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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Thu Nov 07, 2002, 08:08pm
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Thanks for all the help on the Batting Out of Turn. Its a big help. I guess I just need it to happen, experience it, and hopefully get it right. Or, bone it, and learn from it. As a "new" ump, its one of those things I guess Ive let "get in my head" and Im letting it bug me too much. I guess try to be prepared and not let it worry me so much.
Anywaaaaaaaaay.......this ones kinda for fun, but something Ive noticed and thought about. And interestd on getting some different takes.
I assume there is a "basic", called strike, mechanic. And a called 3rd strike mechanic. I guess Im relating to someones signature. Everyone has got one, but they are all a bit different, and each person puts their own "stamp" on it.
Ive especially noticed (mostly the pros on TV) especially on called 3rd stirkes, there are many different ways of "ringing em up". Ive been doing it a certain way for a while now. The best way I can describe it is, if you can picture it, a reverse pull on a slot machine. Arm in close to the body, fist at the shoulder, then "punching" down, with a loud stiiiikkee. If there is a 2nd called strike, I would do the same motion and say "TWO!". And if there is a called 3rd strike it would be "threeeeeeeeeeeee" standing up and reaching out in front (I know all you vets get the picture)and yanking back. Rip and tear is how Ive heard it described. What do you all think?
Ive worked some travel ball games (12 yr olds) the past few weeks, with a "veteran" guy, who I have been watching trying to learn. He says Im coming along fine, except for my strike call. Says I need to stop what Ive been doing, and, when I call a strike, stand up, and in one motion, the call and arm movement in the same motion. Not the call, and THEN the arm movement. And the arm motion HAS to be pointing out to the side.
Like I said, just an observation, but it seems, the called strike, especially the 3rd, is where each ump can put his own little spin on things, kinda like a signature.
Now, I know it cant be like Leslie Neilson in Naked Gun, but I think you all know what I, whatcha think?? Jeff
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old Thu Nov 07, 2002, 11:17pm
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You will get many different responses to this one, but here's my take.

Get a good position in the slot, shoulders square to the pitcher, your head above the catcher's head and between catcher and the batter. You must be able to see the outside corner of the plate, so get your head in there, and high enough. Lock into your crouch (or scissors) by placing your hands in a way that gives you stability, the same way every time (usually very high on your thighs).

Relax. When F1 comes to his set be sure your feet are in proper stance. When F1 starts his pitching motion, squat down into your crouch, follow the ball ALL THE WAY into the catcher's glove by tracking it with your eyeballs only (your head should NOT move). If your eyes follow the ball all the way into the mitt before you call the pitch, you will have proper (slow enough) timing.

If it is a BALL, stay down in your crouch and say BALL!
Then stand up and relax. Start over. If the pitch is a swinging STRIKE, stand up and give your STRIKE signal (hammer up, OR point to side) with no verbal. If it is a called STRIKE, do the exact same thing and give your verbal at the same time as your arm movement. Then relax.
If it is a called 3rd STRIKE, go for your punch-out or chainsaw or whatever you prefer. With runners on, or less than 2 outs, do not turn sideways, but stay facing forward. You must be alert for batter's interference, steals.

It is true that we will all develop our own style. By concentrating on the basics of plate mechanics, tracking the ball, and proper timing, hopefully, we will first become excellent at calling pitches properly. This will contribute to overall confidence and relaxation, and allow us to then worry about that perfect punch-out call. After all, what good is all that style if we are blowing the calls?
Lastly, don't do it up too big and loud when a little guy strikes out. He may just cry before your eyes.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old Mon May 10, 2010, 12:36am
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Originally Posted by Marty Rogers View Post
Lastly, don't do it up too big and loud when a little guy strikes out. He may just cry before your eyes.
good point, tailor your style to the level of ball you're doing. When i'm doing my local rec league with elementary age kids, I don't even bother with fancy strike three calls. called strikes one or two, I just use a simple hammer chest level and loud enough so the coaches can hear it, no need for the guy 500 yards away to hear it. Called strike three, a moderately loud "strike three" call and I bring up the hammer more to head level and the batter walks away, and we play on.

when i started with them, I did some pretty loud calls but when I started to tone it down, my evaluations from the coaches (who run the league also) became better, and I got more calls to work their games.

the thing is to show that you're in charge without drawing unnecessary attention to yourself.
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Old Mon May 10, 2010, 10:12am
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Houston, TX
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7 years old...not bad but we did have a few from '99 show up in the basketball forum.

I was in my first year of college when this thread was started. My how time flies.
Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. - Will Rogers
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old Mon May 10, 2010, 02:50pm
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When making calls we make three kind:

1. Important calls...
2. Exciting calls...
3. And...Protocols!

Obviously they each have their place. When the situation is tense, such as runners in scoring position, long battle at the plate, or to end a game I reach back and grab a little more intensity and a bit more volume. That's a 2.

When it's a banger, or fair/foul, or timing play..yep...#1. Lots of volume. This also applies to any call that must be 'sold' because of how close it is.

"Protocols" are those routine jobs - strike three with nobody on base is an example. I use a tone-down style of my exciting call. It still looks sharp but contributes minimally to the batter being embarrassed. I use the same on the bases when the runner is out routinely or by a few steps...if nobody is on I might not even verbalize it. # 3.

Your calls are yours. Style is yours. Some advice about mechanics is good, some is...well...something else. ALL of it is good for listening to. By doing so you will find what works for you. Nothing is absolute...but each style has its advantages and disadvantages:


Pointing out to the side looks sharp and clear...but you take your eyes off the field. Even with a partner this could have disastrous consequences.

The hammer keeps your eyes on the field...but increases your chances of interfering with the catcher.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old Mon May 10, 2010, 04:53pm
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Originally Posted by cviverito View Post
Pointing out to the side looks sharp and clear...but you take your eyes off the field.
Hey, I can point to the side without the need to look at my finger.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old Mon May 10, 2010, 08:42pm
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Originally Posted by cviverito View Post
but you take your eyes off the field. Even with a partner this could have disastrous consequences..
First of all I no longer point to the side because I went to the Davis stance and it is just easier to hammer away with the wide stance I am in. I have always stayed down, made my call and then signaled. That is just my style and it has worked quite well for me.

My point here is, for close to 25 years I pointed and watched my little finger and NEVER did I miss anything on the field because I waited until the catcher was throwing the ball back to the pitcher to make my sign. So I keep hearing about not turning your head but, can anyone point out ONE time they got into trouble because they did??? Not trying trying hijack the thread but, well I didn't bring it up.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old Tue May 11, 2010, 09:10am
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Originally Posted by jicecone View Post
can anyone point out ONE time they got into trouble because they did???
Yep. A few years back, when I was pointing to the side (but not looking at my finger), the catcher fired to third for a pick-off. Both of us missed it. Shame on us.

My point is this - going to the side, while not a bad thing and manageable for some, can reduce the amount of time you are watching the field while subsequently increasing the chance for you to miss it a pick-off, doctoring the ball, or whatever. I am merely suggesting that umpires be aware of this possibility when working on their mechanics. I that reasonable?

I see your point though...wait for the catcher to throw it back before signaling. I suppose that could solve the problem. But to my point - I prefer to keep my eyes front. It reduces the chance of something happening while I try to keep from looking at my finger...and subsequently the chances of the competitors giving me...a finger.

When working solo the need for eyes on the field is even greater.

Overall, I don't see how developing mechanics that keep your eyes on the field can be a bad thing.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old Tue May 11, 2010, 12:44pm
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I'm a long-time "pointer" and haven't run into any problems. But, my point is more toward the 1B coach's box than directly perpendicular to my shoulders(toward the team's dugout) so that people in the dugout don't think I am "pointing" at them. As a result, my head turns very little. And I use the GD stance; but I rise up first before verbally calling the strike or pointing for a swinging strike. Helps slow me down.

And if I sense something other than a normal swing occurring, like a dropped 3rd strike or a steal, then I point to my side without turning my head at all so I can concentrate on the action.
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