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Old Mon Jun 27, 2011, 05:31pm
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CWS - Plate Ump @ Vandy v. Florida

I'm watching Vanderbilt and Florida play and thought my ears deceived me. The PU works the knee and is always in a solid slot position. He has made numerous calls, "Ball, out." I believe he worked the dish for an SC game in the series earlier and did the same thing. He tracks the pitch and allows his head an exagerrated turn left or right (depending on batter stance) as if to show everyone it is outside the strike zone. I've seen a few guys do this and know the crew working the CWS are incredible but I'm still a bit surprised. Around here, some of my partners would get on me for describing the pitch rather than just calling it. Coaches like to bark, "Where was that? It wasn't high/low." I can see where it may placate them by using the call and head move. Any of you use this mechanic?
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Old Mon Jun 27, 2011, 08:15pm
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Personnally, I have never subscribed to announcing the game. A coach with any experience can see high or low. By looking at the catcher , they can read inside or outside.

The ONLY reason location is questioned, is when they don't agree with your call. And I am there to umpire, not to entertain or oblige the coach.
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Old Mon Jun 27, 2011, 09:05pm
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I'll say "ball, that's in" or "ball, that's out" when the pitcher hits a spot in or out, but I don't make any visual announcement and the audible is just for the hitter and catcher. Catchers tend to know when it's too far in or too far out while they're trying to get the guy to chase, or when he just misses his spot entirely. When he sticks a pitch that he thinks is there, I see no reason not to work with the players involved.

I think the PU being mic'ed just makes it seem like more of an announcement, but maybe we're watching a different game. I'm watching Florida/South Carolina and the PU is working the scissors.
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Old Mon Jun 27, 2011, 10:08pm
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I do call the pitch location and have without problem for a number of years. I don't do it on every pitch, but I do do it and have never had a problem with it. In fact, I think it helps with game management. Some may not agree, but I'm ok with that.

I don't work the knee and I don't turn or lean, but I know a lot of really good umpires that do. It's about getting pitches right and after that, to each their own.
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Old Mon Jun 27, 2011, 11:06pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeStrybel View Post
I'm watching Vanderbilt and Florida play and thought my ears deceived me. The PU works the knee and is always in a solid slot position. He has made numerous calls, "Ball, out." I believe he worked the dish for an SC game in the series earlier and did the same thing. He tracks the pitch and allows his head an exagerrated turn left or right (depending on batter stance) as if to show everyone it is outside the strike zone. I've seen a few guys do this and know the crew working the CWS are incredible but I'm still a bit surprised. Around here, some of my partners would get on me for describing the pitch rather than just calling it. Coaches like to bark, "Where was that? It wasn't high/low." I can see where it may placate them by using the call and head move. Any of you use this mechanic?
Not to say you do this Mike, but you brought up a term that I feel amateur umpires use too much. Pitches aren't high or low. They are either up or down.

Up, down, in, out. If you need to answer a question. Don't get caught saying a pitch was high, you won't like what may come back at you.
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Old Tue Jun 28, 2011, 12:05am
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I too use up, down, in, out. The other words can be mis-understood and lead to a problem - High -Why. Low- No. Up and down do not have anything that sounds like them in reference to pitches.

I too noticed him 'announcing' the game and thought it strange, but over all if that is all we can complain about this crew had done a tremendous job, and I for one think they have.
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Old Tue Jun 28, 2011, 12:18am
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Contrary Opinion here

I freely admit I'm old school when it comes to things like this, but I never ever give location of a pitch. Ball is ball, strike is strike. If F2 asks nicely, I'll tell him what I had, if I hear a bench ask for it, I will unobtrusively point up or down, in or out, or give a nod if they offer a location. If a batter asks about location on a pitch, they get the same courtesy.

But they get only one or two answers like that in a game.

Why? My zone is my zone, it's not their zone, and I'm not going to have anyone question it on a regular basis. Nor am I giving a running commentary on where the F1 is or isn't locating a pitch. Let F2 do that on the bench after the inning.

I admit that philosophy was in vogue in the mid-1980's and beyond, and times have changed. But I'm not going to change how I do things when it comes to calling strikes.
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2011, 07:01am
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Originally Posted by TussAgee11 View Post
Not to say you do this Mike, but you brought up a term that I feel amateur umpires use too much. Pitches aren't high or low. They are either up or down.

Up, down, in, out. If you need to answer a question. Don't get caught saying a pitch was high, you won't like what may come back at you.
Please read what I wrote again. I specifically said that the coach will ask that of me. Usually, I'll just tell the catcher to show him up, down, in or out and they comply.
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2011, 11:15am
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Originally Posted by TussAgee11 View Post
Not to say you do this Mike, but you brought up a term that I feel amateur umpires use too much. Pitches aren't high or low. They are either up or down.

Up, down, in, out. If you need to answer a question. Don't get caught saying a pitch was high, you won't like what may come back at you.
I'm curious. What are the negatives for these terms? It seems like semantics to me.
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2011, 11:27am
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Originally Posted by Snaqwells View Post
I'm curious. What are the negatives for these terms? It seems like semantics to me.

"Ball"

"Where was that?"

"High"

"You're high if you think that."

As with any discipline, professional umpire training is fairly well uniform and the trade specific vocabulary is codified. Just like plumbers, doctors an pilots use are trained to use certain words in certain ways that may seem strange to outsiders, umpires are similarly trained.

It is not fatal to not follow that training, but it also isn't folly to stick with it.

Last edited by MrUmpire; Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 01:25pm.
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2011, 12:26pm
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Originally Posted by Snaqwells View Post
I'm curious. What are the negatives for these terms? It seems like semantics to me.
It is. Some umpires 'big dog' others for not using their terminology or mechanics. Call 'high' or 'up' if you need. I don't say either and that is why I found this demonstration at the CWS so intriguing. If umpires are starting to accept this as SOP then I may take a look at it. I have already worked at abandoning the GD stance directly over the catcher in response to what I am now seeing. Evolution...it's tough over 40.
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2011, 02:23pm
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Originally Posted by MrUmpire View Post
"Ball"

"Where was that?"

"High"

"You're high if you think that."
"Ball"

"Where was that?"

"Up"

"You can stick it UP where the sun don't shine if you think that."
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2011, 03:04pm
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Originally Posted by yawetag View Post
"Ball"

"Where was that?"

"Up"

"You can stick it UP where the sun don't shine if you think that."

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Old Wed Jun 29, 2011, 04:47pm
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I will VERY rarely give a location on corner pitches. If coach asks on a normal pitch, "Where was that," I'll tell catch under my breath, "Tell him". On the corner pitches, where they may truly not know if it was down, out, or both, I'll give that to them.
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2011, 07:09pm
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The smartest catchers know what to say to coach when asked. They might say something different when they get to dugout, but not in front of the umpire. The dumb ones shake their head and act like it was down the middle, and I just tell them "wrong answer" and move on. Sometimes they learn..
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