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Old Tue Jul 13, 2004, 12:23am
SF SF is offline
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I head out to the fields tonight for a doubleheader. Now this is the last week of league play before the league playoffs begin, so coaches are getting more tense. But for some reason my UIC decided tonight was the night to assign a rookie ump to work with. In this association, rookies work pitching machine for at least their first half year. This means no knowledge of two man mechanics, no knowledge of working plate. There are clinics they have to attend to learn that stuff, but apparently this girl had not. (I mentioned C position in our pregame, and she says "what's that." gulp.) The first game is 14U, 2nd division (the low tier of travel teams and some really good rec teams) and I have the plate. We have a brief rules clinic before the game and I hope for the best. It went fine - a couple of out...er...safe! calls, but other than that it was fine.

But then we head back to the dressing room before the second game starts and the field supervisor (we play at a complex that consists of 5 sections of field over a couple miles, so the UIC kinda roams, and every sections as their own mini UIC) tells me my partner needs to do the plate for the next game, but he says it will be a 10U 2nd div game, so I think, allright, much better than it could be.

But then, of course, I see the two best teams from 12U 1st div heading out to the field. Two very competitive, skilled teams with very fast pitching. Not what I would want to be my first game. Apparently, the field supervisor was looking at the wrong day, but he still wants my rookie partner to gear up and take plate for these two teams.

We head out, do pregame, and start the game. My partner is calling a zone maybe 6 inches by 6 inches. But the pitcher gives up trying to get anything around the corners, just blows 'em right down the middle, visitors score 6 run limit and home team comes up to bat. Home team coach mentions to partner that he wouldn't mind having the strike zone a little bit bigger, that she can even start this half inning, he doesn't mind if it hurts his team a little. So she opens it WAY up. Pitcher's first pitch gets away from her, hits the plate but my partner calls a strike. Pitcher bounces 3 more pitches off the plate for 1 ball, 2 strikes and gets the strikeout. Inning continues like this until home teams catcher (3rd batter) strikes out on a pitch that was several feet over her head. Home team coach puts hand on his head but says nothing, partner looks at him, bursts into tears and runs off field.

UIC shows up about a minute later, says that we are going to start the game over, he'll take field and I need to gear up for plate. He explains it to coaches, who both laugh but have no problems. The game ends up being a great one, both teams pitchers had double digit strikeouts and home team wins 2-1. Coaches, players, parents are all great sports.

But home team coach quietly says to me, while his team is batting, on a called strike that bounced in the dirt twice - "how was that a strike?" I mumbled something about her having a better angle. But what do you say when everyone knows your partner is messing up that badly out there? What can you do to stop it? Man, what a mess...
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Old Tue Jul 13, 2004, 12:44am
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"UIC shows up about a minute later, says that we are going to start the game over, he'll take field and I need to gear up for plate"

Totally unacceptable. The ONLY way an umpire may be replaced is because of injury or illness.

If a UIC told that to me, he'd be working the game alone. If he was so stupid to assign a rookie with no experience to a game of the caliber, let him suffer.
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Old Tue Jul 13, 2004, 07:15am
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Question

So what to your partner? Where did she go? Is she still calling?

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Old Tue Jul 13, 2004, 08:34am
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Red face

Sounds like the wrong umpire got canned here.

The UIC was responsible all the way. Made the game assignment,
then pulled the umpire and restarted the game?

Lose the UIC.

JMHO
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Old Tue Jul 13, 2004, 10:41am
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I agree, that was a mess. Bob & Glen have it right - the wrong ump got canned. Your uic screwed up, your partner paid the price.

You can completely disregard the fake who responded. Doesn't know his/her backside from a hole in the ground and tries to get accepted by imitating another's name.
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Old Tue Jul 13, 2004, 11:23am
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Quote:
Originally posted by IRRISH_MAFIA
DID YOU GUYS READ THE POST?

His partner, the plate umpire, burst into tears and ran off the field.

"Can the UIC". "Totallty unacceptable". BLAH BLAH.

SF, you had an interesting night and I think you and the UIC did the right thing.

You know, you really should change your handle.

The guy that uses that name knows what he is talking
about. I realize you slightly changed the handle,
but none of the regulars like to see answers such as
yours come up with that namesake. Of course right away
most of us would recognize the fact that it is not the
originial IrishMafia responding by the fact that his
response would be correct.

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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things
that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover."
--Mark Twain.
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Old Tue Jul 13, 2004, 12:37pm
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I agree that the UIC needs some help.

If I were in your shoes, I would attempt to call the other ump and offer to work another game with them.

IRRISH_Mafia please choose another screen name. Mike, the original Irish Mafia is one of our accepted leaders of this board and we don't want anyone to intrude on his territory with a misleading name.
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Old Tue Jul 13, 2004, 01:56pm
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Yep. The UIC definitely made the wrong move here!

Kellers, this wannabe IrrishMafia is a troll from over at McGriff's that, for some reason, has it in for Mike. The best thing to do is not even acknowledge its existence.
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Old Tue Jul 13, 2004, 02:25pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Skahtboi
Yep. The UIC definitely made the wrong move here!
I agree, if by the wrong move you mean the decision to assign this unprepared umpire the plate for this game. The UIC is responsible for the mess due to his poor judgment in making the original assignment. No matter how the mess was resolved, the UIC should have to face up to the fact that it was his mistake.

The post doesn't say what the plate umpire did, other than leave the field in tears. Maybe there was no option other than continue with the game with a different umpire behind the plate.

However, that is far from ideal, and again, the responsibility for creating the situation lies with the UIC.
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Old Tue Jul 13, 2004, 03:49pm
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Well, talked to both the UIC and partner today. UIC called my partner and apologized for putting her in a position where she couldn't succeed. He said that it was a computer glitch (our scheduling is done through a website, so I guess it's possible), but he still should have noticed and it was completely his responsibility. Classy move for him to call and apologize and admit he's wrong, but it still doesn't make up for the fact he caused the situation.

Anyway, my partner agreed to try some more plate games on Friday, and I agreed to help her work on some mechanics and such before then. Unfortunately, I won't be able to work with her (I'm already scheduled), but I'm hoping she has a much better experience. I told her today that those pitches on Friday won't be coming in at 50 MPH and darting all over the plate, and I'm sure she will do fine.

And, yes, after she ran off the field she was not able to go on. Got in her car and left.

But, what would you do in a situation where 1) or partner completely melts down, or 2) are making calls that you couldn't attempt to defend.
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Old Tue Jul 13, 2004, 03:56pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by SF
But, what would you do in a situation where 1) or partner completely melts down,
Be thankful there WAS a UIC! Or, if not, put on the plate gear and complete the game solo.
Quote:
Originally posted by SF
2) are making calls that you couldn't attempt to defend.
Well, this may sound overly simplistic, but how about just don't defend them? You shouldn't be defending them even if you agree they are 100% correct. They weren't your calls.

Now if coaches etc., were starting to get out of control, or were ganging up on my partner, I'd help with that.
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Old Tue Jul 13, 2004, 04:46pm
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She's a rookie, in this case calling her first game after only watching you work one game right? She wants some help if she's calling bouncing balls strikes. Just like when I coached if she had been my partner I would have called time and taken her asside to do a little on field mechanics coaching. She knows that a bouncing ball isn't a strike (one would hope that much at least) so give her a chance to calm down, relax and then go back in there. Granted it's not your job but she is your partner, calm her down just as you would a teammate that is swinging at balls 3 feet off the plate.
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Old Tue Jul 13, 2004, 05:13pm
SF SF is offline
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Talking

Quote:
Originally posted by Dakota
Quote:
Originally posted by SF
But, what would you do in a situation where 1) or partner completely melts down,
Be thankful there WAS a UIC! Or, if not, put on the plate gear and complete the game solo.
Quote:
Originally posted by SF
2) are making calls that you couldn't attempt to defend.
Well, this may sound overly simplistic, but how about just don't defend them? You shouldn't be defending them even if you agree they are 100% correct. They weren't your calls.
Duh. I must have been having some kind of brain freeze - good thing I have you guys to keep me straight.
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Old Tue Jul 13, 2004, 05:50pm
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Sounds like the only good thing that came out of this is you found out your partner is tough enough to come back and try again. To do that to a 1st year umpire is terrible. He may not have meant to, but he is still accountable. To apologize does show he has concern for his blues and the teams.

As far as what do you do, nothing. Even the new blues have to take the heat. Just don't let it affect her game, or the teams' game. She's messing up, bad, from the sound of it, but if she does it for both sides, then she's fair. Besides, the coach asked to open up the strike zone. He got what he asked for, and then some.
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Old Tue Jul 13, 2004, 06:27pm
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SF,
Sounds like that's turning into a success - all three of you learned something. Great move - probably undid all the damage that was done - by your uic/assignor. You've probably picked up some good stuff from the responses here. And your young partner learned that nobody died and she is strong enough to keep at it - at the levels she's able to handle. I'm assuming that your online assignments come through Arbiter. That's a good package. I'm told that it also has a section where umpire capabilities are included, so this can be prevented in the future.
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