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Old Fri Jun 14, 2013, 07:45am
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Why MTD, Jr., and I do NOT umpire slow pitch softball!

Prior to last night, the only slow pitch softball that MTD, Jr., and I umpire is Specials Olympics and it uses straight ASA Rules.

Yesterday afternoon, the summer baseball and slow pitch assigner for the Toledo Park & Rec. Dept. (his first year assigning summer umpires), who is a H.S. basketball official and H.S. varsity baseball coach in the Toledo area (and a real nice guy) emailed to ask if Junior and I could umpire some slow pitch softball games for him last night (one game) and tonight (two games) at $25 (cash) per game. Junior was not available but I was and I said yes (the park where the games are played aren't even 4.5 miles from our home).

I did not know who my partner was until I met him at the diamond. I should tell you that the complex has four diamonds so there were eight umpires there: two of us in navy blue shorts, one in gray pants, four in navy blue pants, and one (a female, I am sorry, but I am not being sexist but I call them as I see them) in navy blue jeans, .

My partner was attired in the correct ASA hat and ASA powder blue shirt, navy blue pants with black belt and ASA ball bag, black shoes, and white () socks. His accessories included a diamond stud in his left ear, shin guards worn on the outside of his pants (), with the piece de resistance being a three inch wide wooden paint brush with a (approximately) six inch long handle () for his Plate brush. He told me that he had been umpiring ASA slow pitch softball for eleven years for the TP&R; I checked and he was not an OhioHSAA registered fast pitch softball umpire. I let him have the Plate, .

The game was an adult men's (wreck) league game and it was moving along at a good pace until the bottom of the fifth inning. I had a banger at 1B and I called the Runner safe. A little bit of griping by the Visitors but it was over by the time the next batter stepped into the Batter's Box.

Top of the sixth and I have a banger at 1B and call the Runner out, again a little bit of griping by the Visitor's but again, it was over by the time their next batter stepped into the Batter's Box.

We go to the bottom of the sixth and the real fun starts. Banger at first and I call the Runner out. Home F1, from the bench yells at me to get my "fat a$$ (I resemble that remark, ) into position". EJECTION #1.

The 1B Coach then yells at me that I am "an a$$hole". EJECTION #2.

The Visitor's score two in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game and as the Home team goes to their bench to bat, H-F4 tells me that I am "f**king a$$hole". EJECTION #3.

Long story short, the Home team scores a run in the bottom of the eighth to win the game.

Foot notes to the game:
1) In the top of the fourth inning, I had a Runner and the F6 collide at 2B, no obstruction or interference, just a mild train wreck and both players banged knees. I called Time, quite loudly, so that both players could walk off the collision, and my partner knew I had stopped the game because I was standing just off 2B and looking directly at him with both hands in the air when I called Time. Before I could ask either player if they were ready to play he allowed F1 to pitch to the next Batter, .
2) He never once gave the count during an At Bat, and I never new when he had called an illegal pitch because he never used the Delayed Dead Ball signal.
3) After all three ejections my partner allowed the ejected players to lallygag in the bench area and to continue to yell at me while allowing the game to continue. I had to take matters into my own hands, and stop the game until the ejected players went to the parking lot. He was worthless. But it was worth the price of admission to watch him clean the Plate with his paint brush and wear shin guards on the outside of his pants.
4) The Home team had an old geezer my age (he looked like he was in his 60's, ) who was its 3B Coach. After the game, as I was getting into my car, he yelled from across the parking lot that he was going to come over to my car and kick my a$$. ROFLMFAO!!

Never a dull moment in "wreck" league slow pitch softball, . My better half does not want me to umpire tonight; she says the $50 is not worth the aggravation from the yahoos that are called players.

MTD, Sr.
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Old Fri Jun 14, 2013, 09:04am
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I've worked men's and co-ed leagues for a couple of years and the aggravation and stupidity of the players really outweighs the income most of the time.

I've worked games where 9 and 10 year olds were more mature.

I had one guy tell me I'd never umpire his games ever again. I'm still confused as to why that's a bad thing!
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Old Fri Jun 14, 2013, 09:37am
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Men's modified fastpitch...

Wednesday night, liner caught by F6, tried to double R1 off 1st, airmailed the ball out of play. Entire defense goes berzerk when I award R1 third base. Not 1 player stayed quiet in their ignorance of the rule.

I pride myself in my ability to keep cool in the face of abuse; it's much more satisfying to eject someone that way. However, in this deluge of uninformed hysteria, I let my exasperation get the better of me, and made the general announcement "guys, this is Softball 101" (referring to the out-of-play rule, not the level of talent on the field, which was so-so)

I admit it was an inappropriate remark, and regretted it as soon as I said it, as it ignited a new rash of abuse, accompanied by the resultant ejections (the first ejections in 3 years of umpiring this league)
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Old Fri Jun 14, 2013, 09:57am
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I gave up ASA ball years ago when the UIC at a tournament I reluctantly agreed to work decided not to pay for forfeits that were announced when we got there. I told him I get paid or I leave and take all my high school umpires with me. I got paid and so did they.

As someone said earlier, the aggravation is not worth the money. I only work high school and college games and am much happier.
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Old Fri Jun 14, 2013, 10:08am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SE Minnestoa Re View Post
I gave up ASA ball years ago when the UIC at a tournament I reluctantly agreed to work decided not to pay for forfeits that were announced when we got there. I told him I get paid or I leave and take all my high school umpires with me. I got paid and so did they.

As someone said earlier, the aggravation is not worth the money. I only work high school and college games and am much happier.
I doubt your experience had anything to do with ASA. I'd guess this was on either the tournament organizers or the UIC personally (or the combo).

Nevertheless, my experience with ASA/USSSA/AFA/NAFA fastpitch has been very good. I've never been stiffed, and serious problems with either players or coaches are rare. And, this includes adult men's and women's fastpitch as well as youth. (Parents are another story, but even that goes away at the older ages.)

But, then, I don't umpire slowpitch, so I have no comment on issues or problems (or lack thereof) with that game.
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Last edited by Dakota; Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 10:10am.
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Old Fri Jun 14, 2013, 10:30am
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In 21 years of ASA ball, I've had only one issue regarding payment at a tourney - the same issue you mention ... and it was resolved in almost exactly the same way. I would not say ASA was the problem here.

That said ... I stopped doing slow pitch adults a LONG time ago, pretty much for the reasons stated here.
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Old Fri Jun 14, 2013, 10:47am
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It's not the ASA that's the problem, it is definitely the alleged adults that take the game to a new level.

It can be a lot of fun, the people can be really good too but as always it's a small group of people who ruin it for the rest.

The whining, yelling, questioning of eyesight and the rest gets real old in a hurry in some games. I love those who want to argue my strike zone, it's slow pitch softball, 99% of all balls pitched can be hit, just swing already!

I have never had a payment issue in any league I've ever worked, that's the really good thing I can say.
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Old Fri Jun 14, 2013, 11:47am
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Yes, a bunch of whiny, little bitches, just like spies.

But I got news for you folks, they don't care that you don't umpire their games, they'll just beat up on the next guy and here is why it happens:

Somewhere along the way, someone told umpires is was a sign of professionalism to "keep players in the game". Well, it isn't. A sign of professionalism is umpiring the game as it is supposed to be umpired, using the prescribed rules and mechanics and manage the game and the players. When that player crosses the line, the professional thing to do is save the game and dispense the player that is causing the problem. It's like cutting out the cancer. I don't know how many times a team had been struggling and some smartass gets dumped and the team refocuses on the game instead of the smartass and their level of play increases and the often end up winning. These are ballplayers, the putz you dumped is not.

Also, somewhere along the way, an umpire figured that if I don't call the rules they don't want called, I will not get into trouble. And when trouble came, they just made it up as they went along and bullshit their way out of it. They are the player's friend, right up until the time comes when the players don't get their way. And you know what, that moron sits there and takes it because s/he is afraid of upsetting them that much more.

IOW, many umpires bring it on themselves through laziness and just not doing the job. And the worst part of that is when they experience the umpire that does the job right, s/he gets the shit and then the players don't understand why they get ejected.

We all wait for the time to come when we meet the "umpire last night" in a dark alley so we can beat him silly with a rule book.

My philosophy, not that anyone cares, is know and enforce the rules, listen to the complaint when warranted, not be afraid of a protest and tell the manager to control his players or take them home. I have found they may not like the call, but they will respect you being there to make it or miss it, not standing where you were when the play started. The players may argue, may completely disagree, but the will not try to bully you, especially if they know you will pull the trigger when appropriate.
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Old Fri Jun 14, 2013, 12:05pm
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I agree with everything Irish just said, but would take it a step further. In my neck of the woods (multiple places in Texas), the "keep them in the game" and "the game is for the players - they are paying the bills" philosophy has so permeated the leagues that the situation described by Mark in the OP is the norm, and endorsed by the leagues... many of whom have "League Presidents" doing the umpire assigning.

An umpire who does his job as Irish describes it quickly finds himself not working. The umpires who know the rules quickly find themselves declaring, "never again". So what's left - umpires who cannot be bothered to move from home plate, have never attended a single clinic, taken a single test, or joined a single organization... all of whom would never consider looking at a site like this one even briefly. Paycheck Umpires, that is all. Once, when playing, I asked the umpire if he saw the obstruction at first base and he asked me what obstruction was. That guy is not the exception (at least in my experience in Texas) ... he is the rule.

And the game is dying from it.
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Old Fri Jun 14, 2013, 08:06pm
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Short story about how letting players run amok hurts the game and umpiring

In Northern Delaware, there used to be a large Independence Day tournament (Terrace). Drew 165-195 teams for years. Lot of teams from NY to Richmond, but was always pretty decent with few issues.

Then as the game became more about trophy hunting and talking trash, we started seeing a swing in attitudes. We lost an umpire for a couple years and those who left stated they just weren't going to put up with these idiots anymore. So, we got them to pay for a UIC. It was me the third year. Unfortunately, after I committed to the tournament, the state UIC stood up in front of the local association and stated that we should not umpire this tournament simply because of the possibility of losing umpires.

So, things are going okay first day, a little wet the 2nd day, but found out after the fact that an umpire was knocked to the ground by some idiot who played for a team out of Trenton, NJ, wearing Coors Light jersey was ejected for being such. I found out that he literally walked up to him and shoved him to the ground. The umpire wasn't the strongest, but he tried. Once I tracked him down, he refused to talk to the police or file any complaint, but I did get the player's name & number.

I went over to the host athletic club (bar) and told the guy operating the tournament what happened and I wanted the player gone. His response was that he will include a letter about player behavior for next year's tournament. I asked him about the rest of this year's tournament, and he said, "what do you expect me to do, call them now?" Obviously hit with a positive response, he refused to do it and I told him the tournament would die if he didn't take immediate action. He didn't care, he was counting his money. The last day went without incident and the following year, very few umpire worked the tournament and some games ended up being called by players. The teams stopped coming and the tournament died after one year without the umpire's support.

I'm not suggesting umpires be arrogant enough to think they game cannot continue without them, it can. However, when it comes down to the integrity of the game and the authority of the umpire on the field, you just cannot stand there and permit the degradation that has enveloped the game the past decade or so. If you really want to help the game, you will work whichever game for which you are needed and challenge the players to not be *******s.

JMHO
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The bat issue in softball is as much about liability, insurance and litigation as it is about competition, inflated egos and softball.

Last edited by IRISHMAFIA; Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 08:09pm.
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Old Fri Jun 14, 2013, 08:25pm
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I agree completely with Mike's post. BUt I'm going to change 1 word in his last sentence that reads from:
If you really want to help the game, you will work whichever game for which you are needed and challenge the players to not be *******s.

to

If you really want to help the game, you will work whichever game for which you are needed and REQUIRE the players to not be *******s.

I do not do a lot of slow pitch - actually, I will do some slow pith tournament games this year for the first time in about 5 years. The players will not be permitted to show me that they are butt heads.
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Old Fri Jun 14, 2013, 10:04pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark T. DeNucci, Sr. View Post
Prior to last night, the only slow pitch softball that MTD, Jr., and I umpire is Specials Olympics and it uses straight ASA Rules.

Yesterday afternoon, the summer baseball and slow pitch assigner for the Toledo Park & Rec. Dept. (his first year assigning summer umpires), who is a H.S. basketball official and H.S. varsity baseball coach in the Toledo area (and a real nice guy) emailed to ask if Junior and I could umpire some slow pitch softball games for him last night (one game) and tonight (two games) at $25 (cash) per game. Junior was not available but I was and I said yes (the park where the games are played aren't even 4.5 miles from our home).

I did not know who my partner was until I met him at the diamond. I should tell you that the complex has four diamonds so there were eight umpires there: two of us in navy blue shorts, one in gray pants, four in navy blue pants, and one (a female, I am sorry, but I am not being sexist but I call them as I see them) in navy blue jeans, .

My partner was attired in the correct ASA hat and ASA powder blue shirt, navy blue pants with black belt and ASA ball bag, black shoes, and white () socks. His accessories included a diamond stud in his left ear, shin guards worn on the outside of his pants (), with the piece de resistance being a three inch wide wooden paint brush with a (approximately) six inch long handle () for his Plate brush. He told me that he had been umpiring ASA slow pitch softball for eleven years for the TP&R; I checked and he was not an OhioHSAA registered fast pitch softball umpire. I let him have the Plate, .

The game was an adult men's (wreck) league game and it was moving along at a good pace until the bottom of the fifth inning. I had a banger at 1B and I called the Runner safe. A little bit of griping by the Visitors but it was over by the time the next batter stepped into the Batter's Box.

Top of the sixth and I have a banger at 1B and call the Runner out, again a little bit of griping by the Visitor's but again, it was over by the time their next batter stepped into the Batter's Box.

We go to the bottom of the sixth and the real fun starts. Banger at first and I call the Runner out. Home F1, from the bench yells at me to get my "fat a$$ (I resemble that remark, ) into position". EJECTION #1.

The 1B Coach then yells at me that I am "an a$$hole". EJECTION #2.

The Visitor's score two in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game and as the Home team goes to their bench to bat, H-F4 tells me that I am "f**king a$$hole". EJECTION #3.

Long story short, the Home team scores a run in the bottom of the eighth to win the game.

Foot notes to the game:
1) In the top of the fourth inning, I had a Runner and the F6 collide at 2B, no obstruction or interference, just a mild train wreck and both players banged knees. I called Time, quite loudly, so that both players could walk off the collision, and my partner knew I had stopped the game because I was standing just off 2B and looking directly at him with both hands in the air when I called Time. Before I could ask either player if they were ready to play he allowed F1 to pitch to the next Batter, .
2) He never once gave the count during an At Bat, and I never new when he had called an illegal pitch because he never used the Delayed Dead Ball signal.
3) After all three ejections my partner allowed the ejected players to lallygag in the bench area and to continue to yell at me while allowing the game to continue. I had to take matters into my own hands, and stop the game until the ejected players went to the parking lot. He was worthless. But it was worth the price of admission to watch him clean the Plate with his paint brush and wear shin guards on the outside of his pants.
4) The Home team had an old geezer my age (he looked like he was in his 60's, ) who was its 3B Coach. After the game, as I was getting into my car, he yelled from across the parking lot that he was going to come over to my car and kick my a$$. ROFLMFAO!!

Never a dull moment in "wreck" league slow pitch softball, . My better half does not want me to umpire tonight; she says the $50 is not worth the aggravation from the yahoos that are called players.

MTD, Sr.
I'm glad things aren't that bad up US-23 a ways where I work.

I have had one ejection in a game during my 3, now starting 4th (or is it 5th) season of Slow Pitch. Then again, I rarely do men's games and normally the Co-Wreck leagues I work are the teams just out to have fun. I also don't do tourney ball simply because softball is my 3rd or 4th sport and I rarely have a free weekend to do it because one of my other sports is covering the weekend.

The one ejection I had was a co-rec game. Things were going well until late in the game. Batter hits a grounder to second which the 2b airmails to F3. The runner, in attempting to avoid F3 who has jumped right onto the orange base, steps on the white portion of the base and his momentum takes him a couple steps into RF. He stops, turns facing 2b (no step towards 2b), then comes immediately back to first. F3 picks the ball up runs over and tags the the batter-runner (now runner) as he is coming back. I, as the single umpire (no issues with partner uniforms), rule that he is safe as no attempt was made to advance. F3 has no problem with the call, but the team's player manager, who is on the bench, has a big problem with it. He starts dropping F-bomb after F-bomb at me for the call. I'm not sure if it was the first or second one that got him sent to the parking lot, but it wasn't more than that. Our site supervisor was on the opposite side of the park (5 diamonds, 4 SB, one BB) and could hear him yelling (so could the cop in the parking lot). He finally left the field saying "I will see you after the game." The cop made sure he wasn't still around to do that. The rest of the game went fine.

That is the one and only ejection I've had from a SB game in my time umpiring. Now in basketball I've had a lot more than that. I've had some that I should have sent packing but didn't.

My favorite line from a player though was "He must be sleeping with someone on the other team." Looking at her and her team mates I sure wouldn't be touching any of her team, that's for sure.
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Old Fri Jun 14, 2013, 10:25pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark T. DeNucci, Sr. View Post
Prior to last night, the only slow pitch softball that MTD, Jr., and I umpire is Specials Olympics and it uses straight ASA Rules.

Yesterday afternoon, the summer baseball and slow pitch assigner for the Toledo Park & Rec. Dept. (his first year assigning summer umpires), who is a H.S. basketball official and H.S. varsity baseball coach in the Toledo area (and a real nice guy) emailed to ask if Junior and I could umpire some slow pitch softball games for him last night (one game) and tonight (two games) at $25 (cash) per game. Junior was not available but I was and I said yes (the park where the games are played aren't even 4.5 miles from our home).

I did not know who my partner was until I met him at the diamond. I should tell you that the complex has four diamonds so there were eight umpires there: two of us in navy blue shorts, one in gray pants, four in navy blue pants, and one (a female, I am sorry, but I am not being sexist but I call them as I see them) in navy blue jeans, .

My partner was attired in the correct ASA hat and ASA powder blue shirt, navy blue pants with black belt and ASA ball bag, black shoes, and white () socks. His accessories included a diamond stud in his left ear, shin guards worn on the outside of his pants (), with the piece de resistance being a three inch wide wooden paint brush with a (approximately) six inch long handle () for his Plate brush. He told me that he had been umpiring ASA slow pitch softball for eleven years for the TP&R; I checked and he was not an OhioHSAA registered fast pitch softball umpire. I let him have the Plate, .

The game was an adult men's (wreck) league game and it was moving along at a good pace until the bottom of the fifth inning. I had a banger at 1B and I called the Runner safe. A little bit of griping by the Visitors but it was over by the time the next batter stepped into the Batter's Box.

Top of the sixth and I have a banger at 1B and call the Runner out, again a little bit of griping by the Visitor's but again, it was over by the time their next batter stepped into the Batter's Box.

We go to the bottom of the sixth and the real fun starts. Banger at first and I call the Runner out. Home F1, from the bench yells at me to get my "fat a$$ (I resemble that remark, ) into position". EJECTION #1.

The 1B Coach then yells at me that I am "an a$$hole". EJECTION #2.

The Visitor's score two in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game and as the Home team goes to their bench to bat, H-F4 tells me that I am "f**king a$$hole". EJECTION #3.

Long story short, the Home team scores a run in the bottom of the eighth to win the game.

Foot notes to the game:
1) In the top of the fourth inning, I had a Runner and the F6 collide at 2B, no obstruction or interference, just a mild train wreck and both players banged knees. I called Time, quite loudly, so that both players could walk off the collision, and my partner knew I had stopped the game because I was standing just off 2B and looking directly at him with both hands in the air when I called Time. Before I could ask either player if they were ready to play he allowed F1 to pitch to the next Batter, .
2) He never once gave the count during an At Bat, and I never new when he had called an illegal pitch because he never used the Delayed Dead Ball signal.
3) After all three ejections my partner allowed the ejected players to lallygag in the bench area and to continue to yell at me while allowing the game to continue. I had to take matters into my own hands, and stop the game until the ejected players went to the parking lot. He was worthless. But it was worth the price of admission to watch him clean the Plate with his paint brush and wear shin guards on the outside of his pants.
4) The Home team had an old geezer my age (he looked like he was in his 60's, ) who was its 3B Coach. After the game, as I was getting into my car, he yelled from across the parking lot that he was going to come over to my car and kick my a$$. ROFLMFAO!!

Never a dull moment in "wreck" league slow pitch softball, . My better half does not want me to umpire tonight; she says the $50 is not worth the aggravation from the yahoos that are called players.

MTD, Sr.
MTD, Sr. You have been around awhile......but you have not paid attention.......there is a reason that adult softball is called AA (Alleged Adult).....

This acronym was coined by a fellow called Ed....in around 1998.....maybe sooner......Slow Pitch Softball....is a genre of and in of itself.......

I have done a total of 208 games......good luck in your endeavour......

Joel
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Old Fri Jun 14, 2013, 10:35pm
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Originally Posted by Gulf Coast Blue View Post
MTD, Sr. You have been around awhile......but you have not paid attention.......there is a reason that adult softball is called AA (Alleged Adult).....

This acronym was coined by a fellow called Ed....in around 1998.....maybe sooner......Slow Pitch Softball....is a genre of and in of itself.......

I have done a total of 208 games......good luck in your endeavour......

Joel

Joel:

What do you mean I have not paid attention. Thursday night's game is the reason I have not done slow pitch softball up to now. Too many nut cases playing softball.

MTD, Sr.
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Wood Co. (Bowling Green, Ohio) Bkb. Off. Assn.
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Ohio High School Athletic Association
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Old Fri Jun 14, 2013, 11:28pm
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You couldn't pay me enough to do beer league softball.

Well, you could, but it would have a couple more decimal places than the current fee.
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