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Proper mechanic for PU on uncaught 3rd strike


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On 7/31/2021 at 7:54 PM, Biscuit said:

The way it's taught at pro school is to 

1) point to the right, snapping the hand from chest in a sideways motion (almost like a half safe) 

2) Verbalize "no catch"

3) Take a step or two to your right, so you can see a potential quick tag by the catcher. 

4) If the runner gets out of the immediate vicinity of the catcher (approximately the dirt circle, if you have one), step back to and straddle the line, while giving a safe mechanic.

I’m with you on everything except this, @Biscuit. And since you and I have worked in the same arena, with the same characters, I’m hoping you can at least see the real-world, practical advantage of not saying anything on a U3K (beyond, potentially, “Yes he did (swing)!”) 

Like my fellow Vulture, @Mr Ump , I use the same school-prescribed mechanics, but I consciously lack the vocal / audible call. Instead, I employ the vocal call of “caught!” if/when I have a potentially uncaught 3K actually verified as a catch. And, I consistently notify catchers in how I work when it comes to U3Ks, and to a man, each understands it, operates throughout the game without confusion as to whether they have a catch or not, and favors this method. 

Yes, I do ask them which method they favor. This one wins every time. 

Why? Think this out – if, during the flurry of a pitch low, and trying to snare it or block it, and keeping clear of the batter (and/or his swing), and wondering whether or not he did swing, are you, as a catcher, really going to listen for and hear “No Catch!”? No, not really. Thus, if the absence of a vocal call – silence – equates to “Hey, I have to tag or throw out this guy”, then the catcher can better react and attempt or complete the out instead of squabbling with you (the umpire) over whether or not he caught it. 

Besides, we have to go through several qualification steps to verify a catch otherwise, do we not? We need to see the ball enter the glove (or mitt), and we need to see control, and voluntary release. So why the opposite here at the plate on a pitch? Why are we jumping all over a no-catch so eagerly? Why not just have it that if we don’t say anything, then the catcher can correctly deduce that he didn’t actually have a catch, or that we didn’t see it as one? Either way, he’s not at a disadvantage on getting the BR out. 

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20 hours ago, MadMax said:

I’m with you on everything except this, @Biscuit. And since you and I have worked in the same arena, with the same characters, I’m hoping you can at least see the real-world, practical advantage of not saying anything on a U3K (beyond, potentially, “Yes he did (swing)!”) 

Like my fellow Vulture, @Mr Ump , I use the same school-prescribed mechanics, but I consciously lack the vocal / audible call. Instead, I employ the vocal call of “caught!” if/when I have a potentially uncaught 3K actually verified as a catch. And, I consistently notify catchers in how I work when it comes to U3Ks, and to a man, each understands it, operates throughout the game without confusion as to whether they have a catch or not, and favors this method. 

Yes, I do ask them which method they favor. This one wins every time. 

Why? Think this out – if, during the flurry of a pitch low, and trying to snare it or block it, and keeping clear of the batter (and/or his swing), and wondering whether or not he did swing, are you, as a catcher, really going to listen for and hear “No Catch!”? No, not really. Thus, if the absence of a vocal call – silence – equates to “Hey, I have to tag or throw out this guy”, then the catcher can better react and attempt or complete the out instead of squabbling with you (the umpire) over whether or not he caught it. 

Besides, we have to go through several qualification steps to verify a catch otherwise, do we not? We need to see the ball enter the glove (or mitt), and we need to see control, and voluntary release. So why the opposite here at the plate on a pitch? Why are we jumping all over a no-catch so eagerly? Why not just have it that if we don’t say anything, then the catcher can correctly deduce that he didn’t actually have a catch, or that we didn’t see it as one? Either way, he’s not at a disadvantage on getting the BR out. 

This also follows (loosely) the logic of NOT SAYING 'fair' ...and only saying FOUL.   If you don't hear anything - PLAY!  Same goes for @MadMax's explanation above

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I was a "No catch!" proponent until this year when I had a minor kerfuffle on a D3K. 

@MadMaxoffered the same advice then as now. Every game, with every catcher, I now let them know what to expect. Whether it was college, high school, or rec, every F2, save one, thanked me for letting them know. Most said they have never had a PU ever discuss the D3K with them and that they appreciated the heads up on it.

If that's what an evaluator has for me, I will consider that I had a very good game calling balls and strikes.

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