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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Mon Mar 19, 2012, 11:12am
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USSSA Tag Out Scenario

In the last game of a seven game day, I found myself smack-dab in the middle of controversy. Here's the info:

R1 on first. Me in B. Pitch is released. R1 stealing second. Catcher rockets ball to F6 as she comes in to cover second. R1 jumps up a bit to slide into second. As she does, F6 makes the catch at knee height on the first base side of second and applies the tag to the back (underside) of R1's left leg as R1 is going to the ground to enter her slide. As a result of the tag being under the leg both R1 and F6 end up going to the ground. I hesitate, see the play twice and call the out. The crowd and coaches erupt in disgust. I stay on the play as F6 stands up with the ball in glove.

First base coach calls time and comes to me and calmly asks me to explain the call. I do. He's not satisfied and said the ball was on the ground. I told him a didn't have that. He requested I ask for help. I did. My partner said he did see the ball on the ground as F6 was getting up but was blocked on the tag by the catcher. We concluded he didn't have enough information to give me to change the call. I step aside and confirm the out. Two outs.

We resume play while a bunch of belly-aching comes from the fan. After third out, the third base coach has to walk by me to get to his dugout. He asks me to explain my call. I get about three words into it and he erupts about how the ball was on the ground the whole time. I stop my explaination to tell him he can either listen politely to my explanation or watch from the parking lot. I then turned away to take my position. Halfway through the next half-inning he was still complaining loudly (not directly at me but about me) to a fellow coach in the dugout.

You make the call......
1) What would you have called on the pick-off attempt?
2) Would you have changed your call based upon your partner's observation?
3) Should the coach have been ejected and why?
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Old Mon Mar 19, 2012, 11:39am
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1) HTBT. Even with the information you have provided. The important question is did F6 have control of the ball when the tag was applied? Did she lose it when falling to the ground? Or, did she never have control of the ball?

3) Again, HTBT, but if he was belly aching loud enough to garner attention and try to show you up on your call, then yes, he would have been out in the parking lot.
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Old Mon Mar 19, 2012, 11:40am
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Oh...and to answer #2 we would still need the info I asked for in the previous post.
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Old Mon Mar 19, 2012, 12:04pm
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Can't speak to the tag - you were there, I was not. If the player had control of the ball on the tag, you have an out.

I would not have entertained the 3BC at all ... not for one second. You've already had the discussion, and it was over. If he was not HC, a VERY brief, "Coach, I've already discussed this play with your manager, we're not going over it again now." If he was the HC, remove with your manager.

And yes, if he kept barking after I told him that was enough, then he gets to learn what enough is.

(OTOH, since you DID try to entertain this conversation, you kind of have to let him have a little rope ... a very little.)
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Old Mon Mar 19, 2012, 12:25pm
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Ball was in the glove, tag applied, ball was in the glove when she stood up. From my position (10-12 ft from the bag looking straight down toward third) I had no reason to suspect the ball was ever on the ground.

HC was 3rd base coach but 1st base coach requested the help. HC seemed calmed when he approached me and asked for my explanation. I was calm through the whole thing so I had no problem telling him what I saw. That is until he decided he'd rather yell than listen to me.

When I told him he'd spend the evening in the parking lot, he shut up and went to the dugout to have his conversation with another coach/parent. Probably should've tossed just for the fact he was arguing at the half-inning.
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Old Mon Mar 19, 2012, 12:41pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OKExplorist View Post
Probably should've tossed just for the fact he was arguing at the half-inning.
Not necessarily. They have a right to ask question, and to express their disagreement. It is simply a matter of how they go about doing that.

Now, back to your original post. If, in your judgment, the fielder had possession/control of the ball when she applied the tag, then you would have an out. Subsequent action has little bearing on that aspect of the play.
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Old Mon Mar 19, 2012, 12:42pm
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A) "F6 makes the catch at knee height on the first base side of second and applies the tag to the back (underside) of R1's left leg "

is an out.

B) Your partner saying the was on the ground as F6 got up cast doubt on her control and so did you end up guessing an out?

IOW, certainty of A is ok, but not if B is true.
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Old Mon Mar 19, 2012, 01:50pm
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The part that bothers me is this: You did go to your partner to ask what they saw. Your partner said the ball was on the ground. 4 questions;
1. What reason do you have to not accept your partners judgement?
2. Did you put your partner in a position where he had to support you when he thought you were wrong?
3. Do you think there is an ethics question here?
4. Why would your partner ever want to work with you again?
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Old Mon Mar 19, 2012, 01:53pm
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Cecil - It's possible she was safe. I definitely waited long enough to see the ball on the ground if it was going to happen. There was little to no unusual movement by F6 in an effort to put the ball back into the glove. Seeing any ball on the ground could've been blocked by R1's leg. That's why I was more than willing to get more information.

I'm confident the ball was in the glove and the tag was made. My partner could not definitively tell me how or when the ball left the glove of F6. Because I never saw the ball on the ground and he couldn't add anything for me to change my mind, we kept it as called.

Could it have been wrong? Absolutely! Did I call it as I saw it and within my judgement? Without a doubt! Would I have changed the call if my partner had more information? Of course. I'm more interested in getting it right than getting yelled at.
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Old Mon Mar 19, 2012, 02:04pm
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Good questions Sig.

1) My partner's statement. He was blocked on the play by the catcher. He asked if I had a catch and tag. I did. He had nothing else to offer me.

2) No. I explained the basis for my call and ask for what he saw. We discussed the possibilities and had no basis for changing the call.

3) I guess I don't see any ethical problem here. You'll have to enlighten me.

4) We worked four games together in a 10-game rotation on Saturday and had one questionable call. I don't make calls based upon my ego. I hustle. I get position. I communicate. And I have a BRILLIANT personality.

-I really am interested in what ethical violation I have here.
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Old Mon Mar 19, 2012, 02:12pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigsig View Post
The part that bothers me is this: You did go to your partner to ask what they saw. Your partner said the ball was on the ground. 4 questions;
1. What reason do you have to not accept your partners judgement?
2. Did you put your partner in a position where he had to support you when he thought you were wrong?
3. Do you think there is an ethics question here?
4. Why would your partner ever want to work with you again?
I think you're jumping VERY far to a conclusion here that is not warranted. Partner gave him what he had. It didn't sound definitive to me, and it obviously wasn't to OP. Partner saw ball on the ground, but not when or how it got there. Partner didn't have to support squat - he gave his input, but it's BU's call to live with and die with. If partner was definitive, it would be different, but I assume BU's decision would have been as well.
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Old Mon Mar 19, 2012, 02:22pm
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One thing would've fixed it....."ball came out on the tag" from my PU. He couldn't say that. I had what I had.

My original question was...."what would you have?"
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Old Mon Mar 19, 2012, 02:59pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OKExplorist View Post
.

I'm confident the ball was in the glove and the tag was made.
That is all that you need then for the out call. Nothing more.
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Old Mon Mar 19, 2012, 06:38pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OKExplorist View Post
One thing would've fixed it....."ball came out on the tag" from my PU. He couldn't say that. I had what I had.

My original question was...."what would you have?"
Maybe a better question would have been: "Did you see the ball on the ground?"

For him to answer the question you asked from behind the plate and being partially blocked by the catcher is difficult. He probably gave you an honest "I don't know, I didn't see the whole play" response.

Whether the ball was on the ground or not is a yes or no question that he could answer. You then take that information and make a decision to stick with your call or not.
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Old Mon Mar 19, 2012, 06:54pm
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Thumbs up

Based on your description I would agree with your call 100%. I asked the questions because I thought in your original post stated that your partner, when asked, said they saw the ball on the ground but was blocked on the tag. If the ball was on the ground how could they have maintained control?

I appreciate your civil response.

I few years ago I had a base ump come to me on a pulled foot at 1B after he called the runner out. I told him it was definitely a pulled foot. He turned around and yelled to the coach "my partner agrees, the runner is out!"
I told him after the game that I would never work with him again and filled a complaint with the ethics committee of our umpire association. (He got off with a warning)
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