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Old Sun Feb 18, 2001, 02:23pm
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It is apparent that a small group wishes to nit-pick a perfectly reasonable guideline for umpires of games at all levels.

First, they always refer to it as "Carl's list of 5" as if that automatically makes it worthless or wrong. In this country most umpires who have heard of me would believe that gives the list status.

Second, it's not MY LIST. It's a compilation of five instances where the rules, official interpretation, or current practice sanction a changed call. Three of those are judgment calls that are changed IN SPITE OF the language of 9.02(a).

Let me go over the list one more time, individually. If anyone disagrees, please let us know. On the other hand, if you believe these five instances do represent calls that may be changed legally, stop denigrating the list!

1. Two umpire make opposite calls on the same play. I argue that one of those calls will be legally changed to match the other. Does anyone disagree?

2. The plate umpire calls "Ball, no he didn't go!" and the catcher asks him to get help. The appropriate base umpire may legally say, "Yes, he did." (9.02c CMT) Does anyone disagree?

3. An umpire misinterprets a rule, and another umpire corrects his error. (9.02b and c) Does anyone disagree?

4. A call of foul is changed to fair or a home run becomes a double (also vice versa). Fitzpatrick interpretation, common practice in the major leagues. Does anyone disagree that it occurs? Does anyone disagree that it is done legally?

5. A ball comes loose on a tag for an out, and another umpire sees it. (9.02c; JEA) Does anyone disagree?

If you believe there are other instances that can be legally changed, please post them and the authoritative opinion supporting that ruling.

Finally: Someone is all agog that some AAA umpires in Arizona discussed whether they should learn how to change an erroneous call even during continuous action. The tone of the quote was such that a careless reader might think the discussion provided an answer different from current practice, which is "No, it cannot be changed."

George Bush was governor of Texas while my state executed over 250 people. No doubt each time he discussed recommending to the Pardon Board they commute the death sentence. But he did it only once, and that time for a serial killer.

Discussing an issue means nothing. My wife and I discussed going to Hawaii this summer. She said: "I don't want to go if it costs more than $100." I said: "Me neither."

[Edited by Carl Childress on Feb 18th, 2001 at 05:31 PM]
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Old Sun Feb 18, 2001, 04:01pm
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FED Ball, Texas Executions & 1986 AL Playoffs

Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Childress
It is apparent that a small group wishes to nit-pick a perfectly reasonable guideline for umpires of games at all levels.

First, they always refer to it as "Carl's list of 5" as if that automatically makes it worthless or wrong. In this country most umpires who have heard of me would believe that gives the list status....

Let me go over the list one more time, individually. If anyone disagrees, please let us know. On the other hand, if you believe these five instances do represent calls that may be changed legally, stop denigrating the list!

2. The plate umpire calls "Ball, no he didn't go!" and the catcher asks him to get help. The appropriate base umpire may legally say, "Yes, he did." (9.02c CMT) Does anyone disagree?...

If you believe there are other instances that can be legally changed, please post them and the authoritative opinion supporting that ruling...

Finally: Someone is all agog that some AAA umpires in Arizona discussed whether they should learn how to change an erroneous call even during continuous action. The tone of the quote was such that a careless reader might think the discussion provided an answer different from current practice, which is "No, it cannot be changed."

George Bush was governor of Texas while my state executed over 250 people. No doubt each time he discussed recommending to the Pardon Board they commute the death sentence. But he did it only once, and that time for a serial killer.

Discussing an issue> means nothing. My wife and I discussed going to Hawaii this summer. She said: "I don't want to go if it costs more than $100." I said: "Me neither."

As far as #2 not to nitpick (golly we've seen enough of that before) but is it not true that in FED an umpire is not "required" to go for help on a checked swing. FED Umpires are encouraged to treat it the same as OBR and check.

Although 70% of Americans favor capital punishment I would remind others that the Governor of Texas has no pardon capability himself. Carla Faye Tucker was in my mind just such a convicted killer who it would have been more than deserving of a pardon.

Finally, while looking for additional support to convince nay Sayers (as insurmountable task that would be) I came across the following situation in Baseball By The Rules Pine Tar, Spitballs, and Midgets "..The score was 1-0 Boston in the bottom of the fourth. Oil Can Boyd was doing the pitching honors for the Red Sox, and the Angels had two out and two men on: outfielder Brian Downing on first and first baseman Wally Joyner on second. Third baseman Doug DeCinces came to the plate and hit what Jim Palmer called a ‘pool cue shot’ – the ball meandered down the first baseline and bounded off the bag into fair territory. By the time Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner caught up with the bouncing ball, his play was at the plate, where Wally Joyner was preparing to score. Buckner fired the ball to catcher Rich Gedman. It was a close call, but plate umpire Terry Cooney made it: safe.

Red Sox Manager John McNamara argued the call, and Oil Can was predictably perturbed, but it’s unlikely that even they could have predicted what happened next: Terry Cooney had second thoughts, conferred with third base ump Richie Garcia, and changed his call. Joyner was out.

This time Angel’s manager Gene Mauch argued the call and then some, but he didn’t get a new call for his trouble. He got thrown out of the game. (However, he did get some satisfaction later, when the Angels won the game, 5-3.)

Interviewed after the eventful game, umpires Cooney and Garcia explained what happened. Cooney said that because he’d gone to cover the play at first, he was able to see that Gedman had the ball in time, but he wasn’t sure Gedman had actually tagged Joyner. He called the runner safe. When McNamara and virtually the entire Red Sox bench came at him, Cooney decided to check with Garcia.

Garcia said that Cooney didn’t ask him to make a call or to decide whether Joyner had beaten the tag; Cooney simply wanted to know whether or not there had been [EMPHASIS] a tag. Garcia answered in no uncertain terms-there had definitely been a tag. The umpiring teamwork resulted in a reversed call….” (pg 204-205 book by Glen Waggoner, Kathleen Moloney, and Hugh Howard).

I do not recall the play that well. I was not yet an umpire. I do remember many thought Oil Can should have been ejected albeit it was a league playoff game. Heaven forbid but this seems to support the EWS crew in that the call was made after a “final judgment” and based upon a manager’s complaint. I also know that a year or two ago a MLB ump went on his own to a video replay on I think was a homerun call so MLB umps are not infallible or without mistake. Jim Simms/NY

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Old Sun Feb 18, 2001, 04:18pm
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That was Frank Pulli. He was also one of the umpires whose resignations were accepted by MLB, despite his many years of experience. Bet nobody goes to instant replay again. At least, not until Selig decides it's ok.

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Old Sun Feb 18, 2001, 04:24pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Trish
That was Frank Pulli. He was also one of the umpires whose resignations were accepted by MLB, despite his many years of experience. Bet nobody goes to instant replay again. At least, not until Selig decides it's ok.

Trish
Thanks Trish. I recall seeing a great number of your comments when you were prolific on another Board. It was my first exposure to the potential of umpires helping other umpires. I don't despair that we still might tap the potential of these medium to improve what we do between the lines. Jim/NY
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Old Sun Feb 18, 2001, 06:00pm
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Commutation and pardon me

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Hensley
> Although 70% of Americans favor capital punishment I would remind
> others that the Governor of Texas has no pardon capability himself.
> Carla Faye Tucker was in my mind just such a convicted killer who it
> would have been more than deserving of a pardon.

Are you by chance confusing the term "commutation" with "pardon," or do you actually believe Karla Faye Tucker was deserving of a pardon?

> Finally, while looking for additional support to convince nay Sayers
> (as insurmountable task that would be) I came across the following
> situation in Baseball By The Rules Pine Tar, Spitballs, and Midgets
> "..
(snip)
> Heaven forbid but this seems to support the EWS crew in that the call
> was made after a “final judgment” and based upon a manager’s
> complaint.

I applaud your honesty and commitment to truth, in posting the result of your research, even though it didn't support your "side" in the debate.

Again, thanks for your post; we need more like it.
First of all you are absolutely correct on the Texas death penalty issue. I thought Carla Faye Tucker, who I believe was executed in Texas in 1999, should have had her sentence commuted to life in prison rather than a pardon. Others may feel strongly that she got what she deserved as a convicted killer.

I do not think I mentioned any names in opposing "Nay-Sayers" but I don't deny that if pressed to produce a list I would have included your name. I do try to consciously avoid anything that appears to be name-calling because I think it is just uncivil and counter productive. Therefore please pardon me if I offended you.

I think that your point about judgment calls being changed even though Warren has identified these as "illegal" is that there is a real desire to get calls correct, coaches seem to value it when you get it right, and there have never been any protests about these "unique" calls.

I can tell you that I do leagues where the exact same thing could happen. In fact a refusal to change another umpire's judgment call would actually be questioned and not understood by coaches.

I also do Connie Mack where some of the coaches are High School Varsity officials of Varsity assistant coaches. They could potentially be all over my case and actually protest if we incorrectly reversed a judgment call that should not have been reversed. Jim/NY
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Old Sun Feb 18, 2001, 08:22pm
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Thumbs down Still drawing wrong conclusions....

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Hensley
> It is apparent that a small group wishes to nit-pick a perfectly
> reasonable guideline for umpires of games at all levels.

It has been presented as more than a guideline; it has been presented as an all-inclusive, no exceptions, yes Regis this is my final list of instances in which a call can be changed. Your unnamed group of nit-pickers are, indeed, challenging the notion that the list of 5 is airtight.
The list is supported by RULE and by OFFICIAL INTERPRETATION in 4 of 5 cases, and by AUTHORITATIVE OPINION which you, yourself, have quoted in the last of the 5 cases. That would tend to make them pretty hard and fast, wouldn't you say? Challenge the "airtight" nature of the list all you want, but it won't change what the list is or where it came from. Ridiculing the messenger, and those who support him in his reporting the truth, does NOTHING to change the validity of the message.

Quote:

> Let me go over the list one more time, individually. If anyone
> disagrees, please let us know. On the other hand, if you believe these
> five instances do represent calls that may be changed legally, stop
> denigrating the list!

Is it not possible to acknowledge the value and utility of the list, while at the same time disagreeing that it is as comprehensive and final as its more devout proponents claim?
Where did ANY of the "more devout proponents" (presumably you mean me, here) EVER claim that the list was "comprehensive and final"? Mind you, I think it IS pretty comprehensive and final, but I have never claimed that in any of my posts, at least that I can recall. Until you can come up with an ADDITION to the list that is equally supported by RULE, OFFICIAL INTERPRETATION or AUTHORITATIVE OPINION then the list should stand as comprehensive at least, isn't that so?

Quote:

> If you believe there are other instances that can be legally changed,
> please post them and the authoritative opinion supporting that ruling.

OK, here's one:

> The batter squares to bunt the 1-1 pitch. The catcher rises and
> prepares to field the potential bunt. The ball is bunted, and it
> deflects off the batter's foot while he is still in the batter's box.
> The ball rolls toward the mound and the catcher fields it. The plate
> umpire points the ball "Fair" as the catcher is picking it up.
>
> RULING: The base umpire should immediately signal "Time" and kill the
> play. Even though the plate umpire has made a call, it is obvious to
> the base umpire that his partner was blocked out and could not see the
> entire play. The base umpire in this case has equal jurisdiction and
> is correct in overruling his partner and changing the call to "Foul"
> when it is obvious that the incorrect decision has been rendered.

This is from Evans Annotated; it's the situation immediately after Item # 5 in Someone's List of 5.
This is the result of BAD MECHANICS and shouldn't normally occur. However, I can accept that the circumstances are certainly very possible and decide that OBR 9.04(c) is relevant here. This is a case where two umpires have legally made different decisions on the same play. This is already in the list. This is NOT a new decision. The base umpire has joint jurisdiction over this particular call with the plate umpire and if their decisions conflict OBR 9.04(c) can be used by the UIC to decide LEGALLY. Sorry, Dave, but NO CIGAR for this one! This IS NOT a case of one umpire legally changing another umpire's judgement call. This IS, instead, a case of two umpires legally making different calls on the same play. OBR 9.04(c) dictates how this should be handled, and the OBR 9.04(c) exception is already in the list.

Quote:

Finally, there's a belief among an apparently small group of alleged malcontents that the spirit and intent of the rules and authoritative opinion, while clearly preferring that calls not be reversed, still provide for a contingency exception in those rare cases when:

> "a manifestly wrong decision" must be corrected. (OBR - General
> Instructions to umpires)

> the responsible umpire is "blocked out" from seeing all the elements
> of a play or he has substantial reason to believe that his positioning
> did not afford him the proper position to render an accurate call.
> (Evans)
The only point of disagreement is that this does NOT create a new item for the list, or any leeway in dealing with what are purely judgement decisions. You are STILL trying to prove a point that changing judgement decisions is LEGAL under the rules. With the noted exceptions, that is simply NOT the case, nor will it EVER be the case while the rules and interpretations remain as they currently are. The General Instructions to Umpires are not rules and they do NOT have the force of rules. As good as they are as guidelines, they neither specify nor should they be used to specify circumstances in which the rules should NOT apply! Furthermore, in these cites there is NO admonition about WHEN the call can be reversed, either. I have always said that if the umpire was blocked he could get help BEFORE he makes a decision. If he is blocked and makes a decision anyway, except as provided by the list he should NOT change his call. These cites don't alter that perspective.

Quote:

My personal conclusion is that the ultimate list would combine the specific items from Someone's List of 5, elements of the Pariseau essay posted at McGriff's the other day, and a concluding contingency along the lines of the General Instructions with respect to correcting a manifestly wrong decision.

My perspective in arguing for a more liberalized list is as an umpire of youth and amateur baseball games. Those advocating strict adherence to the pro interpretation here are succumbing to the pro-style "rat mentality" that is usually disastrous when applied in youth and amateur games. The game participants, the spectators, everybody wants umpires to confer more, not less. Even Rules Committees: "Asking umpires to confer is popular with Rules Committees these days." - Childress, 2001 BRD, page 183. I believe it behooves us to accommodate them when the situation warrants, and when a reasonable interpretation of the relevant rules and interpretations, and guided by the principle of common sense and fair play, allows for it.
Someone once used the analogy of Animal Farm with respect to positions adopted by Carl and I on certain issues. One of the great objections was that the rules apparently kept changing depending on how they allegedly affected those making or enforcing them. This request doesn't seem any different to me. Why have rules at all if that's the case? You can't shout for consistency of interpretation in one room and move to another and demand complete flexibility. If leagues want to treat matters differently, that's fine. They can make their own rules, but don't call them OBR. Under OBR the rule makers are NOT from LL, Pony, Babe Ruth or anywhere else but MLB and NAPBL leagues. The plaintive cry of "Can't we just let them do what they want" is anarchistic in the extreme, and comes from the PC mentality that says "the game is all about the kids". I can assure you, at the pro level under OBR the game is definitely NOT "all about the kids"!

Quote:

> Finally: Someone is all agog that some AAA umpires in Arizona
> discussed whether they should learn how to change an erroneous call
> even during continuous action. The tone of the quote was such that a
> careless reader might think the discussion provided an answer
> different from current practice, which is "No, it cannot be changed."

The point of Peter's reference to Bob Pariseau's report about the AAA umpire discussions was to refute Warren's latest hot button issue that changing a judgment decision is "illegal." The AAA umpires know they are not allowed to change rules; therefore, if changing a judgment call was in fact "illegal," there would be no point whatsoever to discussing it, would there?
I'm sure that same point was probably made by many of the AAA officials present. They can discuss what they like. Whether or not they can act is another matter. Last time I looked, AAA did not represent the entire staff of the NAPBL PBUC. Changing the rules, at least as they apply them, is only within the purview of the entire staff of NAPBL PBUC. If the MLB goes one way, and the NAPBL PBUC goes another, the ones in the middle and possibly in a state of transition are the AAA officials. I suggest that what is likely is that MLB will change their method of handling judgment decisions but that will NOT make its way into the NAPBL official interpretations which most OBR leagues accept. Does any of this make it any less ILLEGAL to change a judgement decision under the rules and interpretations as they currently stand? NO, most definitely NOT! There is still absolutely NO QUESTION that changing a judgement decision, except as provided in the List of 5, is ILLEGAL - appeals to posts at McGriff's by Bob Pariseau notwithstanding!

Cheers,

[Edited by Warren Willson on Feb 18th, 2001 at 07:28 PM]
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Old Sun Feb 18, 2001, 08:49pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Hensley
It disappoints me that you consider me to be a "naysayer," as that term carries a sharply negative connotation. "Contrarian" maybe, but even then, that implies a regularity of opposition that does not exist. The times I have gone "against the grain" with Carl, Warren, Garth, Jim Porter, etc. on dozens and dozens of baseball issues over the past couple of years can be counted on the fingers of one hand (well, maybe two hands ).

But this is a discussion forum, not a classroom, and problems arise when self-appointed teachers adopt a "that's the way it is, and I'll not tolerate any dissent" attitude.
See, Dave, this is where you betray your apparent predisposition when it comes to my posts and those of a select few others.

1. I have NEVER appointed myself anything in this or any other forum, much less a teacher.

2. I have ALWAYS been happy to tolerate dissent when it is based in reason and logic. Objections based purely on who the poster is and the intent to achieve nothing constructive but only to prove them "wrong" even over the most trivial of matters is another issue entirely.

3. I believe any "attitude" is very difficult, if not impossible, to accurately divine from a purely text medium.

I am not in the least surprised that, on your performance since I have returned to posting in this forum, you are seen as a naysayer. If I'm not mistaken, I even claimed as much in another thread. I have absolutely NO PROBLEM with you disagreeing with my position on any point of rules, mechanics or game management, so long as you do so with reason and logic rather than by the trivial pursuit of minor "nits". That reasonable approach once characterised the vast majority of your posts. Unfortunately, I am disappointed not to be able to say the same of your latest efforts.

Cheers,
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Old Sun Feb 18, 2001, 10:53pm
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Re: Oh Hand!!!!

Quote:
Originally posted by HOLDTHE
You do it your way down under.

The Moose and Cooney will do it the right way in the USA!

God bless AMERICA!!!!!!!

DIGIT
Don't be "deluted", HT. Most of America is likely doing it exactly the way I suggest. I have great faith in America and in most Americans. I doubt "Moose and Cooney" qualify in the majority on ANYTHING!!!!!

HAND
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Old Mon Feb 19, 2001, 05:16pm
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Carl Childress (quoted):
"First, they always refer to it as "Carl's list of 5" as if that automatically makes it worthless or wrong. In this country most umpires who have heard of me would believe that gives the list status"


First, Carl, to say it is your list is only because best of my recollection you were first to post it. I am not trying to demean the list. You have earned respect for your rules knowledge and, as you so rightly put, calling it your list DOES add credibility to it. I am not attempting to avoid that due credit.

What I am interested in (and which I learned as a result of the Dave Hensley's recent post) is that you and Jim Porter are indeed "messengers" of the PBUC. I was unaware of that. Is that an "official" responsibility? If so, I will certainly take that which is provided as "official". If not, I am not wrong in questioning whether what you report is or is not official. Certainly I will agree with Dave that it seems better than anything we apparently had earlier---although I don't know what we had earlier. This is not meant to question your knowledge or authority---but to question "official" as we must and should accept and are improper in not accepting. This is not unrealistic. I am interested in knowing if "officially" the General Instructions to Umpires should be disregarded. This seems poor if, in fact, new umpires purchasing rulebooks still have these instructions included. Can you see how we are only a small minority of the officials in the baseball world?

If we are to take that which you convey as "official", how are we to distinguish that which is official and that which is opinion (authoritative as it may be)? (Good example might be your past acceptance of Brinkman's ruling over JEA regarding a runner hit by batted ball). Is it not important for us to know what is meant to be official and what is opinion? I would think YOU would not want us out on the field enforcing "The World According to Carl". This is a legitimate point unless you expect all to accept that which you print merely because it comes from you.

Carl Childress (quoted):

"If you believe there are other instances that can be legally changed, please post them and the authoritative opinion supporting that ruling."


I understand THE LIST OF 5 EXCEPTIONS as compiled by you from several sources. Is this correct or were these to be passed through you as official interpretation from PBUC? Could there be more? Are these meant to be the only "legal" items that can be changed, or are they (as I first felt) a list limiting items that "should" be changed. It was presented the partner should approach the official "to add information" to his decisionmaking process whereby a call could be reversed. Does this mean legal vs illegal? Certainly Moose pointed out in Fed Casebook play 10.2.3n whereby a call is reversed. It is obvious the best mechanics were not used here, however, does it not prove the legality of such a reversal. Obvious, as officials we do not want situations such as this. However, a manifestly wrong decision was reversed (following much the philosophy of the General Instructions--making the call more important than the umpire's ego--and thereby getting the play right). Since OBR does not address this issue specifically and Fed does, cannot the philosophy be transferred. I recall you once writing a thought similar to:

when a question is not specifically addressed by one set of rules, one may logically transfer a finding that specifically addresses that issue through a different set of rules.

Is that not what could be considered here in determining whether changing a call like this legal or illegal? Is not what Moose presented in his argument that which you in the past have stated as appropriate? Can you not see the importance in our knowing what is "official" and what is opinion? It allows us to know what rigidity and flexibility we have in our decisionmaking.

There seems to much question about the legality of such rare actions (that, BTW, are occurring more and more certainly at the amateur level). Would it not seem logical that, indeed, this specific ruling would apply mor3e to amateurs since most leagues are working with youmger, less trained umpires versus the players and trained officials in the Pros? BTW, I do consider the Fed casebook as authoritative opinion but fully realize it is not official for OBR.

I apologize for questioning your "official" status and suspect you won't like that. I hope, however, you will respond so we may all have better understanding of what is "official" and what is opinion and how all your readers may differentiate such within your posts.

Just my opinion,

Steve
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