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  #16 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 20, 2007, 03:04pm
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"Schmoozing," as John puts it, eventually becomes inevitable when you call a lot of rec ball like I do. You're in the same area, calling a lot of the same players' games, and eventually, people do get to know you. There are some players that I even consider "friends." However, when the game is on and everyone is watching, I keep the friendly chatter down to a minimum and use either "player," "coach," "Sir/Ma'am," "batter," or their position.

There's no sense in opening yourself up further to unwarranted criticism by calling people by their first names. Let's not forget that a "friend" before the game can quickly turn into your worst enemy by what they perceive to be a missed call!
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Dave

I haven't decided if I should call it from the dugout or the outfield. Apparently, both have really great views!

Screw green, it ain't easy being blue!

I won't be coming here that much anymore. I might check in now and again.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 20, 2007, 05:04pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkbjones
I am in somewhat of a unique position because I am a deputy JO commissioner, so I know just about every coach. I help teach the ACE classes, and will conduct them for an organization if need be in order to spread the word in addition to opening the floor to questions about rules and umpiring.

On the field, if I know both coaches and they know me, I personally don't have a problem being addressed by name -- as long as it's mine. For instance, my name is not a variation of Richard Cranium. I do have a problem with "Hey John, where was that pitch?" or something else from long distance. I will be addressed in a professional manner, and will address them in a professional manner.

If I do not know both coaches (know one but not the other) everyone will be coach. They can call me ump or blue. I am proud to be addressed by either. Umpires have worn blue for over 100 years, and I am most proud to carry on one of the finer traditions of sports officiating. (Thank God we don't have to wear ties.)

I don't have any kind of problem with umpires only addressing coaches as coach.

It's also important to "when in Rome, do as the Romans do." If I am out of town and fortunate enough to be working some kind of tournament, everyone will be coach -- even if it's my Uncle Bob coaching one of the teams or whatever.

Please note that one of the big criticisms of me is that I "schmooze" too much with some of these people. However, when I am not on the field I am out of my uniform, and may be acting in some other capacity like filling in for the TD while he takes a lunch break or goes to get us a couple orders of Ezell's Chicken (as featured on Oprah -- she has it flown in from SEA to Chitown).

If you use names, you may also be considered a schmoozer, so be warned...
Not completely unique, John; I am the State ASA Player Rep. Got that position because "everyone knows you". And, I work literally every major ASA tournament in our state, either as an umpire, or UIC; all association berths, National Qualifiers, State Tournament, everything. I also work many rec leagues, middle school leagues, and go out of my way to get to know them, so I can do the PR job better. Also give ACE clinics, attend or give most rules clinics for coaches. And a member of the state high school softball committee, etc., etc.

Literally every travel coach knows me, most parents know me, most players from 14U up know me, all by name. Ask SRW; when he was here for the Fast Pitch camp, and worked our Region Gold Qualifier, he likely saw players, parents and coaches coming up to me and calling me by name. I agree with everything you said; it is a fine line that we have to tread, but if everyone knows me, and everyone calls me by name, and everyone knows that knowing me and my name is SOP, it isn't an issue in our state (even Region, in most cases!!). I do preach otherwise; this is a "do as I say, not as I do" topic. No one else can be me.
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Last edited by AtlUmpSteve; Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 05:08pm.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 20, 2007, 08:02pm
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Personally I don't have a problem being called by my first name. Actually in the first inning as I get ready to take my position, I look at the catcher and ask her name . . . I then say "Hi Ashley (assuming that's her name), I'm Larry". I also find that if a coach has a problem or wants to make a change they call me blue - if it's something where it's just the two of us they will call me by name - both in HS and college. I've forged a lot of good relationships over the years and never had one problem out of it. I guess if I only have a problem or two every 8 or 9 years (and remember, I've had none yet) . . . that's a small price to pay for the good relationships, IMHO.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 20, 2007, 11:42pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountaineer
Personally I don't have a problem being called by my first name.
Hell, Larry, it isn't like you have much of a choice in WV. It'd be pretty damn ignorant ignoring your cousins like that!


Okay, okay! Just kidding, I couldn't help myself. Please forgive me!
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 20, 2007, 11:44pm
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A little clarification: I'm not saying it doesn't happen, especially if you work in a small community where everyone pretty much knows who you are.

It happens and I will respond to my name. I'm just saying that I do not make a practice of it and don't believe any umpire should for the reasons previously noted.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 21, 2007, 05:08pm
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What if a coach refers to you by "skinny little $hit." Is it better to be referred to by that than by your name?
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Last edited by bkbjones; Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 06:24pm.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 21, 2007, 05:25pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkbjones
What if an umpire refers to you by "skinny little $hit." Is it better to be referred to by that than by your name?
Leave Sean alone!!
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 21, 2007, 06:57pm
SRW SRW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve
Leave Sean alone!!
Oh it's quite alright... that's just one of the pleasantries I was called this year. That and "you're a fcuking ashsole, blue" are the top two for 2007. Both got them trips to the parking lot.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old Thu Nov 22, 2007, 05:43pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA
Hell, Larry, it isn't like you have much of a choice in WV. It'd be pretty damn ignorant ignoring your cousins like that!


Okay, okay! Just kidding, I couldn't help myself. Please forgive me!
OUCH!
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old Fri Nov 23, 2007, 10:17pm
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Keep It Professional

On the field I address the coaches as "Coach". While you are on the field you have a job to do and favoritism or the appearance of favoritism undermines your credibility.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old Sat Nov 24, 2007, 03:25pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby
On the field I address the coaches as "Coach". While you are on the field you have a job to do and favoritism or the appearance of favoritism undermines your credibility.
What if you are buddies to both coaches?
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old Sat Nov 24, 2007, 10:01pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountaineer
What if you are buddies to both coaches?
I still say it can be a bad idea. While the coaches may understand that you are on friendly terms with both of them, not all participants may share that same understanding. I fall back on what I said earlier...

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCASAUmp
Let's not forget that a "friend" before the game can quickly turn into your worst enemy by what they perceive to be a missed call!
I've had this happen to me in the past with teams that I previously was on good terms with, only to have them get ugly when they thought I made the wrong call on a bam-bam play. Let's face it, players and coaches will not always "have your back" when a call goes against their team, even if they know that you made the right call. They don't want to appear to go against their own team, and they'd much rather keep quiet.
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Dave

I haven't decided if I should call it from the dugout or the outfield. Apparently, both have really great views!

Screw green, it ain't easy being blue!

I won't be coming here that much anymore. I might check in now and again.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old Sun Nov 25, 2007, 08:09pm
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I just don't think its a good idea. Even if you do know both coaches. What about the people in the stands, there could be other coaches and other players seeing you fraternize with these coaches and that could make them think what you're doing their games they might not be getting a fair shake. And I personally don't like the idea of having different behavior in different games.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old Fri Nov 30, 2007, 12:50pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCASAUmp
I've had this happen to me in the past with teams that I previously was on good terms with, only to have them get ugly when they thought I made the wrong call on a bam-bam play. Let's face it, players and coaches will not always "have your back" when a call goes against their team, even if they know that you made the right call. They don't want to appear to go against their own team, and they'd much rather keep quiet.
Well, I have had friends chew my a$$ on the field and before they do say "Larry, can I have time?" and after the game and even months later give me hell about it. Doesn't change the relationship.
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The best part about beating your head against the wall is it feels so good when you stop.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old Fri Nov 30, 2007, 02:15pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountaineer
Well, I have had friends chew my a$$ on the field and before they do say "Larry, can I have time?" and after the game and even months later give me hell about it. Doesn't change the relationship.
Well, I never said friends. Just people I was previously on good terms with.

On the field, the only "friend" I've got is my partner.
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Dave

I haven't decided if I should call it from the dugout or the outfield. Apparently, both have really great views!

Screw green, it ain't easy being blue!

I won't be coming here that much anymore. I might check in now and again.
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