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Old Fri Apr 29, 2005, 11:34am
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Instead of further hijacking the "Positioning at first base" thread below, I'll start a new one on a topic brought up as part of that thread.

mcrowder referred to it as "reward the good play".

Scenario one: Ground ball to infielder who momentarily bobbles then throws to first, bang-bang play that could go either way - call should be SAFE.

Scenario two: Infielder makes an exceptional play to get to ball that she shouldn't (F6 going deep in the hole), then throws to first, bang-bang play that could go either way - call should be OUT.

Scenario three: B/R hustles out of the box after a hit that appears to be a routine groundout and creates a bang-bang play at first that could go either way - call should be SAFE.

In each of these, assume that there were no other issues like F3 pulling her foot, B/R missing first base, etc.

This philosophy has been presented to me as a game management tool by making the "expected" call. In other words, if an infielder bobbles the ball and the play at first is bang-bang, everybody including the defense "expects" the runner to be safe - after all, if the infielder had not bobbled, the runner would have been out easily. Conversely, F6 shows great effort in getting to a ball she shouldn't and firing a bullet to first - the expected call is OUT.

This is for this particular scenario only and not to be applied across an entire game as an excuse to not make a tough call.

The person that presented this to me framed it this way: If you make the call that everbody is expecting, you will not only get less grief at that time, but it will also prevent a "stepping stone" from being placed that could lead to a nasty situation later in the game.

My personal feeling is that we as umpires should call 'em like we see 'em, but on those plays as listed here, the philosophy may have some merit.

Thoughts?

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Old Fri Apr 29, 2005, 12:34pm
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Memory seems to serve me that the expected call is more for situations like the ball beat the runner on a steal and the glove was down. Call the out even if the tag wasn't quite applied. But I could be wrong (again).

I call AA slo-pitch. Reward the good play can be extremely difficult.

Heres a sitch from a playoff semi-final last year. R1 (a hothead) 2 out last of the 6th inning offence down by 2.

Routine fly ball to F9 - pretty high but routine. F9 drops the ball. BUT R1 is still standing 5 feet off 1st base. F9 is slow picking up the ball and makes an in time but terrible throw to F6 at 2nd base. Terrible in that F6 has to stretch way out to the side and up to catch it.

Frankly I see better ball in U10.
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Old Fri Apr 29, 2005, 01:13pm
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I must have had the one defensive coach in the world that didn't subscribe to this philosophy. His SS bobbled two grounders in a game. Each one caused a bang-banger, and I called the runners safe. After the 1st one, I was informed that it was a force out. I thought to myself, "a force out yes, but not an automatic out". After the second one, I was informed by the coach that this was the 2nd time I'd missed the same call, and the first one cost his team 2 runs. The whole time I'm thinking I'm not bobbling grounders, dropping fly-balls, and pulling feet. His team lost by the Mercy Rule after 5 innings, and I'm sure that I had something to do with that.
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Old Fri Apr 29, 2005, 01:25pm
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"Reward the good play...."

I've always felt that this, and "call what's expected", are a bunch of garbage. Call what you see, NOT what the fans or coaches "expect".

"Good play": F6 goes deep in the hole, makes great pickup, throws off-balance to F3. BR beats throw by an eyelash. "Reward the good play", and screw the BR out of a hit. Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin.

"Expected": F6 brings ball down, but misses sliding runner by a foot. Call the "expected" out. No way.

Another of my pet peeves is: "The tag was high, blue". Who cares where on the body the tag was. Was the tag before the runner reached base, or after?

I had a men's slo-pitch game years ago. Runner trying for 2B, tag is made on the shoulder. "OUT." "The tag was high, blue." "Yes, but he's still three feet short of the base. He's out."

Bob

[Edited by bluezebra on Apr 29th, 2005 at 02:29 PM]
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Old Fri Apr 29, 2005, 01:29pm
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I guess I don't look at plays and think what is the expected call. I call what I see. I won't deny that what I see may be somewhat biased based on what I think. In other words, if I see a great play by a fielder and the play is 'Bang-Bang', I may be biased to give the benefit to the fielder. But I try really hard to see the play and make the call based solely on what I see.
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Old Fri Apr 29, 2005, 02:02pm
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Reward the good play, and make the expected call... both are shameless cop-outs. You're basically saying that the call was so close that you have no freaking clue whether they were safe or out, so you go to your tiebreaker.

Garbage. Pure garbage. If a clinician has taught you this, he should be fired. If you have calls so close that you really can't tell so often that you need an axiom to give you that tiebreaker, then you simply aren't bothering to get into position. I'm sorry if I'm coming down hard on this. But it rewards laziness - and I hate umpire laziness.

Get yourself in position, see the play, and make the call. The fraction of plays that are TRULY too close to call is infinitesimal. Less than 1 per year. Make the RIGHT call, not the expected one.

[Edited by mcrowder on Apr 29th, 2005 at 03:04 PM]
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Old Fri Apr 29, 2005, 02:11pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Andy
Instead of further hijacking the "Positioning at first base" thread below, I'll start a new one on a topic brought up as part of that thread.

mcrowder referred to it as "reward the good play".

Scenario one: Ground ball to infielder who momentarily bobbles then throws to first, bang-bang play that could go either way - call should be SAFE.

Scenario two: Infielder makes an exceptional play to get to ball that she shouldn't (F6 going deep in the hole), then throws to first, bang-bang play that could go either way - call should be OUT.

Scenario three: B/R hustles out of the box after a hit that appears to be a routine groundout and creates a bang-bang play at first that could go either way - call should be SAFE.

In each of these, assume that there were no other issues like F3 pulling her foot, B/R missing first base, etc.

This philosophy has been presented to me as a game management tool by making the "expected" call. In other words, if an infielder bobbles the ball and the play at first is bang-bang, everybody including the defense "expects" the runner to be safe - after all, if the infielder had not bobbled, the runner would have been out easily. Conversely, F6 shows great effort in getting to a ball she shouldn't and firing a bullet to first - the expected call is OUT.

This is for this particular scenario only and not to be applied across an entire game as an excuse to not make a tough call.

The person that presented this to me framed it this way: If you make the call that everbody is expecting, you will not only get less grief at that time, but it will also prevent a "stepping stone" from being placed that could lead to a nasty situation later in the game.

My personal feeling is that we as umpires should call 'em like we see 'em, but on those plays as listed here, the philosophy may have some merit.

Thoughts?

As I have stated before on this subject....I agree with Andy.....May be
'hog wash', 'cop-out' whatever. I award the best effort on a play that
could go either way. [I know, no such thing, but have honestly never
had any problem selling it and the coaches around here know that when
I am on bases, if one is that close...well effort wins.

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Old Fri Apr 29, 2005, 03:02pm
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Wow. So you've made the potentially wrong call on close plays in favor of the team that made the most effort so often that even COACHES have noticed your tendencies? Egads.
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Old Fri Apr 29, 2005, 09:06pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by mcrowder
Wow. So you've made the potentially wrong call on close plays in favor of the team that made the most effort so often that even COACHES have noticed your tendencies? Egads.
Egads, maybe so. But have been scratched one time in 45
years of umpiring.
That was not for selling close plays either.
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Old Fri Apr 29, 2005, 10:47pm
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Quote:
That was not for selling close plays either. [/B]
Sell, sell, sell...with all this selling going on, yould think somebody would be buying.

I never have liked that whole 'selling the call' thing. As if we didnt sell the call it would change anything. Im just not for drama having to create believeability.
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Old Sat Apr 30, 2005, 08:13am
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Calls that can go either way?

Not sure if I've seen a call that could go either way!

I have seen really close plays where the tag beats the runner, the runner beats the throw and all that other close play stuff.

Call it like I see it!

Think about it: if you call the expected call on the bases then every 3-2 pitch needs to be a strike because, unless there is an intentional walk happening, no pitcher is going to walk a batter.

DI game, bottom of first inning. runner trying to score from second with two outs and hit to outfield. Great throw by centerfielder to catcher up the line about 2 feet and inside the baseline. Runner trying a hookslide around the play. Really close play. I call out as I see tag before the runner touches the base.

Coach comes out and tells me the tag never happens. Tells me that I have to tell her where the tag was. I play along. "Coach the tag was on the hip before her left hand touched the plate."

Coach says good call and walks away.
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Old Sat Apr 30, 2005, 09:26am
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What everyone seems to forget is that there are TWO teams playing the game.

Wow, SS made a great play, so there must be an out on the bang-bang play, right? What about the fact the batter hit the ball where the SS wasn't supposed to get it and made a super effort to reach 1B prior to the ball? Where is the reward for his/her effort?

B3 gets lucky because SS bobbles the ball, so the banger has to be safe, right? What about the fact that the SS had the sense and ability to regain his/her composure and the ball and make a play to 1B while the lucky BR doesn't even have the physical ability to get there in time even after the fielder originally kicked the play? Where it the reward for the SS?

There have been many times that I've seen great or sloppy plays and figure, "this guy doesn't have a prayer" only to see just the opposite. Call what you see! There are too, TOO many umpires who hear crap like this and apply it to EVERY play. It is wrong, period. There are two teams on the field and both not only pay for, but deserve a game to be called as it happens, not in a manner designed to allow the umpire more wiggle room and lesser grief.
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Old Sat Apr 30, 2005, 09:53pm
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Wink

Who has time to think about all that stuff? Just call the play as you see it. Anything else will get you in trouble. Even then it may find you.

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Old Sat Apr 30, 2005, 11:48pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rachel
Who has time to think about all that stuff? Just call the play as you see it. Anything else will get you in trouble. Even then it may find you.

If we all did just that, we wouldnt have all the fun here though. Its like not thinking about pink elephants.
I do agree Rachel..but, you know you question some of the calls you make too.

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Old Sun May 01, 2005, 10:04am
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Lazy umpires do this, just like the ones that call an out on a non-force just because the ball beat the runner to the base and don't require a proper tag. Sound like a lot of BB umpires I have talk to.
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