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Old Thu Apr 15, 2004, 09:27am
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All;

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.

Peter
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Old Thu Apr 15, 2004, 12:28pm
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There's a difference between a coach that knows the rules and knows an ump may not (hands/bat in your example) because he will back off when called on it because he knows the ump is right. See, the sly coach knows when he's bluffing and will stop, and he won't try it with you again (and probably won't try other rule manipulations either). It's a test of how to deal with the umpire.

Contrast this with the coach that doesn't know who goes balistic when the ump says the hands ARE NOT part of the bat and ends up getting himself tossed, suspended,losing his protest/fee, and losing several hours sleep so he can find the rule and PROVE you were wrong. Then next game he's in he'll insist that a ball that hits the plate is foul and start the cycle again.

I think you, as an umpire, will quickly figure out who is which too. Who would you rather do a game for?


(You should have let restraint go and asked the JC coach the question.)


[Edited by Rich Ives on Apr 15th, 2004 at 01:32 PM]
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Old Thu Apr 15, 2004, 01:13pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Ives
There's a difference between a coach that knows the rules and knows an ump may not (hands/bat in your example) because he will back off when called on it because he knows the ump is right. See, the sly coach knows when he's bluffing and will stop, and he won't try it with you again (and probably won't try other rule manipulations either). It's a test of how to deal with the umpire.

Contrast this with the coach that doesn't know who goes balistic when the ump says the hands ARE NOT part of the bat and ends up getting himself tossed, suspended,losing his protest/fee, and losing several hours sleep so he can find the rule and PROVE you were wrong. Then next game he's in he'll insist that a ball that hits the plate is foul and start the cycle again.

I think you, as an umpire, will quickly figure out who is which too. Who would you rather do a game for?

As an assignor for many years who had to deal with dozens of protests, (assignors are often asked to gather the evidence from the umpires) I never had a coach protest a game or get himself tossed over "the hands are part of the bat". (Correction: I understand that the other coach of the kid that got hit in my story was tossed when objecting to the umpires putting the kid back in the box with a strike.)

I have met many coaches who claimed that the hands were part of the bat. I don't know any who actually believed this, however. The older I get, the more I beleive that it's only umpires and fans who beleive the dozens of baseball rules myths that are out there. Coaches are too smart for this.

Peter
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Old Thu Apr 15, 2004, 02:12pm
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I enjoyed Rich Ives's piece, though I don't work much youth ball any more. And while I find Peter's anecdote amusing and, in my experience, common, I also find it unsettling. Coaches' common attempts to gain an unfair advantage by knowingly misrepresenting rules or facts is fraud. Even unknowingly misrepresenting rules or facts is negligent misrepresentation, a form of fraud. Either way, it's unfortunate that we cannot eject coaches for fraud; it would be good for the game and for the kids if we could. If kids learn from their role-model coaches that society accepts the attempt to gain unfair advantages, then our culture becomes all the more immoral.

I always strictly adhere to Childress's admonition in his "51 ways" tome, "Never lie to a coach." It's unfortunate that Ives's colleagues don't adhere to a similar admonition, "Never lie to the umpire."
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Old Thu Apr 15, 2004, 03:01pm
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It's not a lie if you phrase it the right way ;-)

"Aren't the hands part of the bat?"

"Isn't it a foul ball when the ball hits the plate?"

"I thought the ball was dead on a foul tip."


Just get him thinking . . .

Besides, if you know your stuff it won't work. And you have to pick your spots.



[Edited by Rich Ives on Apr 15th, 2004 at 04:06 PM]
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Old Thu Apr 15, 2004, 03:05pm
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"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 actually wrote it a couple of years ago but a prior editor turned it down, but you're welcome.

You can't "play stupid" until you know the rules so thanks for the promotion of my piece.
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Old Thu Apr 15, 2004, 03:13pm
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I never had a coach protest a game or get himself tossed over "the hands are part of the bat". (Correction: I understand that the other coach of the kid that got hit in my story was tossed when objecting to the umpires putting the kid back in the box with a strike.)


Peter [/B][/QUOTE]

I wonder if a coach could argue with an unknowledgeable umpire about getting ejected?

Ump: Coach, you're outta here!
Coach: You can't do that! This is Little/Pony/Babe Ruth/Stan Musial/Ma & Pa League! Umpires aren't allowed to eject coaches!
Ump: I'm sorry coach, you are right. Play Ball!
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Old Sat Apr 17, 2004, 02:45am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Ives
"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 actually wrote it a couple of years ago but a prior editor turned it down, but you're welcome.

You can't "play stupid" until you know the rules so thanks for the promotion of my piece.
The "prior editor" -- after what seems to me to have been a cursory reading -- turned down Rich's piece because it was ostensibly about coaches, not officials. The current regime (i.e., I) was more than happy to get such a knowledgeable, well-written piece. Those of you who subscribe will get many chances to read Rich's wit and wisdom. If his first articles are representative, I guarantee you that his work will make you a better umpire.
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Old Sat Apr 17, 2004, 05:55pm
DG DG is offline
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Before I became an umpire, I was a coach. As a coach I found it very important to know the rules, but I would not use my knowledge to manipulate an umpire. My rules knowledge has helped win many games, for example, one very important game I recall was won because I knew the rule. Situation: tie game, last inning. Good hitter at plate, not good hitter on deck, bases loaded, 1 out. Batter hits a high fly ball toward first base, PU says "infield fly", but does not say "if fair". No matter, the ball lands in front of the bag while the first baseman and pitcher look at each other trying to decide who is going to catch it, and bounces into foul territory. PU wanted to stick to an out, which would have brought my not so good hitter to plate with 2 outs. I successfully pointed out the rule that an infield fly has to be a fair ball, batter goes back to bat and laces a double to left center to win the game.
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Old Sat Apr 17, 2004, 09:48pm
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So, DG, in an "opposite" case when you knew an umpire blew rules call but it FAVORED your team you pointed it out?
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Old Sat Apr 17, 2004, 09:59pm
DG DG is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Ives
So, DG, in an "opposite" case when you knew an umpire blew rules call but it FAVORED your team you pointed it out?
Sure. No manipulation, just getting a rule interpreted correctly. Now if I had been the defensive coach, and the offensive coach did not complain, I would not say a word.
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Old Sun Apr 18, 2004, 11:37am
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Quote:
Originally posted by DG
Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Ives
So, DG, in an "opposite" case when you knew an umpire blew rules call but it FAVORED your team you pointed it out?
Sure. No manipulation, just getting a rule interpreted correctly. Now if I had been the defensive coach, and the offensive coach did not complain, I would not say a word.
First you say you's intervene on an incorrect call that favored your team ("Sure") then you say you'd keep your mouth shut.

Which one is it again?
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Old Sun Apr 18, 2004, 11:45am
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Quote:
Originally posted by DG
Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Ives
So, DG, in an "opposite" case when you knew an umpire blew rules call but it FAVORED your team you pointed it out?
Sure. No manipulation, just getting a rule interpreted correctly. Now if I had been the defensive coach, and the offensive coach did not complain, I would not say a word.
So getting a rule correctly isn't your primary motivation then. As long as we're clear on that.

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Old Sun Apr 18, 2004, 11:46am
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Whew,

Now we even have Rats writing for the site.

Makes it that much easier to not become the 20th paid member of the site.

Tee
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Old Sun Apr 18, 2004, 12:15pm
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Wink Re: Whew,

Quote:
Originally posted by Tim C
Now we even have Rats writing for the site.

Makes it that much easier to not become the 20th paid member of the site.

Tee
Kinda ruins your thought that Rats can't read and write doesn't it?
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