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Old Tue Apr 14, 2015, 01:48pm
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Bailed out by a Class Manager

This is one of those situations that I hate to bring up as I have to admit that I screwed up !!! I do however feel that I can learn from this, and am looking for suggestions on how to deal with this situation.

2 person crew, I have the dish. We have sun coming in from over the left field fence. Fly ball hit to the right of the left fielder (towards the LF foul line) who dives for a catch. It appears to me that the ball bounces, but I can honestly say I didn't get a good look at it as I was looking towards the sun. I look at my partner and he isn't giving me anything as he's watching the batter-runner touch first and go towards second. Since I haven't called an out, the batter continues on to second base where he ends up after the ball comes back to the infield.

Time is called and the visiting team coach comes out to talk to me (to his credit, very calmly and professionally) and asks what I had on that play. I told him that it appeared to me that the ball skipped but agreed to check with my partner as the sun was a factor and I wasn't 100% sure. My partner was unable to help and I was prepared to go with my call when the other coach comes in to tell me that the ball was caught. This was a great game and he didn't want to win this way. I called the out, no one complained and I promised the coach (only half jokingly) that I'd send him flowers !!!

I learned two things from this play.
1) Get your sometimes lazy arse out further than a couple of steps behind the plate on flyballs.
2) This is a situation we don't think about and should make sure we pregame with our partners.

How do you deal with potential sunfields, and would you have handled this play the same way that I did ??
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Old Tue Apr 14, 2015, 02:36pm
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Partner, I need your eyes!

Anytime there is a problem similar to this, sun, tree limbs, foul/fair polls, I request during pregame to have all eyes on the batted ball. Touching bases is secondary to foul/fair and catch/no catch calls. I tell my partners I need their eyes.
You handled it as best you could after the fact. In a 2 person crew a lot of calls are tough and some are even missed. It is great that you had a coach that understood your predicament.
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Old Tue Apr 14, 2015, 03:01pm
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Thumbs up

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Old Tue Apr 14, 2015, 08:50pm
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Originally Posted by Robert E. Harrison View Post
Anytime there is a problem similar to this, sun, tree limbs, foul/fair polls, I request during pregame to have all eyes on the batted ball. Touching bases is secondary to foul/fair and catch/no catch calls. I tell my partners I need their eyes.
You handled it as best you could after the fact. In a 2 person crew a lot of calls are tough and some are even missed. It is great that you had a coach that understood your predicament.

Robert:

While I feel your pain. If I am your BU, I am going to watch the B/R because as sure as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, the first time I don't do my job I am going to have an appeal play and I won't have the information I need to do my job correctly. And if I am the PU and you are my BU and you don't know if the B/R touched 1B, you and I will be having a private conversation.

MTD, Sr.
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Old Tue Apr 14, 2015, 10:21pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark T. DeNucci, Sr. View Post
Robert:

While I feel your pain. If I am your BU, I am going to watch the B/R because as sure as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, the first time I don't do my job I am going to have an appeal play and I won't have the information I need to do my job correctly. And if I am the PU and you are my BU and you don't know if the B/R touched 1B, you and I will be having a private conversation.

MTD, Sr.
Signal safe.

This is something we pregame -- there are times when both sets of eyes should be on the ball. The catch / no-catch in a screwy situation like this takes priority over a base that's going to be touched 99% of the time.
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Old Tue Apr 14, 2015, 10:46pm
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Originally Posted by Rich View Post
Signal safe.

This is something we pregame -- there are times when both sets of eyes should be on the ball. The catch / no-catch in a screwy situation like this takes priority over a base that's going to be touched 99% of the time.
So there are at least two associations out there that need retraining.
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Old Tue Apr 14, 2015, 10:53pm
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Originally Posted by Matt View Post
So there are at least two associations out there that need retraining.
Shrug.

I've received and given more than enough training over the years. I know my responsibilities and also know when there's more important things to do than stare at a base.

But it's clear there's at least two umpires here who needs to learn that 2-man is a series of compromises and sometimes there's more important things than looking at a touch of a base.
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Old Tue Apr 14, 2015, 11:26pm
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I learned on a similar play on the third base foul line that polarized sun glasses are a great help.
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Old Wed Apr 15, 2015, 08:20am
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Originally Posted by Rich View Post
Shrug.

I've received and given more than enough training over the years. I know my responsibilities and also know when there's more important things to do than stare at a base.

But it's clear there's at least two umpires here who needs to learn that 2-man is a series of compromises and sometimes there's more important things than looking at a touch of a base.
Pretty sure I've forgotten more about two-man than you'll ever know, since you don't seem to know that the touch of the base isn't the only thing on BU's plate on this. And in this case, BU doesn't have anything to offer PU. If there's a foul pole involved, maybe. And you'll get eaten alive by a knowledgeable coach if you try this bullshit.
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Old Wed Apr 15, 2015, 08:26am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark T. DeNucci, Sr. View Post
Robert:

While I feel your pain. If I am your BU, I am going to watch the B/R because as sure as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, the first time I don't do my job I am going to have an appeal play and I won't have the information I need to do my job correctly. And if I am the PU and you are my BU and you don't know if the B/R touched 1B, you and I will be having a private conversation.

MTD, Sr.
What do you do when 3 runners are on base and a ball hit in the gap? You cannot possibly watch each runner touch each base. I am suggesting you glance at the catch/no catch foul/fair or tree limb clip and then return to your normal duties as base umpire. 2-man is tough enough without one partner basically sticking his head in the sand.
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Old Wed Apr 15, 2015, 08:27am
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Oh, boy, are you about to throw about your resume?

Eaten alive? There isn't a single coach at the HS or college levels I work that can do that. I hold all the cards and can make them leave, after all.

Back to the non-bluster part of this. The OP said he was having trouble with the sun. That's not a usual occurrence but also something that does happen from time to time. The odds of obstruction rounding first or a missed touch is minimal and if the plate umpire is struggling to see, I'm going to try to have an opinion.

There are times when we can't get a touch of first when we rule catch / no catch on a ball in the BUs area in normal play. Fielder dives in CF as the BR is rounding first. We don't clutch at pearls over that scenario.


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Old Wed Apr 15, 2015, 08:44am
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I think all would agree that baseball training indicates the importance of calls and touching a base is way down the list compared to fair/foul, catch/no catch. As a team, umpires are responsible to get the call right, not tell the coach, "He was watching the runner touch 1st" or "My partner is no help".
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Old Wed Apr 15, 2015, 09:03am
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Correct me if I'm wrong here, but if we've pregamed this situation and I see the base umpire is following the ball, wouldn't I be at least taking a glance at the runner to see if the batter-runner had touched first ?? Obviously, I can't do this instead of taking the catch, but couldn't I be of potential help here if there was an appeal ??
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Old Wed Apr 15, 2015, 11:03am
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Originally Posted by Robert E. Harrison View Post
I think all would agree that baseball training indicates the importance of calls and touching a base is way down the list compared to fair/foul, catch/no catch. As a team, umpires are responsible to get the call right, not tell the coach, "He was watching the runner touch 1st" or "My partner is no help".
Want me to tell you what happened with a pro manager? I had the touch of first. I had no help for my partner. Yet he came to me and overturned the call from foul to a home run. The DC then appealed first, thinking that I provided the info to overturn. Shitstorm ensues.
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Old Wed Apr 15, 2015, 01:25pm
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Originally Posted by Robert E. Harrison View Post
What do you do when 3 runners are on base and a ball hit in the gap? You cannot possibly watch each runner touch each base. I am suggesting you glance at the catch/no catch foul/fair or tree limb clip and then return to your normal duties as base umpire. 2-man is tough enough without one partner basically sticking his head in the sand.

Situation: Bottom of the 7th inning, two outs, the Home team is down by 2 runs, with runners on 2B and 3B. B5 rips a sinking line drive to left field with the setting sun behind F7 and F7 dives for the ball. B5 is running hard and misses 1B on his way to 2B. The PU steps back into his holding position behind HP and so that he can see a possible catch/no-catch as well as R1 on 3B touch HP. PU is able to see that F7 trapped the ball; but the BU and PU have pre-gamed that the BU will also help in a situation as this. Not only does R1 score but so does R2 apparently winning the game. F3 calls to F7 for the ball and signals to the BU that he is appealing B5 missing 1B. What does the BU do? He didn't do his job of watching to see if B5 did or did not touch 1B because he was doing something he was not supposed to be doing, watching to see of F7 did or did not catch B5's sinking line drive. How does the BU handle this situation? I would not want to be this BU. We all want to get the call correct but doing our job correctly is the first step in getting the call correct.

MTD, Sr.
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Ohio High School Athletic Association
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