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8u HC who threw clipboard at me is still coaching in the same league, should I be pissed?


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Two weeks ago I posted a story in Ejections about the coach who threw a clipboard at me after I tossed him for arguing balls and strikes and said "We're gonna talk about this later." Which felt like a threat. Today was the first time I did a game for his team in two weeks and he was still out there managing his team in this league. Neither of us acknowledged what happened 2 weeks ago, I had mostly let it slide. I still strongly feel this guy should've been suspended for the remainder of the year if not banned from coaching in this league, I feel pissed off about that. Should I be more or less angry that the league is letting him hang around after the incident? He only griped today about me calling a strike on his batter for not being ready as my instructor told us to, and not enough for me to issue a warning as he said that my call was ridiculous considering the age group and not me. So i want to think he learned his lesson but it still annoys me that he can still coach in the league. 

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It's not your responsibility to determine how the league handles discipline once you've done your job and ejected someone. Today's game is a clean slate. But the coach's leash is short. "My call was ridiculous" is, IMO, borderline personal--he hasn't learned his lesson if he thinks these kinds of remarks are ok in 8U baseball.

However, calling strikes on an 8 y/o for not being ready is borderline officious, IMO. It's easy for an instructor to say "do this, do that," and mandate strict application of the rules, but when you're out on the field, game management is in your hands, not your instructor's. Preventive officiating is your friend.

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You probably don't have any say so in whether the coach should have been suspended. It's up to the league Board of Directors how they handle this. Unless you're on the BOD, then you really don't have any say so. Maybe attend the next BOD meeting and voice your opinion or get some answers? I'm in agreement, maybe this guy should not be coaching. Does he sit on the BOD? If you don't think he should be coaching, then you should take some steps and get involved. Not sure how this league functions.

You'll just have to decide if you still want to do games in that league.

Maybe you don't have to do games with this coach. Who does the assigning?

It's up to you if you want to do games in this league. It sounds like the BOD already took whatever action they were going to take.

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"If you don't think he should be coaching, then you should take some steps and get involved." I'm not sure this is a proper role for an umpire, regarding a specific coach and incident.--a parent, fellow coach, board member, yes, but an umpire? 

It would be appropriate, I think, to get involved to raise the broader issue of the BOD undermining umpires by failing to discipline ejected personnel.

I agree with JonnyCat that you have to decide if you want to work this coach's game, or, if you don't feel the BOD backs umpires adequately, whether you want to continue umpiring the league.

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1 hour ago, JonnyCat said:

You probably don't have any say so in whether the coach should have been suspended. It's up to the league Board of Directors how they handle this....

You'll just have to decide if you still want to do games in that league.

For better or worse, discipline following an ejection or incident is totally up to the league's staff, BOD, or whomever has that authority. While you're free to disagree with the ultimate disciplinary decision, @MulletUmpTheSecond, it's likely that there's little you can do about it short of civilly expressing your concerns (which may get little more than a canned, "Thank you for your input," response).

 

1 hour ago, LRZ said:

if you don't feel the BOD backs umpires adequately, whether you want to continue umpiring the league.

Both Jonny and LRZ are right. If you feel that the league doesn't adequately back up umpires when they have to take care of business, it's time to do some soul searching and decide if it's worth working in that league.

When I was a relatively new softball umpire, a recreational league in which I played a different sport was looking for new umpires. I considered applying until there was an incident where someone from a losing team threatened the umpire after the game. Despite having a rule that stated teams showing poor sportsmanship would be disqualified from the season-ending playoffs, the league still allowed that team to have a playoff spot. I figured if threatening an umpire wasn't poor enough sportsmanship to disqualify a team, I didn't want to find out what the threshold was and I politely declined when someone later suggested I follow through with applying for one of the umpire openings.

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The game of baseball demands that someone take charge of it, start it, administer it and end it. Logic dictates...that's the umpire's role.

@MulletUmpTheSecond, I've been reading Ron Luciano's books and although he was a bit unconventional in his umpiring, he discusses some perspective that is still true today.

There are people in this world who hold grudges and keep score on everyone they ever interact with. In baseball, there are managers who remember every umpire and every detail of every incident and there are managers who do not do this. As umpires, we can surely keep a mental or physical journal on managers but we cannot hold grudges. We cannot allow past behaviors, interactions, words or conduct to be used against a manager. We can be wary of a manager based on past experiences but we have to evaluate each moment on its own free of the past.

We have to show our assignors, our leadership, our fellow brothers and the game itself that as an umpire, I will be the better man. We all have laundry lists of managers we have seen that not only should they not be coaching children...they should not be in a position of influence or even the presence of children. We don't excuse bad behavior, we don't ignore it or otherwise disregard it. We evaluate the manager's actions and words in the moment and respond as our rules and leadership have guided us to do so.

And of course there are limits. When we start getting into physical threats, legit assault, property damage, or stuff happening outside the fence on our way walking to and from the ballpark and parking lot...that's when you have to take stock of a situation and make some significant decisions. Truly, do my assignors, my leadership and my leagues have my back? If not, work elsewhere. I don't really like the idea of telling an assignor, hey, don't slot me for so and so's games. That may be the ONLY solution in some scenarios, of course.

Should you continue to work in leagues where you have had these kinds of problems, you take the field being the best umpire you can be and don't bring baggage out there with you. Be well and keep safe, brother.

~Dawg 

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3 hours ago, LRZ said:

"If you don't think he should be coaching, then you should take some steps and get involved." I'm not sure this is a proper role for an umpire, regarding a specific coach and incident.--a parent, fellow coach, board member, yes, but an umpire? 

It would be appropriate, I think, to get involved to raise the broader issue of the BOD undermining umpires by failing to discipline ejected personnel.

To clarify, if this was perhaps a community league such as LL, Pony, or some other youth league that he may work almost exclusively, then he could join the BOD and perhaps make some changes from within. Many umpires work a local league in their community and have some ties to the organization. Perhaps their kids play(ed) there, or maybe they did. Not every umpire works for an association. I don't know what MulletUmp's situation is, I was just mentioning that as a possibility.

If he works for an association and only see's that league sparingly, then maybe joining the BOD is not the answer. Even still, if someone thinks the league needs some help and guidance, and feel strongly that there needs to be changes for the good of the program and the kids, why couldn't someone get involved? It would just be a matter of community service if one so chooses. If someone wants to see change, then be the change.

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8 hours ago, MulletUmpTheSecond said:

Two weeks ago I posted a story in Ejections about the coach who threw a clipboard at me after I tossed him for arguing balls and strikes and said "We're gonna talk about this later." Which felt like a threat. Today was the first time I did a game for his team in two weeks and he was still out there managing his team in this league. Neither of us acknowledged what happened 2 weeks ago, I had mostly let it slide. I still strongly feel this guy should've been suspended for the remainder of the year if not banned from coaching in this league, I feel pissed off about that. Should I be more or less angry that the league is letting him hang around after the incident? He only griped today about me calling a strike on his batter for not being ready as my instructor told us to, and not enough for me to issue a warning as he said that my call was ridiculous considering the age group and not me. So i want to think he learned his lesson but it still annoys me that he can still coach in the league. 

I would say this is an easy decision.

At this point, you are risking bodily harm over a game. Do not work for them. If you can't work games, that sucks...almost as much as being in a coma or dead.

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Unfortunately organizations cave too easily and don’t get rid of people that need to go. Agreed with Matt, this is an easy decision.

Does this league have other age groups you can work? Avoid where this guy is and move on.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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On 6/19/2021 at 5:26 PM, MulletUmpTheSecond said:

So i want to think he learned his lesson but it still annoys me that he can still coach in the league. 

I get that. But your job is to umpire. I will tell you that I would put up with zero from him. If you eject him enough they will keep him away from you.:huh:

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On 6/19/2021 at 5:26 PM, MulletUmpTheSecond said:

Two weeks ago I posted a story in Ejections about the coach who threw a clipboard at me after I tossed him for arguing balls and strikes and said "We're gonna talk about this later." Which felt like a threat. Today was the first time I did a game for his team in two weeks and he was still out there managing his team in this league.

Do you know he didn't already serve his suspension, or that it's not pending some board meeting that might not have happened in the two weeks, or ....

 

That would factor into my decision on whether to keep working.

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On 6/21/2021 at 2:50 PM, noumpere said:

Do you know he didn't already serve his suspension, or that it's not pending some board meeting that might not have happened in the two weeks, or ....

 

That would factor into my decision on whether to keep working.

No clue what kind of discipline they gave him but I did talk to my assigner today and he agreed with me that the coach should've been suspended for the rest of the year if not thrown out of the league altogether and will speak to the board on my behalf. 

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9 hours ago, MulletUmpTheSecond said:

on my behalf

IMO, you are taking this too personally and overstepping the umpire's role as neutral. The league's response after your ejection of the coach is beyond your authority. If the coach is an habitual offender, your assigner/association should refuse to staff his games, but that is an institutional response, not a personal one.

File a criminal complaint, if you see this as an assault on you. Under PA law, the coach's conduct might be considered harassment, terroristic threats, disorderly conduct, possibly simple assault.

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On 6/24/2021 at 6:57 AM, LRZ said:

IMO, you are taking this too personally and overstepping the umpire's role as neutral.

I'm not sure how it can be taken any other way but personally.    The attack/assault and threat were directed at him.  This isn't an ejection report about a threat at someone else.   I would expect any coach or player to respond the same way if that coach had threatened them instead of an umpire, and if I was the victim I would at least want evidence that the league investigated it...let alone what they determined.

On 6/19/2021 at 5:35 PM, LRZ said:

It's not your responsibility to determine how the league handles discipline once you've done your job and ejected someone.

It is if you were the victim of said actions.  

On 6/19/2021 at 4:26 PM, MulletUmpTheSecond said:

Should I be more or less angry that the league is letting him hang around after the incident?

I won't tell you how you should feel, but I can tell you that would be furious.   But, I have no idea how formal you made your report, and how visible you made it.  Nor how detailed or factual you were in the report.  "After I ejected the HC he threw his clipboard at me...a few minutes later he said xxxx...I took that as a threat and called the police."   If that didn't send warning bells, work a different league.  The league SHOULD have investigated the matter, and at least tried to corroborate your version of events.  If they couldn't corroborate, then they're not going to do anything.     

And you say you called the cops, so I assume you called them because he had threatened you...and then when the cops arrived you failed to tell them that he threatened you?!?!?!   You didn't help your cause.

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Edit to say this first ... shame on the league and your association for assigning you to another game involving that coach.

Speaking from a person who has seen the sport from just about every angle ... player, parent, coach, league administrator, and umpire ... 

The main problem is too many organizations feel they are over a barrel ... tournaments don't want to chase away money and local organizations are desperate for coaches.  Because of this, they don't want to chase away any warm body with a wallet. 

Umpires and umpire organizations need to start standing up to this.  As has been said here, your organization needs to address this with the league.  If the league followed its policies, not much more that can be said other than pressuring them to review their policies.  If it did not follow its policies and is not going to step in with this coach, then your organization needs to terminate its "contract."  Yeah, we all hate losing money, but we aren't paid to be somebody's emotional abuse doll.

A few years back I had an ugly game where a coach and and assistant coach both ejected themselves from the game.  The tournament rules said ejections = two games suspended after the ejection.  After we finished for the day, the TD came over and asked us what we thought of allowing them to coach the next day (their next games).  We advised him that it is his tournament, but he shouldn't even be asking us that question and we wouldn't be back the next day.  (He didn't know we weren't contracted for the next day anyway.)  We were told (by another umpire) the coaches did not coach and the team lost their first game to be eliminated.

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