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Old Mon Aug 17, 2009, 06:39pm
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PU-Throwing Ball Back to Pitcher-Let the Players Play the Game

I have read posts before on PU throwing the ball back to the pitcher. Most PU's stated it helps speed up the game and keeps a flow to the game. Whether it does or doesn't depends on one's view point. I donít think it does and if you think it does, it doesnít generate much in saving time, etc. I tried it a few times and after that felt it best to leave it up to the catcher to throw the ball back. This is a pet peeve of mine and can not figure out why some umps insist on performing this act. I have witnessed in more than one situation where the PU beaned the pitcher, either by an errant throw by the ump or the pitcher not watching the ump. Why risk this? This past weekend, LL games, I saw some umps take two or three steps towards the pitcher, perform a crow hop and then gently tossed the ball to the pitcher. These guys looked ridiculous. Why risk embarrassing yourself, or risk a liability suit if you bean the kid and cause injury. Saw ML Ump throw the ball back to the pitcher while the F2 was still chasing down the live ball at the back stop on a dropped third strike. Now what? Just give the ball to the catcher and let him toss it back. That is why the catcher is there. I have witnessed umps, at all levels, fire the ball back to the pitcher, almost like a moment of going back in time, "Look at me I can still throw, yea I used to be a catcher or player, etc". What's the point here? What is that all about? That's not your job! Just give it to the catcher, take a breather, put your mask on and get ready for the next pitch. We talk about wannabe's in coaches and fans, I believe there are some of us wannabe's still trying to prove that we are just not umps but X players as well. Also, why risk injury? All it takes is one throw and you pull a muscle, tear a tendon and no more calling balls and strikes for awhile, unless you load up on pain meds. I think some umps need to "Just Get Over It!" and leave the ball playing to the ball players. In summary:
1. Why take the chance of a Liability Suit, injury to the pitcher... we all enjoy the game too much.
2. Embarrassement over missing the target - under or over throw.
3. Risk to injuring yourself.
4. Let the players play the game.

There I feel better!
  #2 (permalink)  
Old Mon Aug 17, 2009, 06:47pm
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In the LL games on TV the umpire throws the new ball to the pitcher while the catcher retrieves the old ball. It does speed things up and the players know what to expect.

Otherwise - who cares?
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old Mon Aug 17, 2009, 07:04pm
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I do it.

It's fun. Only during dead ball, and I make sure pitcher is looking at me before I throw one in the air. If not, I'll throw a one-hopper, especially if the catcher is not paying attention. Then pitcher can be getting ready along with catcher.

This doesn't seem worthy of a pet peeve. Perhaps you have unresolved issues from your childhood.
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Old Mon Aug 17, 2009, 07:04pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPaco54 View Post
2. Embarrassement over missing the target - under or over throw.
Forget the other reasons -- this is why I don't throw it to them. I could probably get it to the pitcher most of the time, but it's the times I miss the target that I don't want to deal with. At this point, the game surely isn't going any faster.

In the high school baseball games here, we rely on the on-deck batter to get foul balls that catchers would normally retrieve. I tell the catchers during the 1st inning that they don't get foul balls - they get a ball from me. By the time the ball's to the pitcher, the on-deck batter's shagged the previous ball and either given it back to me, or kept it with him to give to me when he comes up to bat.

At my local park, the fences are only 10 feet behind the plate, so the catcher usually gets it before I can think about getting a new one. Of course, most of the ones fouled back land back in front of the plate anyway.
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Old Mon Aug 17, 2009, 07:10pm
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I think we've covered this a number of times in the last few months, but I will only throw the ball back if the catcher is busy with something else. If he takes a hard foul ball that glances away, I'll step out and throw a ball out, brush off the plate, and let him get a breather.

Where possible, I let the catcher throw it, and I try to have a fresh one ready before he even gets his hand or glove up.
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Old Mon Aug 17, 2009, 07:12pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
It's fun. Only during dead ball, and I make sure pitcher is looking at me before I throw one in the air. If not, I'll throw a one-hopper, especially if the catcher is not paying attention. Then pitcher can be getting ready along with catcher.

This doesn't seem worthy of a pet peeve. Perhaps you have unresolved issues from your childhood.
I would hope you are only throwing a ball out when one is not in play, and you probably should not be throwing a ball in the dirt whether on purpose or accident.

Not only does it look very bad to do that, it looks even worse when it gets by the pitcher.
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Old Mon Aug 17, 2009, 07:20pm
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Done appropriately, that is when the catcher is otherwise occupied, it does speed up the game. When the catcher is not busy, I hand the new ball to him.

If you can't throw a ball 60 feet, then don't try.
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Old Mon Aug 17, 2009, 10:01pm
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It most cases it does no harm to throw the pitcher a new ball while the catcher is running to the fence to retrieve an errant throw. For foul balls back to the fence, we let the on deck hitters get those. I have seen guys underhand balls to the pitcher if they can't throw them overhand. This is something I go over when I speak to the catcher/pitcher when they are warming up before the first pitch, so the pitcher knows to pay attention if his catcher is running down a ball.
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Old Mon Aug 17, 2009, 11:15pm
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I used to

I used to throw the ball out whenever a new one was needed. No problems for a few years, then one weekend tourney I turned into the catcher from Major Leage 2 and threw 5 to F8, and a couple to F6 and F4. So rather than quoting the Victoria Secret catalog I just let the catcher throw it back when he is available. I'll still thow one out if the F2 is going to be occupied for any period of time.
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Old Tue Aug 18, 2009, 12:13am
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I played a lot of baseball, majored in Physical Education, wrote a term paper on the fundamentals of pitching, and can throw a baseball (and a football) long and straight. That being said, I hand the ball to the catcher whenever F2 isn't busy doing something else. I can throw it to the pitcher, but ocassionally it gets away from me, and that doesn't look good. I too like my on deck hitters shagging fouls to the backstop so the catcher can throw the ball to his pitcher.
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Old Tue Aug 18, 2009, 12:33am
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Maybe it's just me, but I have no trouble throwing it one foot wide of glove hand side of the pitcher. I'll even pick up the catcher's mask/helmet if the ball is dead, or no runners on. Anything to speed up the game.

Now, it you can't make a quality toss, then don't. If you can't bend over easily to help your catcher out, fine, don't rip your drawers. But why bag on me because I throw straight, and can do more situps than you? And why is it such a big deal, for gosh sakes?
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Old Tue Aug 18, 2009, 02:01am
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Old Tue Aug 18, 2009, 02:07am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanDiegoSteve View Post
[...] I hand the ball to the catcher whenever F2 isn't busy doing something else. I can throw it to the pitcher, but ocassionally it gets away from me, and that doesn't look good. I too like my on deck hitters shagging fouls to the backstop so the catcher can throw the ball to his pitcher.
Dittos.
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Old Tue Aug 18, 2009, 02:30am
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Jpaco...if you want the catchers to throw the ball back, then do it that way. There are far more things to focus on to become a better umpire and you seem pretty passionate about your reasons. Go with it!
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Old Tue Aug 18, 2009, 06:05am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPaco54 View Post
I have read posts before on PU throwing the ball back to the pitcher. Most PU's stated it helps speed up the game and keeps a flow to the game. Whether it does or doesn't depends on one's view point. I donít think it does and if you think it does, it doesnít generate much in saving time, etc. I tried it a few times and after that felt it best to leave it up to the catcher to throw the ball back. This is a pet peeve of mine and can not figure out why some umps insist on performing this act. I have witnessed in more than one situation where the PU beaned the pitcher, either by an errant throw by the ump or the pitcher not watching the ump. Why risk this? This past weekend, LL games, I saw some umps take two or three steps towards the pitcher, perform a crow hop and then gently tossed the ball to the pitcher. These guys looked ridiculous. Why risk embarrassing yourself, or risk a liability suit if you bean the kid and cause injury. Saw ML Ump throw the ball back to the pitcher while the F2 was still chasing down the live ball at the back stop on a dropped third strike. Now what? Just give the ball to the catcher and let him toss it back. That is why the catcher is there. I have witnessed umps, at all levels, fire the ball back to the pitcher, almost like a moment of going back in time, "Look at me I can still throw, yea I used to be a catcher or player, etc". What's the point here? What is that all about? That's not your job! Just give it to the catcher, take a breather, put your mask on and get ready for the next pitch. We talk about wannabe's in coaches and fans, I believe there are some of us wannabe's still trying to prove that we are just not umps but X players as well. Also, why risk injury? All it takes is one throw and you pull a muscle, tear a tendon and no more calling balls and strikes for awhile, unless you load up on pain meds. I think some umps need to "Just Get Over It!" and leave the ball playing to the ball players. In summary:
1. Why take the chance of a Liability Suit, injury to the pitcher... we all enjoy the game too much.
2. Embarrassement over missing the target - under or over throw.
3. Risk to injuring yourself.
4. Let the players play the game.

There I feel better!
One of the parts of your job is to keep the game moving.

There is nothing wrong with the umpire throwing the ball back, provided they can make a decent throw.

Also, you need to change states if you think you're at risk of liability for that.

As long as you're acting in good faith and aren't being negligent ( throwing a 94mph and hitting the pitcher in the head ala david wright would be negligent) than you're covered.
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