to avoid working with him but, I'm not sure how to go about talking about this with my assignors. A comparison would be having to take the car keys and otherwise eliminate access to vehicles to someone for whom it is no longer safe for them or the public to drive. I'm also very conscious of the fact that reporting this situation to an assignor means I might be indirectly involved in having someone have their livelihood taken away. Any assistance in handling this would be most appreciated...

~Dawg 

For every guy you think that about, there's someone who thinks that about you.

 

You know what he will / won't do.  Adjust the mechanics (well, be ready to adjust the mechanics to fill the hole) -- the hustle *will* be noticed and you *will* be a better umpire for working with this guy.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Umpire in Chief said:

Arbiter does (at least did) have a feature you could block partners. I only had one assigner actually give us that ability.

Otherwise have a conversation with the assigner.

Sit back story time with uncle Warren

I had to do this once.

I had a partner that is technically pretty good but he had to insert himself into the game as much as possible. And he personified his "... ego writing checks your body cant cash."

Post games were always horrible with him, when he had issues and know it he'd always have an excuse to get out as soon after the game as possible.

If you tried to have a real discussion on anything he may have done wrong he'd get super defensive and tell you why he was right and you were wrong. 

My final game with him was a 3.5 hr 9 inning game in tremendous heat and humidity. I was the BU and it was one of those games which you hate as a BU because the game is calling itself and you're just a decoration out on the field. 

My partner was having a rough game. Both sides were all over him about his zone (which in all fairness was normally pretty tight, but seemed extra tight that day) and frequent balk calls. 

Between innings one coach came out to bring me a water bottle and asked we we can do to have us switch positions. I struggled not to laugh.

We get to the locker room and he starts with his reason why he cant do a complete post-game, so I just ask him "What do you have for me?"

He started that I gad a really bad game and I missed 5-6 calls and went on to why he thinks I missed 5-6 calls. I didn't even have 5-6 calls to make the entire game where I wasn't just stating the obvious. There was maybe 1-2 plays that actually required me to make a call which might not have been obvious, but neither were  bangers or that close.  Next he tells me I need to be echoing his balk calls better. 

I let him rant about how bad I was before he had to run off for something more important. 

But when I got home I sent my assigner a nicely worded email asking not to work with this person any more. The assignor called me back, we had a nice conversation and I never had to work for him again.

But...

I've also been the recipient of a I don't want to work with Warren any more (And the person is now a member here ;) I know this from his avatar and email address)

I was a newer umpire was assigned a little over my skills at the time, but my greatest ability was my availability. From the moment I arrived things were going wrong. Then on the field I didn't have the best day. He was apparently so irritated with me he didn't want to do a post-game and just left.

After the game, he sent a not so nicely worded email to our assignor about never wanting to work with me again. I got a phone call that night from our assigner we talked and then he actually sent me the email. I was stunned, I knew it didn't go well, but I didn't think it was that bad. But I never worked with that person again either.

I didn't think my email was that harsh...

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@SeeingEyeDog No big deal at all. I wouldn't go as far to say the email was unprofessional, just a bit more harsh than necessary. Nothing was really false, Like I said I was both over my head and had a bad game... But that was like 15+ years ago.

AND it did spark a good conversation between my assignor and me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/14/2021 at 6:02 PM, Recontra said:

I will always work happily with any mobility issues a willing, dedicated, and reliable partner might have due to bad knees, hips, lower back, or just plain old age, or even simply being young and inexperienced.

Interesting you say this. Earlier this year I worked with a guy who was 77. His run was about as fast as my brisk walk. BUT he was a D1 baseball official back in the day and has probably forgotten more about umpiring than I will ever know. Despite his speed, he was always in exactly the right place to take every play. I'd work with that guy again in a heartbeat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always appreciate any feedback given to me from my partner. I also think that working above our ability will only make us better. 

I hustle my ass off when I'm on the bases, but it still floors me when I'm behind the plate and my partner, who is 15 years my senior, is always in the right spot to make a call. I'm hoping that repetition will one day get me to that point. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/14/2021 at 2:00 PM, Umpire in Chief said:

I had a partner that is technically pretty good but [snip]

But...

I've also been the recipient of a I don't want to work with Warren any more [snip]

I just want it stated for the record that I am NEITHER of those people mentioned in this post, even though Warren and I were in the same association for like seven or so years together.

(I know who the first dude is, though.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In descending order of my preferences in partners: (1) experienced, hardworking team players; (2) inexperienced, hardworking team players; (3) fairly competent, lazy team players; (4) incompetent, lazy team players; (5) partners who throw you under the bus; (6) partners who throw you under the bus and then back up.

I've only blocked two officials in my three sports, in ~40 years, both of whom are members of category (6), maybe (5) on a good day.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, ousafe said:

My partner from tonight has probably just finished up a nice "don't want to work with" note...I was, um, not good.  Sometimes this game has a way of reminding me how far I have to go.

Sh!T happens!  Admitting it is a trait I would love to have in a partner!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, ousafe said:

My partner from tonight has probably just finished up a nice "don't want to work with" note...I was, um, not good.  Sometimes this game has a way of reminding me how far I have to go.

Next play! We got you brother.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

@SeeingEyeDog I have no reason to doubt your judgment, but if your description is the worst of it ... 😁

Seriously though, have you discussed with him what he has learned from other umpires he has worked with?  I would say MOST of the guys I work with tell me not to come up to third from home, that they will cover it (not my preference, but hey).  I would also say I rarely see anybody go out on fly balls.  It might be that you are the only one who has placed these expectations on him?  Or he could be a complete Gump.

I know pre-gaming all this stuff is the preferred method, but when I am PU I basically just keep an eye on what my partner is doing and key off of it.  I work with too many different people who I don't know, and I'm not going to spend my life telling them to do it my way (whether that is the right way or not).

That said, I can think of a few guys I don't like working with, but only one that I refuse to work with.  He is from another area, so I've only encountered him three times, but two have been at a state tournament which he had NO business even attending, let alone umpiring.  Honestly, I can't even tell you what he did for me to despise him so much, but that is because I lost track a long time ago.  He is God's Greatest Gift to Umpiring and always lets me (and others) know how much he had to carry me (or them).  I'm not sure if his backpack gets in his way while he is on the field (yeah, you read that right), or if he cannot stop talking to the fans long enough to actually call a game.  Think of Chet in Weird Science.  Yeah.  You're getting it ... 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everyone has their limits of what they'll tolerate, and I respect your choice, but gotta admit - not going out in A and not rotating as PU doesn't even register on my radar of things to block people over. Either way is easily handled - I know I've either got the catches or the bases, simple enough. And in 90%+ of the cases, I would anyway. Just doesn't seem like too big of a deal to me, but again, that's just me.

I only have two guys on my pay no mind list, both for integrity/lying issues.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...