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Old Fri Mar 16, 2018, 10:59pm
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When do you finally eject "that coach" who knows how to toe the line?

Apologies in advance for the long post, but this is a game management situation. Sometimes context is not succinct. Imagine, if you will, a game where you have one of "those" coaches. A coach who almost knows the rules, almost knows umpire mechanics, and most importantly, constantly almost crosses the line. I recently had one of those games. (NFHS, for reference)

I like to think I have decent game management. Not great, I will admit, but decent. When is "enough" enough and you send him off? My sitch: HS game, with "that coach". I am BU, 2-man. Coach's team in 3B dugout. No comments were directed at me that I could hear from the dugout; all encounters were face to face.

1st encounter: Coach on offense, R1 on 1B, BR bunts. The throw from F5 to 1B takes F3 across the double bag where she drags a toe across both sides of the double bag for the out. From about 20 feet on a 45 angle with the bag, I point, say "Yes, she got it!" and sell the out signal. R1 advances to 2B. As I jog to C, Coach jogs to meet me. We have the usual back and forth where he wants me to go for help, and I ask him what question he has about the play. What does he think I missed? I tell him I won't ask for help on the touch at 1B as I'm 100% sure on it. He says I was totally out of position (wrong, but irrelevant) and the stereotypical "that's terrible" grumble-grumble. He keeps chirping as he leaves and I tell him that's enough to his back as he walks away, and give a stop sign. Life moves on.

2nd encounter: Steal at 2B, R1 only. Coach on defense. The ball arrives in plenty of time and F6 tags nothing but air. R1 slides past 2B...I have no tag and an overslide, so I delay my call. F6 does not re-apply the tag, so when R1 touches the base I give a routine safe call. Coach jogs out again and asks what I saw. I tell him "No tag." Coach says "And what was your positioning?" I tell him we are not having that debate today. For what it's worth, I had a near-perfect 90 at a distance of 8-10 feet from 2B, and closed to 6 feet on the missed tag/overslide. He walks off, repeating the stereotypical "that's terrible" grumble-grumble. I can live with this. Life goes on, again.

3rd encounter: Coach on defense again; R2 on 2B. Ball is hit to RF/CF gap, and I read the speedy BR as probably going to try for a triple, so I say outside on the SS side. (Whether or not this is lazy 2-man mechanics is another conversation, and not relevant to the play. Yes, I should have busted in, but it would not change the play.) BR goes to 3B as expected, and is there in plenty of time before the throw. I get an easy 90 on the 3B foul line. The ball comes in late, F5 straddling 3B, and tags the BR as she finishes her pop-up slide. This play is 100% routine, and I give no signal since Blind Grandma in the stands could have made that call. UH-OH: here comes Coach jogging out again.

(For purposes of future discussion) Moment #1: I put up the stop sign as he comes out of the dugout and tell him "There wasn't a play - we have nothing to talk about." I'm right by his dugout. He keeps coming.

Moment #2: I say again + stop sign: "Coach, no need to come out on this. I'm not going for help here." He keeps coming. SUPER LATE EDIT: I seriously considered dumping him right here.

Moment #3: He arrives. He says "You aren't going for help on that play? You were right on the line. You can't see the ball from there." I say "Nope." He replies, "I work with USA Softball and I don't know what's wrong with some of you umpires, never going for help." He never questioned the call, or lack of signal. He came out to argue a non-call, of all things. I say nothing. He glares at me and goes back to his bucket.

And finally we arrive at the postgame question: At any moment in this game, should I have ejected? He toed the line quite well, and got under my skin enough for me to post this. Did he walk the fine line well enough to stay in one of your games, or did I miss an opportunity to solve the problem in front of me?

Super late edit #2: I guess you could say I had a "Coach Encounter of the Third Kind".
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Last edited by teebob21; Sat Mar 17, 2018 at 09:47pm. Reason: Additions and puns
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Old Sat Mar 17, 2018, 12:29am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
Apologies in advance for the long post, but this is a game management situation. Sometimes context is not succinct. Imagine, if you will, a game where you have one of "those" coaches. A coach who almost knows the rules, almost knows umpire mechanics, and most importantly, constantly almost crosses the line. I recently had one of those games. (NFHS, for reference)

I like to think I have decent game management. Not great, I will admit, but decent. When is "enough" enough and you send him off? My sitch: HS game, with "that coach". I am BU, 2-man. Coach's team in 3B dugout. No comments were directed at me that I could hear from the dugout; all encounters were face to face.

1st encounter: Coach on defense, R1 on 1B, BR bunts. The throw from F5 to 1B takes F3 across the double bag where she drags a toe across both sides of the double bag for the out. From about 20 feet on a 45 angle with the bag, I point, say "Yes, she got it!" and sell the out signal. R1 advances to 2B. As I jog to C, Coach jogs to meet me. We have the usual back and forth where he wants me to go for help, and I ask him what question he has about the play. What does he think I missed? I tell him I won't ask for help on the touch at 1B as I'm 100% sure on it. He says I was totally out of position (wrong, but irrelevant) and the stereotypical "that's terrible" grumble-grumble. He keeps chirping as he leaves and I tell him that's enough to his back as he walks away, and give a stop sign. Life moves on.

2nd encounter: Steal at 2B, R1 only. Coach on defense again. The ball arrives in plenty of time and F6 tags nothing but air. R1 slides past 2B...I have no tag and an overslide, so I delay my call. F6 does not re-apply the tag, so when R1 touches the base I give a routine safe call. Coach jogs out again and asks what I saw. I tell him "No tag." Coach says "And what was your positioning?" I tell him we are not having that debate today. For what it's worth, I had a near-perfect 90 at a distance of 8-10 feet from 2B, and closed to 6 feet on the missed tag/overslide. He walks off, repeating the stereotypical "that's terrible" grumble-grumble. I can live with this. Life goes on, again.

3rd encounter: Coach on defense again; R2 on 2B. Ball is hit to RF/CF gap, and I read the speedy BR as probably going to try for a triple, so I say outside on the SS side. (Whether or not this is lazy 2-man mechanics is another conversation, and not relevant to the play. Yes, I should have busted in, but it would not change the play.) BR goes to 3B as expected, and is there in plenty of time before the throw. I get an easy 90 on the 3B foul line. The ball comes in late, F5 straddling 3B, and tags the BR as she finishes her pop-up slide. This play is 100% routine, and I give no signal since Blind Grandma in the stands could have made that call. UH-OH: here comes Coach jogging out again.

(For purposes of future discussion) Moment #1: I put up the stop sign as he comes out of the dugout and tell him "There wasn't a play - we have nothing to talk about." I'm right by his dugout. He keeps coming.

Moment #2: I say again + stop sign: "Coach, no need to come out on this. I'm not going for help here." He keeps coming.

Moment #3: He arrives. He says "You aren't going for help on that play? You were right on the line. You can't see the ball from there." I say "Nope." He replies, "I work with USA Softball and I don't know what's wrong with some of you umpires, never going for help." He never questioned the call, or lack of signal. He came out to argue a non-call, of all things. I say nothing. He glares at me and goes back to his bucket.

And finally we arrive at the postgame question: At any moment in this game, should I have ejected? He toed the line quite well, and got under my skin enough for me to post this. Did he walk the fine line well enough to stay in one of your games, or did I miss an opportunity to solve the problem in front of me?

His Second Encounter would have ended with a Restriction to the Dugout. Any more nonsense would have ended with the HC receiving an "E Ticket Ride" to the Locker Room or Bus.

MTD, Sr.
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Old Sat Mar 17, 2018, 06:24am
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Works with USA softball? I think I know exactly which coach you are talking about. If it is, he has a long history of trying to manipulate umpires and coming out for no reason.
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Old Sat Mar 17, 2018, 08:04am
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Well, each umpire/individual has a different tolerance level. It is hard to tell how the game and the emotions progressed.

Just reading what was posted, I don't think I'd have an ejection. But maybe if I was having an overall bad day, my trigger might have been a little quicker.

I've not ejected a lot of game participants. I've only tossed 2 guys in the last couple of years for dropping a f-bomb. They weren't even directed at me, but a couple of our leagues have a rule about using bad words and if the umpire hears those magic words, the individual is gone.

Your mileage may vary...
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Old Sat Mar 17, 2018, 08:57am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
I've not ejected a lot of game participants. I've only tossed 2 guys in the last couple of years for dropping a f-bomb. They weren't even directed at me, but a couple of our leagues have a rule about using bad words and if the umpire hears those magic words, the individual is gone.
Do they give you a printed list? I resolve that issue simply by not hearing those words
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Old Sat Mar 17, 2018, 09:53am
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One league does (church league). The other we remind at the plate conference by giving a "profanity warning".

Even though I suffer from hearing loss, if the words are audible, the player has to go. The other team has ears, too, you know?
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Old Sat Mar 17, 2018, 10:56am
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I'm confused by encounter #1. Why would the DC argue an out call?
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Old Sat Mar 17, 2018, 03:05pm
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#1 & #2 are plays that can often be questioned by coaches, and I expect them to work for their team.

In #3, it probably invites debate when no signal is given, but the "you can't see the ball from there" might have ended his presence.

If a coach is just baiting, or trying to influence the next, a sterner warning might be appropriate.

Saying "I'm not going for help to start with is just giving an opening, especially with that being his criteria about umpires.

As to your post-game question, no one moment was enough, but your reading of the coach's motive might have been enough.

In a coaches allowed to rate umps situation , I would wonder if the coach really questioned your ability or was just seeing how strong you are. Never know.
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Old Sat Mar 17, 2018, 03:50pm
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My side question about situation #2... is the no-tag, no-touch, no-call mechanic the same as is required at the plate?

While I've never had it happen out at the bases, I do come up with a firm "NO TAG" immediately, of course staying with the play for a potential overslide.

I don't think the delay (other than the ordinary hesistation-timing we should use) is appropriate other than at the plate...
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Old Sat Mar 17, 2018, 07:39pm
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Originally Posted by jmkupka View Post
I don't think the delay (other than the ordinary hesistation-timing we should use) is appropriate other than at the plate...
Why not?
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Old Sat Mar 17, 2018, 09:31pm
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I may be a stickler about this and will likely hear some grumbling from others but a coach that just comes out onto the field without being granted time out is not cool with me. I address that immediately and restrict if it happens again. Just bc a play happened they donít like does not mean the ball is dead.

You didnít specifically mention it but itís just a thought I had.

More to your specific point, I would have warned him on the second act for sure and prob the first. Heís gotta focus on the play and not try to influence calls so much.

And itís a common saying in basketball: you never regret the Tís you give but almost always regret the ones you didnít. Sounds like you got that happening right now.
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Old Sat Mar 17, 2018, 09:39pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Altor View Post
I'm confused by encounter #1. Why would the DC argue an out call?
Typo. Good catch. I will fix it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueDevilRef View Post
And it’s a common saying in basketball: you never regret the T’s you give but almost always regret the ones you didn’t. Sounds like you got that happening right now.
Yeah...I know this saying. In fact, here I am tonight regretting an an EJ I didn't make in a JC game today. Batter strikes out swinging, spikes the end of the bat into the ground (not hard enough for an equipment misuse ejection though) and says "What the F---!?!". Our conference has a no "audible by fans, coaches, or other players" F-bomb sportsmanship rule, and I wienered out on the player ejection. I only gave a warning, thinking that the comment was quiet enough. Nope: my partner behind the second baseman heard it too, and wondered why I didn't eject. The word + the bat spike should have been automatic and I whiffed on it completely.

Time for a hearing test, maybe.
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Last edited by teebob21; Sat Mar 17, 2018 at 09:46pm.
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Old Sun Mar 18, 2018, 08:19am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
Our conference has a no "audible by fans, coaches, or other players" F-bomb sportsmanship rule, and I wienered out on the player ejection. I only gave a warning, thinking that the comment was quiet enough. Nope: my partner behind the second baseman heard it too, and wondered why I didn't eject. The word + the bat spike should have been automatic and I whiffed on it completely.

Time for a hearing test, maybe.
To my point a few replies ago... You're not the only one that might hear the magic word. You heard it just fine, which means you probably don't need a hearing test.

But if your partner heard it, a lot of players, coaches, and fans probably heard it as well.
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Old Sun Mar 18, 2018, 09:06am
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Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
To my point a few replies ago... You're not the only one that might hear the magic word. You heard it just fine, which means you probably don't need a hearing test.

But if your partner heard it, a lot of players, coaches, and fans probably heard it as well.
And I really wouldn't care unless it is specifically directed at an umpire or another participant. I've got more important things to do than be the language police
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Old Sun Mar 18, 2018, 09:50am
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But we officials are charged with enforcing sportsmanship rules.

Years ago, when I started umpiring (baseball), I worked the local Catholic HS league. We were taught, somewhat facetiously, to say to a kid who cursed, "Son, I don't mind that kind of language, but my partner is a priest, and it really upsets him."
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