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Plate umpire asking field ump for help on his own?


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I was umping home plate, but the base ump was a volunteer dad type situation. There were two calls in particular that I'm not sure if I handled correctly: Little league intermediate, so there is leading off and stealing. Ruleset closer to High School, only slightly more advanced than majors. Leading off and stealing is allowed, so there isnt' time between every pitch like LLMajors.

1. Runners on first and 3rd after a base hit, pitcher goes back toward the mound, new batter comes up to the plate, catcher is still standing up, people are getting settled, runner are still on the base, I'm just assessing the situation, batter (JUST stepped in the box), I look up, and pitcher is picking the ball up off the ground.
  His rubber foot is off the ground as hes bending down to pick up the ball. The coach yells 'balk' and is coming out the gate to me. I call time and meet him. He says, 'The pitcher dropped the ball while on the rubber." I say, I didn't see him on the rubber. He said, he stepped on the rubber, and dropped the ball. I said, "I didn't see that.". He says, 'why would you take your eyes of the pitcher.?" I said, 'it was that moment between the previous play, and the next play, the catcher was standing right in front of me, runner were on the bag, batter had barely stepped in the box, I just wasn't staring at him that second." He is a bit huffy, i say, "I didn't see it, I'm not calling it. That's it." He walks away.
My question is, in that moment, should I have said, 'let me ask my base umpire.', or should I have waited for him to ask me to ask the base umpire?

2. Similar outcome, batter hits an inside pitch, runs to first. I come around the catcher, and the batter-runner is thrown out at first from the shortstop. Coach comes out, and says, "He hit his glove, catcher interference." I say, I did not see that, looked like a clan hit to me." Coach says, 'he had to pick his glove off of the ground, how did you not see that?' I said, 'I didn't hear it, see it, I'm not calling it.' The coach walks back and that's the end of it. (I know the sound of the bat hitting the glove, and that was not it, looked like he hit the ball, didn't see anything out of the ordinary. I find out later that the end of the bat hit the catcher upper arm, so it didn't make a sound, and the catcher dropped his glove, the bat didn't hit the glove. I know it's interference anyways, but the usual indicator of the sound of the bat hitting the glove wasn't there.) So, should I have volunteered to ask the base umpire on my own, or wait until the coach asks me to ask him?

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21 minutes ago, TheLovejoy said:

My question is, in that moment, should I have said, 'let me ask my base umpire.', or should I have waited for him to ask me to ask the base umpire?

No, don't ask. If he had been a real umpire, he'd have called it if he'd seen it. He didn't call it, so he didn't see it. No need to ask. And since he's a dad, we don't want to involve him. Let him call outs on the bases.

21 minutes ago, TheLovejoy said:

So, should I have volunteered to ask the base umpire on my own, or wait until the coach asks me to ask him?

Catcher INT is a call that belongs to PU. We'd never involve the BU, especially not with a dad volunteer. You missed it...it happens. Don't compound the error by trying to "fix" it or, worse, spreading the blame improperly.

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Agree with Maven on both points.

If you didn't see the CI, you might need to review your tracking and timing. This also underscores the importance of tracking the ball all the way to the mitt. Just a suggestion. Still, sometimes not an easy call to get.

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29 minutes ago, maven said:
50 minutes ago, TheLovejoy said:

My question is, in that moment, should I have said, 'let me ask my base umpire.', or should I have waited for him to ask me to ask the base umpire?

No, don't ask. If he had been a real umpire, he'd have called it if he'd seen it. He didn't call it, so he didn't see it. No need to ask. And since he's a dad, we don't want to involve him. Let him call outs on the bases.

Don't assume he didn't see it. He may not know the rule. I've had dad PUs post game that said "Yeah, I saw that! I wondered if it was a thing but didn't want to interrupt anyone".

General note: we need those dad umps to turn into regular umps so there is a training aspect to working with them.

33 minutes ago, maven said:

Catcher INT is a call that belongs to PU. We'd never involve the BU

Since the OP is not just a garden variety bat ticking the mitt and seems like one the BU has a good chance to see clearly. Why wouldn't you ask for help?

Agreed it would be better with your pregamed "I have info for you" sign so you knew it was worthwhile but curious if that's a blanket response or influenced by the dad PU aspect.

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This is my first year actually taking the test, getting certified, and actually doing games as an association umpire. So yes, the tracking stuff is something I need to work on for sure.

I do indeed know the rule, and how it’s handled, but just didn’t catch it. I think the catcher was a little close, the very end of the bat hit him in the upper arm. I was indeed tracking the ball best I could, and didn’t see nor hear the glove, just missed it.

I thought the same thing about putting the volunteer dad into a position he wasn’t comfortable with by volunteering myself to ask for his help. If the coach would have asked for his opinion, I would have went and asked, mostly since they were both things that he could have seen possibly, because I clearly did not.


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@TheLovejoy welcome to the ranks and thank you for stepping up!

I'll take a slightly different take and say "maybe."  Regardless of your partner's experience or lack thereof, I personally would not have an issue going to him and asking him what he saw or didn't see.  He may not know the rules, but he is a second set of eyes that is there to help you.  Now, don't go to him and give him a big long rundown of the story because he may not understand.  Simply ask what he saw happen and then YOU can process the information.  Maybe he saw it and you "get it right" or maybe he didn't see it and you are no worse off.

THAT SAID ... I would have shut the coach down solely based on the way he approached you.  Had he come out and calmly provided you with what he thought you missed and then asked you to check with your partner, then I would be happy to do just that.  Since he came out of the gate charging though, no, sorry coach.  Had he approached it correctly, I think you could justify going to your partner in both cases.  You knew SOMETHING happened (you saw the ball on the ground, you saw the glove on the ground), but you didn't know what.  You knew you were missing part of the picture, for whatever reason.

I don't make a coach specifically ask me to go for help, but I listen to his case.  If the coach can provide a good case, I'm happily going to my partner.  If the coach is just complaining and criticizing, forget it.  There are many times all a coach needs to do is ask for time -- he doesn't even need to come talk to me.  C-spot pulled foot?  No worries coach, I've already got you because I know that's a bad spot. 

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@thelovejoy, I have a question. You said the batter hit the catcher's upper arm while he was hitting an inside pitch. I have a hard time picturing the catcher's upper arm getting hit in LL and still being able to swing and hit the pitch. Did the batter hit the catcher's upper arm on the initial swing, or was it on the backswing?

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This kids mom showed the batting teams coach a video of her taping her kid. The kid had a goofy type of swing where he dropped the bat head backwards and down before he pivoted forward. You ever see where some coaches have their kids start with the bat at a flat backwards angle, almost pointing straight backwards? It was similar to that, it's just where his swing went. Bat goes straight back and down before he swings. It just barely hit the kid right above the elbow on his swing.
 

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13 hours ago, TheLovejoy said:

start with the bat at a flat backwards angle, almost pointing straight backwards

Sounds like a forehand. Maybe the kid should switch to tennis 🤣

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I agree with @The Man in Blue here. Oblige the courteous  coach.   Shut down the ranting coach and move on. 
 

One thing I’ll add. In the dropped ball situation, I wouldn’t say “ I didn’t see it”. I’d go with “ I’ve got his pivot foot off the rubber when it dropped”. Then if he asks, you can ask your partner. I don’t thing “ dad “ ump matters here. Just ask him a simple question for info. “ Did you see his foot on the rubber when he dropped the ball?”  Same with the CI. I think you can ask in either case if the manager respectfully asks. Dad  ump doesn’t have to know  the specifics of each rule. You’re just asking for what he saw. It may help you get it right. 

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His foot could have been on the rubber, but not engaged when he dropped the ball.
I see a lot of younger kids standing there with their feet touching the rubber but not going to pitch, looking around, and drop the ball.

 

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19 minutes ago, BLarson said:

His foot could have been on the rubber, but not engaged when he dropped the ball.
I see a lot of younger kids standing there with their feet touching the rubber but not going to pitch, looking around, and drop the ball.

 

I see what you did there....not engaged. Well played Mauer!

 

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