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Old Tue Mar 30, 2004, 02:12pm
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Question

I worked a high school varsity game last night with a veteran umpire who, let's say, doesn't follow mechanics very well. We talked before the game, and I even discussed this one situation with her to be sure we would get it right.

As usual I was working the plate.

Here's the situation: No runners on, no outs (doesn't matter # of outs). Little blooper over first bases head, falls in the "no man's land" between right fielder, first base, and foul line. She turns to the outside to get a look at the catch (even though she didn't call me off, I did see her turn).
As usual, I'm trailing my 300+ pounds down first baseline. I see runner round the base and take off for second. I give chase, as best as I can, callin off my partner all the way. Right field picks up the ball, launches it at second base where the tag is applied in plenty of time, and is on the foot between the base and the runner. I am about 20 feet from the base when the tag happens (I'm even with the circle). My partner, from about 45 feet away, looking straight down the baseline screams "safe". Lucky for her, about the time coach was leaving the dugout the ball rolls away from the fielder, towards third.

Further, after the game we were discussing it, and she insists she had a good angle on the play. There is no possible way she could even see the tag, let alone know the girl was safe (which she wouldn't have been if the ball wasn't dropped).

NOTE: SHe's also one of those umpires who doesn't attend any meetings, doesn't read the rulebook, doesn't go to any clinics, but wonders why she only gets the association minimum guaranteed 10 varsity games (our local association schedules all umpires 10 varsity games) and she usually gets the not so good games. (FINAL SCORE LAST NIGHT WAS 11-0 in six innings, and could have been 25-0 of visiting team didn't call off the dogs in the second inning).

So my question is what do we do in this situation if the ball DOES NOT roll away from the fielder? Since I called off the field umpire, isn't it my call now? Can the coach appeal this call made by the base umpire?



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Old Tue Mar 30, 2004, 02:29pm
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Sounds like you were closer to the play then she. Thus if she said safe, and you said out. Then the two of you would walk away from the players & discuss it, agree on the "final call" and make it known. In between innings you would have to refresh her memory about the pre-game gound rules you & her were going to follow.
.
I think you should have a chat with your assigner also as this other ump appears to be trouble. We have enough problems just handling the game, and don't need to make problems for ourselves as well.
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Old Tue Mar 30, 2004, 03:49pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by FUBLUE
I worked a high school varsity game last night with a veteran umpire who, let's say, doesn't follow mechanics very well. We talked before the game, and I even discussed this one situation with her to be sure we would get it right.

As usual I was working the plate.

Here's the situation: No runners on, no outs (doesn't matter # of outs). Little blooper over first bases head, falls in the "no man's land" between right fielder, first base, and foul line. She turns to the outside to get a look at the catch (even though she didn't call me off, I did see her turn).
As usual, I'm trailing my 300+ pounds down first baseline. I see runner round the base and take off for second. I give chase, as best as I can, callin off my partner all the way. Right field picks up the ball, launches it at second base where the tag is applied in plenty of time, and is on the foot between the base and the runner. I am about 20 feet from the base when the tag happens (I'm even with the circle). My partner, from about 45 feet away, looking straight down the baseline screams "safe". Lucky for her, about the time coach was leaving the dugout the ball rolls away from the fielder, towards third.

Further, after the game we were discussing it, and she insists she had a good angle on the play. There is no possible way she could even see the tag, let alone know the girl was safe (which she wouldn't have been if the ball wasn't dropped).

NOTE: SHe's also one of those umpires who doesn't attend any meetings, doesn't read the rulebook, doesn't go to any clinics, but wonders why she only gets the association minimum guaranteed 10 varsity games (our local association schedules all umpires 10 varsity games) and she usually gets the not so good games. (FINAL SCORE LAST NIGHT WAS 11-0 in six innings, and could have been 25-0 of visiting team didn't call off the dogs in the second inning).

So my question is what do we do in this situation if the ball DOES NOT roll away from the fielder? Since I called off the field umpire, isn't it my call now? Can the coach appeal this call made by the base umpire?
If an umpire "goes out", they are considered history for any further plays in the infield. The PU reverts to one-umpire mechanics. Key for you here is that if it is obvious there is not going to be a play at 1B, don't trail, but head towards the pitcher's plate. Basically, use the circle as a path to follow the runner and step toward the base as the play is developing there.

Of course, this is only for the play you described here. An umpire who "goes out" may not be involved in any further calls, but should begin coming back toward the infield as an extra set of eyes, that doesn't mean they assume responsibility for any calls.

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Old Tue Mar 30, 2004, 03:56pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by chuck chopper
.
I think you should have a chat with your assigner also as this other ump appears to be trouble. We have enough problems just handling the game, and don't need to make problems for ourselves as well.
Yeah, I should talk to him, but I understand his theory. We have 60+ schools we assign on varsity, JV and freshman games. We also assign 10 junior high schools. We only have 175 active umpires. There are days where I have two different games at two different places just to cover them. About 45 of the umpires are really active in the association...130 only show up when we review the state mandated test each year. She's one of them.

To Mr. Mafia, I should have moved more towards second on the hit, but looking back at it, she never did make the fair/foul call...I had to (and it was close).

Thing is, if she would have been at the meeting where we talked about 2-person mechanics, she would have known that the association wants the plate umpire to take that call into second.
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Old Tue Mar 30, 2004, 06:06pm
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You got lucky...there were a couple of ways you could have been screwed on that one. You dont want to burn any bridges, but u might wanna remind her about mechanics and what YOU expect from her as the base umpire.
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Old Wed Mar 31, 2004, 08:11pm
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Cool

It's not right that people who do not
attend rules clinics,etc. can work any games
at all ! It is sad that many organnizations may
be forced to put "bodies on the field" !
I wouldn't work with them.
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and have fun out there !!
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Old Thu Apr 01, 2004, 07:02am
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Here in MD. we are having our final group meetings as the season starts in about 3 weeks. This 17 year old kid showed up yesterday wanting to know who he could have an "interview" with about umpiring. I guess he thought he had to pass some evaluation, or we wouldn't let him try to umpire. So now I have 3-4 weeks to take this kid from zero to some level good enough so he can do little kids slow pitch.
You know we don't turn anyone down, and that first year is a killer.
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Old Thu Apr 01, 2004, 07:53am
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Quote:
Originally posted by chuck chopper
You know we don't turn anyone down, and that first year is a killer.
I "cut my teeth" on men's fastpitch...talk about baptism by fire! These guys were launching the ball in the low to mid 90's. One guy hit 100 in a game when I was doing it.

Get the newbie through the first year and all will be good. That first year is rough!
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