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Old Wed Jun 12, 2002, 02:26pm
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Help with this would be greatly appreciated-

I'm a 20 year old pony league baseball coach and I had a question that I am hoping someone can answer. We have a 2 umpire crew during our games. Last game the field umpire repeatedly lined up about half way between the second base and pitchers mound, and about seven-ten feet to the left of second base. This became a problem because 1) my players were complaining that they couldn't get comforable in their leads because he was obstructing their view of the pitcher and 2) when we had timed pick off plays at second with the shortstop, the shortstop could not see the pitcher the whole time as he was running over to cover the bag and had a much more difficult time tracking the moving baseball. I made the umpire aware of the situation, and he said that in his 20 years of umpiring no coach had ever complained. He did not do anything different. Is there an exact spot that the umpire is supposed to stand in a two man crew so he doesn't obstruct the views of my fielders/runners? Thank you
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Old Wed Jun 12, 2002, 03:15pm
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From what you description is, blue was in position. Next time, have your player ask "hey blue can you go 2 steps left, right, etc." If they make the request and he still will not move, make a point to walk past him during the next 1/2 inning and ask him to please not set up in his current position. 99.9% of umpires will comply. . .happily.
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Old Wed Jun 12, 2002, 03:18pm
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Big field or little field? From the way you are describing the jam up, it sounds like someone was using big field mechanics on the small field.

On the small field, the FU lines up usually on the outside of the base paths to prevent exactly what you are describing. On the big field, however, B and C are both in the same place on opposite sides of the mound. Split the difference between the mound and second for distance and then line up in a straight line between the left or right edge of the mound and home plate (think of a V).

As to the obstruction issue, unfortunately the umpires are part of the field and it is the responsibility of the players to work around them. I personally try to shift a little one way or the other depending on how I see the fielders positioned, but you cannot move too far or else you risk being out of position for a call.
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Old Wed Jun 12, 2002, 03:37pm
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Thanks for the replies-

The basepaths are 80 feet long, not 90 feet so I do not know if this makes a difference. Also, would the umpire be out of position if he were in line with the left edge of the mound (so 7-10 feet to the right of second base, instead of the 7-10 feet to the left of it where he was positioned). If he could stand at the spot to the right of second base, the runners would get a full view of the pitcher, which was my main concern. Thanks

Andy Nall
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Old Wed Jun 12, 2002, 05:52pm
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It depends where the runners are. Looking at the mound from home plate, he would want to be on the left side with runners on second or third (C) and the right side with a runner on first (B). He has to be close enough to be able to call the tag at third if necessary.

80 feet is still big field as opposed to the LL size diamond. Something just does not quite make sense here though. It sounds like he is set up in the right spot and he really should not be in anybody's way if that is the case. Am I missing something here?
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Old Wed Jun 12, 2002, 06:51pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nall23
Help with this would be greatly appreciated-

I'm a 20 year old pony league baseball coach and I had a question that I am hoping someone can answer. We have a 2 umpire crew during our games. Last game the field umpire repeatedly lined up about half way between the second base and pitchers mound, and about seven-ten feet to the left of second base. This became a problem because 1) my players were complaining that they couldn't get comforable in their leads because he was obstructing their view of the pitcher and 2) when we had timed pick off plays at second with the shortstop, the shortstop could not see the pitcher the whole time as he was running over to cover the bag and had a much more difficult time tracking the moving baseball. I made the umpire aware of the situation, and he said that in his 20 years of umpiring no coach had ever complained. He did not do anything different. Is there an exact spot that the umpire is supposed to stand in a two man crew so he doesn't obstruct the views of my fielders/runners? Thank you
The umpire can stand where he wants. Sure, there are accepted mechanics. But there are also local variances and customs as well.

If he's in the way, simply have your players politely ask the umpire to take a step or two left or right. When politely asked, no sane umpire would refuse.
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Old Thu Jun 13, 2002, 09:01am
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And in addition

The ONLY time I can remember that I have refused to move was when between the batter ("hey Blue, I can't see the ball out of the pitcher's hand"), the shortstop ("Hey Blue, can you move two steps to you're right, now three more, now go forward"), and the CENTERFIELDER ("Hey Blue, I can't see") and I finally just said, "you guys are just gonna have to DEAL with me where I am!"

Of course being my size (errr, another way as saying "AS Fat As I Am") I will always be in someone's way.

Jim has hit it on the head . . . I have seen but a few umpires refuse to accomadate a nicely asked request.

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Old Thu Jun 13, 2002, 05:46pm
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the ump is ok...

As a Pony League umpire on the 80 foot diamond, I can tell you firsthand that one out of every 10 shortstops have asked me to move a step or two one way while I'm on the 3rd base side of the mound.

Runners usually have no problem because their primary lead takes them just short of my position, and their secondary lead takes them past me.

With shorter runners, I tend to bend down a bit more. THe umpire should not be interfering with your players if they are properly positioned.
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Old Thu Jun 13, 2002, 06:33pm
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Thanks for all the replys-

I think after reading everything he was in the generally accepted area, but he was not paying attention to the leads of the runners. He was basically right where my runners were feeling comfortable, forcing them to take either too far or too short a lead. Instead of asking him to move his postion completely, I'll just ask him to move perhaps two more steps to his right. As for the shortstop, he'll just have to deal with it. If the umpire bent down a little there wouldn't be a problem, so maybe I'll ask him to do that. The shortstop is 5'7 and the umpire close to 6'3, so he was having problems tracking the pitcher on the pickoff attempt. Since that only happens once, twice a game, it's not a huge deal. Thanks

Andy Nall
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Old Fri Jun 14, 2002, 09:46am
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I had asked my UIC that question this year: What do I do if I'm getting in the way in the "C" position? His response was to try to adjust, but to give the edge to the fielder. In other words, if I have to choose, make the runner deal with it, not the fielder.
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