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  #16 (permalink)  
Old Thu Sep 28, 2000, 10:10pm
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On another board, Jim Porter took me to task for not apologizing publicly for an error. In the thread here, he wrote a long post which had previously been posted in which he asked that words like "stupid" not be used in these baseball discussions. On first reading, I misunderstood and thought he was claiming that I had used the word "stupid."

I wrote: "I read your last post and although there's lots to disagree with, I must go further than that on one issue. I did not use the word 'stupid' in anything I've written on this issue (or any other, for that matter). Please do not make that kind of unwarrented accusation. (I realize that may have been directed at someone other than myself, but it wasn't obvious on first reading.)"

When I had read his post a second time, I understood that his charge was not directed at me, but I thought others might have the same first impression I had. I edited my post to include the parenthetical remark above. In any event, it was my mistake.
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Old Thu Sep 28, 2000, 10:51pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alan G
On another board, Jim Porter took me to task for not apologizing publicly for an error. In the thread here, he wrote a long post which had previously been posted in which he asked that words like "stupid" not be used in these baseball discussions. On first reading, I misunderstood and thought he was claiming that I had used the word "stupid."

I wrote: "I read your last post and although there's lots to disagree with, I must go further than that on one issue. I did not use the word 'stupid' in anything I've written on this issue (or any other, for that matter). Please do not make that kind of unwarrented accusation. (I realize that may have been directed at someone other than myself, but it wasn't obvious on first reading.)"

When I had read his post a second time, I understood that his charge was not directed at me, but I thought others might have the same first impression I had. I edited my post to include the parenthetical remark above. In any event, it was my mistake.
Alan,

I neither asked for nor expected an apology, but thank you. And I didn't "take you to task." I simply said that the situation had not been corrected by you, that's all. I felt this mistake was leading you to see me as "attacking" you all the time, or getting personal with you. But it was a mistake - - a misunderstanding. Those things happen, especially on Internet bulletin boards.

I apologized. I hope you noticed that. I continue to feel like you have a hostile tone with me, all due to this misunderstanding. I certainly hope we can put this behind us and move on.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old Fri Sep 29, 2000, 07:30am
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Jim, I have read the discussions here and for once (G), I totally agree with you.

The bottom line - NO DEALY - DO NOT CHARGE. That's what we teach our new Blues as well during the clinics. As a blue why be a smart a$$$$ss and try to enforce a charged visit when there is no delay.

Also, the more pratical reason - if you have a kid on the mound who has good control - why in the world would you want him removed? Again I just do not see it.

Since you are an Historian of the game, perhaps you can go to the archives and inform us when the rule concerning charged visits, came into play.

If I had to guess, the purpose was to MOVE THE GAME ALONG.
At one time a coach probably conferred with F1 whenever he wanted to, hence the need for a ruling.

Also, another point which I totally agree with you - Can't compare professional umpiring to amateur umpiring. There are other factors in a PRO game such as BIG Business and also the Players Union.

Pete Booth

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  #19 (permalink)  
Old Fri Sep 29, 2000, 08:03am
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If I had to guess, the purpose was to MOVE THE GAME ALONG.
At one time a coach probably conferred with F1 whenever he wanted to, hence the need for a ruling.

1967 one trip to the mound added to the rules manual. As you guessed - to speed up the game. Seems some of the games were starting to go more than an hour, and they needed to move things along!
So, why are games now taking 3 - 4 hours? Curious!
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old Fri Sep 29, 2000, 08:55am
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I thought I had made my last shot at this issue, but it keeps coming back. I looked in BRD last night. Let's see if I've got this right. If the defense does not initiate a time out and the coach completes his talk with the pitcher without delaying the game further, then
1) LL - no charged trip
2) FED - no charged trip
3) NCAA - charged trip
4) PRO - charged trip

What three of you seem to be advocating is that in youth league games above LL but below NCAA (I assume this includes HS Varsity games) that the LL, FED rule/interpretation should be used even if the league is using PRO.

In my opinion, you only get into trouble by departing from the rules of your league, unless you have gotten agreement of the coaches and have explained and written up the change. Let me give you an example:

Last year, the president of our board declared that we would allow change of direction (NCAA) in our high school leagues which play PRO rules. (The previous year we had also allowed change of direction, but some umpires continued to require a stop.) The feeling was that if we played the PRO rule, we'd be calling too many balks and these athletes were more likely to be preparing for college play than pro ball. Coaches were not informed directly, although some found out about it indirectly. One of our umpires called me to tell me that a HS varsity coach "went ballistic" when he didn't call a balk on a pitcher who didn't stop, but only changed direction. When he explained to the coach that we were enforcing the NCAA rule, the coach argued that we had no right to change the rules. I had the same coach the next week and he informed me that if I didn't call a balk when the pitcher didn't stop, he would protest the game. Fortunately, it didn't come up, so no protest.

As you can probably guess, I argued at our executive board before the season that we should play the PRO rule. The reason I bring this up is because I believe that if you are playing PRO rules then any changes from those have to be clear to all umpires and coaches. In our leagues, we depart from PRO rules in many ways (DH for non-pitcher, force-play slide rule, collision rule, re-entry rules, etc.), but umpires and coaches are well-informed of these. I think it is always a mistake to make interpretations on the field that are opinions of how things should be done (even when justifiable) when they go against common practice and the rule book interpretations. What can happen is that umpires at different games give different interpretations for the same situation.

Here's a suggestion: When taking a position that is not standard practice and not spelled out in the rules (see the post that began this thread), why not make it clear that it is your opinion, you think it should be done that way, that's how you'd rule on the field, BUT include that it is not standard practice at this time. (That last part would be very helpful for those who read the thread. When respected authorities write about how a situation should be handled, it may lead others to believe it is standard practice. If that's not the case, it should be made clear.)

[Edited by Alan G on Sep 29th, 2000 at 10:03 AM]
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old Fri Sep 29, 2000, 08:55am
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So, why are games now taking 3 - 4 hours? Curious!

One Word - COMMERCIALS each inning there's probably a 3 - 5 minute delay. Also, there are legitimate ways to delay the game which IMO need to be addressed.

Example; F2 gets word (via eye contact with the coach) to go and talk to F1 so that someone can start warming up.

F2 asks for time and normally gets it. F2 takes a slow walk out to talk to F1 and comes back to his normal position.
Then what? you guessed it - the pitching coach comes out of the duggout and again takes that slow walk out to the mound.

Now, word gets back to the duggout that the relief pitcher is ready. Now the manager, takes that slow walk out to the mound until ultimately F1 is replaced.

This could take some 5 - 10 minutes. Also, with any delay, we have add'l commercial time. Also, the longer the games are, more money for the concessions.

IMO, PRO baseball isn't really about the game anymore but about BIG Business. A prime example is the World Series itself - All night games now.

The amateur umpire cannot approach the game the way professionals do it. It's a different ball game.



Pete Booth
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old Fri Sep 29, 2000, 09:08am
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Here's a suggestion: When taking a position that is not accepted practice and not spelled out in the rules (see the post that began this thread), why not make it clear that it is your opinion, you think it should be done that way, that's how you'd rule on the field, BUT include that it is not accepted practice at this time. (That last part would be very helpful for those who read the thread.)

Alan, we could go on and on with this. Also, comparing a balk call to a charged visit is IMO entirely different. A charged visit concerns delaying the game while a Balk call deals with the ACTUAL GAME Itself.

IMO the important issue is the purpose of the rule. The rules put in place for charged visits were put in so as NOT TO DELAY the game.

My question for you is this. If in your judgement, the game was not delayed (concerning the original thread on the injury), why do you feel it necessary to charge a visit?

You were injured - in all actuality at this point who cares what the offense or defense are doing. The important thing is - once you were ready, F1 was ready, hence why charge a visit?

The intent of the rule was to move the game along.


Pete Booth


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  #23 (permalink)  
Old Fri Sep 29, 2000, 10:29am
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On and on

I guess we'll have to go on and on.

I haven't been very successful at making the only point that I wanted to make. I don't want to have a situation in which umpires rule the same situation differently because of their interpretation of the rules. Ideally, there should be only one interpretation for each league. Even ignoring protests, how do I explain to a coach that yesterday when Joe was umpiring, it was OK to do X, but today when I'm doing the game it won't be permitted? That's the situation we were in last year, when some umpires required pitchers to stop and others only required change of direction.

Now this situation is not likely to come up since most coaches abide by the two-trip rule. But it seems to me that the principle is the same: not counting trips (as in FED/LL) and counting trips (as in NCAA/PRO) allow for a coach to have two different rulings when different umpires are working his games. This particular issue is minor (I'll continue to use standard practice), but other issues may be more serious.

Wouldn't you agree that we should either go by the interpretation that is standard practice or incorporate it as a rule change/modification?
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old Fri Sep 29, 2000, 10:41am
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Re: On and on

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Alan G
[B]I guess we'll have to go on and on.

I haven't been very successful at making the only point that I wanted to make. I don't want to have a situation in which umpires rule the same situation differently because of their interpretation of the rules.

Wouldn't you agree that we should either go by the interpretation that is standard practice or incorporate it as a rule change/modification?

The important thing is that each association abides by a standard practice. It's important for each association to abide by the same practices. If a group of umpirres is working for the same association, there shouldn't be 2 different rulings.

If there is, then the coach should call the assigner.

As far as balks go, again that should be an association call. Sometimes, in lets say JR league LL or any other youth league, where pitchers are holding runners at bay for the first time - there is some leniency but that mostly concerns the shoulder turn.

The bottom line to all this - Follow the teachings / standard practices of the association you belong to as ultimately they will decide your rating.

For example; I live in NY and while it's not necessary for me to rule the same as they would in California, it's VERY IMPORTANT that I rule the same as my fellow blues in the association I belong to.

Hope this clarifys things

Pete Booth
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old Sat Sep 30, 2000, 03:16pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Hensley
Jim, throughout this thread, you've said:

> There is no official interpretation in this area, except for Little
> League Baseball (all divisions.) Their interp is as I have stated
> above.

> At least Little League agrees with me. Their interpretation is
> official for their organization.
>
> (remember, it isn't my interpretation, it is Little League's)
>
> For Little League, what I have outlined is the official
> interpretation.

Can you point me to where the Little League official interpretation you cite is published by Little League? It's not in the official rulebook, the Little League casebook The Right Call, or in any of the Fair Ball newsletters I've received since signing up with the Little League Umpire Registry two years ago. If I were to present this interpretation to my umpiring crew, what do I say when one or more of them say "show me where it says that?"
Contact your region, as I have done. That's where official interpretations can be found when they cannot be found elsewhere. According to ER and WR, the official LL interpretation is exactly what I said. ER agrees, WR agrees, Andy Konyar agrees - seems awfully official to me, Dave.

This is not unusual, as you seem to imply. At various times and for various rules, the regions are contacted for official interpretations and rulings. Any registered umpire can make these inquiries, and any league representative can make these inquiries. You can e-mail them for a generic answer, or you can snail mail them for an official document.

Even Carl, in his Baseball Rules Differences, has used phone calls to gain valuable official information not covered in any published form. Yet his book remains authoritative and the information contained within it continues to be official and up-to-date.

If your point is that LL could improve upon their communication with its umpires, I would agree wholeheartedly.

Thank you for your valuable input.

[Edited by Jim Porter on Sep 30th, 2000 at 03:23 PM]
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old Sun Oct 01, 2000, 07:20pm
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Someone e-mailed me privately to say, "Hey, why the snide comment to Dave Hensley?"

Apparently my last comment to him where I thanked him for his input was taken in a negative, sarcastic way by some. My deepest apologies if anyone read it that way. That was not how it was intended.

Dave Hensley is an experienced umpire, and particularly so in youth leagues. I do indeed value his input. His questions to me certainly raise the awareness of the problems that every youth league has in delivering accurate, timely, and consistent information to its umpires. This is an important topic because it is an area in which every youth league can improve.

Little League has made great strides over the last 20 years in this area. They now have an official manual. In addition to their many clinics, they also provide booklets to help new umpires learn basic mechanics. Their web site provides some information, too, and they've never been more accessible for direct communication with your region. Even so, Little League, like every other league in the world, can improve in this area.

Once again I apologize to Mr. Hensley and anyone else who may have taken my post the wrong way. I must've had a bad week. I'm 0 for 3 in the miscommunication department.
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