Jump to content

No umpire shall criticize ...


The Man in Blue

Recommended Posts

If you take this to absolute heart, I am sorry for what follows.

I had heard stories of a new guy working school ball in the area.  I had heard about him showing up in sweat pants and a regular polo shirt.  I had heard stories of him not making it past the 4th inning of several (ALL?) games he has worked before "quitting."

Today I met the man, the myth, the legend.

I was already feeling like a goober because I started a new job and was going to be running late to the game I had contracted prior.  I contacted the AD and my partner early in the day and advised I would be there pretty much right at game time (which I hate doing).  My partner agreed to take the plate.  I didn't recognize the name, so I assumed he must be new (since I was gone to Mississippi, there have been lots of guys new to me).

I arrive and get to the field as they are beginning their "graduation" ceremonies for the kids moving on, so things are OK.  Then I see him ... with a black hat on backwards, a $6 Walmart solid navy blue polo, and dark grey cargo pants.  I didn't even get to the shoes.  I know I am in for a treat.  It felt as if they had done the plate meeting before I arrived, but I'm not sure because he kept wandering back and forth from one dugout to the other as the pitcher warmed up.

The third pitch of the game bounces in front of home plate.  "STRIKE!"  No signal (never saw him make a single signal).  He immediately looks at his indicator.  The kid at the plate in incredulous.  The third base coach walks most of the way up the line and asks (VERY politely and quietly in my opinion, considering) "Did you call that a strike?"  The reply is "Uh-huh."

The pitching is good and the kids were swinging, so the inning went by quick and wasn't too much of a travesty.

Second inning ... my partner calls "TIME!" and begins coaching the batter.  After a good minute, both coaches walk to home plate to find out what is going on.  PU is telling the batter he can't step on the lines.  Oh boy.  We move on.

End of the second inning.  PU calls me in.  "Do you have any candy or anything to eat?"  What ... the ... fu ... nko pop?!  I tell him no.  He says his blood sugar feels funny.  I advise him the concession stand is right by home plate (it is a weird, tight set up at this park), ask them for a soda or a candy bar.

The first base coach is flabbergasted at this point.  He comes down the line as we start the third inning.  I look at him and say, "I am not saying anything.  But please tell me this game is not to determine who makes the playoffs or anything."  (Luckily, seedings already came out, so this game did not matter at all.) 

The visitors finish their at bat in the third, and PU calls me in again.  "Do you have your pads?" 

I ask, "Do you mean my gear?"  

"Yeah, yeah, that.  I think you should go put your pads on.  I'm not feeling so good."  I tell him to sit down in the shade (it was warm today) and I'll send the coach to check on him and then go get my gear on.  I advise the coach what is happening and I sprint to my car.

When I get back, ALL of the coaches are behind home plate smirking.  One of them says, "Do you want the good news or the bad news?"

My reply was, "Why do I suspect they are the same thing?"

"He left.  He didn't say anything to us.  He just took off, got in his car, and left.  AND he took the game balls with him."

The game went smooth after that, if you consider this smooth: 

A pitched ball wedged in the backstop ... a batter's interference call ...

... a bunt where I was trying to gauge whether he was out of the box when he contacted the ball, watching that he didn't step on the ball, watching the fair-foul since it was on the line, followed by a possible banger tag at first base where neither the fielder nor the runner touched the bag as a runner scored from third (yeah, that was all one play) ...

... a ball that rolled 50 feet entirely in foul territory, hit a rock, jumped over and hit the third baseman in fair territory ... oh yeah, the bases were loaded ... the batter-runner didn't run ... chaos ensued and three runs scored while the batter runner was thrown out at first ...

All I can say is "I laughed, I cried ... it was roller coaster of emotions."

Sorry for the long rant.  Just had to get this one out of my system.

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1
  • Sad 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, ArchAngel72 said:

I assume you called your assignor and advised him if he ever paired you again it would be the last time...

 

While we have a few assignors around here, most schools do direct contracts.  I think I got this from an assignor, but the other guy came from a direct contract (replacement for the original assigned guy).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh … my … #%?&

Two times in a row!?

Different partner — again, never met this guy before.  The AD meets me in the parking lot and asks me to take the plate due to who my partner is.  I laugh and tell him about Thursday (that guy stiffed this AD earlier this season).

Meet my partner, pre-game, it all seems OK.  In the 3rd inning he has a runner stealing and a “duck, dive, duck” tag play at third base where he calls the runner out.  The team grumbles a little, but nothing major.  I’m not sure if they asked him to get help or not.  At one point he casually points towards me, but never says anything I could make out or comes towards me to get together.  (I never saw a tag, but there was a point when the batter stepped in front of me, so I don’t believe I had enough to offer anyway.)

After the half-inning he comes in and says “I need to take an inning off, you’ll have to work solo for just a bit.”

Never see him again.  The AD said the guy was sitting in his car in the AC (it was mid 80s, not that hot, but warmest day in a while).  After awhile, his wife/GF (?) who was there told the AD they were going  to the ER to have him checked out.

The visiting team said they just had that guy last night and he did the same thing (ironically, they were playing one of the teams that I had when this happened on Thursday).  The home AD said this was the second time with them.

What … the … $&?! … 

(Side story … my son worked a game solo about two weeks ago … the guy from Thursday was scheduled to work with him.  The game got moved due to weather, but the umpires were already contracted by the home team.  The visiting team, now hosting, said they would not allow the guy on their field or pay him due to him pulling the same thing on them earlier.)

 

Why do I feel like we will not be getting paid at the plate next year?  
 

PS — of course we went extra innings today.

  • Sad 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sadly Sat I had my 1st fall ball game it was in the 80's muggy,  No breeze and not a cloud in sight and I had NO shade until the last half inning from the fence.   I was dressed for it, had two water bottles the 1st went warm in the sun after 2 innings and by 4th it was hot water.

In my head by the 4th inning I was thinking  DO NOT BE THIS GUY...  only 2 more innings its going ok.. I can make it.. 

 

🤣 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not quite as bad, but happened to me earlier this summer with Legion ball.

The first text I get from him is "I see we're working together, can we wear navy?" (maybe not an exact quote, but essentially) While this isn't in-an-of itself a deal-breaker, it did put my skepticism on high-alert.

My next text from him a couple of days later. "Question from a game I had last night. Guy is stealing second and the batter foul tips it straight to the catcher, and he catches it. Does the runner need to go back to first?"

Sure enough, I show up to the game, where we'd arranged I have the first plate, and he's wearing a ball bag in the field.

I'll give him credit over your "partners", though. He was there for the whole game (actually 2 - it was a doubleheader), and even got most of his calls pretty good, despite not being in the best place to see them.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, ArchAngel72 said:

Sadly Sat I had my 1st fall ball game it was in the 80's muggy,  No breeze and not a cloud in sight and I had NO shade until the last half inning from the fence.   I was dressed for it, had two water bottles the 1st went warm in the sun after 2 innings and by 4th it was hot water.

In my head by the 4th inning I was thinking  DO NOT BE THIS GUY...  only 2 more innings its going ok.. I can make it.. 

 

🤣

 

 

 

Not sure how seriously you were feeling it, but if you are thinking that, I'd say you are already on your way to being that guy.  Listen to your body!  Especially if you are working alone!

Even on days when we don't think it is that bad, it can sneak up and snake bite you.

But not every day.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

 

Not sure how seriously you were feeling it, but if you are thinking that, I'd say you are already on your way to being that guy.  Listen to your body!  Especially if you are working alone!

Even on days when we don't think it is that bad, it can sneak up and snake bite you.

But not every day.

 

 

+1

Dehydration affects cognitive ability, too. Learned by experience just a few weeks ago (see other thread).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   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...