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Baseball Gods Strike Again


MarsOmega

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A couple days ago, I posted my story of my 2 ejections in 4 days. Yesterday, a coach decided he wanted to leave.  Ultimetly I didn't eject him even though I could have.

This was a 12u 50'/70' Babe Ruth game. Both teams were from the same league.

Some backround info is needed from the plate meeting. I went through my usual points and at the end I said, I have been juggeling several different leagues modified rules. Are there any rules that I need to know about here?" Both managers said no. This will be important later.

The first issue occured when the home team was up to bat with bases loaded. A past ball occured and R3 attempted to steal home. He dived to try to touch the plate with an outstreached hand. I was watching closly and observed that his hand never made contact with the plate as he slid to the side instead of straight over the plate. The catcher tossed the ball to the pitcher who tagged out the runner. I called him out. Looking back on this play, they have a no head first slide rule, so he would have been out anyway. The head coach, who was the 1st base coach, said "How do you have a out?" I stated that his hand never made contact with the plate. He said "I could see his hand touch the plate from here" I said "Thats not what I saw coach" He walked over and proceded to touch the plate where he thought the runner touched the plate. I said "Thats not what I saw coach". I know what you all are going to say. I should have ejected him there. But I was trying to get a game where I didn't have to eject a coach, and I look like I'm 14 so it makes it hard. After he retreated enough, I put the ball back into play. 4

In the next half inning, with home in the field, there was a runner on first. On a past ball, R1 tried to steal 2nd and was tagged out. The second baseman tagged him in the face and in a way that made his head bounce off the ground. The player was acting like he had a head injuiry and at this age level safety is my priority so I called time. I called out the visitors team coach and assistant coach and we went to check on the injuired player. Before I could notice it, the home team coach went out and called his players around him and began talking stragety. I said "Hey Jim, This is an injuired player that we are checking on. Thats a confrence." The coach said nothing and after the injuired player was helped to the dugout we resumed play. At the end of the half inning, the home team coach Jim walks infront of me to get to the 3rd base coaches box. He walks towards me and says: "Just so you know its a rule that if there is an injuired player I can talk to my guys." I said that that was not the case. He said "Its a house rule. I can talk to my players if someone gets hurt." I stated that he did not mention this during the plate meeting. He replied "Neither did you" I told him it was not my job to present house rules because neither the league nor my association provides umpires with house rules. He keeps insisting on it and says that if I am being a "jerk"  I need to get the inning started and am trying to disengage so I say "Enough coach" He replies "Oh is it?" If he had said something else after that I would have sent him to the parking lot.  The rest of the game went on without incident.

Any thoughts?

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12 minutes ago, MarsOmega said:

He walked over and proceded to touch the plate where he thought the runner touched the plate. I said "Thats not what I saw coach". I know what you all are going to say. I should have ejected him there. But I was trying to get a game where I didn't have to eject a coach, and I look like I'm 14 so it makes it hard. After he retreated enough, I put the ball back into play. 

Ok, this piece...right here...We don't do this Craft with the goal of "trying to get a game where we don't have to eject a coach". This is faulty thinking. Every coach and every player ejects THEMSELVES. We can pray and make burnt offerings and whatever else we think will help a baseball game being played in peace but, an umpire has no control over that. What we have control over is how we use the rulebook and local rule modifications to adjudicate the game. It's not about our wishes and hopes for the game. It's about WHEN things happen, WHEN things are said...knowing as an umpire how we respond to that.

I don't know how your game assignments are structured. If you use one assigner for multiple leagues or multiple assigners for multiple leagues, etc. Make sure you have a FULL UNDERSTANDING of your leagues' progressive discipline. For instance, I work some men's league games under OBR. We don't use progressive discipline for those games. We can eject when and where we need to although, we do have to write an ejection report so, we have to be able to justify our actions and decisions.

For 18U on down, Varsity, JV, travel, Legion, Babe Ruth and LL Seniors and Juniors...it's generally verbal warning, "Coach, this is a verbal warning, if you continue you will be ejected." Then a written warning, "Coach, this is your written warning." Dugout restriction, "Coach, you are restricted to the dugout for the remainder of the game." And finally ejection. So, that's 3 infractions and then the ejection. And for ALL of our games, there are magic words and actions that we can go straight to an ejection. Drawing in the dirt, stepping around a base, touching a base or the plate during a discussion of the play? That's an immediate ejection every time...every...time.

As my leadership reminds us, "Baseball is a game. Games are meant to be fun. When you have a player or coach who is making the game not fun, the umpire needs to address that."

It's never personal, MO. It's about you and your crew making calls and then disciplining coaches and players when they dispute those calls. Eventually, possibly through an ejection, they will learn what you will and will not tolerate as an umpire.

~Dawg

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