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Another Year, Another Dumb Ejection


BlueClue
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Man it feels good to be back!

In between my mountains of collegiate and club games (Canada), I figured I'd help out with the local little league I'm on the board of when I have some free time.

Well, dear reader, today was a reminder of why I prefer anything besides little league. Doing a juniors game with a younger umpire behind the dish who has a lot of potential, but not a lot of 90 foot experience. So, we begin the plate meeting, nothing out of the ordinary besides both sides being told no warnings on balks, they're getting called straight up. Both sides agree and we get on our merry way. Well, HT is fielding, the first VT batter reaches on a BB, and before the first pitch to the next pitch, he's balking 3 different ways, at which I end up calling the more egregious LL 8.05(b) balk. Kid realizes as soon as I call it and he's fine with it, but the coaches are agitated, saying "there should be a warning..." to which I ignore. After which the kid is okay until R2/R3, 1 out, they're one run away from the inning run limit. He comes set, takes a couple seconds, breaks his hands while still on the rubber to adjust his arm and comes back set- balk all day. The kid knows it immediately and he's fine with it but the coaches are annoyed, not knowing how that's a balk, despite the explanation.

In the bottom of the 1st, the HT is up to bat, no runners on, the first pitch the HTHC (who is in the 1st base coaching box) starts arguing that their pitcher balked, to which I reply that A) No, that was him coming set and B) You can't balk without runners on base. He is adamant that you can balk without runners on base, which results in me explaining the balk rule between batters. Following the half inning, I go to talk with my partner and an AC from the home team comes over, initially asking about the balks but quickly moving on to asking about the strike zone. I warn him by saying "we are not discussing the strike zone" but he attempts to ask again, at which point I firmly warn him again "we're not talking about the strike zone" after which he leaves. The second inning goes by fairly uneventful besides a low strike 3 with two outs the HT HC did not like, he approaches my partner and I and the following conversation occurs:

HC: (To his AC) Did you ask them about the strike zone? Okay. (to us) So-

Me: I'm going to stop you there Aaron, we told your Assistant we're not discussing the strike zone, same goes for you.

HC: Yeah but-

Me: Aaron, we're not discussing the strike zone

HC: But other umpires have!

Me: We're not, we're done Aaron.

HC: Okay (starts walking to the dugout) that's a terrible f**king call

Me: You're done.

HC: (Comes back out) What? Why?!

Me: You can't say that's a f**king terrible call Aaron

HC: Yes I can!

Me: This is Little League, no you can't Aaron

HC: But-

Me: Aaron, you gotta go

HC finally leaves afterwards. Following the half-inning, I noticed he has returned and is hanging near the dugout, trying to hide behind the equipment boxes. I call my partner over and the following conversation occurs:

Me: Aaron, you gotta go

HC: What, I can't stay here?

Me: No Aaron, you gotta go.

HC: (Smirking( Well where can I be?

Me: You can be on the hill, you can be in the trees, you can be in the car, you can go get ice cream for all I care, but you can't stay here

HC: Well I can watch the game

Me: No, you can't! You gotta go

HC: Yes I can

Me: No Aaron, you can't. If you stick around I have no problem calling this game

HC: Fine, I'll go sit in the car (leaves)

The remainder of the game went on without a hitch, and besides 3 more balks, no complaining. With that being said, I forgot why Little League drives me off the wall.

Now, time for the critique and constructive criticism. What could I have done better? What should I have done? I'm always open to learning from the brotherhood!

 

-BC

 

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Nobody asked me but...

If you haven't already, I would absolutely speak with your UIC and the league president about the coach's conduct. Someone needs to take that hump out behind the woodshed and explain to him how not to get ejected from a LL game AND what to do and not do when you are ejected. Presumably, you and your partner have to present an ejection report. I wouldn't make any recommendations there in writing but, I would emphasize and make clear that when ejected AND asked to remove himself...he had difficulty executing those directions.

~Dawg

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1 hour ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

Nobody asked me but...

If you haven't already, I would absolutely speak with your UIC and the league president about the coach's conduct. Someone needs to take that hump out behind the woodshed and explain to him how not to get ejected from a LL game AND what to do and not do when you are ejected. Presumably, you and your partner have to present an ejection report. I wouldn't make any recommendations there in writing but, I would emphasize and make clear that when ejected AND asked to remove himself...he had difficulty executing those directions.

~Dawg

The funny part about that is I am the league UIC haha. The District Admin had a nice chat with him basically saying exactly that. Safe to say he learned today that you can’t argue like it’s pro ball in LL haha.

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Two things: 1) Do not repeat what the coach said to get thrown out. If the coach uses profanity and it earns him an ejection, don't give him license to get you in trouble later. If you use profanity then it will most likely get turned around on you. You can say something to him when he asks why the ejection takes place that he used profanity, but don't repeat the profanity verbatim.

Second thing, don't give a lengthy explanation to a coach between batters, etc. You can answer questions, but don't respond to statements. You will get drawn into an argument that is distracting and non-productive.

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[turns off the radio] Aaron must have called him a @#@$sucker.

Since you are a member of the board, I will take a page from @Mad Mike and say, "Conduct the clinics before the year starts, not during the game."  The last year I ran the local league, we required coaches to come to a clinic so we could try to cut some of this ignorance and foolishness out of the way.  It helped.  Some.

 

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BlueClue: 

If you're the UIC -- I hope you understand that you should *never* engage AC's over anything.  

In a game like the one you've described, it's hard enough to deal with the two HC's.  By allowing the HT AC to conference with you and your partner between innings, you've told the other ACs that they an now engage the umpires too. 

The only correct response to a question from an AC is, "you gotta check with your HC.  If HC has a question, I'll go over it with HC. "

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BlueClue: The only correct response to a question from an AC is, "you gotta check with your HC.  If HC has a question, I'll go over it with HC. "


Not always necessary.

I called RLI about 2 weeks ago in a V game. HTAC comes by on his way back to the dugout:

AC: Hey, doesn’t he have to throw it to be interference?

Me: Yeah. You didn’t see the first baseman catch that throw right in front of you?

AC: Oh yeah. Man I’m an idiot.

Sometimes these AC interaction posts write themselves.
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