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Old Thu Sep 25, 2003, 09:46am
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I was just wondering what you guys all thought about a coach asking the catcher if the last pitch was a stike or not. (after it was called a ball) Maybe not directly but asking where it was, or something similar. As a coach I would never put my catcher in that position with the umpire but I do see it once in awhile. Brian
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Old Thu Sep 25, 2003, 10:09am
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Quote:
Originally posted by bethsdad
I was just wondering what you guys all thought about a coach asking the catcher if the last pitch was a stike or not. (after it was called a ball) Maybe not directly but asking where it was, or something similar. As a coach I would never put my catcher in that position with the umpire but I do see it once in awhile. Brian
You are correct. That's pretty weak "coach speak" just to aggravate an umpire, and it puts the intelligent catcher in a tough spot.

The coach may ask the question, but it is the catcher's answer, or lack of response, that may affect the relationship between the plate ump and F2, and the relationship between the plate and the zone.

It would be a better conversation to have in the dugout.

mick
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Old Thu Sep 25, 2003, 10:13am
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As a coach at the varisty level I have asked my catcher this before, usually out of frustration if I think the zone is inconsistent, which is not very often. The coach doesn't have the best angle on the field when it comes to balls and strikes and when I ask I am just trying to get an idea of the zone. I usually don't ask during the inning, but will talk to my catcher when she comes in, and make the adjustment, like setting up more on the plate if we aren't getting the outside pitch.

I have also told her to always agree with the umpire. If the ump says it was outside, then tell me it was outside, not I thought it was good but he said it was out. Another thing I tell her is to never turn and look at the ump when asking. Just keep looking straight ahead and ask.

But, then again, I am pretty easy going during games and have never had any problems with umpires.
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Old Thu Sep 25, 2003, 10:15am
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It happens from time to time. I don't let it bother me unless it becomes frequent. A smart catcher will back up the umpire (whether she believes it or not).

On the time or two that I can remember it becoming frequent, at the next casual opportunity (i.e. passing during the half inning), I asked the coach if he is aware that arguing balls and strikes is against the rules. A mystified look followed, but the questions to the catcher magically stopped.
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Old Thu Sep 25, 2003, 10:20am
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Quote:
Originally posted by gsf23
As a coach at the varisty level I have asked my catcher this before, usually out of frustration if I think the zone is inconsistent, which is not very often. The coach doesn't have the best angle on the field when it comes to balls and strikes and when I ask I am just trying to get an idea of the zone.
Good point. Sometimes as umpires we tend to take questions or comments from the coach at other than face value.

While asking in the dugout is better, it is possible the question is a legitimate request for coaching information.

Just like telling the pitcher "good pitch" on a called ball doesn't mean, necessarily, the coach is telling the umpire indirectly it should have been called a strike. Maybe the pitch was exactly what was called, but the batter just didn't go for it.
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Old Thu Sep 25, 2003, 10:55am
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Quote:
Originally posted by gsf23
As a coach at the varisty level I have asked my catcher this before, usually out of frustration if I think the zone is inconsistent, which is not very often. The coach doesn't have the best angle on the field when it comes to balls and strikes and when I ask I am just trying to get an idea of the zone. I usually don't ask during the inning, but will talk to my catcher when she comes in, and make the adjustment, like setting up more on the plate if we aren't getting the outside pitch.

I have also told her to always agree with the umpire. If the ump says it was outside, then tell me it was outside, not I thought it was good but he said it was out. Another thing I tell her is to never turn and look at the ump when asking. Just keep looking straight ahead and ask.

But, then again, I am pretty easy going during games and have never had any problems with umpires.
gsf23,
I am not surprised that you have few problems.
mick


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Old Thu Sep 25, 2003, 11:09am
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Quote:
Originally posted by bethsdad
I was just wondering what you guys all thought about a coach asking the catcher if the last pitch was a stike or not. (after it was called a ball) Maybe not directly but asking where it was, or something similar. As a coach I would never put my catcher in that position with the umpire but I do see it once in awhile. Brian
The first time I saw this happen, the PU jerked off his mask and aggresively walked toward the coach telling her that if she wanted to know where a pitch was, she should direct the question to him! The coach was definitely unhappy with some close pitches that had been called balls. The problem here was that the PU was very confrontational and everybody in the ball park heard him "admonish" the coach. I don't think that this is the way to handle it.

I think that I would politely approach the coach and tell him or her that they should ask me if they wanted to know where a pitch missed. By asking the catcher, the coach is placing the catcher in a no-win position, she has to choose to piss off her coach or the umpire.

If the coach asking about pitches becomes a constant thing, then Tom's suggestion about casually letting the coach know about the penalty for arguing balls and strikes sounds good.
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Old Thu Sep 25, 2003, 11:26am
JEL JEL is offline
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All posts thus far have been very good, and probably reflect the attitude of most umpires, and coaches. I had one catcher, when asked by her coach, reply, "She didnt throw it" (meaning pitch coach had called).


gsf23.....

I will be first in line to call all of your games!
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Old Fri Sep 26, 2003, 10:21am
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I definitely dislike the coach asking, unless they are obviously trying to help the pitcher. But I don't care very much if the catcher agrees with me when the coach or pitcher asks. I know I miss a few and I'd just as soon know which ones. I certainly hope it never affects a future call. But if the coach gets obnoxious or the pitcher is too persistent, that's different. Also, I want an honest answer from the catcher in the rare case that I ask her opinion. Players are often not as obsessed with winning/losing or every umpire's call as coaches.
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Old Fri Sep 26, 2003, 10:28am
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Cecil, if you ask her and she wants to tell you what she thinks quietly, that's alright by me. I just don't want her yelling it out for everyone to hear. Also, when I do ask it is usually because we have called for a pitch like Low and Away, if a ball I would like to know why, was it low but on a corner, was it outside but okay on knee level or was it both low and out. Now our catcher can adjust her setup to try to get that call.
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Old Fri Sep 26, 2003, 10:37am
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I handle this a little differently. I do not really want the coach asking the catcher, I want the coach to ask me. And as I watch a few of the warmup pitches in the first inning, I talk with the catcher & let her know - among other things - that when the coach asks me, she is to answer and that I will have told "If I ball anything close, I will let you know where it was. If either the pitcher or your coach asks, you answer."

Steve M
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Old Fri Sep 26, 2003, 10:47am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steve M
"If I ball anything close, I will let you know where it was. If either the pitcher or your coach asks, you answer."

Steve M
No, this one is way too easy.
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Old Fri Sep 26, 2003, 10:48am
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Yes, I meant quietly between the catcher and me, even though rare.
As I only call "ball" or "strike" and very rarely comment further, Steve's suggestion would not apply (to me). Except for high pitches, the catcher can see as well as I can. Of course, even the coach should be able to tell whether a belt-high "ball" was inside or outside, if actually watching.
I don't like the implication of "our catcher can adjust her setup to try to get that call". I'm looking at the ball passing the plate, not the mitt.
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Old Fri Sep 26, 2003, 10:54am
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And I mean our catcher setting up for our pitcher. If we set up low and out, our pitcher hits the mitt and a ball is called because it was low but not out, then our catcher knows to set up in the same spot, but bring the glove up a bit, If out but not low then we can leave the glove where it is and slide in a little more. That's what I meant by adjusting to get the call not for your benefit but so our pitcher can hit the right spot.
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Old Fri Sep 26, 2003, 11:06am
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Quote:
Originally posted by IRISHMAFIA
Quote:
Originally posted by Steve M
"If I ball anything close, I will let you know where it was. If either the pitcher or your coach asks, you answer."

Steve M
No, this one is way too easy.

Mike - I admire your restraint!!!
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