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Old Thu May 03, 2018, 07:51am
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The catcher is not a leaning post

Rant warning. Fed game. I realize there's going to be inadvertent contact between the PU and the catcher quite frequently, but when the PU decides to put his hand on my catcher's back during every single pitch and then give a forward push when he blurts out his call, we have a problem. She complained to us, and we tried to quietly ask him to stop. He was irritated, but said he'd stop. But he resumed the practice by the end of the game and certainly through the JV game. The JV catcher told the varsity catcher "It was worse than you warned me about. He literally pushed me forward." Both of them told us a few dropped balls were due to his contact with them. The catcher has enough worry about. She doesn't need that. And this guy was young and fit. He wasn't somebody who needed a crutch. Is this an accepted mechanic? What's the best way to approach this if I see it again? If it happens again, I might stop the game and embarrass the hell out of him. Imagine if one of the parents decides to tell him "Keep your hands off my daughter!!"
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Old Thu May 03, 2018, 08:35am
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Whether or not this is acceptable is probably best answered by the fact that, apparently, you have never seen it happen before. I'm willing to bet that you won't find a single umpire here who thinks that this is a good mechanic. We're pretty much taught to NEVER put our hands on a player for any reason.

This even goes beyond "being annoying to the catcher". In this day and age, you never know how somebody might construe an adult touching a youth or minor. It's best for it not to even be a possible issue. Keep your hands off!

It's something that you might see in some higher levels of baseball. The umpire might LIGHTLY touch the catcher's back. I've been told that this is to either gauge the umpire's distance from the catcher or to let him know when the catcher moves (like going way outside right before the pitch). I don't think that you need to touch the catcher to see either one of those things. And, I've been told that if the catcher complains, then the umpire should stop it.

Notice I said "lightly" touch the catcher. I don't get this whole lean against or push forward on the catcher thing. That's just weird. I would report this umpire to whoever assigns your games or registers umpires in your area. Hopefully, they would do something about it and inform him that it's not acceptable.

Last edited by BretMan; Thu May 03, 2018 at 08:39am.
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Old Thu May 03, 2018, 11:27am
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I've seen this a few times and it really ticks me off. I really don't care if it is a male/female, adult/youth thing as it isn't close to what those who raise those issue claim. Those who I have seen were often without a chest protector and were using the catcher as a shield.

There should be zero intentional contact between them regardless. About 6-8 years ago I visited a tournament that was being used to evaluate newer and potential umpires for NCAA groups. One of the instructions that I found disturbing was that they kept pushing umpires up on the catcher and telling them to get closer, not more than a fist between them.

Well. I had two problems with that. One was that the positioning was based on the catcher, not the slot. The second was that it is going to be nearly impossible to avoid contact anytime the catcher needs to move for the ball in any direction other than forward. To me, it was a very precarious position into which place the umpire.
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Old Thu May 03, 2018, 11:34am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountaincoach View Post
Rant warning. Fed game. I realize there's going to be inadvertent contact between the PU and the catcher quite frequently, but when the PU decides to put his hand on my catcher's back during every single pitch and then give a forward push when he blurts out his call, we have a problem. She complained to us, and we tried to quietly ask him to stop. He was irritated, but said he'd stop. But he resumed the practice by the end of the game and certainly through the JV game. The JV catcher told the varsity catcher "It was worse than you warned me about. He literally pushed me forward." Both of them told us a few dropped balls were due to his contact with them. The catcher has enough worry about. She doesn't need that. And this guy was young and fit. He wasn't somebody who needed a crutch. Is this an accepted mechanic? What's the best way to approach this if I see it again? If it happens again, I might stop the game and embarrass the hell out of him. Imagine if one of the parents decides to tell him "Keep your hands off my daughter!!"
Totally inappropriate, offensive, discourteous, interfering, and bad mechanics!
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Old Thu May 03, 2018, 01:12pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountaincoach View Post
Rant warning. Fed game. I realize there's going to be inadvertent contact between the PU and the catcher quite frequently, but when the PU decides to put his hand on my catcher's back during every single pitch and then give a forward push when he blurts out his call, we have a problem. ... What's the best way to approach this if I see it again?
Don't wait until you see it again. Inform the umpire's assignor now through your school's AD, or however criticisms of umpires are handled in your district, that you witnessed this. It needs to be addressed immediately. As others have stated, this is totally inappropriate for virtually all levels of amateur play in both softball and baseball. It's probably frowned upon in professional ball as well, but we do see it from time to time in MLB games, which may be where this particular umpire saw it and thought it was okay to do. Or, heaven forbid, it's something worse. It can't go unreported.
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Old Fri May 04, 2018, 08:51am
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Thanks guys. I made a complaint to our AD who is going to report it to their regional assigner. He also agreed it needed to be addressed.
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Old Fri May 04, 2018, 11:25am
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Video would be very helpful. Not for this forum, but for the school(s) and/or ADs involved.
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Old Fri May 04, 2018, 03:17pm
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I haven't really seen this except 1 time in softball, and as was posted the umpire was actually putting pressure on the catcher and any time she tried to move he was actually shoving her over forward.

This does appear to be a big thing in baseball, and its amazing how many officials insist there is nothing wrong with it and that's how they set their spacing. I was just in Texas last month watching my son in law coach his high school team and virtually every umpire had their hand on the catchers back. I talked to him about it as he was a D1 catcher and asked what he thought of it and he told me he absolutely hated the umpire putting their hand on his back. He said he would always request they please not touch him, he said some would oblige but others would just continue to do it.
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Old Fri May 04, 2018, 08:56pm
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Originally Posted by RKBUmp View Post
he absolutely hated the umpire putting their hand on his back. He said he would always request they please not touch him, he said some would oblige but others would just continue to do it.
And his coach didn't do anything to help him?
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Old Fri May 04, 2018, 09:01pm
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I guess at the D1 college level you have to pick what you want to fight you want to go rounds with with the umpire. Probably not one you want to piss some of those guys off right at the beginning of a game.
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Old Fri May 04, 2018, 09:13pm
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Originally Posted by RKBUmp View Post
I guess at the D1 college level you have to pick what you want to fight you want to go rounds with with the umpire. Probably not one you want to piss some of those guys off right at the beginning of a game.
After the game, I would drag the coach to the AD's office and ask him/her what they are going to do? This is just wrong
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