Jump to content
  • 0

Answering the "Hey where was that tag blue'


Umpire942

Question

A coach thinks you missed a call.  We all know 2 man, especially with multiple runners and in far away positions at TOP.  You have to make a call, and you saw him tagged out.  Head first slide, I had him tagged in the shoulder at 3b. (where the base coach who was also right there is mad and asking)

Do we have to answer where it was , especially when its not asked nicely?   

on opposite, on the safes, does it help to say nope "he got his arm to the bag first" out loud ? (pick off)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • 0

I try to avoid all explanations if possible.  Balls, strikes, outs and safe. I feel this just opens up a door that can remain closed. If you respond to 'where was that' on a close pitch you'll hear it all game.

My response is usually "he was tagged before he reached the base" or "he reached the base before the tag".

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

When I have a banger like this, I'll sometimes indicate where I see the tag after the out call. 

With safes that aren't obvious like the throw beats the runner but the fielder tags late or misses a swipe, I'll similarly say "missed the tag!" after the safe mechanic. It doesn't always forestall a conversation but sometimes it's enough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
9 minutes ago, Umpire942 said:

A coach thinks you missed a call.  We all know 2 man, especially with multiple runners and in far away positions at TOP.  You have to make a call, and you saw him tagged out.  Head first slide, I had him tagged in the shoulder before he was hit and run at 3b. (where the base coach who was also right there is mad and asking)

Do we have to answer where it was , especially when its not asked nicely?   

on opposite, on the safes, does it help to say nope "he got his arm to the bag first" out loud ? (pick off)

I personally would never verbally specify where the tag happened when I'm making the call. If the coach/manager comes out to talk about it and asks me, I'll tell him if I know for a fact where the tag occurred. If you got blocked out or you just know the general region where he got tagged, you can stick to "he tagged him before he got to the base." 

I've found that when a coach/manager is asking where specifically the tag happened, they're just trying to get you to trip over your words. Don't stoop to their level or make something up. Just tell them the runner was tagged before he got to the base. If he continues, say something along the lines of "I'm not going to nitpick this with you. I have him out on the tag" and end the discussion there. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
23 minutes ago, Umpire942 said:

A coach thinks you missed a call.  We all know 2 man, especially with multiple runners and in far away positions at TOP.  You have to make a call, and you saw him tagged out.  Head first slide, I had him tagged in the shoulder before he was hit and run at 3b. (where the base coach who was also right there is mad and asking)

Do we have to answer where it was , especially when its not asked nicely?   

on opposite, on the safes, does it help to say nope "he got his arm to the bag first" out loud ? (pick off)

A lot of good answers here ...

3rd base coach, standing right there, asking where the tag was?  And, he's being 'dicky' about it?  "You're right there coach, you saw it too"  (not recommended, and only for a real smartass).

Safes ... no, nothing needed.  I've been known to sell a safe with:   "NO NO NO , he's in there!! (along with big repetitive SAFE signals).   On a close safe, I'll also double-safe the call ... "SAFE-SAFE!" (along w/ two back to back quick safe mechanics.

On a play at first where F3 has to go up into the air and sweep down to tag the runner going by (unique stuff only) ... you could sell the tag and out with the tag location (back of shoulder, helmet, etc) ...but it's VERY rare/seldom needed.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
5 minutes ago, Thunderheads said:

A lot of good answers here ...

3rd base coach, standing right there, asking where the tag was?  And, he's being 'dicky' about it?  "You're right there coach, you saw it too"  (not recommended, and only for a real smartass).

Safes ... no, nothing needed.  I've been known to sell a safe with:   "NO NO NO , he's in there!! (along with big repetitive SAFE signals).   On a close safe, I'll also double-safe the call ... "SAFE-SAFE!" (along w/ two back to back quick safe mechanics.

On a play at first where F3 has to go up into the air and sweep down to tag the runner going by (unique stuff only) ... you could sell the tag and out with the tag location (back of shoulder, helmet, etc) ...but it's VERY rare/seldom needed.

I will say "Safe, no tag!" if I'm 100% sure he missed the tag. 

To add onto your last point, I'll only point to the tag on plays at first or force plays. I'll never do it for steal plays or plays at the plate because the only way the runner could be out is on the tag. I won't vocalize where the tag happened, I'll just say "On the tag, he's out!" 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
3 minutes ago, Stk004 said:

 "On the tag, he's out!" 

Why add "on the tag?"  That doesn't seem to add anything, unless there's some confusion that the runner might be out because of INT or something. (and that would be rare -- and THAT's what should be verbalized, if needed.

 

To the OP -- every game, play, umpire coach, umpire-coach interaction is different -- sometimes answering the question can be good.  refusing to answer can make you seem standoffish or aloof or not willing to communicate -- all issues at all levels (and more so at higher levels).  Answering all the time can lead to the problems above.  So, just like all game management techniques -- you need to use the tool that's right for that situation in that game.  And, choosing the right tool is the art of umpiring.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
6 minutes ago, noumpere said:

Why add "on the tag?"  That doesn't seem to add anything, unless there's some confusion that the runner might be out because of INT or something. (and that would be rare -- and THAT's what should be verbalized, if needed.

I'm thinking of a swipe tag at first base or possibly tagging a runner instead of the base on a force play. Both situations where there needs to be clarity on why the runner is out. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
1 hour ago, noumpere said:

sometimes answering the question can be good.  refusing to answer can make you seem standoffish or aloof or not willing to communicate -- all issues at all levels (and more so at higher levels).  Answering all the time can lead to the problems above.  So, just like all game management techniques -- you need to use the tool that's right for that situation in that game.  And, choosing the right tool is the art of umpiring.

This is a good point.  In my initial response I'm thinking more of the coach "asking" where was the tag, basically a statement of 'you missed that one'--and usually it is just that. No different than 'where did that one miss' actually meaning 'you missed that one', which can be true from time to time. No response needed here as well.

But as you state, in the rare instance an explanation is needed, I will give one. Example: This year we had a rivalry game, very close, very tense with one kid ejected for MC.  At a crucial time in the game we had R1 and R2 double steal. R2 was CLEARLY safe at third having slid toward the outfield, only catching the base with his left hand. As the coach turned to pump up his dugout and crowd R2 (which I suspected was coming in 'too hot') continued past the bag, taking his hand off the bag, with the tag still on his leg.  I bang him.  On that one--before the restriction to the dugout--I explained to him what occurred, as it was obvious he did beat the throw/tag initially.

So yes, @noumpereis correct on this point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

It's a rhetorical question, and should be treated as such.

The coach is being a douche...he saw what he saw, and he knows what you saw.  He simply disagrees with your judgment and is showing you up...and yes, he may indeed have had a better angle and be factually right...so what.     If you don't like the shortcomings of two-man umping, pay more.    "Tag was on time" is more than enough...the fact that you called "out" should make that pretty obvious. 

If he requests "time" and, assuming he's the HC, asks what you had/offers what he had, then you can address him as you deem appropriate...yelling across the infield your opinions to each other is not appropriate...if he wants to discuss it as an adult he can take the proper steps to do so.

For me, when I come out to discuss things with an umpire, it's nothing mundane like "he got under the tag" or "he beat him by a full step"...I'm talking about whether a tag actually occurred or not, whether a foot was on the bag or not...or the ball was in the glove or not...things that might be determined by angle, or blocked vision....things that the partner may actually have better insight.   Any proactive communication should address things like that.   It's quite obvious you thought the tag beat the runner...why else would you say "out"?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

I respect that everyone’s comfort levels and opinions will vary, but this year I got to work with some very good umpires, namely guys who do D1 games and some guys who got jobs out of pro school.

When I think about their game management skills, one theme is always in common. They utilize “less is more”.  I don’t recall any of the best umpires I worked with ever doing 2-3 safe/out mechanics, they never verbalized aloud for all to hear why they made the call they made, and from my discussions with them in post game or when we got together, they use less is more with the coach too.

”I have F3 on the base, do you have any additional information? No? He’s out coach”

On bangers, your position and confidence tell 99% of the story.  

There’s no need to call safe 2-3 times, a strong safe mechanic and strong vocal of safe suffice, and everyone understands that means he beat the ball/tag.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

OP doesn't specify rule set...is crying about a tag without asking for and being granted time and coming to talk to the umpire like an adult qualify as a magic act? That's umpire judgement, frankly. If any of you are unsure about how or whether your association will back you on an ejection here? This is a good example of something to review with your senior leadership. Ideally, our associations and or our leagues have our backs...always. Technically, just yelling from the dugout asking about where a tag is? Is passive-aggressively arguing judgement with the umpire. If the manager was truly unclear about the location of the tag, asked for time, waited for time and then calmly came out and asked, "Hey Blue, where was the tag there?" I will answer him straight up and then get the game going. Anything more from the manager there is a warning for arguing judgement.

Mechanically, if I judge the tag as obvious? I make no mention of it. But, if there's something unusual about the tag...maybe the fielder comes up the line a bit and tags the runner's leg or wrist...or he slides in feet first and the tag is applied to the high, upper body or head before the runner touches the base...or, or, or...you get the picture. If it's an unusual tag, then I will take a read step or two, slow down my timing, point with my left hand where the tag happened in approximate 3D space and then give a strong hammer with the right hand and verbalize, "He's out!"

The exception here would be pickoffs by F1 or any backpicks where we are angle over distance. For example, we're not going to fully close the distance to 10-15 feet moving from C on a play at 1B. We're going to get our angle, get the steps we can then freeze...and make our call without any additional pointing to indicate where the tag was made. (Don't forget to keep moving after these calls, bouncing back, etc...in the event of additional action!)

If a force play is on and on a close play the fielder makes a tag? THEN I will verbalize, "On the tag! He's out!". Recently, I observed a senior partner on a close unforced play at the plate, slow down his timing, stare down where the tag was made and then calmly ask F2 to, "Show me the ball..." and upon being shown the ball, signaling and verbalizing the out. (Admittedly, a bit melodramatic perhaps but...he nailed the call and there was zero static about it.)

On close plays where the force is not on and the runner is safe I will verbalize something like, "Safe! He's under it!" or "Safe! He's in there!" and of course, there's everyone's favorite when the ball is dropped or otherwise not in possession of the fielder for a force out or a tag, we can signal safe and verbalize, "Safe! Ball's down! Ball's down!" or "Safe! Ball's on the ground! Ball's on the ground!" while pointing down with our left hand but, not AT the baseball. Obviously, if the ball clearly gets away from the fielder, this is unnecessary. But, if the ball's in the immediate vicinity of the fielder and maybe you have dusty field conditions, you can add a little something to those plays.

~Dawg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
1 hour ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

OP doesn't specify rule set...is crying about a tag without asking for and being granted time and coming to talk to the umpire like an adult qualify as a magic act? That's umpire judgement, frankly. If any of you are unsure about how or whether your association will back you on an ejection here? This is a good example of something to review with your senior leadership. Ideally, our associations and or our leagues have our backs...always. Technically, just yelling from the dugout asking about where a tag is? Is passive-aggressively arguing judgement with the umpire. If the manager was truly unclear about the location of the tag, asked for time, waited for time and then calmly came out and asked, "Hey Blue, where was the tag there?" I will answer him straight up and then get the game going. Anything more from the manager there is a warning for arguing judgement.

Mechanically, if I judge the tag as obvious? I make no mention of it. But, if there's something unusual about the tag...maybe the fielder comes up the line a bit and tags the runner's leg or wrist...or he slides in feet first and the tag is applied to the high, upper body or head before the runner touches the base...or, or, or...you get the picture. If it's an unusual tag, then I will take a read step or two, slow down my timing, point with my left hand where the tag happened in approximate 3D space and then give a strong hammer with the right hand and verbalize, "He's out!"

The exception here would be pickoffs by F1 or any backpicks where we are angle over distance. For example, we're not going to fully close the distance to 10-15 feet moving from C on a play at 1B. We're going to get our angle, get the steps we can then freeze...and make our call without any additional pointing to indicate where the tag was made. (Don't forget to keep moving after these calls, bouncing back, etc...in the event of additional action!)

If a force play is on and on a close play the fielder makes a tag? THEN I will verbalize, "On the tag! He's out!". Recently, I observed a senior partner on a close unforced play at the plate, slow down his timing, stare down where the tag was made and then calmly ask F2 to, "Show me the ball..." and upon being shown the ball, signaling and verbalizing the out. (Admittedly, a bit melodramatic perhaps but...he nailed the call and there was zero static about it.)

On close plays where the force is not on and the runner is safe I will verbalize something like, "Safe! He's under it!" or "Safe! He's in there!" and of course, there's everyone's favorite when the ball is dropped or otherwise not in possession of the fielder for a force out or a tag, we can signal safe and verbalize, "Safe! Ball's down! Ball's down!" or "Safe! Ball's on the ground! Ball's on the ground!" while pointing down with our left hand but, not AT the baseball. Obviously, if the ball clearly gets away from the fielder, this is unnecessary. But, if the ball's in the immediate vicinity of the fielder and maybe you have dusty field conditions, you can add a little something to those plays.

~Dawg

A few things for all to consider:

1. We don't eject for arguing judgment. We warn eject for prolonged/profane/personal/persistent. Almost every argument is about judgment--warning/ejecting for that alone is not supportable (except for certain types like ball/strike, step balks, etc.)I ha

2. Umpires need to stop asking for the ball. We have all day to make a call and you'll get the information you need eventually. Asking for the ball is asking for trouble when the fielder is catering to you instead of doing their job. Nothing is going to SH*# on your day faster than a player holding the ball up to you because you forgot there were other runners advancing.

3. No matter why a coach is asking, the answer isn't going to please them. Don't try to convince them you're correct, because that will only escalate things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
12 hours ago, SH0102 said:

There’s no need to call safe 2-3 times, a strong safe mechanic and strong vocal of safe suffice, and everyone understands that means he beat the ball/tag.

I can only assume this is referring to my comment.  This is something I do on 'some' close plays.  Not all the time, just sometimes.  And, it's not something I think about ... it just comes out! :D    Again, personal preference, YMMV.

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

  • 0
1 hour ago, Thunderheads said:

I can only assume this is referring to my comment.  This is something I do on 'some' close plays.  Not all the time, just sometimes.  And, it's not something I think about ... it just comes out! :D    Again, personal preference, YMMV.

No, your comment only alluded to it, my point was you see it all the time.  Heck, in the movie “Major League”, the HPU on movie ending, game winning, play yelled and signaled safe twice.  It happens !

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
6 hours ago, Matt said:

2. Umpires need to stop asking for the ball. We have all day to make a call and you'll get the information you need eventually. Asking for the ball is asking for trouble when the fielder is catering to you instead of doing their job. Nothing is going to SH*# on your day faster than a player holding the ball up to you because you forgot there were other runners advancing.

 

I disagree with this one.  Its not my job to make sure that the player recognizes a secondary play. If they came out of a tag and went to try to make the play, I would get my answer.

I had a 10U game as the PU.  I was way out of position for a play at 3b where the runner from second slide into a tag at 3B and I was blocked seeing if F5 held onto the ball.  After a 3 or 4 second wait to see F5 come out of the tag, I start asking to see the ball.  Meanwhile, at this time, the batter takes off for 2B and gets in there safely with no throw.

Of course the coach comes out bi*ching that I *caused* the batter to advance.  I shut that down quickly as it wasn't my fault the player wasn't taught to get out of the tag and show the ball or make the secondary play.

I understand this was 10U but older kids should know this. Its not like we are asking a beat after the tag.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
33 minutes ago, BLWizzRanger said:

I disagree with this one.  Its not my job to make sure that the player recognizes a secondary play. If they came out of a tag and went to try to make the play, I would get my answer.

I had a 10U game as the PU.  I was way out of position for a play at 3b where the runner from second slide into a tag at 3B and I was blocked seeing if F5 held onto the ball.  After a 3 or 4 second wait to see F5 come out of the tag, I start asking to see the ball.  Meanwhile, at this time, the batter takes off for 2B and gets in there safely with no throw.

Of course the coach comes out bi*ching that I *caused* the batter to advance.  I shut that down quickly as it wasn't my fault the player wasn't taught to get out of the tag and show the ball or make the secondary play.

I understand this was 10U but older kids should know this. Its not like we are asking a beat after the tag.

It's not your job to make sure a player makes a subsequent play, and it isn't their job to change what they're doing because you're impatient. There is literally nothing good that can come out of asking other than a few seconds. 

The coach had a legitimate argument. You would have had all you need to make a call at some point.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
1 hour ago, BLWizzRanger said:

I had a 10U game as the PU.  I was way out of position for a play at 3b where the runner from second slide into a tag at 3B and I was blocked seeing if F5 held onto the ball.  After a 3 or 4 second wait to see F5 come out of the tag, I start asking to see the ball.  Meanwhile, at this time, the batter takes off for 2B and gets in there safely with no throw.

Four seconds is a LONG time...you really stayed rooted in your spot waiting to see something...move a few feet left or right if you're blocked.   You said you were way out of position...don't make it worse by staying way out of position.

Once you tell that ten year old kid to "show me the ball" he is going to take that as a command...even if he wanted to throw to second he would not, because of what you demanded from him.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

<trying not to throw my partner under the bus>  We pregamed that BU had all bags.  With a play at 1B (in which the BR was safe), he doesn't get around to take the throw for a secondary action at 3B.  I am stuck at HP.  Way out of position but, I was lucky in that the tag was down at the base and I saw the runner slide into the tag.  F5 holds the tag on the runner and is looking at me, but, from my POV, the glove is behind the runner's legs and body now as he scrunches in to the bag (if that makes sense).  So moving left or right wont help, I would need to get to the bag.  Like I said, way out of position.   So, if I take the 3 or 4 seconds, probably less, to get to the bag, F5 is still holding the tag and not paying attention to the possible tertiary play at second.

I hear what both of you are saying - a little more movement would allow me to not have to verbalize - but I gave the player enough time to get out of the tag to make the next play. It doesn't excuse me for being out of position and it doesn't excuse the player for not being aware of a developing play AND it doesn't excuse the coach from not teaching his players to get out of the tag.  These last two examples have nothing to do with the ump on the field.

Comes down to either way, I am going to take a bi*ching.  If I don't ask for the ball, I will get, 'if it didn't take you so long to make a call, my player would have made the play at second.'  If I do ask for the ball, I got, "he didn't make the play because you asked for the ball."  Maybe the player learned something as to getting out of the tag and making the next play (which would include reaching for the ball in his glove).

So back to the premise of me interrupting:

"We have all day to make a call and you'll get the information you need eventually. Asking for the ball is asking for trouble when the fielder is catering to you instead of doing their job. "

If the fielder is holding the tag and staring at you to make a call and you can't because you can't confirm the fielder has the ball without asking him to show you the ball, you are damned either way.  I will verbalize to show me the ball in this instance.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
10 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

Replay in all sports has proven, as in proven, that sometimes calls are missed.  Perhaps questioning a call has validity after all.

well, that's very profound Rich :rolleyes:

but ... that's really not the OP's gist.  It's what, and how it's being done.  But, I'm sure you're aware, and you're probably someone who'd ask that question.  But, I digress ....

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

People are way over-analyzing the “ask for the ball” thing.

Sounds to me like he was saying only when the fielder is holding the glove beneath the runner for an inordinate amount of time would he say that he needs to make sure he maintained possession of the ball, and I’m okay with that.

As you go up in ages and skills, they don’t do that.  They might hold a tag in case a runner slides off the base, (and as an umpire you shouldn’t be making a call yet in case he does too!) but once the runners momentum has stopped, I’ve never seen older kids just stand there like a lump on a log and hold it if there are other runners anywhere on base.

I agree with Matt that many umpires use it as a crutch, saying it on every tag play, and maybe as a brand new umpire that’s an effective tool for ensuring slow timing, but  as you progress, it really isn’t necessary.

Maybe 5% of tag plays you might validly wonder if he still has the ball, and of those 5%, maybe 5% of those will the fielder not “show you” within a second (they have to reach for ball on ground or come up on their own accord with it)

So really, we’re talking about 1/400 tag plays you might have to prompt the fielder “hey man, show me the damn ball”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Add me to the list of those who have mostly abandoned "show me the ball" as I gained more experience.

The only time I will ask is if I absolutely cant tell (cloud of dust, glove turned away from me and on the ground, etc.) and it is the only play going on.  Otherwise, if Johnny Junior fell asleep holding a tag on a runner, you are getting my initial call and we'll adjust if the ball is on the ground.  Yes, I have had that happen and it isn't a big deal, and we fix it and keep going. 

I have had coaches try the "but he was waiting on you" card ... to which my reply is "Coach, my call here does not affect those other runners."  It's no different than a kid holding a tag on a runner in hopes that he'll break contact while the other runners are advancing.  

Back to the original question, "Where did he tag him?"  I have a few possible answers:

  • "Yes."  That's it, just yes.
  • "At third base coach, where the play was at."
  • "Since you just told me you did see the tag coach, we're good here."
  • Break some high-falutin' medical terminology ... "Coach, with the angular velocity of the glove in possession of the ball, I gauged a .73 second contact with the runner's 5th left anterior metatarsal and a .45 second contact with the runner's quad-pectoral dorsal fin."   (Followed by "I need 50 ccs pushed, STAT!")
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
22 hours ago, Rich Ives said:

Replay in all sports has proven, as in proven, that sometimes calls are missed.  Perhaps questioning a call has validity after all.

 

If a coach brings up instant replay, tell him we'll send his runner back and try it again then, double-or-nothing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
28 minutes ago, The Man in Blue said:

 

  • Break some high-falutin' medical terminology ... "Coach, with the angular velocity of the glove in possession of the ball, I gauged a .73 second contact with the runner's 5th left anterior metatarsal and a .45 second contact with the runner's quad-pectoral dorsal fin."   (Followed by "I need 50 ccs pushed, STAT!")

Because a split second before the torque wrench was applied to the faucet handle, it had been calibrated by top members of the state and federal department of weights and measures to be dead-on balls accurate.

 

Props to any umpire who tells a coach "the call is certified dead-on balls accurate".

  • Like 1
  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
1 hour ago, beerguy55 said:

Props to any umpire who tells a coach "the call is certified dead-on balls accurate".

+ “Otherwise all ours asses would be in the jackpot coach”

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
Answer this question...

×   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...