Jump to content

Losing interest


Scissors

Recommended Posts

5 minutes ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

I hear you, @ArchAngel72 . We're about the same age and I have had some health issues of my own in the past few years. My doctor told me, "The sins of our 20s and 30s will haunt us forever..." I'd probably add some sins of my 40s in there, too. Be well and keep safe, brother.

~Dawg 

Yeah in my 40's I realized my spirit was willing but the body not so much anymore. LOL

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Thunderheads said:

Physical factors also play a roll for sure, especially with medical issues, or, just getting older.  I turned 57 in February and this year I'm feeling it in my joints.  Granted, most of my exercise is from cycling, so that transition from pedaling to being on your feet can be harsh

Yes sir! Much more "maintenance" needed on the joints, particularly the knees and back since I turned 60.  Now I do much more stretching...Yoga poses for lack of a better word...Back and legs. Every day. It helps a lot. If I get lazy and skip a few days, the knees and back start aching quickly. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, Richvee said:

12 years, and I'm not enjoying my season this year for the first time. It's got nothing to do with burnout. I still love being out there. I've always had "days off" because my job doesn't let me get to more than 4-5 games in a 7 day period. So every day burnout is not a problem 

It's the shortage. It has culminated this year in a plethora of otherwise good varsity baseball games, with partners that don't belong on a Varsity baseball field....I'm not trying to big time anyone, and I'm not talking about newer guys willing to learn. I'm getting straddled with  "I only have navy" - JV lifers, who do not belong anywhere near a high level varsity game. You know the ones......Showing up 10 minutes before a game, Uniform looks like it's been in the trunk of their car for 5 years, no mechanics....Hell, I've been with guys who are lining up in "B" with R1, R2 and arguing with me that's where they're supposed to be, barely giving a safe or out mechanic on bangers when there's continuing action if the runner is safe, or making calls a good two seconds before they even happen,  not a clue about rotations, or fair/foul responsibility..... It's embarrassing. And it's taking the fun out of it. 

Example...today...I've got a game in 2 hours. Text and email yesterday, 2 more today...Still waiting for a reply... I really don't need one, because the reply will say....."I only have navy. Game time is 4PM, I'll be there 3:45. 

May be time to work for another assignor next season if things don't get better. NJ may suck for a lot of reasons, but there's sure more than enough baseball to go around in a relatively small area. 

Big problem around here too and plate dodging 

  • Like 2
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Richvee said:

It's the shortage. It has culminated this year in a plethora of otherwise good varsity baseball games, with partners that don't belong on a Varsity baseball field..

Rich, you are so right!  The problem with fewer umpires is that guys who have no business being on the field, even for a lower-level game, are doing varsity games because there are no other competent, trained, umpires available.  I cringe to think what's ahead for the future.

  • Like 2
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Richvee said:

Example...today...I've got a game in 2 hours. Text and email yesterday, 2 more today...Still waiting for a reply... I really don't need one, because the reply will say....."I only have navy. Game time is 4PM, I'll be there 3:45. 

I have to apologize for my assumption on today's partner. He was there when I pulled up 55 minutes before game time, was perfectly competent on the bases, and he did indeed have black. 😁 

  • Like 4
  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, FranklinT said:

Big problem around here too and plate dodging 

 

I'm starting to believe we need to go back to the olden days when the plate umpire got paid more.  If the game fees are $70, then break it to $80 plate and $60 bases.  That seems harsh, but you got to do your fair share.

The guys I have worked with for years are upstanding and we keep a pretty solid plate/base rotation.  I try to be honest with mine as well.  Occasionally though, we all get those 3 hours games or 10-inning affairs and just need to ask a favor the next time out.  

I have been hearing about some of the newer guys dodging plates.  Knock on wood.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Odd you bring this up this year. I finished last-season with a 4-day state (Legion) tournament in the first week of August, and I was tired after a college season starting in Feb., high school at the end of the school year, rolling into Legion, showcase, and college summer leagues over the summer. I've been tired before, but not to that extent. Usually by the time spring rolls back around, I can't wait to get back out on the field. This year was more "meh". I mean, I had a few games that I thoroughly enjoyed, but most of them I was just counting outs until I could go home again.

I just started a new job a couple of weeks ago, and this summer I'm going to leverage that lack of built-up vacation time to backing WAY off. I'm going to cap it at 2-3 days a week, whereas last summer I know I had one stretch of 17 straight days. 2 nights ago, I had my last game scheduled for nearly 4 weeks. I might just continue this trend.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, FranklinT said:

Big problem around here too and plate dodging 

I just don't get the plate dodging. I absolutely love doing the plate.  Something happens every pitch.  Hard to fall asleep back there.  And if I have a double header I will insist on doing the plate first, especially if it's the 9 inning game and the second is a 7 inning game. Depending on the heat I wouldn't mind two plates.  But that's just me.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Plate Dodging, the why as I see it:

I'll tell you why many new guys may want to dodge a plate - new guys hear a lot of chirping back there.  "Where was that at F2?"  "Oooooh, looked good"  "LIVE there!" etc.  from fans and coaches.  They seem to be like sharks and smell blood in the water with new guys.   I think we need to do a better job of teaching the new guys how much is enough and when to shut it down... or here's an idea - help them out and stop it before he decides this is not his calling and walks.  I was probably in year three before I was comfortable enough and good enough to ignore about anything and realized many things being said weren't really questioning my calls as much as trying to encourage their pitcher (and same is true for batting team coaches - "that's not you" wasn't directed at my bad call, but he needs to swing at a good pitch and not that one).

There's far more potential for things to blow up on you when behind the plate than out in the field.  Kick a call on the bases, you may hear it for a minute or two but then they move on - but the plate guy gets to hear the fans and coaches discuss it for awhile longer.  Yes, I know we don't have rabbit ears and respond to the fence and/or possibly what we may overhear from coaches, but I do have ears and CAN hear - and some would say SHOULD be listening so that if something starts to get out of hand, then you can shut it down quickly. 

One other possible explanation I just thought of - gear costs.  Maybe the new guy doesn't have comfortable plate gear, so he doesn't like doing the plate. A too-heavy mask or uncomfortable shins or CP may make a difficult job worse in you're new. 

But in the end, I must agree with your point.  I think the games are far more interesting and quick when I am squatting there behind F2.  As I continue to grow and learn, the games get better too. My zone gets more consistent, the questionable calls to F2 from the dugout died out years ago and now I can chuckle when a hear a coach give out an "oooh, nice pitch Johnny" or a "live there, all day" and may even ask F2 (if he's a good one) if he thought that they should live there and we share a laugh. 

As my main Assignor says, "I thought guys got into umpiring because they wanted to be the guy behind the plate!"  He's right, we live for it, it is THE job.

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, wolfe_man said:

Plate Dodging, the why as I see it:

I'll tell you why many new guys may want to dodge a plate - new guys hear a lot of chirping back there.  "Where was that at F2?"  "Oooooh, looked good"  "LIVE there!" etc.  from fans and coaches.  They seem to be like sharks and smell blood in the water with new guys.   I think we need to do a better job of teaching the new guys how much is enough and when to shut it down... or here's an idea - help them out and stop it before he decides this is not his calling and walks.  I was probably in year three before I was comfortable enough and good enough to ignore about anything and realized many things being said weren't really questioning my calls as much as trying to encourage their pitcher (and same is true for batting team coaches - "that's not you" wasn't directed at my bad call, but he needs to swing at a good pitch and not that one).

There's far more potential for things to blow up on you when behind the plate than out in the field.  Kick a call on the bases, you may hear it for a minute or two but then they move on - but the plate guy gets to hear the fans and coaches discuss it for awhile longer.  Yes, I know we don't have rabbit ears and respond to the fence and/or possibly what we may overhear from coaches, but I do have ears and CAN hear - and some would say SHOULD be listening so that if something starts to get out of hand, then you can shut it down quickly. 

One other possible explanation I just thought of - gear costs.  Maybe the new guy doesn't have comfortable plate gear, so he doesn't like doing the plate. A too-heavy mask or uncomfortable shins or CP may make a difficult job worse in you're new. 

But in the end, I must agree with your point.  I think the games are far more interesting and quick when I am squatting there behind F2.  As I continue to grow and learn, the games get better too. My zone gets more consistent, the questionable calls to F2 from the dugout died out years ago and now I can chuckle when a hear a coach give out an "oooh, nice pitch Johnny" or a "live there, all day" and may even ask F2 (if he's a good one) if he thought that they should live there and we share a laugh. 

As my main Assignor says, "I thought guys got into umpiring because they wanted to be the guy behind the plate!"  He's right, we live for it, it is THE job.

 

I like splitting, but definitely don't mind plates.  I find its mostly older guys who are trying to plate-dodge though.  I think the bases is an 'easy paycheck' for a lot of them, and they see it as much less work.  When _I_ do it, it is more work on the bases :)

Your point about equipment is great!  When I had my last plate shoes, doing more than 2 in a day behind the plate was painful.  My new shoes (Mizunos) are so comfy, I could do all 6 in a day back there (and have!), with no problems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, ErichKeane said:

I like splitting, but definitely don't mind plates.  I find its mostly older guys who are trying to plate-dodge though.  I think the bases is an 'easy paycheck' for a lot of them, and they see it as much less work.  When _I_ do it, it is more work on the bases :)

Your point about equipment is great!  When I had my last plate shoes, doing more than 2 in a day behind the plate was painful.  My new shoes (Mizunos) are so comfy, I could do all 6 in a day back there (and have!), with no problems.

It's so funny that this subject is stemming from this post, but it's interesting because it's been talked about with some of my partners this year, and actually, just last night.  I rotated plate and base this week which I prefer, and yesterday was a base for me and after the game my partner and I were chatting (post-gaming) and talking about plate vs. bases.  We both agreed that we each focus almost as much while on the bases as on the plate.  YOU HAVE TO in an effort to NOT be surprised.   Within the first 2 innings I was met w/ at least 3 whackers!

As we get older (we=me) ... we get slower, and these 18 year olds can move!  Our game last night was on turf also, so ...things were moving!     Another thing we discussed was how we both prefer the plate and that we both feel somewhat awkward on the bases.  There's specific footwork that 'should' be happening, but sometimes the plays moves too fast for that.

We concluded that an umpire must be proficient in both.  Not necessarily great in both, but able to do a 'good job' plate and base.

We also concluded that the bases are NOT easy (no easy paycheck) ... it's work and concentration to ensure you're where you should be at any moment, and like I said above, NOT be surprised.

My .02, ymmv ;) 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, umpstu said:

I just don't get the plate dodging. I absolutely love doing the plate.  Something happens every pitch.  Hard to fall asleep back there.  And if I have a double header I will insist on doing the plate first, especially if it's the 9 inning game and the second is a 7 inning game. Depending on the heat I wouldn't mind two plates.  But that's just me.

another reason for plate dodging,   you never get a huge black & blue welt or a concussion working the bases 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Thunderheads said:

It's so funny that this subject is stemming from this post, but it's interesting because it's been talked about with some of my partners this year, and actually, just last night.  I rotated plate and base this week which I prefer, and yesterday was a base for me and after the game my partner and I were chatting (post-gaming) and talking about plate vs. bases.  We both agreed that we each focus almost as much while on the bases as on the plate.  YOU HAVE TO in an effort to NOT be surprised.   Within the first 2 innings I was met w/ at least 3 whackers!

As we get older (we=me) ... we get slower, and these 18 year olds can move!  Our game last night was on turf also, so ...things were moving!     Another thing we discussed was how we both prefer the plate and that we both feel somewhat awkward on the bases.  There's specific footwork that 'should' be happening, but sometimes the plays moves too fast for that.

We concluded that an umpire must be proficient in both.  Not necessarily great in both, but able to do a 'good job' plate and base.

We also concluded that the bases are NOT easy (no easy paycheck) ... it's work and concentration to ensure you're where you should be at any moment, and like I said above, NOT be surprised.

My .02, ymmv ;) 

I DEFINITELY agree that for a good umpire, bases are the same amount of work/paying attention.  However, it is ALSO clear to me that (like wolfe_man alluded to) you can get away with 'phoning it in' on the bases and few will notice.  When you've got a good plate guy, you barely have to move!

I had one last weekend where the base guy would NOT get inside from A until the runner was already past him.  He 'fast walked' in from A, but stayed there until the runner was more than ~1/3 the way to 2nd.  Fortunately the 1st and 2nd time I saw it there was not a play at 2nd, but I found myself having to sneak up to be there to make the calls.  I tried asking him about it between innings, and he just walked away, so *shrug*.  While inside, he would do B/C correctly, but also didn't move at all. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, ErichKeane said:

I DEFINITELY agree that for a good umpire, bases are the same amount of work/paying attention.  However, it is ALSO clear to me that (like wolfe_man alluded to) you can get away with 'phoning it in' on the bases and few will notice.  When you've got a good plate guy, you barely have to move!

I had one last weekend where the base guy would NOT get inside from A until the runner was already past him.  He 'fast walked' in from A, but stayed there until the runner was more than ~1/3 the way to 2nd.  Fortunately the 1st and 2nd time I saw it there was not a play at 2nd, but I found myself having to sneak up to be there to make the calls.  I tried asking him about it between innings, and he just walked away, so *shrug*.  While inside, he would do B/C correctly, but also didn't move at all. 

I hope I didn't give the wrong impression.  I just think most new guys prefer being farther away from the fence (fans, coaches, etc) and having less eyes on them out in the field - whereas the PU has all eyes on them all game.   I didn't mean to imply that you can phone it in.

I certainly believe, when done correctly, the BU is working just as hard - and certainly moves a lot more than the PU in most games.  Most older gentlemen I work with prefer the plate.  I am younger than most umpires in my area for HS (OH average age is like 54) at 44 and still move pretty well, so I get asked if they mind if I'd let them have the plate... I have no trouble with it, but I am not dodging it.   As a matter of fact, I look forward to my plate games when I know there's good teams on the schedule - now, when I know the teams are not throwing good arms because of the opposition, scheduling or whatever... it's not something I look forward to as much because I know I'll have to be grabbing strikes versus simply calling them.

And for whatever reason, while I get hit back there at times (mostly arms and lower legs), I haven't gotten that big black & blue bruise some of you guys share from time-to-time.  I don't know if it is my positioning, I'm just lucky - or my tough skin.  It hurts when I get hit, but I've not had that swelling or huge bruise yet.  I probably just jinxed myself, but I don't believe in that stuff. 😁

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Scissors, I apologize for high-jacking the thread..."Plate Dodging" needs its own thread.

From what I have seen, new guys who perhaps never played as an F2 don't like working the plate because they are afraid. That's understandable. I played rec hockey until my 30s. No way am I refereeing hockey...ever.

Veteran guys don't like working the plate because...they are senior, they are Chiefs and they have earned that privilege.

I work the plate as much as I can. If I am Chief, I work the plate. If I am not the Chief, I will ask Chief what he wants to do. If he says he wants plate...fine. If he asks me what I want do, I take the plate.

What I find comical in all of this is the lengths guys will go to to avoid the plate...arriving early dressed for the bases and then even better, the arriving late move, not telling me they are arriving late and jumping out of their vehicle and saying, "Can I take the bases?" without realizing I went ahead and dressed for the plate when they didn't tell me they were going to be late. And who doesn't love the "Oh...I parked on the other side of the parking lot! I didn't know we were parking over here even though that's what your email said and I acknowledged it..." move?

~Dawg

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Thunderheads said:

It's so funny that this subject is stemming from this post, but it's interesting because it's been talked about with some of my partners this year, and actually, just last night.  I rotated plate and base this week which I prefer, and yesterday was a base for me and after the game my partner and I were chatting (post-gaming) and talking about plate vs. bases.  We both agreed that we each focus almost as much while on the bases as on the plate.  YOU HAVE TO in an effort to NOT be surprised.

 

To add to the thread hijacking, when I was a new(er) umpire, I preferred the bases for a couple reasons. I'm not afraid of getting hit with the equipment on; I actually didn't want to hear constant complaints about my strike zone. As naive as I was, I figured someone was always complaining about the zone and I just didn't want to have to deal with that. The second reason I shied away from the plate was the assumption PU has to be the one with the better rules knowledge and application experience.

As I write this (stream-of-consciousness style) I realize both those reasons I avoided the plate have the same source:  a lack of confidence.

As I gained confidence (both in my zone and in my rules knowledge), my fear of working the plate diminished. I still fight that (especially when it's a cross-town rival game with playoff-like atmosphere), but it doesn't prevent me from taking the plate if my partner doesn't want it. This year, of all the double-headers I've worked for HS, I'd say I was the first plate for 95% of them. My skills have improved as a result.

The second part of @Thunderheads point is absolutely true:  working the field as a BU is no walk in the park, especially in 2-man. Anticipating the play to be in the right position, having to be mentally engaged even though the defense can't find the strike zone or can't buy an out. Check out mentally in the field and you're going to get straight-lined on a critical play and then you'll have to pray the coach on the short end of the botched call asks you to get help so you can "talk" to the PU so you can reverse your call.

In summary, I would encourage us to help our partners that don't want to work plates because of confidence. We all know we need as many umpires as we can get right now.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You guys work for assignors that let you choose where you want to be? My HS association in So Cal and the one here in TN lists the plate/base guy. Often, there is a reason for the assignment. If a guy want to switch with me, I ask him to put it in a text thread so the assignor can make the decision. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, concertman1971 said:

You guys work for assignors that let you choose where you want to be? My HS association in So Cal and the one here in TN lists the plate/base guy. Often, there is a reason for the assignment. If a guy want to switch with me, I ask him to put it in a text thread so the assignor can make the decision. 

My assigner 'assigns' positions, but unless there is a problem with it, with most partner pairs, its up to the crew to decide which is which.

For some umps its a problem (that they'll argue they need to stick to whats in the tool), so the assigner will take care on that.  BUT for example,  I have 5 tomorrow set up as plate for all 5, but we'll obviously at our convenience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Though you have to focus on the bases, it’s not nearly to the same level as behind the plate. On the bases you’re mostly watching the game, waiting for action (after thinking about rotation or situation). Behind the plate you have to be mentally locked in every single pitch. Have to know every single count. Guys plate dodge because they don’t want 7 innings of being locked in to every pitch, especially with the risk of one gross miss sinking their credibility. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/4/2023 at 12:34 PM, Richvee said:

It's the shortage. It has culminated this year in a plethora of otherwise good varsity baseball games, with partners that don't belong on a Varsity baseball field.

This is also a problem here--although I don't blame the assigner.  I know this because I have called him and was told "I have to put him somewhere to cover the games and I want him with someone I trust".

I've had this one guy twice this year.  He is famous for not moving.  If he is in A and "thinks" the ball is going to be caught he stays in A, doesn't move but to turn his head to watch the fly ball go to the outfield.  Because of this I've watched him make at least 4 (close) calls at second about 6 steps from A, still in the outfield.  The same guy called an infield fly (that wasn't caught, probably wasn't even an infield fly with less that 2 outs) with 3-2 count, two outs--runners going full blast on the pitch.  Try and un&^%() that!!

It gets very difficult to keep peace with coaches when its nearly impossible to defend your partner.  That puts us in a very difficult position.

  • Sad 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/4/2023 at 8:24 PM, The Man in Blue said:

I have been hearing about some of the newer guys dodging plates.  Knock on wood.

At least from what I’ve seen, to be fair, they… sidestep plates because: 

  1. They get pushed to Plate by “veteran” partners who want to dump on the rookie, and use the association-supplied excuse that “rookies need plate time to develop da skillz”. 
  2. They frequently work solo (JV, Freshman, small-kid league, etc), and really have a yearning to do bases… for once. 
  3. Their plate gear sucks. Genuinely. Sucks. And that’s frequently because no partner or association member knows how to properly fit gear to/for them, or there are association members who tell them, “This is whatcha need right here!” (Which is my second most-hated piece of gear advice… second to and right behind, “It’s got the MLB logo on it, don’t it? Stop questioning! This is whatcha need!”) 

We gotta take better care of our rookies. When I’m assigned with one, I will give them a genuine, no-wrong-answer choice – plate or bases. If they want bases, I understand… and I not only guide/coach them thru their base work (between innings or post-game), but I also encourage them to… ahem… watch and analyze the mad maestro work. 😝 If they choose plate, I assure them I’ll take a lot of “the heat” off them. Don’t sweat the small details, don’t worry about (missed) rotations, etc. Sure, we want rotations to be identified, and to happen, but the priorities are Balls & Strikes, Fair / Foul, etc., and if you feel, in the moment, to stay plate and process, then I can adjust accordingly. There are several of us who adopt this approach with rookies (typically Vultures), and these rookies then espouse how *that* game they did with so-and-so was a big building block in their burgeoning career. I just glow about it. If it’s not me they’re talking about, they’ll say who it is, and more-often-than-not, my estimate will be confirmed, “Yup. Vulture. You worked with a Vulture.”

 

  • Like 8
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/6/2023 at 11:47 PM, Thatsnotyou said:

Though you have to focus on the bases, it’s not nearly to the same level as behind the plate. On the bases you’re mostly watching the game, waiting for action (after thinking about rotation or situation). Behind the plate you have to be mentally locked in every single pitch. Have to know every single count. Guys plate dodge because they don’t want 7 innings of being locked in to every pitch, especially with the risk of one gross miss sinking their credibility. 

 

I am going to take a contrarian point of view on this.  Maybe I'm an odd-ball, but I find the bases to be much tougher than the plate, especially when I was just starting.  Some of that is for the same reasons you mention: on the bases you have more moving pieces you need to be watching, it is much tougher to be engaged every pitch, and there are far more places you need to be (and not be).

I understand why new guys and gals don't want to get behind the plate right away, but I believe their approach is all wrong.  Same thing goes for volleyball: new people think they want to stay down in the R2 spot because people really aren't watching that position.  Eyes are all on the R1 whose one basic duty is in and out.  Truth is, there are way more things to screw up and it is far easier to screw things up in the R2 and base umpire spots.  

I don't think most avoid the plate because of the concentration level.  It is fear of being the center of attention, especially if something goes wrong.

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

1 hour ago, aaluck said:

It gets very difficult to keep peace with coaches when its nearly impossible to defend your partner.  That puts us in a very difficult position.

 

Let me ask, how do you guys handle this with coaches?  It is a major faux pas to throw your partner under the bus, but what do you do when they are actively diving under the bus every opportunity they have?  (This weekend was ... interesting ... for me.)

 

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...