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More trouble with a base coach...


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1 hour ago, Vegas_Ump said:

It discusses ANYONE from the Offensive Team who intends to confuse a fielder.

To @Matt’s point, it doesn’t, but further – you’re introducing intention to the argument? That 1BC ain’t intending to confuse a fielder. He’s doing that (hoping) to influence or upstage you. 

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8 hours ago, Thunderheads said:

Become "liked" by doing a good job, looking the part, being approachable, hustling, etc ....  you won't feel as though you're "liked" ...but YOU WILL become respected, and that my friend is about as close as you're going to get being an umpire.  It's ok to be this way on a personal level ...you just have to realize it's unattainable as an umpire

BOOM!!! Took me years to realize this, and I have to confess I'm still working on it, because I'm human and want to be liked by other humans that matter to me. But the Umpiring Gold Standard is to be respected, not liked.

How many old stalwart baseball coaches who are demanding A-holes on the field do we umpires (and the other coaches who face them) actually "like" because we "respect" the hell out of them. They're baseball guys. Say what we might about some of those old MLB umpires who got in Earl Weaver's face and exchanged saliva with him in the 1970's, those umpires were baseball guys. Earl Weaver was a baseball guy. Baseball respects baseball guys. We should strive to be what baseball respects--and that's admittedly something a lot different than it was in the 1970's, but it's still respect. Did Aretha Franklin want to be liked? No. She wanted R-E-S-P-E-C-T. And she got it!!

I was told early on that the greatest compliment an umpire could receive is to have a coach say afterwards, "I didn't even know you were there."  I now know that's b.s. and NOT the gold standard. If a coach didn't even know you were there it's because nothing out of the ordinary happened during the game. That game called itself. Those games are awesome. But other than making accurate out/safe and strike/ball calls, the umpire did nothing to create that lack of memory on behalf of the coach.

When a coach calls a regional assignor for a big play off game to request specific umpires for that big game, is he going to request umpires that he likes? Nope. He's going to be requesting umpires that he respects, because too much is on the line. 


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Funny story. A couple of years ago, I was driving out to the coast to work a game with one HC I didn't know. So, I called a veteran umpire in the area on my cell phone as I drove out there. I asked him, "Hey, I'm on my way to ___ to work a game with _____, you got any intel on him?"

"Yeah. He's a baseball guy."  And that was the end of the conversation.

That told me everything I needed to know in advance about that head coach.

Edit: I might need to revise this memory/story. I now think it was the other way around. I think I was the one driving to a game and a very veteran umpire from another local region called me on my cell and asked me that question. And I think I'm the one who answered, "Yeah, he's a baseball guy." And the senior veteran's reply to me was short and sweet, something like: "I can work with that."   End of conversation.

Same point to the story, but I think I was the student there, not the teacher. 🙂

Edited by Recontra
I think the years have clouded my memory :-)
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8 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

The are umpires I like and umpires I respect (and some fit both).   Concentrate on being respected.

"...Because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved.”

I would have to hand my education back if I did not utilize this quote in this perfectly relevant and relatively unimportant conversation.

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On 9/12/2021 at 9:20 PM, SeeingEyeDog said:

Thank you as always, brothers...

Where I'm also struggling is this business of yelling across the field instead of approaching players and managers. Not everyone who yells has their blood up. Sometimes people yell to be heard across a ballfield and its misinterpreted as anger. I was trained that an umpire should not escalate. We merely respond to what those on the field choose to do and say.

When I have remained in place (on the plate...dirt circle, in the field...in place) to handle these kinds of situations, I was told by leadership not to yell across the field because that is perceived as escalating. Approach people calmly and use a normal tone and firm voice regardless of their tone. Then the perception is...THEY are being unreasonable.

And yet, this clearly isn't congruent with what other very experienced and veteran umpires have said here...

Yes, I try to be liked. It's important to me I am liked. That's who I am. And I wasted way too many years of my life not wanting to be liked and I didn't like the person that attitude turned me into. Maybe that'll mean I don't reach my umpiring aspirations...but, it will allow me to reach my human aspirations and respect and care for my fellow human being even when they are not being respectful to me.


The thread has moved on a bit since last I checked in, but I want to respond to this. The point I hope your leadership was trying to make is that you should never be the aggressor (although, frankly, I'm not even sure that is 100% accurate). If a coach is yelling or talking loud enough to you hear, you're not the only one that can hear it. By not responding in kind, you're not being, well, unkind, you're standing up for yourself. You said earlier that what we allow we promote. At best, by not immediately responding to an accusation yelled at you from across the field, it creates an impression that it's okay to yell at umpires in the minds if the fans and players/coaches that are not informed of your later communication. That's the best case scenario. 

Switching gears, being liked (especially in the form of respect) does not preclude having disagreements or confrontations.  There is a particular team that I had quite a few times this spring. Very, very good program. Before and after the game, I had nothing but positive interactions with the coaching staff. In fact, after the spring season ended, I had the 3rd base coach in a travel ball game, and he immediately recognized me and greeted me warmly. We chatted for much of the game as he was coaching first (which, yes, is generally not great idea, and I do not recommend this be emulated). As far as I could tell, that coaching staff liked me quite a bit, they told me on multiple occasions that I had done a good job, and I liked them as well. But, in nearly every game with that team, I would have some sort of confrontation with them. 

And to echo what many others have said, it's much better to be respected than liked.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 9/13/2021 at 8:40 AM, Thunderheads said:

Become "liked" by doing a good job, looking the part, being approachable, hustling, etc ....  you won't feel as though you're "liked" ...but YOU WILL become respected, and that my friend is about as close as you're going to get being an umpire.

I’m a little late to this thread, but this is absolutely the BEST sentence I’ve ever read on this forum. This should be quoted on page 1 in every umpire manual.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/13/2021 at 12:12 AM, Matt said:

Coming in after that half, someone in the dugout asked 3BC from across the field what I had answered. He said, "He said it's illegal, but he's not going to call it."

I've spent my entire adult life in a profession where peoples' lives depend trusting on what I say, and my life depends on others and trusting them.  There is a mutual trust built on a foundation of integrity.  In my life, if we can't trust each other's word, people die.  While umpiring may not go to that extreme, it's still who I am. 

If someone disagrees with me, that's one thing; it's just a difference of opinion.  But in this case, this guy openly accused you of violating your integrity, and in doing so, blatantly LIED.  That says more about him as a man than anything else I need to know.  That dude would forever be on my "do not trust" list, and that one is pretty much irreparable.  

I think you handled it perfectly, and definitely better than I would have.  If you haven't guessed, I just revealed my button.

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