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tossed a coach in a 10U travel game


mac266

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Triple Crown tournament in Omaha this past weekend.  Here is a copy-and-paste of my ejection report, with some personally identifying information removed.

 
 
I was the base umpire and [my 14 year-old kid] was the plate umpire.  The coach had been yelling throughout the game at the plate umpire regarding balls and strikes, who had warned him several times, "We're not going to argue balls and strikes."  PU's strike zone was slightly expanded, as is common for the age group, and consistent throughout the game.  The head coach was near his dugout on the first base line, and therefore could not see if a pitch was inside, outside, or over the plate; all he could see was height. 
 
In the bottom on the third inning, when his team was pitching, there was a runner on 1st.  I was in Position B and could see the strike zone with only a slight offset angle.  The pitcher delivered a pitch that was approximately 18 inches outside, so much that the catcher had to dive to his side to make the catch.  Caleb called a ball, and the [team] head coach began jumping up and down and yelling at the plate umpire, "YOU'VE BEEN CALLING THAT A STRIKE ALL GAME!!!"  PU's slightly expanded strike zone never included anything that far outside.  The coach then started charging down the baseline towards the plate umpire while screaming at him. 
 
Charging towards an umpire is grounds for an immediate ejection, as is arguing balls and strikes.  However, in an attempt to avoid the ejection I interrupted him from Position B, "Coach, it was this far [while holding my hands up approximately 18 inches apart] outside."
 
The coach jumped into the air and spun towards me, yelling, "I'M NOT TALKING TO YOU!!!'  In my judgement, this was the third reason he should have been ejected. 
 
I made the ejection mechanic and said, "You're gone," while remaining stationary in Position B.  [Note to my fellow umpires:  Yes, this was the PU's argument but he was a 14 year-old kid being bullied by a fully grown adult, so I intervened]
 
The coach stormed out towards me and began arguing the ball / strike call again.  I told him, "Coach, you have to leave" while standing with both hands behind my back as I was trained.  He then asked me, "Is that how they do it in Colorado?"  I replied, "Yes, sir.  Now you have 30 seconds to leave before I end the game."  He stormed towards his dugout, but stopped, changed direction, and charged toward PU again.  He came to within a few feet of him and yelled, "I WAS NICE TO YOU YESTERDAY, BUT THIS IS F*#KING BULLSH*#!!!" 
 
He finally left.  However, several innings later, PU approached me and clarified that an ejected player or coach must leave the immediate vicinity of the field, which I confirmed.  He then told me the ejected coach was hanging out in the crowd on the first base side.  I looked and saw him standing there, giving instructions to other coaches through the fence.  Remaining in the field and speaking to him through the fence, I told him, "Coach, when you've been ejected, you have to leave the facility.  You have to at least go to the parking lot."  He replied, "You mean I have to leave?" to which I said, "Yes, sir.  Please go now before this gets any worse."  Without saying another word, he walked away and I did not see him for the remainder of the game. 
 
Side note:  Triple Crown does not suspend coaches after an ejection, so they show up the next game acting the same way.  When we went to get our paychecks, the staff was talking about the guy.  Apparently the following day his behavior was the same, and he was flipping the bird to the opposing team OF TEN YEAR-OLDS!!!!  For the life of me, I can't understand why the umpires didn't heave him over that.  
 
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Is there a ? Here?  Should have let Caleb handle it.  

Report :  The HC of ___________ , ____ ______, was ejected for violation of rule __.__ , (arguing balls n strikes) 

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@mac266, good ejection here...no doubt about that.

I don't know the culture of your association nor what if anything you may have been told pre-tournament by the tournament director and or your assignor(s) about writing ejection reports nor your overall umpire experience.

And nobody asked me but...

Trim down your ejection report. Think Joe Friday from "Dragnet"...just the facts, ma'am...err, sir.

Think about the first paragraph of any top world newspaper...who, what, when, where, how and why...the facts.

This has taken me many years to sharpen and I am still far from perfect but, I have noticed that anytime I speculate or write something that is not based in fact...THAT is precisely what my leadership who review the ejection report want to talk about!

Keep it short...if people have more questions about the ejection, I'm sure they have your phone number. They'll call and ask you if they have anything further. Keep those answers short, too.

~Dawg

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56 minutes ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

@mac266, good ejection here...no doubt about that.

I don't know the culture of your association nor what if anything you may have been told pre-tournament by the tournament director and or your assignor(s) about writing ejection reports nor your overall umpire experience.

And nobody asked me but...

Trim down your ejection report. Think Joe Friday from "Dragnet"...just the facts, ma'am...err, sir.

Think about the first paragraph of any top world newspaper...who, what, when, where, how and why...the facts.

This has taken me many years to sharpen and I am still far from perfect but, I have noticed that anytime I speculate or write something that is not based in fact...THAT is precisely what my leadership who review the ejection report want to talk about!

Keep it short...if people have more questions about the ejection, I'm sure they have your phone number. They'll call and ask you if they have anything further. Keep those answers short, too.

~Dawg

Don't forget I'm a retired cop...this would have been 30 pages for a police report, so it is the trimmed down version :)

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1 hour ago, Tborze said:

Is there a ? Here?  Should have let Caleb handle it.  

Report :  The HC of ___________ , ____ ______, was ejected for violation of rule __.__ , (arguing balls n strikes) 

In most cases, absolutely.  In this case, absolutely not.  The out-of-control coach was physically intimidating a 14 year-old kid.  There's no way I'm following traditional protocol on that; I'm intervening.

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2 hours ago, mac266 said:

The coach had been yelling throughout the game at the plate umpire regarding balls and strikes

Issues 1 & 2: don't allow yelling. And don't allow complaints about ball/strike calls.

2 hours ago, mac266 said:

who had warned him several times, "We're not going to argue balls and strikes."

Issue 3: one warning, preferably to include "this will be your only warning." Then eject.

2 hours ago, mac266 said:

The coach then started charging down the baseline towards the plate umpire while screaming at him. 

Issue 4: you say grounds for immediate ejection. There's no "but." This miserable son of a bitch has already been around too long, making the crew miserable.

2 hours ago, mac266 said:

Remaining in the field and speaking to him through the fence, I told him, "Coach, when you've been ejected, you have to leave the facility.  You have to at least go to the parking lot."

Issue 5: we have no jurisdiction beyond the fence. Stop the game, tell the acting HC of the team that the game cannot continue until the ejected coach leaves the visual confines of the field (he can't see us, we can't see him). Actually, the game should not have been restarted until he was out of view.

Issue 6: this report is several hundred words too long.

Here's what should have happened and how to report it.

Quote

Coach X began arguing balls and strikes in the first inning. PU warned him, and he became belligerent and continued yelling. At that point BU ejected him for his persistent failure to comply.

That's all you need. How much better would your game have been if it had happened like that?

You've done enough games to recognize these jack wagons: why should we have to "try to keep them in the game?" I don't know about your area, but they don't pay me nearly enough to take that shîte.

I am quite clear that they will get exactly one warning, and then the must disappear. I strongly recommend that approach, especially for newer umpires, who tend to give multiple warnings that thereby mean nothing.

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"Issue 5: we have no jurisdiction beyond the fence. Stop the game, tell the acting HC of the team that the game cannot continue until the ejected coach leaves the visual confines of the field (he can't see us, we can't see him). Actually, the game should not have been restarted until he was out of view."

@maven, you either need to warn us...or start handing out sunglasses to those of us who read your content. God in Heaven...the absolute and utter brilliance here...I'm going to be blind for days from this.

~Dawg

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1 hour ago, maven said:

You've done enough games to recognize these jack wagons: why should we have to "try to keep them in the game?" I don't know about your area, but they don't pay me nearly enough to take that shîte.

This was a travel tournament under Triple Crown.  They have signs up indicating "we will not tolerate the abuse of our umpires, staff..." etc., but they do NOT enforce it.  It is a for-profit business, and they cater to the coaches to get them to keep paying those huge entry fees.  They supported me on the ejection, but he was right back on the field for the next game, flipping the bird to the other team (yes, I would have heaved him had I been an umpire for that game).

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38 minutes ago, mac266 said:

This was a travel tournament under Triple Crown.  They have signs up indicating "we will not tolerate the abuse of our umpires, staff..." etc., but they do NOT enforce it.  It is a for-profit business, and they cater to the coaches to get them to keep paying those huge entry fees.  They supported me on the ejection, but he was right back on the field for the next game, flipping the bird to the other team (yes, I would have heaved him had I been an umpire for that game).

I get it. But I don't have to put up with him. And I have no control over what other umpires tolerate (though I never understand it).

I've heard of TD's who "overturn" ejections. I wouldn't work an inning for such a person.

I'm sure there are areas of the country where there's so little baseball and some TD's have so much power that an umpire's choices are constrained: either work for that guy or don't work baseball. Given the scarcity of umpires, I think the power is on our side. But if not, I hear soccer refs make good money too.

There's always an alternative.

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1 hour ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

"Issue 5: we have no jurisdiction beyond the fence. Stop the game, tell the acting HC of the team that the game cannot continue until the ejected coach leaves the visual confines of the field (he can't see us, we can't see him). Actually, the game should not have been restarted until he was out of view."

@maven, you either need to warn us...or start handing out sunglasses to those of us who read your content. God in Heaven...the absolute and utter brilliance here...I'm going to be blind for days from this.

~Dawg

I'm grateful for the props, but this is pretty standard. And if I can get someone else to deal with a problem, that's generally a better solution. I sic coaches on problem parents, too.

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6 hours ago, mac266 said:

In most cases, absolutely.  In this case, absolutely not.  The out-of-control coach was physically intimidating a 14 year-old kid.  There's no way I'm following traditional protocol on that; I'm intervening.

This doesn't surprise me, coming from a cop!:FIRE:

Yeh, yeh...

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On 6/22/2021 at 12:41 PM, mac266 said:

Don't forget I'm a retired cop...this would have been 30 pages for a police report, so it is the trimmed down version :)

I'm a 20 correctional officer and I was thinking your report was short and sweet... Guess we went to the same report writing training. 

 

Who, what, when, where, and why. BY, who what when where and why.  FOR, who what when where and why. CONSEQUENCES, for who what when where and why. And finally, CHARGES, for who what when where and why. Then add any details you think may be factors in the decision. 

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@mac266 I live in Omaha but I don't do Triple Crown games because they're during the day...plenty of games to do at night, plus I still volunteer coach.
The biggest difference between TripleCrown and travel ball around here is that we use OBR/USSSA ruleset while TripleCrown uses Federation so in some cases it can be confusing between the 2.

Just curious...was the team complaining from Omaha or not? 
I've done a lot of youth travel ball games of teams around the Omaha metro over the years...I have yet to see a coach act like this.
HOWEVER...I do hear stories of coaches from both travel/rec teams who treat teenage umpires poorly...even in meaningless friendly week night games.

Anyways...not sure if you're from Omaha or just coming in to town to help out.
We are extremely short on umpires in this area and a tournament had to cancel their 9u and 10u tournament games due to a shortage of umpires.

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On 6/22/2021 at 3:40 PM, maven said:

And I have no control over what other umpires tolerate (though I never understand it).

Through the years I've worked with several umpires who simply don't eject anyone. The #1 "reason" I've heard is that if there is no ejection, there is no paperwork (digital or analog), there is no late night phone call from league leadership asking a million questions about could anything have been done differently by the crew to avoid an ejection so, why accept more work from a game for the same pay?

That, of course, holds zero water with me and may not contribute to your understanding it...it's just what I have been told when asked why there was no ejection.

~Dawg

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On 6/24/2021 at 6:53 AM, mark38090 said:

I'm a 20 correctional officer and I was thinking your report was short and sweet... Guess we went to the same report writing training. 

 

Who, what, when, where, and why. BY, who what when where and why.  FOR, who what when where and why. CONSEQUENCES, for who what when where and why. And finally, CHARGES, for who what when where and why. Then add any details you think may be factors in the decision. 

That's redundant, and the "why" is pointless.

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5 hours ago, mark38090 said:

But it's what the lawyers want, that's all they care about. 

No, they don't. It's not probative and it can only impeach you. Maybe, just like in umpiring, someone with some power decided that this is the way to go contrary to the law (rules,) and has been passing down bad practice for generations.

Not that I had to write the same types of reports for years or anything...

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On 6/25/2021 at 1:25 PM, BLarson said:

@mac266 I live in Omaha but I don't do Triple Crown games because they're during the day...plenty of games to do at night, plus I still volunteer coach.
The biggest difference between TripleCrown and travel ball around here is that we use OBR/USSSA ruleset while TripleCrown uses Federation so in some cases it can be confusing between the 2.

Just curious...was the team complaining from Omaha or not? 
I've done a lot of youth travel ball games of teams around the Omaha metro over the years...I have yet to see a coach act like this.
HOWEVER...I do hear stories of coaches from both travel/rec teams who treat teenage umpires poorly...even in meaningless friendly week night games.

Anyways...not sure if you're from Omaha or just coming in to town to help out.
We are extremely short on umpires in this area and a tournament had to cancel their 9u and 10u tournament games due to a shortage of umpires.

1- They were from Dallas.

2- I'm not from Omaha; my son and I drove there to help out.

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21 hours ago, mark38090 said:

But it's what the lawyers want, that's all they care about. 

No...juries want it.  They like to hear a story and understand "why" someone did something in order to convict.   They want to know why a witness said or did something.   "Why" is otherwise irrelevant in virtually all aspects of the law, administrative or otherwise, unless you start dealing with hate crimes.    

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3 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

No...juries want it.  They like to hear a story and understand "why" someone did something in order to convict.   They want to know why a witness said or did something.   "Why" is otherwise irrelevant in virtually all aspects of the law, administrative or otherwise, unless you start dealing with hate crimes.    

And nothing in a report is admissible to that end (hence my comment about probative value) unless it is an observable fact (e.g. an excited utterance by the perpetrator.)

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  • 3 weeks later...

My last triple crown game ever, in Longmont many moons ago, went like this: ball down the line, I point fair, catcher turns, points at me, yells, "that's bullSH*# blue." I jack him, coach comes out respectfully. Goes back without a peep.  I think, "hey, that was smooth, life goes on, next brother doesn't have to deal with this turd." Triple crown used the fed 1 game suspension rule at the time.  At least the tournaments we did.

What happened after is burned in my mind forever.  We walk off, I tell the tournament director (snake), who watched it all.  He replies, "the kid said he was sorry, we're gonna let him keep playing the next game." Slapped my unfinished card on the table,eat and never looked back.  No more Steamboat, no Park City, nothing.  Mavens right here.  Its all about the money.  Your just an expendable warm body that gives a little street cred to their operation. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm curious about the 'keep your hands behind your back' part of this. Why are you trained to do that? 

If a coach is in my face, I'm keeping my hands up and available. I won't push him but if he swings I can defend myself. 

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