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Old Fri Jun 14, 2013, 08:06pm
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 14,565
Short story about how letting players run amok hurts the game and umpiring

In Northern Delaware, there used to be a large Independence Day tournament (Terrace). Drew 165-195 teams for years. Lot of teams from NY to Richmond, but was always pretty decent with few issues.

Then as the game became more about trophy hunting and talking trash, we started seeing a swing in attitudes. We lost an umpire for a couple years and those who left stated they just weren't going to put up with these idiots anymore. So, we got them to pay for a UIC. It was me the third year. Unfortunately, after I committed to the tournament, the state UIC stood up in front of the local association and stated that we should not umpire this tournament simply because of the possibility of losing umpires.

So, things are going okay first day, a little wet the 2nd day, but found out after the fact that an umpire was knocked to the ground by some idiot who played for a team out of Trenton, NJ, wearing Coors Light jersey was ejected for being such. I found out that he literally walked up to him and shoved him to the ground. The umpire wasn't the strongest, but he tried. Once I tracked him down, he refused to talk to the police or file any complaint, but I did get the player's name & number.

I went over to the host athletic club (bar) and told the guy operating the tournament what happened and I wanted the player gone. His response was that he will include a letter about player behavior for next year's tournament. I asked him about the rest of this year's tournament, and he said, "what do you expect me to do, call them now?" Obviously hit with a positive response, he refused to do it and I told him the tournament would die if he didn't take immediate action. He didn't care, he was counting his money. The last day went without incident and the following year, very few umpire worked the tournament and some games ended up being called by players. The teams stopped coming and the tournament died after one year without the umpire's support.

I'm not suggesting umpires be arrogant enough to think they game cannot continue without them, it can. However, when it comes down to the integrity of the game and the authority of the umpire on the field, you just cannot stand there and permit the degradation that has enveloped the game the past decade or so. If you really want to help the game, you will work whichever game for which you are needed and challenge the players to not be *******s.

The bat issue in softball is as much about liability, insurance and litigation as it is about competition, inflated egos and softball.

Last edited by IRISHMAFIA; Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 08:09pm.
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