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Old Sun Mar 26, 2006, 10:44pm
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Question Banter

This made me wonder
Quote:
I love walking out on the diamond before the game. "Hey blue how's it going?". "Nice weather today blue " "Can I get you a water blue ?"
How much banter or "friendly conversation" is appropriate before or during the game.
Is it okay to tell a catcher that she is not framing the pitch well enough to get a strike called on the outside?

Is it okay to tell a fielder that she had a play until she dropped a ball?

Is it okay to joke with the the catcher to "take care of you" if you are the plate man?

Is it okay to ask a player how their season is going assuming you have met them in a previous game?

Is it okay to chew the fat with the first base coach as the defense warms up?
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Old Sun Mar 26, 2006, 11:12pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcblue13
This made me wonder

How much banter or "friendly conversation" is appropriate before or during the game.
1. Is it okay to tell a catcher that she is not framing the pitch well enough to get a strike called on the outside?

2.Is it okay to tell a fielder that she had a play until she dropped a ball?

3. Is it okay to joke with the the catcher to "take care of you" if you are the plate man?

4.Is it okay to ask a player how their season is going assuming you have met them in a previous game?

5. Is it okay to chew the fat with the first base coach as the defense warms up?

Lets take this item by item:

1. Whats this 'framing' you talking about???

2. SOMETIMES..big help I know...lol..seriously..depends on the game...hey should be able to figure that one out by themselves...

3,4,5 -ABSOLUTELY...especially for high school/JO/PONY...youre not a robot out there, and being superficially fiendly with the kids doesn't hurt! Especially with your catcher - STORY: Had a 16U PONY qualifier, and had a C with THE greatest personality - chattery, always hustling with a smile - so of course,me being me, I had to yak with her ..encouraging her...just generally keeping her relaxed..especially since her P didn't have the greatest control! Sure enough, around the 5th or so, she gets crossed up on a pitch and I get it right on the forearm....raising a nasty lil bump (which became a nasty lil bruise later!)...boy, was she SO embarassed...kept on apologizing over and over..and I kept going 'hey its no problem'...'hey part of the game', etc, etc....so...later on I had a game in this fall practice league we have round here..and Guess Who is catching? And she STILL was apologizing.....and Guess What AGAIN??? Yup......and it STILL wasn't her fault (same P actually!)and she was SO flustered....so yeah, if you see the same kids over and over (or even adults) you can't HELP a little chatter...

and to put this in another perspective, we have a hs program around here, where the kids are FORBIDDEN to talk to us...and boy do we hate that...(we have other problems with this program too...)

as long as it doesn't interfere with the game..why not??
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 07:22am
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1. I would not, even if asked.

2. I would if answering a question. I would not speak first.

3. I don't but do not feel a sentence or two like this is inappropriate.

4. Sure, but again a sentence or two, being cordial.

5. I will be cordial with a greeting. I think it would most always be inappropriate to chew the fat between each inning, depending on the league, e.g. in coach's pitch this might be fine.
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 10:48am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcblue13
This made me wonder

How much banter or "friendly conversation" is appropriate before or during the game.
Is it okay to tell a catcher that she is not framing the pitch well enough to get a strike called on the outside??
Uh, no. It's not even ok to THINK that. Framing a pitch should never be encouraged by an umpire - often the framing is done to show up an umpire, or to show to the world that PU blew this strike call. You should never need the catcher to frame ANYTHING for you to be able to call it correctly.

Quote:
Is it okay to tell a fielder that she had a play until she dropped a ball?
Can't see why you would want to say this.

Quote:
Is it okay to joke with the the catcher to "take care of you" if you are the plate man?

Is it okay to ask a player how their season is going assuming you have met them in a previous game?

Is it okay to chew the fat with the first base coach as the defense warms up?
Sure - no problem at all with any of these. Don't get TOO friendly, but a little light banter is fine. Don't make the mistake of being friendly with only one team (I've seen this happen) though - it can be interpreted wrong by the other side.
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 12:06pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcblue13
Is it okay to chew the fat with the first base coach as the defense warms up?
I've always been taught that the BU should stand out in short right field during team warm-ups. This is a neutral area and removes the possibility for the umpire to engage in any kind of conversation with the game participants (players or coaches).

As the PU, I've always been taught to stand near the foul line, about 20-feet away from homeplate during warm-ups. I alternate between the 1st baseline and the 3rd baseline. I always stand on the side of the defense since there are generally less people in the nearby dugout - thereby less of an opportunity to engage in a conversation. I focus on the pitcher warming-up and am quick to give the catcher another ball on a wild pitch.

This routine is designed with two things in mind:
1) It is consistent and looks professional
2) It keeps the umpire out of between inning banter

When I work the plate, I don't like working with a partner who feels the need to come toward me and have a conversation during warm-ups. If there's something important to discuss, fine, but not to discuss his favorite TV show.

I particularly don't like my partner to approach me after a controversial inning. This makes the umpires look unsure, overly concerned, and conspiratorial.

David Emerling
Memphis, TN
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 01:20pm
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TC Blue,

My goal on the field is to have as little contact with the coaches and players as possible. I'm there to umpire not to bond.

Is it okay to tell a catcher that she is not framing the pitch well enough to get a strike called on the outside?

I would try adjusting my stance to get a better look. If the catcher is moving her glove trying to sell the pitch, I'll ask her to frame the pitch.

Is it okay to tell a fielder that she had a play until she dropped a ball?

Why would you want to say that? Are you there to coach or umpire?

Is it okay to joke with the the catcher to "take care of you" if you are the plate man?

My conversations with the catcher are using her as messenger to her teammates and coaches. If the catcher makes a good block or takes a foul ball off herself I'll usually say "Nice block".

Is it okay to ask a player how their season is going assuming you have met them in a previous game?

Why is that information important to you? I am civil to the players but try never to initiate frivolous conversation.

Is it okay to chew the fat with the first base coach as the defense warms up?

Once again I ask why. This coach that you've been bonding with could turn on you in a heartbeat if s/he believes you blew a call. Remain civil and postion yourself in the correct between inning position.
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 02:02pm
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I ask again - why would ANYONE want/need/ask the catcher to frame the ball? It's WAY past the plate at this point, and if you need a clue from the catcher, you're standing in the wrong place. If you EVER alter a call based on whether catcher frames it well, you're not doing your job.
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 02:10pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrowder
I ask again - why would ANYONE want/need/ask the catcher to frame the ball? It's WAY past the plate at this point, and if you need a clue from the catcher, you're standing in the wrong place. If you EVER alter a call based on whether catcher frames it well, you're not doing your job.
When I suggest that a catcher frame a pitch it's letting the catcher know to keep the glove still. (I've already decided my ball/strike call as the ball came through the zone.)
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 02:53pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelVA2000
When I suggest that a catcher frame a pitch it's letting the catcher know to keep the glove still. (I've already decided my ball/strike call as the ball came through the zone.)

So then why do they need to keep the glove still again? If not your benefit then whose?

Just curious. I dont do FP. But it seems if you are telling a C to frame the pitch better, then they may delay to make a play on a SB attempt when the pitch is a close one with 2 strikes. They may also have the idea that if they do it the way that you want it they will gain some calls. It may be best to take that one out of the banter repetiore
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 03:07pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelVA2000
When I suggest that a catcher frame a pitch it's letting the catcher know to keep the glove still. (I've already decided my ball/strike call as the ball came through the zone.)
Still not getting a "why" out of this.

Why are you letting a catcher know to keep the glove still? You don't (well... shouldn't) care. And as they get older, this behavior can be reacted to negatively by some umpires, as it is taken as showing up the umpire. Not to mention that you should not be coaching the players anyway... what if something else happens and their following of your directions to frame the pitch costs them a possible out somewhere?
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 03:31pm
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I don't tell catchers to frame a pitch. To me, it seems like instructing the players. I think there are exceptions, though. For example, there was a situation this past season where the catcher would catch outside pitches and attempt to "pull" them into the strike zone. I informed her quietly that action was not going to change my call from "ball" to "strike" on an outside pitch. After she stopped fooling around with the glove (which was getting her coaches all worked) we had a nice game. I considered that comment to be well worth it and not out of bounds.

I'm not going to go out of my way to start conversations with players or coaches, but I will certainly be polite. Between league play and tournaments I see many teams many times over the season, and in those situations it is hard to avoid a couple sentences of friendly conversation.
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 04:17pm
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SF - I have no problem with such a comment, and it makes sense to do so, especially when catcher's actions are simply making things worse.

Your comment is, of course, the exact opposite of what Michael is saying and I am disagreeing with, and thus makes a helluva lot of sense.
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 05:12pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Emerling
I've always been taught that the BU should stand out in short right field during team warm-ups. This is a neutral area and removes the possibility for the umpire to engage in any kind of conversation with the game participants (players or coaches).

As the PU, I've always been taught to stand near the foul line, about 20-feet away from homeplate during warm-ups. I alternate between the 1st baseline and the 3rd baseline. I always stand on the side of the defense since there are generally less people in the nearby dugout - thereby less of an opportunity to engage in a conversation. I focus on the pitcher warming-up and am quick to give the catcher another ball on a wild pitch.

This routine is designed with two things in mind:
1) It is consistent and looks professional
2) It keeps the umpire out of between inning banter

When I work the plate, I don't like working with a partner who feels the need to come toward me and have a conversation during warm-ups. If there's something important to discuss, fine, but not to discuss his favorite TV show.

I particularly don't like my partner to approach me after a controversial inning. This makes the umpires look unsure, overly concerned, and conspiratorial.

David Emerling
Memphis, TN
Right with you Dave. Except the alternating sides. I have found no matter where I go up the third base line F5 seems to want to stand in front of me to take her warm-ups. I really don't care until F3 starts taking her grounders and throwing hard to F5. I have gone further up towrds 3rd, but that gets me too close to the 3rd base dugout.
I agree with your statement about the idle partner chatter. Don't come in to talk about the blonde in the third row, I am not facing that way
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 05:16pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrowder
I ask again - why would ANYONE want/need/ask the catcher to frame the ball? It's WAY past the plate at this point, and if you need a clue from the catcher, you're standing in the wrong place. If you EVER alter a call based on whether catcher frames it well, you're not doing your job.
Amen!

Wait until you see a pitcher with a good curve, or a change up that drops off a table. These pitches really can't be framed well. Gotta call 'em where they pass through the zone.
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Old Tue Mar 28, 2006, 12:38am
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mcrowder: I was just thinking perhaps thats what Michael means... it was the situation that came to mind where I can see making a comment like that to the catcher.

Oh, and always good when someone thinks I make sense
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