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mattmets Sat Jun 16, 2007 01:40pm

Saturday...in the park....
 
Today's musical guest: Chicago....

DH today, first game is 14-15 Babe Ruth. Game is moving along quickly until the top of the 5th, when a kid decides to slide headfirst into home. Catcher puts out his shinguard to block the plate, kid dives in...I think you guys get what happened. Bottom of the 5th, R2, 2-2 count on the batter, who foul tips it into the mitt for strike 3. R2 is off, out by a step or so, partner calls him safe. After the inning, partner asks why I didn't send the kid back to 2nd on a foul tip. I tell him as long as it's caught, it's live. Kid doesn't get it, says he's been umpiring 7 years and never knew that.

Anyway, game 2 of the DH, Sr. Babe Ruth. Partner who doesn't know about a foul tip is PU, actually is pretty liberal but consistent with his zone. As BU, I have a couple of pick-offs at 1st early. Visiting team is out both times. First time I got right, second time I think I probably kicked it because I anticipated. BUT, no one says anything, we play on. Top 5, visitors leading 5-3. Kid hits a shot to left-center, close play at third, I bang him out. Coach is shocked, yells "That's a horrible call!" I let it go because it's not personal and he doesn't follow it up. BR is walking off the field, glances towards me and mutters but says loud enough for me to hear "You're horrible." Boom, kid is gone. Coach starts yelling again "Why are you throwing him out, I said it, you can't throw him out for something I said!" Head coach starts yelling "I don't wanna say anything but you've had a few call and been wrong all afternoon." Boom, enjoy the ride home coach. Here's where it gets interesting though.

Team is from about an hour away. Show up with 6 because 3 of them are off getting pizza BEFORE the game. They show up 5-10 minutes late, we get started with 9. With this kid gone they have 8, so the coach pulls him team and goes home because they only have 8. So, my questions to you- would you have run the kid? He DID say I was horrible, but he muttered it and I don't think anyone outside the field heard it. Also, this team only had 9 and drove an hour to get there (even though they had to stop for pizza on the way). Would you have let them play with 8 if the coach hadn't pulled his team? Personally, I think if I had let him stay it would have only gotten worse. This is the first time I've run someone for something other than fighting, so any critiques/criticism are welcome, as long as it's something I can learn from.

SAump Sat Jun 16, 2007 02:24pm

Replay
 
You have to draw the line somewhere. Umpires have made the right call and then stopped the game to explain the call only to be told by a player or coach that they are just out there to give them some flack or to make an impression on the coach or or the fans. Those were the honest ones, who would admit to what they were doing. Then you get the liars who think they were right and refuse to believe the umpire made the right call and continue to put on a big show. There are also times when an umpire may be convinced he made the right call, when in reality, he may have been the one who did miss it. Last, there are time when the umpire is just flat out wrong, but past experience and pride will not allow him to see it.

Ask yourself if you feel you should have handled it differently. There are some here who insist the minute it gets personal, you have to throw them out. Otherwise you're in for one heck of a time. I don't take too many things personal from strangers that don't even know me. I don't really go out there to make mistakes but I also recognize I may not be perfect. I also hate the idea of throwing them out when I really know they are just voicing their frustrastion in a terrible manner, yet consistent with many other American tradition and cultural values. Make the call and get back in position for the next play. You live and learn from each experience.

Jim Porter Sat Jun 16, 2007 02:26pm

So this team had an obviously blown call go against them thanks to your partner in the first game. Then they had another likely blown call go against them in the second game -- a call that, by your admission, you anticipated. Then pile on two additional whackers that both went against them too, just for good measure.

So is all that justification enough to keep a kid in the game who mutters under his breath, "You're horrible," and no one but you hears it?

Yes, I think so.

mattmets Sat Jun 16, 2007 03:22pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Porter
So this team had an obviously blown call go against them thanks to your partner in the first game. Then they had another likely blown call go against them in the second game -- a call that, by your admission, you anticipated. Then pile on two additional whackers that both went against them too, just for good measure.

So is all that justification enough to keep a kid in the game who mutters under his breath, "You're horrible," and no one but you hears it?

Yes, I think so.

Different teams in the first game. If they aren't going to say anything when the first bangers go against them, they can't use it later in my mind. If they want to come out and discuss it and find out why I ruled the way I did, that's fine. But sitting on their hands and then complaining about it later is wrong, IMO.

GarthB Sat Jun 16, 2007 03:44pm

A 14 year old KID says "You're horrible?"

Gone...done for the day. No regrets, no looking back. Just taking care of business.

Jim Porter Sat Jun 16, 2007 03:50pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by mattmets
Different teams in the first game.

Oh, okay, that's a bit different then. I thought it was borderline before, but now I have no problem with the ejection.

As far as I'm concerned, if both you and your partner have been horrible, I can't see ejecting a player for telling you the truth. Screaming it, dropping F-bombs -- those are a different animal.

mattmets Sat Jun 16, 2007 04:00pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Porter
As far as I'm concerned, if both you and your partner have been horrible, I can't see ejecting a player for telling you the truth. Screaming it, dropping F-bombs -- those are a different animal.

So would you say it's acceptable for me to tell a pitcher he's been God awful after he gives up 5 or 6 runs in an inning and walks the ballpark?

Jim Porter Sat Jun 16, 2007 04:34pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by mattmets
So would you say it's acceptable for me to tell a pitcher he's been God awful after he gives up 5 or 6 runs in an inning and walks the ballpark?

Certainly not. You're the official -- you're the one whose behavior is expected to be beyond reproach. Your conduct should always be exemplary.

If you want fair and equal treatment, you ain't gonna find it working as an official.

BigTex Sat Jun 16, 2007 04:43pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Porter

So is all that justification enough to keep a kid in the game who mutters under his breath, "You're horrible," and no one but you hears it?


NO! I dont care if an umpire just got done pi$$ing down his leg, there is never justification for a rat saying that to you. I don't care if he says it under his breath or not, if he says it to you, and you hear it....see ya later.

TussAgee11 Sat Jun 16, 2007 05:25pm

Its clear this player is toeing the line of what is acceptable. I wouldn't give a 14 year old credit for doing it on purpose though.

If a coach said "you're horrible" under his breath, well he's probably seeing what he can get away with (especially if you haven't worked a game with these teams before), or has lost control. If you suspect that he's lost control, obviously he's gone. But if he just toeing the line, then he's probably trying to get a word in without anyone noticing and making you look like the a**hole who wanted to pick a fight. The second a Coach starts to toe the line in this manner, IMO, he's already passed it.

That being said, perhaps you can jerk him back very quickly to the correct side. I've found that saying something back to him along the lines of buttoning it up, and then running to your next position, can give him a second decision to make. Something along the lines of "Coach, that play is over" sternly (but polite with your words in the pure verbage) should do it. Also, the stop sign can be a good way to show the serious tone you are taking while addressing him. Then the key is getting out of there. Don't let him have a chance to say anything back to you. If he wants to continue, or worse, chase you, he's chosen to have himself ejected. Not my decision, his. And also, every parent, player, and coach on his team can see that he lost control, and you'll have less problems the rest of the game. You tried to squash a problem, coach wouldn't let it go, and now its visible to every body in the park, making your ejection smoother.

If he stops his behavior right then and there, I'm simply on alert to his behavior the rest of the game.

If he mutters something back while you are running away, and its not personal, profane, prolonged, just keep running. Most coaches always need to have the last word. Be a professional and let him have it, assuming it doesn't break PPP.

Anyways, those are my thoughts on the situation.

DG Sat Jun 16, 2007 06:10pm

Assistant coach saying "that's a horrible call" - ignore him.

Player saying "you're horrible" - goodbye.

Assistant coach throws his hat to the ground and hollers loudly "damn, that's a horrible call" - goodbye. My son tossed him in a game we worked together on Thursday. Head coach calmly walks out to ask what happened and calmly walked away. Between innings he asks me "he can't throw him out for saying damn?". I said "coach, I don't think it was as much for the word as for the delivery. I would have done the same."

Jim Porter Sat Jun 16, 2007 06:19pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigTex
NO! I dont care if an umpire just got done pi$$ing down his leg, there is never justification for a rat saying that to you. I don't care if he says it under his breath or not, if he says it to you, and you hear it....see ya later.

It wasn't often that my game was so bad that I tolerated back-talk from anyone. It was an extremely rare circumstance. But over the course of 20+ years, a bad game or two is inevitable. And the few times I did stink up the joint, the only rat on the field was me.

I wouldn't tolerate yelling insults at me or cursing, but a quiet reminder of how badly I was stinking was not something I would've ejected for. If I'm blowing multiple calls, I AM horrible.

And not only have I shown I can blow calls, but ejecting over small behavior shows I can also be an intolerant ninny after I do it, thus completing the picture of my incompetence. That's what turns a couple of bad calls into a big ugly ejection-fest where you have spectators insulting you as you walk to your car.

Admittedly, I don't approach such occasions with the bravado of some of my fellow umpires. I know I'm not alone either. That doesn't mean I lack the cajones to take out the trash. It just means I choose what to throw away very carefully.

SanDiegoSteve Sat Jun 16, 2007 07:11pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by GarthB
A 14 year old KID says "You're horrible?"

Gone...done for the day. No regrets, no looking back. Just taking care of business.

Not only this, but the fact that they only had 9 players to start with should have been a clue for them to keep their little yaps shut for the duration of the game. It always seems like the shorthanded teams cause the most problems, and flirt with ejections more than their fully stocked counterparts.

mattmets Sat Jun 16, 2007 07:45pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by SanDiegoSteve
Not only this, but the fact that they only had 9 players to start with should have been a clue for them to keep their little yaps shut for the duration of the game. It always seems like the shorthanded teams cause the most problems, and flirt with ejections more than their fully stocked counterparts.

I'd like to think that had a player been injured like in game one leaving his team with eight, the coach wouldn't have been so quick to pull his players and head home.


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