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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Mon Nov 13, 2000, 10:14pm
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OK, the board looks a little stale - how about a new topic?

After a little thought, if you are so inclined, post the one thing that you learned from a veteran/experienced/"old" umpire that has stayed with you through your years of umping. Might be good, might be bad, might be something that got you out of trouble, might be something that got you IN trouble, might be something that moved you up the ladder, might be something that you've passed on to someone else. There's at least one thing that's worth sharing!

Mine? I have lots, but one that stands out is "You can learn something from everyone you work with - might be something you want to try, or something you want to avoid, but pay attention!"

Who's next?
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Old Mon Nov 13, 2000, 11:55pm
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Thumbs up Good advice

Years ago an Old Timer told me "Never stop learning, because just when you think you know it all, something will come along and bite you in the butt."
Now that I'm an Old Timer, I fully appreciate that, and strive to always make my game the best I've ever done.
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Old Tue Nov 14, 2000, 12:27am
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Quote:
Originally posted by cmcallm
Post the one thing that you learned from a veteran/experienced/"old" umpire that has stayed with you through your years of umping.
My mentor, David Mosqueda, had one piece of advice never equaled: “Don’t make trouble for yourself.” David’s point: Umpires get into enough hot water without lighting the stove themselves.

We all recognize the names of the guys flicking their BICs: (1) Mr. Eager Beaver, who cannot wait to enforce the new rules; (2) Mr. By The Book, who calls every statute exactly as the rule requires; (3) Mr. Show Off, who makes himself the center of attention; (4) Mr. Wake Me When It’s Over, who is so laid back he often forgets what sport it is; and (5) Mr. Call Everything, who delights in playing games decided by the fine print.

Those are my Big Five; I’m sure other umpires have their own names for the officials who simply cannot wait to create their own case book games.

Let me say, up front, that David’s aphorism does not mean the official fails to make the gutsy call; it means he reserves his energy for those moments in a game, in a season, in a career when his decisions count, when his “Out/Safe” or “Strike/Ball” help preserve the balance between the offense and the defense; in short, when his call counts.

I’ve made a lot of big calls in my life, but — after David — never one that was unnecessary.

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Old Tue Nov 14, 2000, 12:39am
rex rex is offline
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My signature tag is my testimony.

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Old Tue Nov 14, 2000, 04:36am
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I was taught to "call what you see, and don't call what you don't see". Don't be looking for things that aren't there, and don't get sucked into calls by the post-actions of players. However, when you see something, everyone else likely did too. From there it's just a matter of applying the rules appropriately and fairly.

As Rex has his signature tag, my username IS my signature tag.

Bfair

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Old Tue Nov 14, 2000, 07:42am
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Nice topic. I too learned many things. One of them - Sending Messages - I made a thread on altogether.

Basically, what I have "taken to the bank" (ok Baretta) from a veteran umpire is this. Do not look for satisfaction out there. If no-one says anything - We did our job. We are not there to determine the outcome but merely enforce the rules to the best of our ability and do not go looking for trouble.

Some umpires for whatever reason want to make that crucial call and be recognized. This is the furthest thing from the truth. People do not come to the ballpark (except us of coarse) to watch the umpires. Yes, we are going to have to make some crucial calls out there, but as my mentor told me "Do not look for them, let them come to you".

We have the training, when the situation presents itself make the call but again do not go looking for something.

One other "big" lesson I learned is not to play "God" out there and have this chip on my shoulder. Some guys think once they are dressed in Blue - they know everything and have this unapproachable attitude.

Pete Booth
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Old Tue Nov 14, 2000, 10:06am
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Talking What I learned

My mentor, Millard Bates, taught me long ago to see and understand what is going on in the field of play.

Seldom am I ever 'surprised' by activities that happen during my games. From being ready for a steal ('well Tee, this is where they should steal, they usually steal and you know it')to seeing 'Bean Ball' wars starting to develop.

Game control is what separates good umpires from great umpires. Understanding what the teams are trying to do, understanding that coaches (the only thing I hate Al McGuire for) "Work the Refs!" and knowing what will happen before it happens.

Quick case in point . . . the plate umpire, even before the catcher, knows when a pitcher is done and should be replaced. Because we are simple judges of rules and decisions we are not emotionally involved. When a pitcher becomes 'dead meat' we know and we prepare for the outcome . . . more hits, potentially more runs, and certainly more activity.

Seeing all and knowing all is the most important thing I have ever learned from another umpire.
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Old Tue Nov 14, 2000, 06:34pm
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Cool

The most important thing I learned from a "mentor" has been responsible for keeping me "in the game" MANY times, over the years. It is simply this:

Don't look for your validation as an official from players, coaches or fans. Despite what you may think from time to time, they are not now nor will they EVER be your friends. Do your job and earn the respect of your fellow officials. Theirs is the ONLY validation worth a damn.

I didn't enclose the above in quotes because I don't remember my friend's exact words, but that was certainly the gist of them.

At times we tend to accept the cheery "Good game, Blue" and use it as input for our job satisfaction meter. Doing that can lead to BIG problems when we get the alternative response of "You suck, Blue". Turn off hearing anything about your performance except the input from your fellow officials. Everything else will eventually wind up being counterproductive to continuing in the vocation.

Remember, most of the time at least HALF of the participants are going to think you suck anyway, simply because they lost. Relying on a vote of confidence from the remaining half, in order to feel good about the job you've done, puts you behind in the count from the very beginning.

Cheers,

Warren Willson
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Old Mon Nov 27, 2000, 03:18am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Hensley
Thinking I *may* have seen the ball skip into the glove, I called no catch, and all Heck broke out. I immediately wished I'd gone with the benefit of the doubt principle, and called the catch.

[/B]
If there's one thing that I could do to be a better umpire, this is it. I have, on occasion, called things that I didn't actually see.

Example: On a pick off play at first several years ago, the runner didn't slide on his way back to first, he rolled back to the bag...rolled right over the glove of the first baseman, who presumedly had the ball in his mitt. I couldn't see a tag but I assumed one. And I got the ass-chewing that I deserved for calling something that I couldn't see.

Vern
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Old Mon Nov 27, 2000, 03:50pm
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Wink Best Advice that I ever received

In my first year of umpiring, I worked a number of games with Carl. Carl is a veteran of 25 years of umpiring. He gave me numerous positioning hints, but the best piece of advise that he gave me is "Don't give more information then is necessary on a call. Out or Safe, Strike or Ball. Maybe on a checked swing acknowledge that you saw a swing." On the bases I was saying safe, you missed the tag or Out he got your leg etc. I had taken his advise to heart and recently, I had a brain lock and called a runner safe you missed the bag. Well, he didn't think he missed the bag, so I caused myself a little bit of a problem. That was good sound advise that I use most of the time.

Regards
Phil
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Old Mon Nov 27, 2000, 04:09pm
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Wink Situational Umpiring

I think it is dangerous to make such a blanket statement.


There are certain times when you should give additional information.

One Example:

When there is a play at first base where F3 is pulled off the back and makes a sweep tag on BR.

Whatever way your call goes you should indentify what has happen:

i.e.

"He's Out on the Tag!" or "Safe, missed the tag!"

As an umpire gains experience you can pick the situation where maybe a physical signal is added to our original call.

Signals that are quite common include:

Juggled Ball
Trapped Ball
Where a tag occured (field location) before giving the out call.

Remember it wasn't that long ago when we were encouraged to even give a physical sign of where a pitch was if it was called a ball.

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Old Mon Nov 27, 2000, 04:38pm
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Re: Situational Umpiring

Quote:
Originally posted by Tim C
I think it is dangerous to make such a blanket statement.
There are certain times when you should give additional information.
One Example:
When there is a play at first base where F3 is pulled off the back and makes a sweep tag on BR.
Whatever way your call goes you should indentify what has happen: i.e.
"He's Out on the Tag!" or "Safe, missed the tag!"
As an umpire gains experience you can pick the situation where maybe a physical signal is added to our original call.
Signals that are quite common include:
Juggled Ball
Trapped Ball
Where a tag occured (field location) before giving the out call.
Remember it wasn't that long ago when we were encouraged to even give a physical sign of where a pitch was if it was called a ball.
Tim:

You've misunderstood. Phil said my advice was: Don't give more information than is necessary.

I stand by that.

I always stood by that. A common mistake candidate umpires make is believing they should give a play by play. "Ball, high and outside." On a pickoff play: "No, he's back!" On a good slide: "He's under the tag." I consider that bush-league umpiring.

Concerning signals: I wrote an article in the 80s detailing how signals can keep an umpire out of trouble. There's an entire section in the Texas Clinician's Manual concerning signals I recommend. (18 in all) Signals: That's one thing. Doing an imitation of Vince Scully, that's another.

BTW: I don't know who taught you, but I began umpiring in 1954. No clinician, trainer, mentor, or partner ever suggested I should show the location of a pitch.

I do teach that in a packed house, with lots of noise, umpires with good timing should signal both balls and strikes as an aid to the person running the scoreboard. That little trick I learned from Jocko Conlan.
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Old Mon Nov 27, 2000, 04:47pm
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Cool OK?????

CW:

In 1982 @ Brinkman we were informed that we were the FIRST class that they were not teaching to "give body language" to signify where a pitch was that missed the zone:

In a guest lecture Lee Weyer showed us that he always leaned to the outside when a pitch missed there . . . leaned inside on the inside corner that was missed . . . glanced up for high and, at times, pointed down to a low pitch.

Jerry Neudecker then took us through the information that we were no longer to do that function.

Now I am OLD but I really do remember this happening . . . in my second trip through Wendelstat this was not discussed.

Nice to see yer still working for a living.

AND PHIL, I guess I did misunderstand your post.
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Old Mon Nov 27, 2000, 06:10pm
Rog Rog is offline
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Question Carl: - - - Re: Texas Clinician's Manual

There's an entire section in the Texas Clinician's Manual concerning signals I recommend. (18 in all)

I've heard you refer to this manual several times. Is this item restricted to "Texan's" only? Or, do they allow Yankee's access to this manual.
If some "damn yankee" was to want one of these manuals, how would they go about locating it; and, would we have to swear allegance to the "Lone Star" forever more to get it?
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