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Old Fri Apr 01, 2005, 11:36pm
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Hello all,

I am a new poster to this forum, but have used information found here for a year or so now. I am seeking some advice on a situation that occurred today.

I am in my second year of calling high school baseball, although I have called football and basketball a little bit longer. I am the first to admit I am still learning, and sometimes I make mistakes. In any case, I was assigned a JV-V doubleheader today for AA schools here in NM. Coach for the home team is a football referee and the basketball group leader in our local association. Pre-game meeting, I inform both coaches that my partner and I will not tolerate coaches arguing judgement calls. Game goes well until the fifth inning, when visitors gain the lead. Home team steps up to bat in the bottom of the 5th, two batters go down swinging, third on called strike 3 to the outside of the plate, very pretty pitch. To this point I had called the game evenly, and my zone had not changed. Top 6, 6 pitches come inside, and these are pitches which, to this point, I had called balls. I called these balls as well, and the home team coach became more agitated with each one. After 6th pitch, he yells "DAMNIT" as he leaves the dugout to change pitchers. He is about two feet away from me and yelling changes at me. I say, "That's enough, Coach." He yells again, and again I warn him. Third time, I toss him.

He tries to appeal to my partner, but my partner turns him away. As he leaves the field, he yells at me, "I never want to see you on my field again." I respond, "You're gone, Coach." He yells, "I never want to see you again." I call ballgame.

Keeping in mind what I said about him being FB and BkB official, I feel I game him ample opportunity to back down. Can anyone advise me on what would have been a better way to handle this, and, more importantly, how to handle anything that might, and probably will come up with this person in the upcoming football and basketball seasons? I know this is a baseball board, butany advice on this issue would be appreciated.

Once again, I appreciate the help.

Thanks.
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Old Sat Apr 02, 2005, 02:54am
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Update:

Tonight, I was out with friends at a local club, and we were minding our own business. I had my back to the floor, and suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned and looked, and it was this coach. He asked my why I had yelled at him, and why I tossed him. Then he started getteing aggressive about the game and said that "he meant what he said when he said he didn't want to see me on his field again." He went back to trying to start an argument over the game, and I told my friends I'd be back. With him being (obviously) drunk I didn't want to even discuss it. I walked away and came back after he had left.

This is seeming to get out of hand, with him threatening me in a public place. Any advice?
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Old Sat Apr 02, 2005, 06:31am
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pre game advice

I would never start a pre game meeting by telling the coaches that arguing judgement calls will not be tolerated. They already know that. It makes you sound like you want to have total control and already have an attitude so watch out coach. Let him yell when he makes the changes. He might be also communicating to the scorers booth so they can get the changes in the book. As for after the game, you probably knew he would be at this particular restaurant so why look for trouble.
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Old Sat Apr 02, 2005, 07:00am
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Re: pre game advice

Quote:
Originally posted by iliketoump
I would never start a pre game meeting by telling the coaches that arguing judgement calls will not be tolerated. They already know that. It makes you sound like you want to have total control and already have an attitude so watch out coach. Let him yell when he makes the changes. He might be also communicating to the scorers booth so they can get the changes in the book. As for after the game, you probably knew he would be at this particular restaurant so why look for trouble.
Overall you gave him a couple chances to cool it, however he wanted to go the butt route and the dumping was deserved. In your report to the state I would also include what happened after the game. As far as what happened right after the ejection, I would not even address him. Go about doing what you need to and he will go away. If he doesn't then tell him to get off the field. However I would just walk away from him towards your partner. Your partner should step up at that point and go escort him off the field. If he persists in not leaving then end the ball game. It seems to me you ended it a bit too quickly, especially if he is just getting his parting shots. He was not cussing and really not over the line. His yelling may have been posturing to try and get his team fired up some. Him telling you that he did not want you back is not enough to forfeit a ball game in my opinion. Give him a respose of "not a problem coach" or "ok". Either way, ending the game is a last resort.

As far as football and basketball goes, I would let other board members in the association know there may be a conflict with him. Hopefully tho he is a big enough man to put the difference behind him and not let the other sports be affected. You 2 are "on the same side" there.
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Old Sat Apr 02, 2005, 08:58am
DG DG is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by nmref
After 6th pitch, he yells "DAMNIT" as he leaves the dugout to change pitchers.
Thanks.
I am unclear if he is cussing at you or cussing in frustration because his pitcher can't throw a strike. In my state cussing would get a coach restricted to the bench for the duration of the game and no ejection report is necessary. If a coach is cussing at on official that would cause an instant ejection and a report to be sent in. If you restrict/eject instantly then don't listen to any changes from him. He can send an assistant out to give changes if he is restricted, if he is ejected the assistant would have to do it anyway because we would do nothing until he is out of sight and sound. I would not forfeit a ball game unless he is a complete a**, and will not go out of sight and sound. Before you forfeit a game it should be so bad that you are pretty sure he will be fired over his lack of control when word gets back to the AD, if he is not on site already.
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Old Sat Apr 02, 2005, 09:10am
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IMHO, you should have tossed him from the game but I personally think you pulled the trigger to quick on the forfeit. Coaches will try and "get their money's worth" after being ejected. I don't care what they say, as long as they are saying it while they are walking off the field.

Now if the coach is not moving off the field and still talking, I would simply ask another coach if the first coach is refusing to leave in a timely manner? That will likely ring a bell in any coach that knows anything about the rules and he will probably try to escort the ejected coach off the field. He should know what's coming next and probably doesn't want to lose on a forfeit any more than you want to call one. Additionally, if the ejected coach is going to listen to anyone, it will likely be his other coaches. I would be hesitant to call the game unless the guy was being a real d!ck and not leaving.
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Old Sat Apr 02, 2005, 09:11am
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First of all, I agree, it is not necessary to put people on the offensive in the pre-game conference by implying that they are going to question your calls. To me that shows insecurity on your part however, you did say you were new at this, so take this and what I will say below as constructive advice.

Second, I was not at the game but you allowed comments on 6 pitches in a row? Shame on you! One, mabey two, but 6. On the third I would have called "time" and put and end to it.

From what you reported here, you did not give a good description of the manner in which he reported the changes to you, which he is supposed to do anyway. I agree, yelling is not apppropriate however, was there more said then just yelling the changes.

OK, say up to this point he is totally wrong. You eject him and because he states that he does not want to see you again, you call the game? Seems like you over-reacted. You just threw the coach out of the game, did you expect him to invite you over the house for dinner later? You need to develope a little tougher skin here. Again, I am being constructive here.

Now after the game did you go home and immediately file a detailed report about this. Where I work, that report HAS TO BE filed within 24 hrs. I would then follow it up with a report about the incident at the club, if indeed you did not bring the incident about by being there, knowing the coach was there too.

So in summary, you put the coaches on the offensive right from the beginning, you did'nt control the game when you had to and when things got a little out of hand, you over-reacted. Also, have you filed the report yet?

I am not condoning the coaches action in anyway, especially if he knew you and how many years experience you had. I just hope that mabey you realize that there is a different approach to handling situations like this.

Just my opnion.

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Old Sat Apr 02, 2005, 09:12am
DG DG is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by nmref
Update:

Tonight, I was out with friends at a local club, and we were minding our own business. I had my back to the floor, and suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned and looked, and it was this coach. He asked my why I had yelled at him, and why I tossed him. Then he started getteing aggressive about the game and said that "he meant what he said when he said he didn't want to see me on his field again." He went back to trying to start an argument over the game, and I told my friends I'd be back. With him being (obviously) drunk I didn't want to even discuss it. I walked away and came back after he had left.

This is seeming to get out of hand, with him threatening me in a public place. Any advice?
First, treat him like any other drunk in a bar, and be prepared to defend yourself. If he is agressive enough, the club may get rid of him. Second, make sure your assignor knows you were threatened in bar by the coach. Give him the coaches exact words, just like you surely did on the ejection report, which he should have also. If he does his job he WILL have a discussion with the AD. If his actions on the field don't get him fired, and accosting an umpire while drunk in a bar don't get him fired, then the assignor is not likely to assign you there again.
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Old Sat Apr 02, 2005, 09:24am
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Man,

What we have here is two people making grevious errors.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER make ultimatums at the pre-game conference. You set yourself up to lose from that point on.


NEVER, NEVER, NEVER allow any coach to question 6 (SIX) pitches in a game, much yet A ROW.

The three step process (with a fourth if necessary):

Step 1:

Probably after the SECOND comment from the bench I would, with hands on hips, stare into the dugout area (mask on). i would not flinch I would just continue to stare.

Step 2:

If there is a comment after the third (which would be the next pitch) I would take off my mask and walk two steps towards the dugout area. Still saying nothing. This usually brings things to a boil.

Step 3:

If there is a comment after the NEXT (fourth) pitch I would take off my mask and walk directly to the dugout and saying in no uncertain terms that the comments will stop immediately. (If the last step did not elevate the issue this will). I will try to end the issue at this time.

Terminal Step:

If there is another comment of any kind at any time about balls/strikes after this I would dump SOMEONE.

The problem is I have never heard, in the thousands of games I have been in, a PU get six comments in a row.

In addition, taking a game to forfeit is an EXTREME issue. It would seriously damage your career in some areas.

You were waaaay too fast in calling the game . . . of course none of us were there and you were.

[Edited by Tim C on Apr 2nd, 2005 at 09:30 AM]
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Old Sat Apr 02, 2005, 10:12am
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Thanks everyone, for your comments.

I want to try and clarify a few things. First of all, this coach became more agitated with each pitch, but he didn't comment, until about the fifth one. The first signs of his agitation were audible groans as these pitches crossed the plate.

I dumped him after he was in my face, yelling changes at me. I feel I gave him plenty of opportunities to back down before tossing him.

I realize now I may have been too quick-triggered in calling the game, but the way it all happened here was that I tossed him, turned and made a note of the inning, and was preparing to resume the game after he left the field. It took me a minute to get settled, and as I turned back (he had been yelling to this point) he was on his way out to my partner. My partner turrned him back, and as he walked back toward the dugout, he began yelling at me that he never wanted to see me again. I gave him (in my estimation) plenty of time to leave the field, and then when he didn't , and continued yelling what I perceived as threats to me, I made the decision to call the game.

As to what happened last night, I had no way of knowing he would be there, didn't look for him if I had, and I have just as much right to be there as he does.

Again, thanks for all the help, and I have learned a lot in the last day or so. I will work to slow down on pulling the trigger on something like that.

Oh, and yes, I have prepared my report and will drop it in the mail on the way to my games this morning.
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Old Sat Apr 02, 2005, 10:40am
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Another,

Small point:

When you ejected the person YOUR PARTNER should have helped getting the guy off the field.

Had that happened I am sure you would not had a forfeit.
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Old Sat Apr 02, 2005, 11:00am
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jiceone,
In reading the posts I want to thank you for a very well written reply. I was able to learn a lot from your input - which I thought was well thought out and well presented. It appeared objective and I appreciate the way you provided your input.
Thank you for your reply to mmref.
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Old Sat Apr 02, 2005, 11:29am
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Hmmm,

Gee Tony, you forgot to tell me how nice my post was also.
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Old Sat Apr 02, 2005, 12:33pm
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Contact NMAA

NMAA has a report form on their website http://www.nmact.org, if the after the game action was not reported in your first report to the state I would file a second report to Dana and Gary for the actions at the restaurant

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Old Sat Apr 02, 2005, 05:20pm
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Don't assume that an official (of any sport) will conduct himself in a more gentlemanly manner than any other coach.
Fellow umpires/referees generally behave the worst, sometimes including despicable attitude. Although you may expect them to take the high road and set a good example, it is not a given just because they are officials. A real good guy, and an excellent official can become a different animal with the coaching hat on. Resist the pre-game "nice-nice buddy talk, we're all in this together" routine. Your partner is your ONLY friend there.

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