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Old Thu May 01, 2008, 09:37am
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Malicious Contact

We were playing in a FED JV game the other night. My catcher had caught a throw from an outfielder and was waiting to apply the tag on the incoming runner. The runner then lowers his shoulder into my catcher and proceeds to raise his arm and drive my catcher into the ground. I watch the PU signal out and wait for the ejection signal which never happens. This was the third out of the inning, so I stop to ask PU on my way to coach first base why the player was not ejected. He said, "Why should he be?" I said, "Because he lowered his shoulder and threw my catcher to the ground. This is malicious contact." PU seemed stunned by this. He said, "Sorry Coach. I didn't see that. I was watching the play at the plate." I dropped it there because I knew that I was not going to get anywhere with this guy. After the next inning ended, his partner approached me and said he would talk to his partner and explain to him about malicious contact. He said that he was new and he maybe didn't realize what was going on. I told him that my catcher was not hurt, but this PU is asking for trouble from some coaches if he is going to allow things like this to happen.
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Old Thu May 01, 2008, 10:00am
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You handled it right by not continuing the discussion when you got that ridiculous answer about watching the play. MC has to be enforced strictly to prevent injuries, and retaliation. Obviously he needs to spend some time with the Fed rulebook
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Old Thu May 01, 2008, 10:39am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harmbu
After the next inning ended, his partner approached me and said he would talk to his partner and explain to him about malicious contact. He said that he was new and he maybe didn't realize what was going on.
Beep...beep...beep...beep
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Old Thu May 01, 2008, 11:11am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harmbu
"Sorry Coach. I didn't see that. I was watching the play at the plate." I dropped it there because I knew that I was not going to get anywhere with this guy.
Coach, respectfully ask the PU to check with his partner or express your desire to protest the game. Malicious contact involves some judgment but from your description is sounds like the appropriate call. As soon as you mention 'protest' the umpires should be getting together to discuss the rule.
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Old Thu May 01, 2008, 11:58am
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Mr. Harmbu...

Normally, I'd give you a good solid answer here. I was just wondering if you wished to change your story again before I did so. If you were a manager, which you aren't, you'd know that us umpires don't really forget much.

So go coach 1st base and leave the umpires up to your manager. I'll have a couple of laughs at the bar after the game over your typical assistant coach shenanigans.

Some coaches that post here say it how it is (Coach/UMP JM comes to mind). You say it how you want us to hear it. So I'm not going to be baited in.

Unless you want to change your situation that is. Sure you told it right?

(Edited to add): 700 Club!
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Old Thu May 01, 2008, 12:56pm
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Head Coach

I am the head coach (or manager, if you wish) of the team. This was a JV game which followed the varsity game. In the JV game, my assistant coaches third and I coach first. If you want to nitpick, I guess I could be considered the assistant coach for this particular game. I will point out that earlier in the game, the PU had asked me a question about our lineup as I was on my way to coach first base. This tells me that he still saw me as the head coach and not the assistant whom we all know does not exist in the mind to umpires. Even though I hold my assistant coach in high esteem, I do realize that I will sometimes run into umpires who are above speaking to them. When that is the case, I simply have my assistant refer them to me any time they have something to say/ask.

Also, thanks to TussAgee11 for taking the time to go into the archives and read my posts from long ago. It has been quite some time since I posted. You really don't forget much. I had forgotten how I always, "say it how you want us to hear it."

Thanks to all of the serious replies. I appreciate all of the help I get from simply reading this site.

Last edited by harmbu; Thu May 01, 2008 at 01:04pm.
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Old Thu May 01, 2008, 03:58pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harmbu
We were playing in a FED JV game the other night. My catcher had caught a throw from an outfielder and was waiting to apply the tag on the incoming runner. The runner then lowers his shoulder into my catcher and proceeds to raise his arm and drive my catcher into the ground. I watch the PU signal out and wait for the ejection signal which never happens. This was the third out of the inning, so I stop to ask PU on my way to coach first base why the player was not ejected. He said, "Why should he be?" I said, "Because he lowered his shoulder and threw my catcher to the ground. This is malicious contact." PU seemed stunned by this. He said, "Sorry Coach. I didn't see that. I was watching the play at the plate." I dropped it there because I knew that I was not going to get anywhere with this guy. After the next inning ended, his partner approached me and said he would talk to his partner and explain to him about malicious contact. He said that he was new and he maybe didn't realize what was going on. I told him that my catcher was not hurt, but this PU is asking for trouble from some coaches if he is going to allow things like this to happen.
Sounds like you handled it correctly. I know it's difficult to believe but all umpires had to start somewhere. Hopefully this young umpire realizes his apparent mistake and, in the future, "sees the whole play".

Quote:
Originally Posted by harmbu
After the next inning ended, his partner approached me and said he would talk to his partner and explain to him about malicious contact. He said that he was new and he maybe didn't realize what was going on.
I question the other umpire throwing him under the bus though. Not a good thing for an experienced official to do either. He should know better.

Keep up the good work coaching!

-Josh
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Old Thu May 01, 2008, 05:11pm
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Related training videos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY-f3...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0p-Zus-MzXo&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHj2AnsHaHo
What's up w/ that shirt?
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Last edited by SAump; Thu May 01, 2008 at 05:13pm.
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Old Thu May 01, 2008, 09:58pm
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Greatest Umpire shirt I have ever seen.

What color undershirt would you wear with that and where is his camoflage hat?
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Old Thu May 01, 2008, 10:07pm
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None of these are MC. 1st and 3rd are hurdling, not allowed in FED. 2nd is FPSR.
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Old Fri May 02, 2008, 07:05am
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I won't go back through the archives to see whether you are a rat or not

I think you handled this well, personally. I know a lot of coaches that would've eaten this new guy's lunch, but you didn't. And while I am lucky to work with a select handful of experienced partners, new people need to start somewhere.

U1 probably could've been more diplomatic, but there comes a point where the only thing that doesn't throw a partner (who's gone back for seconds with the pooch) under a bus is complete silence.

A handful of college coaches around here coach first. While unusual, it's no big deal.

Last edited by bob jenkins; Fri May 02, 2008 at 12:28pm.
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Old Fri May 02, 2008, 08:56am
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Thanks

Thanks for your comments RichMSN. I do my best to coach my kids and teach them discipline without getting into the realm of umpiring because I know how difficult the job can be. Unfortunately, there are a select few umpires who for some reason decide to make things even more difficult on themselves by being confrontational and unapproachable. I always try to deal with these with silence, as difficult as that sometimes is. I addressed this situation with this young umpire and moved on for two reasons. One, my player was only shaken up and not seriously injured. Secondly, because I could see that this guy was in over his head and that he would probably learn from the situation.
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Old Fri May 02, 2008, 09:11am
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harmbu, let me tell you a story about a coach that happened when I was in my first year of FED umpiring and fairly green.

He had a runner on 3B and was up a lot late in the game. His batter fouled one deep down the RF line, and the opposing F9 made the catch and carried the ball into DBT. I was PU, and failed to make the "catch and carry" call and award.

He asked for time, walked down toward the plate a few steps, and asked me whether that shouldn't be a one base award. Then he said: "Never mind, I don't need that run. I shouldn't have bothered you. I'm sorry." And he returned to the coaching box without another word.

Now I think you can interpret this situation in several ways, but my preferred interpretation is that he wanted to point out my error without showing me up. Of course, he was winning, and the situation might have gone differently if he hadn't been.

I guess my point is that silence is sometimes a good strategy for a hot-headed coach, but I'm not sure this young umpire would have learned from the situation if the coach hadn't said something to alert me that I had blown a call. If you're sure that you know the rule, it might be worth it to ask calmly, bring in the partner, and see whether the umpiring team can't get it right.

Better be sure you know the rule, though.
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Old Fri May 02, 2008, 10:36am
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Thanks

Thanks mbyron. I have had similar situations with young umpires. When things like this occur, I usually try to wait until the inning is over and ask them about the play. I will usually try to phrase my question so that he thinks that I am just getting clarification. Then if he shows me that he obviously doesn't know the rule, I will say something like, "I thought it was this way. I will look it up and see." This usually helps the ones who want to learn stand out. They will often ask if I found it and what the rulebook says.
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Old Fri May 02, 2008, 11:26am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbyron
harmbu, let me tell you a story about a coach that happened when I was in my first year of FED umpiring and fairly green.

He had a runner on 3B and was up a lot late in the game. His batter fouled one deep down the RF line, and the opposing F9 made the catch and carried the ball into DBT. I was PU, and failed to make the "catch and carry" call and award.

He asked for time, walked down toward the plate a few steps, and asked me whether that shouldn't be a one base award. Then he said: "Never mind, I don't need that run. I shouldn't have bothered you. I'm sorry." And he returned to the coaching box without another word.

Now I think you can interpret this situation in several ways, but my preferred interpretation is that he wanted to point out my error without showing me up. Of course, he was winning, and the situation might have gone differently if he hadn't been.

I guess my point is that silence is sometimes a good strategy for a hot-headed coach, but I'm not sure this young umpire would have learned from the situation if the coach hadn't said something to alert me that I had blown a call. If you're sure that you know the rule, it might be worth it to ask calmly, bring in the partner, and see whether the umpiring team can't get it right.

Better be sure you know the rule, though.
Good situation to share with everyone. I know I have appreciated coaches over the years that take this stance with issues and most umpires will accept it as constructive. It's always nice to have a coach that not only practices what he should be preaching but his players and fans usually exhibit the same mentality as well.
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