View Single Post
  #1 (permalink)  
Old Thu Apr 15, 2004, 09:27am
His High Holiness His High Holiness is offline
Official Forum Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 345


On the paid part of this site, Coach Rich Ives mentions that coaches should be familiar with the rules and read the rulebook. From a coach's point of view, he states the reason for this:

"...And, perhaps more importantly, why risk the scorn of all (except OlÂ’ Smitty of course) by yelling out "The hands are part of the bat!" when a few minutes of constructive browsing will let you know you should just shut up?"

Rich, you are too sly by half. You know exactly why it might be beneficial to yell "The hands are part of the bat!" out of the dugout,

Each of your players goes up to the plate knowing that he will humiliate himself at least two thirds of the time. He does it for the glory of the occasional hit that he will get. Likewise, a smart coach may take a high risk of humiliating himself to occasionally get an advantage.

One of my faviorite umpire stories occurred in 1999 at a district LL game. Since Rich is a LL coach of long standing, he should appreciate this story. I have told it at least half a dozen times on the net but he appears to have missed it.

As is my custom, I go to LL fields to recruit umpires. Where better to recruit umpires for pay than places where umpires are working for peanuts? (or hot dogs and cokes)

In late June 1999, I went to a LL district tournament game that had three umpires. I had my business cards ready and took my seat in the stands waiting for the end of the game. With the score tied, a batter was hit in the hands. The plate umpire started to give him first base, when the defensive coach saddled up to him in a friendly manner and explained that the hands were part of the bat. After confering with his partners, the umpire brought the hurt kid back to the plate and charged him with a strike.

The other coach went crazy and people started looking at me because I am a well known umpire in the area. I immediately left the field and hopped into my car since I never comment on umpire s$$$houses as a spectator, no matter how badly the umpires are f$$$ing it up.

I came back when I thought the game would be ending in order to recruit the umpires only to discover that almost everyone was gone. The coach who had claimed that the hands were part of the bat was very proud of himself as he had just won the game by one run. He was placing the team gear in his van and about to drive off. I knew him from way back and knew for sure that he knew that the hands were NOT part of the bat.

I confronted the coach about this and he said something along the following lines:

"I know that the hands are not part of the bat, but about a third of the time I can convince the umpires that they ARE part of the bat. Batting .333 ain't bad in baseball."

So, Rich, with all due respect, there are good reasons for a coach to humiliate himself by yelling stupid stuff out of the dugout. Mostly, the umpires are even stupider than the coaches. Just last week, the coach of Baltimore County Community College yelled out of the dugout at me "The hands are part of the bat!"

It took monumental restraint on my part to avoid yelling back "How often does that work on the umpires?"

I'm afraid of the answer that I might have gotten in return. Maybe .200 at the junior college level

OK for a utility infielder.

Several months ago, I wrote a series of articles on how coaches manipulate umpires. Thank-you, Rich, for providing an opportunity to make a shameless promotion for that series. In it, I mention why it might be smart tactics for a coach to pretend to be stupid.

I'm sure as a coach of 30 years duration, (at least that's what your bio says), you knew this already. You were just pulling our leg with the quote above.

Reply With Quote