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Partner Etiquette Question: How to handle repeated requests to take the plate?


agdz59

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In our association it is standard practice that whoever has the plate notifies their partner 24 to 12 hours ahead of time to check in, see about shirt color, where and when to meet, etc.

I am working the bases tonight with a partner who a couple of weeks ago asked me to take a plate for them because their knees were barking.  I said yes.  Today he gets in touch 6 hours before game time after I reached out to him asking me to take the plate because his back is hurting.

I did a plate last night as a replacement for a guy that was injured.  All handled through our assignor.  I was really looking forward to the bases tonight anyway because I've been doing a ton of plates the last few weeks.

Should I 1) be the nice guy and say 'sure!',  2) tell him to handle it through our assignor, 3) tell him no thank you, 4) something else....

TIA.

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I'm with Kyle, I would just take it. A little goodwill goes a long way. You never know in the future when an injury or other circumstances may prevent you from doing an assignment. JMHO.

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I would say this depends on how close the members of your association communicate. If it's pretty tight, you'll have an idea of if someone likes to dodge the plate (or, less frequently, prefers to jump on it all they can.)

The next thing would be how they approached the question, which might give you an indication of their motives. This year I've had:

1. A last-minute replacement for a partner who had agreed to take the plate, and I was doing a quick two-day deep clean/refurbishment of my gear on my "guaranteed" non-plate day.

2. An assignment I didn't quite understand until I found out my inexperienced partner was being evaluated, and was told he needed to take the dish.

3. My first game back from an injury that sidelined me for a sizeable portion of time.

For 1 and 3, a quick explanation of the situation sufficed--3, in particular with a partner I had never seen, just needed the explanation that if I was being too aggressive on my recovery and went down, it would be easier to haul me off and keep going. For 2, it took a little diplomacy to not let on the real reason he was taking it, but it worked out in the end.

If your spidey-senses are going off, I refer you to my first statement: does this person have a reputation? If so, you may want to push back or you might not (I've had several partners this year tell, not ask, that they'd prefer the bases because they had x number of plates in the immediate period, as if I didn't as well.) If not, then just take it and have a long memory.

There's another point there--if you want to be on the bases because you've been on the dish a lot, asking your partner about their schedule goes a long way (what has it looked like, what's next, etc.) Then you can get a feel for if it's even appropriate to bring it up.

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7 hours ago, Matt said:

I would say this depends on how close the members of your association communicate. If it's pretty tight, you'll have an idea of if someone likes to dodge the plate (or, less frequently, prefers to jump on it all they can.)

The next thing would be how they approached the question, which might give you an indication of their motives. This year I've had:

1. A last-minute replacement for a partner who had agreed to take the plate, and I was doing a quick two-day deep clean/refurbishment of my gear on my "guaranteed" non-plate day.

2. An assignment I didn't quite understand until I found out my inexperienced partner was being evaluated, and was told he needed to take the dish.

3. My first game back from an injury that sidelined me for a sizeable portion of time.

For 1 and 3, a quick explanation of the situation sufficed--3, in particular with a partner I had never seen, just needed the explanation that if I was being too aggressive on my recovery and went down, it would be easier to haul me off and keep going. For 2, it took a little diplomacy to not let on the real reason he was taking it, but it worked out in the end.

If your spidey-senses are going off, I refer you to my first statement: does this person have a reputation? If so, you may want to push back or you might not (I've had several partners this year tell, not ask, that they'd prefer the bases because they had x number of plates in the immediate period, as if I didn't as well.) If not, then just take it and have a long memory.

There's another point there--if you want to be on the bases because you've been on the dish a lot, asking your partner about their schedule goes a long way (what has it looked like, what's next, etc.) Then you can get a feel for if it's even appropriate to bring it up.

I’ve never seen Matt post more than 5 words 😃 but man, this is great info!

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Derailing somewhat:  is this A Thing for most associations/groups?

What I mean is:  the phrase "whoever has the plate" in @agdz59's first sentence immediately was what struck me.  In all but one of the groups for whom I've worked - around seven or eight in two states - what Arbiter says doesn't matter, and/or not even using Arbiter in the first place (just getting field/date/time/partner info), and just working it out between the two umpires.  And "working it out" is usually done the first time you work with a guy, and then you're set up forever, as you switch each subsequent time you're together.

Is MY experience the odd-ball here?

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12 minutes ago, HokieUmp said:

Derailing somewhat:  is this A Thing for most associations/groups?

What I mean is:  the phrase "whoever has the plate" in @agdz59's first sentence immediately was what struck me.  In all but one of the groups for whom I've worked - around seven or eight in two states - what Arbiter says doesn't matter, and/or not even using Arbiter in the first place (just getting field/date/time/partner info), and just working it out between the two umpires.  And "working it out" is usually done the first time you work with a guy, and then you're set up forever, as you switch each subsequent time you're together.

Is MY experience the odd-ball here?

No, that sounds right.  I get games from primarily one guy, and that's how he wants it worked out.  There's another who will have you listed as "home plate" or "first base" ...but still, he says that doesn't matter, partners just work it out.

And yes ... once you work your first game out with that specific partner, you should switch each time you have games together.

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Heh anytime I am scheduled there I am alone for 90% of it.  So no worries

 

But yeah we get scheduled from time to time with others and I have gotten a call from the UiC telling me he had plate tonight but do me a favor can I take it please and he will do bases.  I get that and unless I just did 3 games back to back to back nights I will without question. If its that way I will ask him what's up and why and he will listen to my recent schedule and we will work it out.

But my 2 cents, talk it out with them if you are not satisfied with their answers move it to the assignor and go from there.

 

 

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1 hour ago, HokieUmp said:

Derailing somewhat:  is this A Thing for most associations/groups?

What I mean is:  the phrase "whoever has the plate" in @agdz59's first sentence immediately was what struck me.  In all but one of the groups for whom I've worked - around seven or eight in two states - what Arbiter says doesn't matter, and/or not even using Arbiter in the first place (just getting field/date/time/partner info), and just working it out between the two umpires.  And "working it out" is usually done the first time you work with a guy, and then you're set up forever, as you switch each subsequent time you're together.

Is MY experience the odd-ball here?

This is my experience too.  We never get assigned plate or bases, but text each other ahead of time. 

If we've worked before, then we know if our turn as PU or not.  If a new partner, I normally ask what they'd prefer if I don't mind doing a plate. 

Now, if I have already had 1-2 plates this week and it's only Thursday or maybe I've had this team as the PU before recently, then I may request the bases to switch it up and avoid "favoritism" as I may have 6-7 Varsity games at the same school. 

When you work an area that's relatively small like mine, you do start to know the guys that make excuses or beg off of the plate.  I've worked hard to not get that reputation as there's little worse in my opinion than an umpire who won't do his share.  And I'm not talking about injuries either, we have a couple guys who try to be BU every time because they don't want the plate.  But on the flip side, there is one old guy who can't run so he always wants the plate!

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I'm just surprised at all the single games being mentioned here. 90%+ of what I do is either doubleheaders or tournaments. So it's not so much "plate or base" as much as "plate first or base first"?

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7 minutes ago, kylehutson said:

I'm just surprised at all the single games being mentioned here. 90%+ of what I do is either doubleheaders or tournaments. So it's not so much "plate or base" as much as "plate first or base first"?

I hear you, but lots of during the week games (especially HS) are single games in Ohio.  Weekend and summer ball is almost always at least two though, so the point is moot for those.

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I'm just surprised by the number of people who seem to think that "the way we do things here" is "the way things are done everywhere."

Even when I was just starting out, I knew that there were as many ways of paying / scheduling / working /.... as there were different locations and groups.  And that applies to all sports I work or know anything about.

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1 hour ago, noumpere said:

I'm just surprised by the number of people who seem to think that "the way we do things here" is "the way things are done everywhere."

Even when I was just starting out, I knew that there were as many ways of paying / scheduling / working /.... as there were different locations and groups.  And that applies to all sports I work or know anything about.

I forget where I picked it up, but someone once said that "perception is reality" to that person.   It has proved true so often in my life, over and over I think of them saying that "perception is reality".  I think it was in Pyschology class where I first heard it. 

To the child that grew up with an abusive father, all fathers are abusive.  To the rich child, all things are there for the taking.  To the one that lies, trust is hard to give and achieve.  We tend to believe what we hear/see/think/feel is exactly how others hear/see/think/feel too.

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For high school , our plate and base assignments are assigned. We stick to them pretty closely. I've switched up with a partner running late to get the game going on time, but that's the exception. 

My college group does not assign plate/base. We have a UIC listed in bold, and we work out plate/ base. That said, I don't do a lot of college, so I'm never the UIC. I worked more summer college this year than ever, and, unless it was a DH, I can count on one hand where the UIC said, "I'll take the plate for this one". Not complaining. I need the upper level reps behind the plate. But it is what it is. 

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2 hours ago, kylehutson said:

I'm just surprised at all the single games being mentioned here. 90%+ of what I do is either doubleheaders or tournaments. So it's not so much "plate or base" as much as "plate first or base first"?

Oh I have done back to back to back games .. ALONE   so yeah there was no swapping on those although I wished I could have on the 3rd game

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46 minutes ago, ArchAngel72 said:

Oh I have done back to back to back games .. ALONE   so yeah there was no swapping on those although I wished I could have on the 3rd game

When I do multiple games I actually prefer ending up with a plate. Three in a day is my absolute limit these days. If it's two plates I'd rather be on the plate for games2 and3. I get stiff standing on the bases after a plate or 2. .   DH's not a big deal either way, but still prefer the plate game 2. 

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In my HS association, we generally follow what is assigned. It is not uncommon for one or the other to ask for a switch and there is no problem. The assigner asks to be informed afterward in case there is an issue to be documented.

 

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5 hours ago, Richvee said:

When I do multiple games I actually prefer ending up with a plate. 

Makes it easy when we end up with a DH then @Richvee! I prefer the front end on the dish.

Of all the times we worked together, I had no idea. 

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8 minutes ago, Kevin_K said:

Makes it easy when we end up with a DH then @Richvee! I prefer the front end on the dish.

Of all the times we worked together, I had no idea. 

I would guess the majority of our DH’s have been your plate first. Honest, it’s only this season where I’ve noticed a bit of a lethargic feeling I need to fight through when I do a game on the bases after a plate. With DH’s it’s not a huge deal. The few times this year I’ve done 3 in a day, I need to be on the plate game 3. 

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43 minutes ago, Richvee said:

I would guess the majority of our DH’s have been your plate first. Honest, it’s only this season where I’ve noticed a bit of a lethargic feeling I need to fight through when I do a game on the bases after a plate. With DH’s it’s not a huge deal. The few times this year I’ve done 3 in a day, I need to be on the plate game 3. 

4 games 2 plates, 2 bases, 1 change. Changes take longer and are more tiring. I no longer do 4 in a row.

3 games, easy, 2 in a row and then 1. Soap bar under the covers for cramps after potassium IPA supplement.

 

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8 hours ago, Jimurray said:

4 games 2 plates, 2 bases, 1 change. Changes take longer and are more tiring. I no longer do 4 in a row.

3 games, easy, 2 in a row and then 1. Soap bar under the covers for cramps after potassium IPA supplement.

 

Yes, this can be advantageous, but only if the weather is cooperating.  You don't want to do back to back plates in 90+ and humidity :nod: ....    BUT, ... some do and will!

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1 hour ago, Thunderheads said:

  You don't want to do back to back plates in 90+ and humidity :nod: ....    BUT, ... some do and will!

Did it a few weeks ago. 100+ on the turf. One base then 2 plates. Exhausting, but not terrible when you prepare even at my age. This is one of those cases where there's NO WAY I want to be out on the bases after 2 plates. 

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1 hour ago, Thunderheads said:

potassium IPA supplement.

Never tried these. A banana before and in between games has been part of my routine for years. 

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Earlier this Summer, my partner and I were scheduled for 6 games, on turf, and weather was 90 degrees and 90-100% humidity.  He did the first 3 plates, I was to do the last 3, only to find out that the guy who had the key to locker room wasn't there when game ended, and never showed during our 15-20 min wait between games, so he ended up doing a 4th in a row b/c we couldn't change, and I did last 2.  Next day was 5 games so I did 3 and he did 2, so worked out # wise, someone had to do 6 of 11, but I will never do that again.

Payday was great, but I could barely walk after first day. let alone after second.

Oh, and just for giggles, only 1 of those 11 games ended in mercy!  10 went the distance...

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