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Old Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:18am
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How to correct?

High school varsity game yesterday. Runner on 1st with 1 out. Batter hits one to right-center and fielder bobbles it, then throws in general direction of 3rd base. Ball goes into dugout.

I'm the PU. I kill it when the ball goes into dugout and award R1 home. BU awards the B-R 2nd. The award should be 2 bases from time of throw on throw by outfielder, right? BU explains his call to offensive coach by saying that the B-R wasn't "half-way" to 2nd, so he only gets 2nd. BU never looked at me or asked for help on the call.

Is there any way for me to fix this? If I don't, it makes me look bad. If I do, it makes him look bad. This is my 1st year, so I'm still trying to learn.

Thanks in advance!
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Old Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:26am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davelock11 View Post
High school varsity game yesterday. Runner on 1st with 1 out. Batter hits one to right-center and fielder bobbles it, then throws in general direction of 3rd base. Ball goes into dugout.

I'm the PU. I kill it when the ball goes into dugout and award R1 home. BU awards the B-R 2nd. The award should be 2 bases from time of throw on throw by outfielder, right? BU explains his call to offensive coach by saying that the B-R wasn't "half-way" to 2nd, so he only gets 2nd. BU never looked at me or asked for help on the call.

Is there any way for me to fix this? If I don't, it makes me look bad. If I do, it makes him look bad. This is my 1st year, so I'm still trying to learn.

Thanks in advance!
If BU never came to you, where did you hear his explanation?

If I (personally) heard his explanation, I'd have called him aside right then (interrupting his conversation with coach if necessary), and quietly talked through the rule, and let HIM correct the award.
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Old Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:34am
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"Time", John can I speak to you please. "When a throw from the outfield goes into dead ball territory the award is two bases from the time of throw. The batter-runner had acheived first base and therfore, should be awarded third."

Then give your partner the oppurtunity to make the correct award.

Now being a rookie, I can understand the reluctance in wanting to correct your partner however it is both of your responsibility to get the awards correct.

Now if your partner refuses because he has already made up his version of the correct rule, then you are put into a bind especially being a rookie. I would probably insist on the correct ruling being made and do everything possible to make sure my partner changes his ruling. I am going to leave it at that for now because there is a whole other scenario that can be discussed if your partner refuses to make the correct ruling.
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Old Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:40am
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I was sweeping plate as he was explaining the call to 3rd base coach, but they were close enough for me to hear.

I turned and tried to catch his eye, but he never looked at me. I guess I should have called him over. Of course, the other part of the problem is I'm new and he's a veteran...which introduces a whole other dynamic into the equation.

I know the important thing is to get the call right, but I don't want to get a bad reputation with fellow umpires by correcting veterans. I guess I should just worry about the call and let the rest fall where it falls.

Thanks for the input!
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Old Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:41am
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Originally Posted by jicecone View Post
"Time", John can I speak to you please. "When a throw from the outfield goes into dead ball territory the award is two bases from the time of throw. The batter-runner had acheived first base and therfore, should be awarded third."

Then give your partner the oppurtunity to make the correct award.

Now being a rookie, I can understand the reluctance in wanting to correct your partner however it is both of your responsibility to get the awards correct.

Now if your partner refuses because he has already made up his version of the correct rule, then you are put into a bind especially being a rookie. I would probably insist on the correct ruling being made and do everything possible to make sure my partner changes his ruling. I am going to leave it at that for now because there is a whole other scenario that can be discussed if your partner refuses to make the correct ruling.
I believe your responsibility as PU, once you know the mistake is a rules mistake, and not a judgement mistake ("Coach, I don't think she was at first base yet when the ball was released") - is to discuss the rule with partner and let him make the call. If he insists his made-up rule is right, it's his call. Coach is more than able to protest the rules misapplication at that point. Not more you can do. Neither umpire trumps the other (put yourself in the other position ... say you made the RIGHT call as BU, but PU comes out to tell you it's 1+1 or somesuch ... it is YOUR decision what to do with PU's information).
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I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, 'I drank what?'

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Old Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:47am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davelock11 View Post
I was sweeping plate as he was explaining the call to 3rd base coach, but they were close enough for me to hear.

I turned and tried to catch his eye, but he never looked at me. I guess I should have called him over. Of course, the other part of the problem is I'm new and he's a veteran...which introduces a whole other dynamic into the equation.

I know the important thing is to get the call right, but I don't want to get a bad reputation with fellow umpires by correcting veterans. I guess I should just worry about the call and let the rest fall where it falls.

Thanks for the input!
No one likes being in your position. But at some point, it happens to all of us (or at least all of us who care enough about the job to spend time reading here and posting here!) There are veteran smitty's everywhere who have not cracked open a book in years. Sometimes you have to be very careful in your wording with such a veteran - I understand your need to not ruffle feathers, and it's a tough line. But your responsibility is to the game.

When you heard him misquote the rule, you should have approached him, AWAY from the coach, explain what you thought the rule was and why ("John, I'm pretty positive that when Dave went over this in the clinic, he told us this award is two bases from where they were when the ball was released, regardless of how far off the base they were."), and then it's up to him to fix, and up to coach to protest if he fails to fix it. You can always bring it up again in post-game if he doesn't fix it, using the approach that you want to understand the rule better WITH him. If he still doesn't get that he's wrong, bring it up to your assignor.
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I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, 'I drank what?'

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Old Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:47am
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First of all, if you partner never called to you for help, you have no business being near him. The call is his and until he calls you, you should go back to your resting place or position. Sorry to say, but if he chooses to hang himself with a "made up rule" you are not there to be a part of it

If you partner calls you out to help him, you then give him what you have and if you feel he is applying a rule incorrectly, do your best to correct him (quietly). If your partner accepts your help and chooses to correct himself, let him handle it. If your partner refuses your input, step back and let him handle it.

Nothing good can come from you "sticking your nose" into the call if you are not asked for help. Further more, if the coach comes to you, just direct him back to your partner - it is not your call, it's your partner's call.
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Old Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:50am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozzy6900 View Post
First of all, if you partner never called to you for help, you have no business being near him. The call is his and until he calls you, you should go back to your resting place or position. Sorry to say, but if he chooses to hang himself with a "made up rule" you are not there to be a part of it

If you partner calls you out to help him, you then give him what you have and if you feel he is applying a rule incorrectly, do your best to correct him (quietly). If your partner accepts your help and chooses to correct himself, let him handle it. If your partner refuses your input, step back and let him handle it.

Nothing good can come from you "sticking your nose" into the call if you are not asked for help. Further more, if the coach comes to you, just direct him back to your partner - it is not your call, it's your partner's call.
For judgement calls, I agree 100%. And as much as I respect what you say here 99.9% of the time - for rules misapplications I disagree with you 100%. Both the book and every clinic I've been to where this comes up tell you that it is the responsibility of BOTH umpires to ensure that the rules are applied correctly, and that protestable situations be avoided.
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I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, 'I drank what?'

West Houston Mike
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Old Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:57am
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Originally Posted by mbcrowder View Post
For judgement calls, I agree 100%. And as much as I respect what you say here 99.9% of the time - for rules misapplications I disagree with you 100%. Both the book and every clinic I've been to where this comes up tell you that it is the responsibility of BOTH umpires to ensure that the rules are applied correctly, and that protestable situations be avoided.
The coach has the right to protest the rule if he feels it is incorrect. That is when I will come to you and correct you and then insist you fix your mistake. Until that time, I will be far away from you. It is your job to com to our game with proper knowledge of the rules - if you can't do your job, why do you want me to intercede? I may as well take the game & a half fee and do the game myself!

Just saying!
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Old Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:09am
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To the OP: this thread introduces you to something of a generational conflict in umpiring, between the "old school" view that you should do your job and let your partner do his, and the "new school" view that the crew should work together and do whatever it takes to get the call right.

In HS baseball, too often umpires (and here I do NOT mean Ozzy) adopt the "old school" approach in order to insulate themselves from criticism or improvement. In my state, the new school is pretty firmly entrenched, and to move up and get tournament assignments umpires have to embrace it.
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Old Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:15am
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Originally Posted by ozzy6900 View Post
The coach has the right to protest the rule if he feels it is incorrect. That is when I will come to you and correct you and then insist you fix your mistake. Until that time, I will be far away from you. It is your job to com to our game with proper knowledge of the rules - if you can't do your job, why do you want me to intercede? I may as well take the game & a half fee and do the game myself!

Just saying!
I understand your approach, and it may be true for some that if they can't do their job they don't want you interceding (although it's not true for me... if I somehow botch a rule, I want to know it and fix it right then). But I assure that (at least in my area and according to all the clinicians I've had that have addressed this), my ASSIGNOR and my ASSOCIATION wants you interceding if I or another umpire has botched one.
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I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, 'I drank what?'

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Old Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:17am
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I've been umpiring for over 30 years so I must be an "old guy". However, I believe it is my job as an umpire to get the call right when it is said and done. Sometimes toes may be stepped on but generally not. On this play, if I had knowledge that the runner was past first base we would not be continuing until we got him set on the correct base. If I did not have knowledge but the parter said he was passed the base, we would not start until he was on 3rd.
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Old Wed Apr 11, 2012, 12:18pm
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I agree with everyone here. If my partner didn't know this basic award and did not want to change his call, he would be learning it real fast during the game. If he was embarassed because of statements made to the coach or took it personnaly then sometimes you just have to learn things the hard way. I would go out of my way to get him to understand how the final outcome will be though and let him make the call.

Some may say this is the radical approach which is why I held off in my original response. But, in the end even the old guys would probably take this same approach.
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Old Wed Apr 11, 2012, 12:38pm
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Quote:
The coach has the right to protest the rule if he feels it is incorrect.
I used to believe that-- i.e. the proper procedure is to let an incorrect interpretation go unless a coaches protests. I've come to see it differently now that I've watched many games as an interested spectator while my son went from LL up into college ball. It gives a different perspective.

I now realize that for many reasons coaches are usually not in a position to protest. There may be travel limitations or tight schedules that don't easily permit replaying part of a game. Most teams have a pitching rotation which would be upset by replaying, and professional courtesy requires a coach to consider his opponent's situation as well. It seems that the higher the level of ball, the less likely that a coach can permit himself the luxury of protesting. High school ball seems to me to be in the toughest spot-- there's a wide dispersion in umpire competence, yet lots of impediments to the protest mechanism.

I've come to the personal conclusion that relying on protests to correct umpire error is wrong. It may be convenient and less stressful to the (usually) 2 man crew, but it is highly inconvenient to pretty much all other stakeholders at the game. If an umpire believes that a rules interpretation is incorrect, he has an obligation to the game participants to discuss it with his partner.

My opinion-- and yes, it can cause some friction!
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Old Wed Apr 11, 2012, 12:53pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Reed View Post
I've come to the personal conclusion that relying on protests to correct umpire error is wrong.
And in Ohio, not just wrong but impossible. Protests are not permitted in HS contests, period. So we HAVE to get it right on the field.
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