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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Fri May 27, 2005, 07:50am
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Location: Tustin, Michigan
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I guess this is the best place to spout, cause I wish you guys actually were close enough to do games around here. Knowing the rule book has become a curse to me!

In last night's game I made 2 major calls (lodged ball in glove and runner interference) that I really caught flack for. I know the calls were solid, but both were based on rules that "nobody else has called on us all year" (man if I had a dollar for everytime I heard that!) In fact I also called a balk for a fake pickoff to first (never stepped off...and "never called all year"), warned 2 different pitchers about not wiping off his fingers after going to his mouth ("your the first guy to mention that all year"), called about 4 other balks as well. In fact, the home team scorer told me that we were the only umps to call balks on them all year. She even had to ask the coach what a "balk" was. I get all the comments from the coaches and crowd - "why don't you just let the kids decided this game?" and the one that for some reason bugged me the most "why do you insist on being the star of the show, nobody is here to watch you!" etc...

At what point do I just shut my mouth and call what "everyone else expects you to call" and not what is right? I'd catch a lot less grief!

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old Fri May 27, 2005, 08:06am
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How you handle this would really depend on the level you are dealing with. I think you cannot let comments get to you. Address the people directly and move on. If the comments do not stop then start dumping people. That will change the mood.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old Fri May 27, 2005, 08:21am
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Well,

After reading the other two posts I have two comments:

1) I might have missed the age group of the teams you were working (you did say NFHS Rules) so they may have just been poorly coached and,

2) In 3,600+ games I have called THREE balks in a game twice in my career. I have never called more than three. Ever.

Ever.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old Fri May 27, 2005, 08:22am
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally posted by blueump
Knowing the rule book has become a curse to me!
Complaints about rules enforcement are often the by-product of poorly coached, ill-disciplined teams.
mick
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old Fri May 27, 2005, 08:22am
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This would depend on the age/level/skill of the players and the expectations of the coaches/league. Pre-game should clarify if balks will be called, or warnings issued, or instruction offered, or nothing at all. In your game, sounds like you were the only one who knew what you were doing. This lack of skill by players and instruction by coaches was probably so obvious to previous umpires that your fellow blues decided it was useless to call these teams "by the book." Heck, I've had 13 year old games where F1 balked just about everytime he stood on the mound and calling those balks would have been exasperating to everyone.

Simply put, in games such as you described, experience and common sense will tell you what to "ignore." Don't look for anything too fine, and stick to your rules knowledge (such as awarding bases, etc.) regardless if everyone else thinks you're wrong. The comment about you being "the star of the show" was uncalled for, especially in you efforts to call the game properly. If they don't want a quailty umpire, they can go back to the parent and teen volunteers.
Oh, those people all quit due to being badgered and dumped on.
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Old Fri May 27, 2005, 08:27am
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Just for clarification this was high school varsity level baseball. In fact the final game before District Tournaments start next week. One coach was thankful that I was calling the game right, so his kids could learn before the upcoming state tournament. The other coach, whom I happen to know "outside" the field (actually, I know his son) is the one who made the "star of the show" comment.
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Old Fri May 27, 2005, 08:37am
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I have to say Ditto to Macaroo. Depending upon the level of ball you are calling, you have to adjust how you call balks. I did a FED game yesterday. 13-14 yrs old. We could have called balks on mostly every pitch. We called one balk because it was obvious to everyone. Calling 10-20 balks in this game would have been a joke. In a game like this, I usually base my balk judgment on two things. If it was an obvious balk to all, and if it actually deceived the runner. I will call balks on pitchers if either of these criteria are met. I never hear a word from coaches when I follow these guidlines. Of course I do call the rest of the game by the book.
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Old Fri May 27, 2005, 09:12am
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You actually had the lodged-ball-take-the-glove-off-&-toss-the-package sitch?

I've had the games where one or both pitchers can't touch the ball w/o balking: as others have said, adjust your frame of reference and only call what you have to. But HS Varsity [possibly excepting the tiny private/church schools]? Call what you see.

And the "you're not the star" comment(s): you know this guy's son - is Papa trying to work you, or is he an a$$#ole in real life, as well? I believe that fellow would be the recipient of a brief, but information-packed talking-to, and his next "contribution" would likely be his last for the day.
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Old Fri May 27, 2005, 11:12am
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Quote:
Originally posted by blueump
I guess this is the best place to spout, cause I wish you guys actually were close enough to do games around here. Knowing the rule book has become a curse to me!

In last night's game I made 2 major calls (lodged ball in glove and runner interference) that I really caught flack for. I know the calls were solid, but both were based on rules that "nobody else has called on us all year" (man if I had a dollar for everytime I heard that!) In fact I also called a balk for a fake pickoff to first (never stepped off...and "never called all year"), warned 2 different pitchers about not wiping off his fingers after going to his mouth ("your the first guy to mention that all year"), called about 4 other balks as well. In fact, the home team scorer told me that we were the only umps to call balks on them all year. She even had to ask the coach what a "balk" was. I get all the comments from the coaches and crowd - "why don't you just let the kids decided this game?" and the one that for some reason bugged me the most "why do you insist on being the star of the show, nobody is here to watch you!" etc...

At what point do I just shut my mouth and call what "everyone else expects you to call" and not what is right? I'd catch a lot less grief!

If the comments are coming from Fans. Ignore them. They are clueless and don't know the rules. If Fans are totally out of line go to the home team or game management (if available) and have them handle the fans. If comments are coming from Coaches, game management or players deal with them directly and firmly. Eject if it continues.

I've had similar comments, that hasn't been called all year or the last crew let us use this bat etc. My reply is that may be the case but today this is how we are handling it.

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  #10 (permalink)  
Old Fri May 27, 2005, 02:10pm
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Call what you see!

In a HS varsity game, the last game before state tourney, you have to call what you see. These players should have been properly instructed or down the road in the tourney they will be confronted with the same calls. You can bet on that. Comments from the stands get ignored unless they are personal. The star comment was personal and a word to game management about the sitch should be made. Here in Michigan, we have a form that is available to all officials which can be used after the game. You don't have to personally confront anyone. Just fill it out and mail it. If you continue to have problems with that school, don't accept any more assignments there.
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old Fri May 27, 2005, 03:11pm
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Location: Mississippi
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Quote:
Originally posted by blueump
I guess this is the best place to spout, cause I wish you guys actually were close enough to do games around here. Knowing the rule book has become a curse to me!

In last night's game I made 2 major calls (lodged ball in glove and runner interference) that I really caught flack for. I know the calls were solid, but both were based on rules that "nobody else has called on us all year" (man if I had a dollar for everytime I heard that!) In fact I also called a balk for a fake pickoff to first (never stepped off...and "never called all year"), warned 2 different pitchers about not wiping off his fingers after going to his mouth ("your the first guy to mention that all year"), called about 4 other balks as well. In fact, the home team scorer told me that we were the only umps to call balks on them all year. She even had to ask the coach what a "balk" was. I get all the comments from the coaches and crowd - "why don't you just let the kids decided this game?" and the one that for some reason bugged me the most "why do you insist on being the star of the show, nobody is here to watch you!" etc...

At what point do I just shut my mouth and call what "everyone else expects you to call" and not what is right? I'd catch a lot less grief!

The rule book is NOT a curse, its your weapon.

But, knowing how and when to use it takes lots of practice and some practical experience.

1) Who cares what someone in the stands says.

2) If the comments are from a coach, there are rules in the book as to how to handle it.

I warn pitchers all the time, but 90% of the time no one on the field knows it except for the pitcher or cather.

There are ways to get around making a big deal out of little things.

But, if these teams are going to the playoffs, they are going to get a rude awakening when they get real umpires calling their games.

Thanks
David
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old Fri May 27, 2005, 03:47pm
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The great thing about our state is everyone makes the playoffs. You have to beat everyone to win a state title. Also the great thing is in the playoffs our state assigns those games and you might possibly see umpires you have not seen all year.

It has been said many times, but the comments from the fans are inconsequential to your job. I just let them talk because the more and more they comment, the more and more stupid they sound. If the fans are not interfering with the game, let them be.

Finally, call what you see. If something happens that the rules back up, call it if there is no wiggle room. What you will learn if you umpire longer and longer are what you can be strict about and what you can avoid calling. One of the main ways you learn that is talking to veteran, respected umpires in your area or watching them work. Call the obvious. If these plays were obvious, call them and stand by your call.

Peace

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Old Fri May 27, 2005, 06:27pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by JRutledge
You have to beat everyone to win a state title.
That can't possibly be accurate.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old Fri May 27, 2005, 06:52pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Hensley
Quote:
Originally posted by JRutledge
You have to beat everyone to win a state title.
That can't possibly be accurate.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~

Dave, did you get my reply to your email??????


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  #15 (permalink)  
Old Fri May 27, 2005, 08:19pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Hensley
Quote:
Originally posted by JRutledge
You have to beat everyone to win a state title.
That can't possibly be accurate.
So what. When did Rut every worry about accuracy?
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