Umpire questions answered II

April 28, 2011 | 8:07 am | 77  

Any posters who want an answer to a play they’ve seen on television or at Coors Field and would like an interpretation are encouraged to use this thread.  With 25 years of umpire experience at the Division I, small college and high school baseball I think I can help clear up some misconceptions on rules, plays and general umpire responsibilities.  Any subject or questions are encouraged.

Read the first umpire thread here »

Tagged:

77 Comments »

  • rockymountainhigh | June 3, 2011 | 2:28 pm

    I’m asking about the Jim Joyce and Galaraga’s near-perfect game. Both the pitcher and Jim Joyce handled the situation very well being under intense spotlight. That said, I am wondering if it is permissable or if it can happen: Say Mr. Joyce calls him safe and the game extends another batter. If before the pitcher makes the next pitch, can the umpire realize it was an obvious mistake and change the call, thereby saving Galaraga’s perfect game? Or is it once you make the call, you can’t change your mind even when you know you were wrong?

    Same question apply to what happened with myself involved. I was an assistant coach one year and took over for the head coach when he was on urgent trip. Unforced play at 2B. My runner slid into 2B. The other team threw the ball and the second baseman caught the ball outstretched straight up above his head with his toes on the base; he made no attempt to get down to make a tag on the sliding runner. “Out” was the call. If the coach comes out and explained to the ump that it was NOT a force play and the ump realized that after the fact, can he reverse the call and call the runner “safe”?

  • Trip | June 3, 2011 | 3:09 pm

    I’m going to make a guess at this one, before Ed answers, to test my knowledge.

    I have seen cases where an Ump has changed his call for various reasons, so guessing it could have happened in both cases above.

    If the umps had conferred after the calls, someone could clear up the mistake, or state a better view to correct the call. But this would have to happen before the next pitch.

  • edtheump | June 3, 2011 | 3:51 pm

    RMH & Trip…
    excellent question and response…altho trip is wrong on the Joyce/Gararraga play. The call was Joyce’s to make…right or wrong…he and galarraga and MLB have to live with it.

    There are certain judgement calls that can be overturned when there are extenuating circumstances(to numerous to mention here)…but generally they are not…the play was straightforward, throw to first…safe or out? Joyce can’t change his call even if he knows he’s wrong…I know it doesn’t make sense, but that’s the way it is.

    RMH…your second scenario is one that CAN be changed as it was a misapplicaion of the rules…IF the ump agrees with the coach the call can and should be reversed. If the ump is an idiot and does not agree with the coach then the play stands as called.

    Imagine the third base ump conferring with Joyce and telling him, “I saw it and he was safe.” There would be arguments on EVERY close play and the managers would go to each ump and ask if he had a better view. The third base ump, from over 125 feet away, reverses a call from an ump that was 15 feet away(even tho he was wrong) would lead to “judgement chaos” and would slow the game even more than it is.

    Just like in life, some things are just not fair(or foul), but you’ve got to live with them whether you like it or not.

  • progmatinee | June 3, 2011 | 5:32 pm

    Happens in the NBA all the time where another ref comes in and overrules another, especially on charge calls. Of course, the NBA refs are by far the worst in all of sports.

    Regarding the second circumstance, can’t a team play under protest? I’ve never heard a team winning a protest, however.

  • Wayne | June 3, 2011 | 7:02 pm

    The reason people think they are the worst (NBA that is) is because the game of basketball is by far the hardest to officiate. Also, on the NBA level the game on the court has no resemblance of the game in the rule book (see traveling, non-contact sport, etc)

  • EdtheUmp | June 3, 2011 | 7:48 pm

    prog…
    It has to do with which official has primary jurisdiction on certain areas of the floor…he can then “take advice” from other officials if he wants.
    Protests are only allowed to be filed IF there is a rule misapplication that has been applied and the manager doesn’t agree with the interpretation of that rule by the umpires. Judgement calls are never allowed to be protested.

    Wayne…exactly…I officiated HS basketball for 12 years. It is virtually impossible to officiate. I told fans that they really do have a better vantage point than we do on the floor.
    To the posters and readers of this thread. My advice to any of you thinking of officiating basketball…DON’T.

    I was really good as a baseball umpire but I was really, really bad as a basketball official. ‘Nuff said.

  • Wayne | June 3, 2011 | 8:27 pm

    Ed, best vantage point is in the stands. I always wanted to officiate the game from an elevated position. I don’t even think 5 officials could cover it all. And the NBA game is nothing like the rule book, it is controlled by the players not the officials.

  • dave in bayfield | June 6, 2011 | 2:42 pm

    New question, Ed…

    I apparently see some disparity (my prerogative) in what the first or third base umpires will see in determining whether a batter has gone around in his swing. I know it’s a quick determination, but what are you guys actually looking for to make that decision?

  • edtheump | June 6, 2011 | 4:55 pm

    dave…the easiest explanation is simple…the base umpire looks to see if the barrel of the bat does one of two things:
    1) if the barrel goes far enough and “points” at the first or third base dugout, it’s a strike
    2) if the barrel crosses in front of homeplate it’s a strike

    It’s a very inexact science and a very arbitrary decision…suffice it to say that we umps say that this is a call that is always correct no matter which way we call it, and always a wrong call from the team it affects.

    Either way, you get a beef from one of the dugouts.

    Good question.

  • Special Ed | June 8, 2011 | 8:21 am

    Ed, I saw this in a little league game this past weekend.

    Pitch to the batter is high and inside, heading for the batter’s head. The batter ducks but the ball hits the bat (which never left his shoulder).. so it’s a foul ball. Fair enough.

    So, next batter, but the same thing happens, high inside pitch, batter ducks, the bat never leaves the shoulder, but the ball strikes the batters hand as it’s holding the bat.

    Since the ball struck the HAND holding the bat, is this a foul ball or a hit by pitch? I had always considered the hand as a part of the bat in scenario like that, so I figured it would be foul, but the batter was awarded a base (hit by pitch).

  • miketober | June 8, 2011 | 8:39 am

    Ed, I have a follow-up on a question I asked a few weeks ago. I think this also applies to a more general class of questions like tagging up and missed bases.

    To review, here is the situation:
    Bases loaded, 2 outs, batter hits an inside the park HR. Batter/runner misses all 3 bases but touches home. How many runs score?

    You said “if properly appealed” no runs score because the batter/runner is effectively out on a force at 1B. But how would the defensive team “properly appeal” that? What if they threw the ball to 3B? Would the batter/runner then be out at 3B and 3 runs score?

    Thanks.

  • edtheump | June 8, 2011 | 11:03 am

    Sp Ed…
    the easy way to explain this is that the hands are NEVER part of the bat…hits his hand, take your base…hits the bat, foul ball.(Exception…if the batter swings and misses the pitch while getting hit in the hand the pitch is a strike…if he hits the pitched ball and it hits his hand, the ball is in play.)

    Miketober…by properly appeal I meant that there are certain criteria for properly appealing a missed base(or leaving too early). These criteria are numerous and I won’t address them now.

    Suffice it to say that IF the appeal is proper and the scenario is as you stated…yes, 3 runs would score as all runs that cross home plate before the runner is called out on appeal are counted unless the 3rd out is the result of a force play.

    Here’s an addendum to your play…and it’s a doozie…
    the defensive team in your scenario appeals 3rd base, the out is called and 3 runs score, 3 outs…the manager then directs the 3rd baseman to throw the ball to 2nd and appeal the runner missed 2nd, another out is called and 2 runs, not 3 are counted…the manager then directs the 2nd baseman to throw the ball to 1st and appeal the base missed there, another out is called and no runs count.
    How’s that one…5 outs in the inning and no runs count…perfectly legal AS LONG AS NO defensive players have crossed the foul line.

    Now add that the call ended the game and the home team lost by one run…it’s a high school game with no security present…how do you get to your car without being assaulted? Can you even get to your car?

    And some of you say that being an ump is not that hard?

    Welcome to my one-time world.

    Great questions…this thread is a lot of fun for me…hope everyone likes it as well. I really enjoy “setting the record straight” as it pertains to misconceptions that fans, players and managers have about the rules and “events” that happen in our great game.

    Go Rox, although I’m really starting to have very grave concerns and doubts.

  • Special Ed | June 8, 2011 | 1:45 pm

    Ed, Ok, so that explains my confusion as I always considered my hands part of the bat when swinging. If the batter is swinging the bat, and the ball hits the hands, it’s played as if it hits the bat, a live ball. If he doesn’t swing, and it hits the hands it’s a bit by pitch. Cool.

    So, just to make sure… if I swing, and strike the ball with my hands, and it goes foul, is that foul or hit by pitch? (I’m guessing foul)

    Here’s a follow up on your answer to miketober’s question on the bases loaded dinger and no bases touched. You explained how they could appeal to 3rd, then 2nd, then 1st. What if they appeal by touching 1st base first?

    And, you said “as long as nobody crosses a foul line” technically the catcher’s position is in foul territory, I presume he’s exempt from that as long has he has not left his position behind the plate.

  • edtheump | June 8, 2011 | 2:29 pm

    Sp Ed…
    If the ball strikes your hand(s)as you swing and goes foul, it is foul.

    On your appeal play question, the order doesn’t matter…if the first appeal was to 1st base then no other appeal would be necessary as that would end the game with no runs scored. The umpire would simply report that the game is ended.

    Catcher’s position…correct…actually it’s the other 8 fielders who must be in fair territory…say the 3rd baseman went into foul territory to try to get a thrown ball(it was an inside the park HR supposedly), he would still be allowed to return to fair territory in order to institute a legal appeal.

  • miketober | June 8, 2011 | 3:42 pm

    Thanks Ed.

    FYI, when this happened in a little league game, the opposing team appealed at third base. (The coach told me this after the fact.) I don’t think it was a proper appeal. I think the 3B coach pointed at third and said “he didn’t touch third”. Someone else must have noticed he also missed first and second. The defensive players were already walking off the field (5-run mercy rule per inning) and I don’t think a ball was ever thrown in to any base. There were already 4 runs in that inning, so only 1 run is relevant because of the mercy rule. In other words mass confusion.

    The umpire deferred his decision until the end of the game.
    After the game the umpire said no runs scored from the HR. Since it was only 1 run at stake and since the result of the game was not affected, nobody seemed to care.

    In other words, bad base-running, an improper appeal, and questionable umpiring not to deal with the situation at the right time. Fortunately it did not matter or we might have had your scenario with lots of parents angry at the ump.

  • Agbayani | June 13, 2011 | 8:11 pm

    Ed, what do you think of this (article ran in the NY Times, I got it off baseballthinkfactory):

    A common exercise at umpire clinics is to blindfold students and have them call close plays at first base. It’s not a frivolous thing. The idea is to teach the students to use their ears as an umpiring tool, to listen for the separate sounds of the foot on the bag and the ball in the glove — “a thud and a pop,” as the veteran major league umpire Mike Winters described them.

    “Your eyes will lie to you sometimes,” Winters said, adding that he saw it in student umpires all the time. “You put the blindfold on, they can’t miss one. You take it off, they can’t get it right.”

    I’ve never umpired, but I’ve been close enough to the action in some settings to hear the “bang-bang.” In fact, I’ve always thought TV announcers do us a disservice by not referring to the fact that the 1st base umpire has ears as well as eyes. I’ve never heard 1st base mic’d adequately to allow the viewers to hear this.

    Article goes on to have Keith Hernandez talk about “cheating” by a first baseman pulling off the bag just before the ball arrives … interesting stuff.

  • edtheump | June 16, 2011 | 8:43 am

    Agb…very good post.
    Read the article and the Winters part is exactly the way they begin to train young umps.
    When we are making a call at first base our first job is to “let the ball take us to the call”…that is, we watch to make sure the throw isn’t going to hit us behind the ear and we then concentrate on the foot(feet) of the runner and listen for the sound of the ball hitting the glove. Believe me, we can tell…we sometimes confuse in our head the order but for the most part it’s not that hard. I used to tell young umps and coaches at clinics that one of the most satisfying parts of umping was that very call at first(we call it a whacker). If you know what you are doing you can actually see, in real time, the toe coming down just an inch or two from the bag and you hear the “pop” of the catch. OUT!!

    At real speed it appears to almost all fans that he was safe but watching replays the ump usually gets it right. Very nice knowing that you are probably the only person on the field who KNOWS he is correct.

    I do take issue with the Hernandez point. We don’t give a crap about the first baseman’s foot and what he does. That is a player, once again, thinking he is putting one over on we umps. He doesn’t “gain” any ground by pulling his foot off to soon and no advantage is gained by doing so. As long as the throw is on line it’s the pop of the ball/glove and the foot that touches that concerns us. Besides, no 1st baseman is so good that he can “decide” when to actually “pull” his foot. To soon and it’s VERY obvious. The timing is impossible to pull off. Hernandez can have his “view” of the play and his opinion, but it really isn’t on our list of things to look for. Think about it this way…we are looking at the foot of the runner and listening with our ears, he’s just a player catching a thrown ball…does he catch it before the foot hits the bag? That’s all we’re concerned with.

    Here’s a followup…
    I want you and all the posters who read this to teach yourself something about the “pop” and the foot hitting the base at EXACTLY the same time(and it does happen). It will help all of you, as fans, to hopefully, see that we know what we’re doing, so that the next time you see a live game you’ll be able to say what I say to fans. “Good call, looked like he missed it but he didn’t.”

    In the above scenario, if the umpire knows what he is doing, the runner is OUT every time. Why? The laws of physics prove it to be true. How?

    Any person who wants to become not just an umpire, but a very good umpire has to be able to call that play an out on every occasion, and realize that NO ONE is going to believe he’s correct and the other team will be saying, “we got one there.” If he doesn’t he is just guessing, and guessing is not part of the umpire’s vocabulary.

    Good luck, and thanks for the great post.

  • dave in bayfield | June 18, 2011 | 12:54 am

    First of all, I am glad that edtheump is having a good time on this thread. I think a lot of us are as well. Thanks to ITR for providing it!

    Ed, I see a lot of respect between umps and catchers. Umps give time for catchers who are on the receiving end of a foul-tip hit…and catchers will go out to talk to a pitcher after an ump takes a similar hit to give some recovery time.

    Is there any actual discussion between the two when something like that happens…or is it simply expected?

  • Bill | June 19, 2011 | 11:40 am

    Ed.Saw your post on another thread and it reminded me to ask this question. A few days ago I was watching the Mets-Braves game and somebody hit a hard ground ball back to the mound which knocked the pitchers glove off but he picked it up and easily got the man at first. Easy play, no problem.

    But then one of the announcers said, “and for all you Little Leaguers nobody gets three bases because he has to throw his glove at the ball for that rule to apply”. I admit I can’t recall ever seeing that rule enforced. I could have seen it when I was a kid (I’m 66) but if so I don’t remember it. And can’t ever remember seeing it happen when my kid played youth ball. Of course the last time he played was close to 30 years ago also. Can’t recall ever seeing it in the majors or the minors. I think I use to see it in our slow-pitch softball games but since there rarely was a fence it usually cleared the bases anyway and I can’t recall anything ever being called by the ump. Is this a Little League rule only or is it a rule on all levels of baseball?

  • EdtheUmp | June 20, 2011 | 8:52 am

    dave in bayfield…
    Both your questions are relevant. The ump and catcher usually talk a lot and in the case of either one getting “nailed” it is expected that the other would give him time to “shake it off.” After the catcher gets hit the ump usually will go part way to the mound then head back and brush the plate and will then ask the catcher if he’s all right and ready to go. Same thing(except brushing off the plate of course)if the ump gets nailed. The catcher almost always says “sorry” to the ump if he fails to block a ball in the dirt and the ump gets hit(only in exposed and unprotected areas of the body)…we have all been “nailed,” it’s part of the game and it hurts like hell.(I’ve got 5 or 6 stories myself that I’ve told for years about really getting hurt behind the dish.)

    Maybe sometime later I could start a thread, if Steve thinks it would be enlightening and something readers would like, conveying some of the “inside stuff” that goes on during a game both behind the plate, where most of it happens, as well as base ump “happenings.” Unless you were an umpire or know someone who was/is you would never know or find out what goes on “behind the scenes.”

    My partner of over 20 years and I have been telling our umpire stories for years. We tell people that we could talk for eight hours, not repeat ourselves and the stories are real and have not been embellished. We are/were both very outgoing(talkative some would say)so many “plays and conversations” with the “other side” led to a multitude of interesting stories and “happenings.”

  • EdtheUmp | June 20, 2011 | 9:16 am

    Bill…very good question.

    I suspect you would ONLY see this in a slo-pitch game with the ex-”I was a pretty good player”-athlete.
    I never saw it in my 25 years at any level. However, the rule is in the book just in case it ever would happen.

    As per my earlier statements regarding announcers…this particular one was, of course, wrong. There is nothing illegal about intentionally throwing your glove at a batted ball. It’s when the glove TOUCHES the ball that the rule takes effect.

    The rule is the same for all levels of baseball(and softball for that matter).

    Three bases are awarded to the batter/runner if the play happened in the field of play…four bases if the batted ball was going over the fence.

    The umpire is allowed to award four bases if, in his opinion, the batter/runner would probably have scored without the thrown glove.(This would usually be where there was no outfield fence.)

    Interesting question…thanks.

  • robba | June 20, 2011 | 3:47 pm

    Hi Ed,

    I actually got to make the “Batted ball struck by detached player equipment” call, in a Pony League game in Steubenville, Ohio, in around 1972-73. The 2B threw his glove at a liner over his head, and, amazingly, hit the ball. I got it right, awarded the three bases, and managed to convince the coach that the award was correct. Being able to tell him that the award was two bases for hitting a thrown ball, as opposed to three for hitting a batted ball, helped a lot. Guess he figured out that I had actually read the Rule Book a couple of times.

    Super interesting thread!

  • elrodvt | June 20, 2011 | 4:28 pm

    This thread is great! I love the “laws of physics” explanation on the call at first. Never occured to me. Light of course travels faster than sound…

  • dave in bayfield | June 23, 2011 | 12:13 am

    Ed…

    A few related questions…

    Do the AL crews work the AL home games in inter-league…and vice-versa?

    Do you see that NL and AL plate umpires call strikes differently…a little higher or lower?

    It would seem to me that if it looks like a strike, and “quacks” like a strike, it’s a strike…regardless of what the “Ford” strike zone graphic on TV indicates. Kind of like if a pitch on the inside corner for a left-handed batter looks like a strike, and is called so…the same pitch on the outside corner for a right-handed batter should also be called a strike.I know these are judgement calls, but does it come down to pitch appearance and how the game has been called to that point?

  • EdtheUmp | June 24, 2011 | 6:50 pm

    d in b…

    There are no more AL and NL umps. The two unions were “absorbed” by MLB after the umps “walked out” back in 1999(not sure of the year).

    As to your point regarding the strike zone…does the pitch need to “appear” to be a strike? Absolutely. The way a catcher “catches” the pitch is about 80% of the call. I used to tell catchers at clinics and sometimes during games at the high school level that it’s not where the ball is…it’s how and where you catch the ball. It may be hard to understand or believe but it is the way the game is called.

    An easy example that you see numerous times on TV…the catcher sets up on the outside corner on an 0-2 pitch, the pitcher misses his spot and the catcher has to move a lot to the inside…he has actually moved about 1 1/2 feet to the inside…it easily catches the INSIDE corner but is called a ball. Nobody says a word…why…the pitcher should not be rewarded for such terrible pitch location…it’s probably a strike but is called a ball. Not fair? Undoubtedly. But remember, I’m trying to convey reality, not fairness. Sounds weird but it’s true.

    Hope that answers your question and inquiry.

  • dave in bayfield | June 25, 2011 | 11:38 am

    Ed…
    As the kids would say…”You rock!”
    In this day and age, reality…not fairness…is what we live with. And yes, that answers my question. So, you are reality.

  • Trip | June 28, 2011 | 12:51 pm

    Ed,
    We discussed the following in the prior thread, but the situation was the perfect game non-out call at first base:
    http://eye-on-baseball.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22297882/30290714

    In this case the 1st base umpire reversed his call after discussing with the home plate umpire.

    With that in mind, is it the Umpires choice to discuss with others and reversing the call? Or does another umpire have the option to step in and overrule? Or were the Umps just plain wrong to discuss and change the call? I don’t see yet where MLB has issued a statement on the validity of it all.

  • robba | June 28, 2011 | 1:50 pm

    Rapuano locks up.

    http://eye-on-baseball.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22297882/30290714/2

    Dunno if it ever happened to you, Ed, but I’ll confess that it did to me. Looked right at the play at first, just like Rapuano, and had no freaking idea what I just saw. Fortunately, I guessed right, even though the call was v-e-r-y delayed.

    True confessions.

    Leyland’s eruption was a classic, wasn’t it?

  • Wayne | June 28, 2011 | 3:50 pm

    Want a true confession. I don’t know if either of you, Ed and Robba, have done this but I once gave the safe sign at first base, while shouting “out”. Totally confused every person on the field, in the dugouts and in the stands. Had to scramble big time. Went with the safe call and after a few grumblings got the game back on track. However, very embarrassing. My partner said I got it right, although red faced as I was.

  • EdtheUmp | June 29, 2011 | 9:51 am

    Trip, robba and Wayne…

    Oh this brings back bad memories.

    First…Rapuano did, in fact, “lock up.” It is rare, especially at the ML level. He may have been thinking about the 2 big breasts in the first row or the filet he was looking forward to after the game.
    It is VERY rare indeed that he got help from the HP ump. The calling ump instigates any discussion regarding reversing calls.

    I suspect the conversation with the HP ump went something like this(with the expletives deleted)…”****, I don’t have any idea what the **** just happened other than I had no idea whether he was safe or out.”

    His partner gave him help after probably talking about getting the call right. Judgement calls are usually left to the ump responsible unless he wants to initiate a conversation with his partner(s).

    Believe me when I tell you that Rapuano probably had to pick up the tab for dinner that night for the crew. He will be reminded of that call by the other three umps the rest of his career. They will be “brutal” on him(in a good way)…AND when ALL the league umps get together at their big meeting preceding spring training…it will be exaggerated to the extreme and Eddie will just have to smile and take it.

    My partner got hit with a vicious line drive while on the bases a few years ago…whenever the subject comes up and we’re in a group setting, I relate how it was a 13-hopper that my grandmother could have avoided. He just smiles,rolls his eyes,takes another pull on his cocktail while shaking his head the whole time.

    Because of Rapuano’s screw-up, Leyland was “allowed” his tirade. He knew what was up and understood that the play was adjudicated properly and he shouldn’t have “gone off” like he did, but that opportunity doesn’t come along very often so he had to take advantage of it. His fellow managers wouldn’t have been very nice to him, once they saw the play, if he hadn’t “exploded.”

    As far as my bad memories…one play in particular comes to mind. I didn’t get help and didn’t reverse the call but the point is, a “brain fart” happens, you just hope they don’t happen very often.

    I’m the base ump during a JC game. Runner on second, no out, line drive to the left fielder who catches it and fires back to the 2nd baseman hoping to double off the runner who had strayed just a bit to far off…he gets back in “plenty of time”(it wasn’t even close)…and I bang him out!

    Thankfully, the coach at third was somewhat of a friend. He runs out to me, screaming…”what the **** was that call…he got back in plenty of time!!” Now it should be pointed out here that there was no help to be had, nor should there be. It was my call, plain and simple. But once you start changing judgement calls just because you “think” you may have missed it you will start getting the reputation that you will “change your mind” whenever necessary. Word will spread among coaches(believe me)and EVERY close judgement call will be argued. The games get longer, coaches, players and umps get a little more short tempered and nobody has any fun.

    Some will say that you should change your call to get it correct and they have a point…but remember, here we are talking reality, not the way it should be.

    I let Babe go off as long as he wanted(and he did)…he could’ve said anything he wanted and I would not have ejected him. He finally ran out of steam and, swear to god, this is the line I used…”Sorry Babe, I have no choice but to eat that call(a term we use when we screw up), unfortunately you’re the one who’s going to have to shit it.”

    He started laughing and said, “OK, let’s get back to baseball.”

    Both of us have told that story to others for years, and lioke a fine wine, it gets better with age.

    I will guarantee Leyland and Rapuano will laugh about that call(in private)for years to come whenever they see each other.

    Ain’t baseball a grand game?

  • Miketober | June 29, 2011 | 10:04 am

    Wow! Great story Ed!

  • Special Ed | June 29, 2011 | 2:57 pm

    Ed,

    This past Saturday, Tulo did something rather interesting. he actually hit the ball twice with one swing. Sabathia jammed him and the ball hit the inside of the bat close to the hands, it came off slow, and as Tulo continued his swing, the head of the bat came around and knocked it over A-rod for a base hit. The video is available on MLB

    http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=16259051&topic_id=8879838&c_id=mlb&partnerId=aw-8003900135458811283-996

    I’ve always been curious, but never expected it to see it actually happen. What are the rules on a ball hit twice. What if the ball had somehow bounced and he hit it twice?

    In the game, it was awarded a base hit, as it’s so quick you need the slow-mo to see it (everyone thought it was a broken bat single until the replay). But I’m curious if the rules even address it.

  • EdtheUmp | June 29, 2011 | 6:26 pm

    Special Ed…

    Wow!! Yes, there are specific rules for that play…the ball is dead as soon as it hits the ball a second time. I imagine it was so fast that it did sound like a cracked bat hit.

    However, I have a very hard time believing the catcher wouldn’t say anything because he can certainly tell. It woulod make two distinct sounds…hard to imagine an umpire and catcher could miss that.

    I haven’t looked at the video yet…could camera angles, etc. be making it appear that it hit twice.

    I’ll be back with my opinion.

  • EdtheUmp | June 29, 2011 | 6:33 pm

    Yup…it was a double hit. I can see where, at full speed, it may have sounded like a broken bat hit.

    Thats the only thing that comes to mind.

    Good one, Special Ed!

  • robba | June 29, 2011 | 10:31 pm

    Wayne, as an umpire, I’ve made just about every mistake that it’s possible to make. I did what you described during my first year of umpiring, 1961, in a Babe Ruth game, on a tag play at third. Never did it again, though.

  • Special Ed | June 30, 2011 | 7:16 am

    Thanks Ed. Appreciate your help in these things.

    So, here’s the tricky question. Let’s assume the exact thing happens in a game like Tulo’s double hit. But it’s called a double hit and it’s a dead ball. But would it count as a ball or strike? Foul? or do we just pretend the pitch never happened? By the book I mean.

  • Wayne | June 30, 2011 | 8:30 am

    Robba, it only takes one time doing that to make you concentrate and slow the play down so that you never do it again. I’ve made my share of mistakes also, but none were that embarrassing.

  • Edtheump | July 1, 2011 | 2:56 pm

    SE…
    It’s simply ruled a foul ball. That play(ruling)is actually in the book.

  • Darrin Petty | July 5, 2011 | 10:11 am

    R1 is on third and R2 on first with one out. B4 hits a sinking line drive to center field. R1 tags properly and goes home, while R2 is off with the hit. F8 makes a great catch. R2 is beyond second base as F8 throws back to first in an attempt to double up R2. The ball goes into the dugout with R2 still between second base and third base. R2 touches second base and goes back to touch first base.

    Also what happens if the defense appeals the runner going beyond the succeeding base without tagging.

  • EdtheUmp | July 6, 2011 | 6:55 am

    DP…
    in your first scenario, everything you describe is legal and proper…even if the runner is awarded third he must go back and retouch both bases…even tho the ball is dead he is allowed to return to touch before advancing to third on the award.

    I’m a little fuzzy on your description on the second play. If you are talking about the above play where the ball goes into dead ball territory the defense could appeal IF he didn’t retouch either base, the runner would be called out for missing or failing to retouch on his return.

    The same ruling would apply if the thrown ball didn’t go into dead ball territory.

    The run would score in all rulings above as the third out is not considered a force play but is rather termed a timing play.

    Hope that answers your question.

  • robba | July 15, 2011 | 9:25 pm

    Hey Ed, when Brian O’Nora’s back forced him out of Thursday’s game, it sure didn’t take Cory Blaser long to show up at Coors. Would the crew working the game in the Springs have to work two-man for the evening? Where do the replacements for the AAA umps come from when one is suddenly summoned to fill in in the Bigs?

  • robba | July 17, 2011 | 8:16 am

    Oops…I see on another thread that Blaser was at his home in the Denver area, not working in the Springs, when he got the call to replace O’Nora.

  • Bill | July 29, 2011 | 3:31 pm

    Ed. Any comment on the play at home plate a few days ago in which the base-runner was called safe when virtually everyone agreed that he was clearly out. Even if he wasn’t tagged, umpires almost always call the runner out when the ball beats the runner by so much.

    We all know umps make mistakes, although far fewer than players, but everybody wants to see a game called perfectly. As an ump (or ex-ump?) what do you think of instant replay. Football, baseball, hockey all have it and if you watch enough of it you realize that A) it is not instant and B) it seems like half the time even in the replay booth they don’t get it right.

  • dave in bayfield | July 29, 2011 | 5:04 pm

    EdtheUmp,

    Why is a hit ball that immediately hits the plate and goes into fair territory a foul and a hit ball that hits a base and goes into foul territory fair? Is the plate just not considered in play except for ball/strike calls and runs/outs?

  • EdtheUmp | July 31, 2011 | 9:09 am

    Bill…your first point regarding the ball beating the runner by so much is valid.
    The Pittsburgh catcher made a fundamental mistake in the way he tagged the runner. I used to tell the fielder and the coach, if they argued, “you might have touched him but you didn’t tag him.” Let me explain…in real time the swipe tag(He “oled” the tag is what the ump said)must have one of three elements in order for us to make an “informed” decision. We want to “hear” and/or see a tag, see the glove slow down(because of the contact)or the catcher’s arm motion change direction because of the contact. If you try and visualize those elements while imagining the play itself you may see my point.

    Taking it a step further, if you have a glove on and swipe it you can feel your glove touch something, however minutely. The glove “ticks” the runner but we have to rule on if he was tagged or not. The catcher(or fielder) knows he “touched” him but we aren’t that lucky. We must make a decision in real time, without the benefit of super slo-mo that all the pundits use to show how bad we are.

    The problem that ensued was caused by a catcher that had plenty of time to make a REAL tag but chose to keep his glove hand away from potential injury by using the swipe tag. When the play is going to be a “whacker” the swipe tag may be the only solution, but when a fielder has the ball AND plenty of time they usually “leave” their glove there for a split second, thus allowing us to call him out because the ball beat him.

    As far as replay goes, I’m guessing you will see an expanded version very soon…possibly as early as this years playoffs.
    I’m all for it if it doesn’t delay the game and helps us “get it right.” (You’ll never see it used for balls and strikes however, IMO.)

    Hope that helps and informs.

  • EdtheUmp | July 31, 2011 | 9:17 am

    d-i-b…
    The plate is in fair territory and a batted ball that hits the plate and stays in fair territory has ALWAYS been a fair ball…except in your play, which I suspect, was in little league play. It’s that or the ump was totally out of his element and shouldn’t continue umping(unless he was a kid).

    I will tell you that, rarely, in a high school games I umped, I would hear some “fan” yell at me that the “ball hit the plate, it’s foul!”

    It has been a misconception for decades that still rears its head once in a great while.

    (Keep in mind if a batted ball goes down and hits the plate, then rebounds and hits the bat a second time, it is to be ruled a foul ball.)

    Keep ‘em coming, Dave, you always have interesting plays to review.

  • miketober | August 1, 2011 | 10:27 pm

    Hi Ed,
    If the pitcher bounces the ball on the way to the plate and it hits the batter, it’s still a HBP, right? What if he bounces the ball and it hits the bat? Is that a foul ball or a dead ball?
    Thanks

  • EdtheUmp | August 2, 2011 | 7:32 pm

    miketober…

    good question(s)…a pitch in the dirt and it hits the batter is indeed a HBP.

    A pitch in the dirt and hitting(or is hit by)the bat is the same as a batted ball, that is, fair or foul depending on the outcome…just as if he swung at it and hit it.

  • rockymountainhigh | August 13, 2011 | 4:33 pm

    We saw that last week: Bases loaded and Wiggy swings. Ball drops five inches in front of the plate. That’s the easiest double play ball in the world to be made. Just wondering if Wiggy had the thought and/or instinct to kick the ball on purpose away. Take the one out himself (batted ball touching runner) and bases remain loaded rather than let the double play happen?

  • EdtheUmp | August 14, 2011 | 7:32 pm

    RMH…trust me, players can’t think that far ahead. Even 2 seconds.

    The ump could call a double play even if he did. When intentional interference occurs the umpire is permitted to call any aditional outs he believes might have occurred had the interference not happened.

    Wiggy was screwed either way.

  • dave in bayfield | August 18, 2011 | 12:50 pm

    Dear Best Ump I Ever Conversed With,

    When there is a conversation between the batter and the ump after a pitch and there is just conversation (no confrontation), is the batter asking where the pitch was, what the pitch was (pitch recognition?), maybe just getting an idea of what he can expect from the ump as the game progresses? Or is the ump responding, “Just hit the ball! I’ll call it if you don’t. I’m not here to help you.” ?

  • egossage | August 18, 2011 | 4:00 pm

    Miketober,

    I read your question to Ed The Ump and I immediately thought of Ichiro. I remember seeing a video of him while he was playing in Japan and he got a basehit on a ball that bounced in the dirt! I looked it up on Youtube and found this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e07tBpFx_qw

    Check it out!!!

  • egossage | August 18, 2011 | 4:04 pm

    Hahaha!!!! I wish MLB Network did game highlights like this!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO1ufrNik0Y&feature=related

  • EdtheUmp | August 19, 2011 | 6:33 am

    dave in bayfield…thanks for the props.

    Conversations hitters have with umps is usually about interpreting the umps strike zone. Before strike three the batter is asking, “is that the border for your inside(outside, bottom, upper)pitch?” You will see it after a hitter doesn’t agree with the strike call but isn’t a dickhead about it.(It usually happens early in the game.)

    After being informed by the ump you will usually see the batter nod his head in response. Most good hitters realize that all umps have their own interpretation of what is a strike and the hitter(s) just want to know where that zone is.

    After a hitter has swung and missed for strike three you will sometimes see a hitter turn and talk to the ump. You can tell when he is “dissing” the ump. That is very obvious.

    Most of the time, however, he is asking, “was that pitch I just swung at and missed a strike?” Almost 100% of the time the umpire will nod his head, yes.

    The players never seem to realize that the umpire says yes so that hitter(and others who follow)will now swing at or not bitch about the same pitch location later in the game.

    I never once(or can’t recall)EVER telling the hitter, “no, it would have been a ball.” This serves two purposes…the hitter now believes his instincts were correct that the pitch was a strike and he was correct in swinging at it, and further, he now believes that you, the ump, know the strike zone as well as he does and thus he will not bitch if the same pitch location now becomes a called strike.

    Hope that offers some insight.

  • Bruce | August 20, 2011 | 8:07 am

    Hi Ed. I’ve been a 18U umpire for many years. I have asked this question to many colleagues. 50% say one thing/50% say another.
    Scenario: No outs and a man on second base and 2 strikes on the batter. The next pitch is in the dirt and the batter swings. After he swings the ball hits him and caroms to the backstop.
    Question. Is the batter struct out? or can he run to first base?
    Question. Can the man on second advance to third? Thank you.

  • EdtheUmp | August 21, 2011 | 8:48 am

    Bruce…excellent question(s). This play is rare but it does happen.

    If you use the rule followed by logic and the intent of the rule(s)the play call by the umpire becomes easy and understandable.

    Try to imagine the play if the batter does not swing…the ball is dead and the batter is awarded first base with no other runner allowed to advance. Simple.

    Now add the batter swings and misses at strike three and then is touched by the pitch.

    Part one…ANY pitch which hits a batter is dead and no other runners may advance.

    Part two…since, by rule, the ball is dead and no runners may advance AND the batter swung and missed at strike three he also is NOT allowed to advance.

    If this ever happens the umpire simply raises both hands to “kill” the ball. He then calls the batter out and sends the runner back to second.

    Now the tricky part…you will have to use all your skills as you try and “explain” your ruling to the coach.

    If you’re lucky, the coach of the team at bat MAY understand the batter is out but will want the runner on second to be allowed to advance since the ball went to the screen. He won’t understand why the ball is dead since the opposing pitcher is the one who threw the ball in the dirt.(Remember, he thinks he should have runners on the corners with no out.)

    Also, if you’ve read my previous posts, I alluded to the fact that coaches, players and fans DO NOT know OR understand the rules(they think they do, of course, but trust me, they don’t).

    In addition, the fans will be brutal on you as they will think that YOU’RE the one who doesn’t know the rules.

    Finally, if this happens in the first or second inning you are going to have a VERY long day(or night). The fans will be “helping” you with advice and “encouragement” for the remainder of the game.

    You can go back to your car knowing you were correct in your ruling and the fans who were questioning your ability(or lack thereof)will now remember you for the rest of the season(and beyond).

    Welcome to the world of the umpire.

    Sorry for the LONG response but that’s just the way I am.

  • RobInGolden | August 22, 2011 | 1:07 am

    Ed — Perhaps you can explain what happened in the middle of today’s game when the Dodger catcher said something to the home plate ump, then the Dodger mgr came out to discuss and then the umps gathered to talk things over together before resuming play? Being in the stands, we’re left in the dark on such things.

    Something similar, but more extreme, happened earlier this season when the visiting mgr made a double substitution (putting new pitcher into a fielder’s spot in the order in order to avoid having the pitcher come to the plate until later). Rox mgr Tracy protested, visiting mgr protested, they went back and forth with home ump a couple of times, then 3rd base ump came in and joined the discussion. Soon all 4 umps gathered for a long talk out by third base. Finally, home ump comes back to the plate and, just as it appears play will resume, Tracy comes out and complains again and the whole thing is repeated — including the long conference by all 4 umps. The whole thing took the better part of 10 minutes — bizarre! Any ideas on what was going on?

  • Rich M | August 22, 2011 | 8:07 am

    RobinGolden

    Not Ed however I think that I can answer the first of your post. The pitch just nicked Millwood’s bat as he checked his swing and then the ball dropped just below the catchers glove.

    For whatever reason the home plate umpire didn’t catch the fact that it hit Millwood’s bat and was indeed a foul ball, so Mattingly says that the home plate ump should confer with his brethren to see if they saw it as a foul ball. Somewhat ironically I thought the pitch was in the strike zone and should have been called a strike anyway.

    The umps then confer and none of them noticed that it was a foul ball – just missed it. Millwood then flies out to deep center field, so the missed call by the home plate ump doesn’t change the game in any way, but it was a very weird call.

  • EdtheUmp | August 22, 2011 | 8:25 am

    Rich M and to RobInGolden…Rich M, you are exactly right on the play. If the HP ump doesn’t hear the sound of the ball hitting the bat he is in trouble. He thought the ball “ticked” the catcher’s glove before hitting the ump. Tough call as nobody can tell if it hit the bat without the sound. As far as the other three umps, the HP ump was doing Mattingly a favor in asking for help. The three of them are over 90′ away…I knew nothing was going to change.

    Rob…as far as your first question, I recall the altercation but am having trouble remembering all the details. I know that it involved the double switch. Undoubtedly it was a rule interpretation involving some timing of the switch. The rule and how to make the double switch is pretty straightforward so the timing of how the visiting manager did the switch was in question.

    Sorry, that’s the best I can do.

  • dave in bayfield | August 27, 2011 | 12:15 am

    Ed, I am sure you will explain in due time, but what did Rogers do wrong in tonight’s Dodger game? He was pitching from the wind-up on the first balk call. Was the alleged deception against the batter or the runner?

  • EdtheUmp | August 27, 2011 | 9:43 am

    dave…go to my post on the Rockies vs Dodgers lineup thread for my opinion.

    Both were obvious balks to me, so contrary to H & G comments, I agreed with both calls. The balk on Reynolds was a common call when a lefty is pitching…they ALWAYS “stretch” the rules of stepping toward first. (I think DLR balks almost every time when throwing to first…keep an eye out for it next year.)

  • Rich M | August 27, 2011 | 11:03 am

    Ed, I want to ask about the balk calls in last night’s game as well.

    Totally agree with your comment about the Reynolds balk in that lefty pitchers tend to take that leg kick just a bit too much towards home plate. I said it was a balk before the ump called also. My question however is why was that call made by the home plate ump instead of the firstbase ump?

    Second, my view of Rogers motion was that it was a somewhat altered windup from what he had been using previously in the game, but clearly not a stretch motion that pitchers normally use with runners on base. Was the “slowing” of the windup motion enough to call it a “pause” and that’s what led Davidson to call the balk? I just didn’t see the motion “stop” as might be required by the rules?

    If Scully and EdtheUmp say they were balks then I can live with that, but what I really want to know is why with Balkin’ Bob out there at third did the Rockies take any chances in that situation with a tight game on the line?

  • progmatinee | August 27, 2011 | 11:14 am

    What I want to know is why does Balkin Bob have a nickname? Is he right and all the other umps are wrong? Does he need to teach the rest of the league how to spot the balk?

    Shouldn’t there be some consistency?

  • Edtheump | August 27, 2011 | 2:50 pm

    Rich M and prog

    One of the myths about the windup…the pitcher doesn’t have to use the same windup from the first pitch to the last one. They just have to follow the rules when using the windup position(there are different rules from the stretch position). Once he begins his windup he must continue without interruption. Rogers even admitted to “flinching” and that was “balkin’ Bobs contention. If you watch the argument from Tracy he isn’t overly apoplectic…he was just frustrated with Rogers(and maybe himself for not replacing him) IMO.

    The balk on Reynolds can be called by anyone, but from a left-handed pitcher it is usually called by either the HP or 1B ump. It’s not hard to tell when the LH pitcher doesn’t step towards first from either position. The pitcher is given the benefit of the doubt most of the time, but obvious non-steps, like last night are easy.

    As for the Rox not taking any chances with the balk king at third I have no comment. I’m saying that Miles unnerved Rogers by faking the suicide…with Rogers being young he didn’t discount that there were two out and therefore no reason to even pay attention to a runner on third.

    As for you prog…some umps are magnificent on the low strike…they never miss it. Some are just as perfect on the outside corner. Davidson is just keenly aware of the balk rule and how it is used by pitchers to gain an edge on the base runners. Nobody and I mean nobody makes it as a MLB umpire without knowing what they’re doing. The job itself and the non-partisan decisions rendered to partisan fans, players and coaches is a part of the game and will never, ever change. You will NEVER see instant replay used in the instances you and others want. It’s just not practical.

    Hope that answers some of you fellow-posters concerns and questions.

  • dave in bayfield | August 27, 2011 | 6:06 pm

    Thanks Ed!

    Rules is rules.

    Seems like the runner last night on the first balk deceived the pitcher.
    Would we call that a legal “balk”?

    I love baseball.

  • sabrchip | September 1, 2011 | 12:31 pm

    Hey Ed!

    I was wondering why we never hear more about retired umpires being used as official scorers? I spent 13 years covering the Rox for STATs, Inc and got to know the official scorer, Dave Einspahr quite well.

    One thing that drove me crazy was the media relations guys for either team lobbying for scoring decision changes. Dave works for the Post Office and has been doing official scoring for Denver all the way back to the Zephyrs. He started as a protege for Frank Haraway whose name is on the press box. The other scorer, Dave Platti, is the information director for the Buffs but I’ve never was impressed with his ability tho he was “okay”. Usually, a former print press guy (like Haraway) serves in that role.

    Umps have a great understanding of the rules and see a lot of plays from the ground level so I always wondered if their were any former arbiters being used as the scorer? Any ideas?

  • EdtheUmp | September 2, 2011 | 8:32 am

    sabrchip…good question.

    I don’t know of any ex-umps being used as official scorers at this time but the idea of a former ump(myself included)would probably be an upgrade on average.

    I, along with all around me, marvel at some of the scoring decisions we see rendered. I see approximately 60 live games at Coors and probably watch at least 40 of the TV games each year. I don’t keep track but I’d bet that 15+ plays per year are a huge question for me.

    After 25 years or so on the diamond, I’m in agreement that a retired ump woulod probably do a very nice job as an official scorer.

  • rockymountainhigh | September 25, 2011 | 2:40 pm

    Hey Ed the Ump,

    It happened a couple of days ago; Pacheco was running on full count and one out; Houston threw the ball down to 2B even though it was ball 4 (walk). The 2B ump said out demonstratively, so Pacheco started to walk off the bag thinking he was out as called by the 2B ump. Then he stepped back on the bag after realizing it was ball four and no play at 2B.

    Suppose Barmes applied the tag when Pacheco stepped off the bag, what happens? The moment Pacheco started walking off the 2B ump told him to get back on the bag. Does Pacheco still get awarded 2B since the ump “misled” him thinking he was out or is it the runner’s responsibility to stay on the bag and ensure that it was not a ball four at the plate?

  • EdtheUmp | September 26, 2011 | 6:23 am

    rmh…great question!

    This happens more than you think. There are a couple of things that could happen here and a couple things the ump can/should do.

    First of all, the 2b ump should know what the hp ump called…we are taught to let the ball turn our head on a steal…usually that is plenty of time to determine what the hp ump called. He must not have been able to tell for some reason.

    If JP walked off the bag and CB tagged him then the rules say he is out even though the ump screwed up. However, I would not allow it. I am not about to call a guy out for my obvious mistake. I would probably take a lot of heat, and I would be technically wrong, and may get chewed out by my supervisor, but that’s how I would handle it. I would try some BS answer as to why I let him stay on second…it wouldn’t hold water, but that’s what I would do.

    Some readers might point out that I am making up my own rules…yup, I am. Not right but I would live with any fallout I caused.

    I’m an idiot…no reason for the baserunner and the team to suffer from my ineptitude.

    Hope that clears it up…obviously if the ump called him out that would stand as well. See, sometimes we umps CAN have it both ways.

    Thanks for the question.

  • Doctor_Christopher | September 26, 2011 | 11:26 pm

    Ed, related question: after a walk is there an automatic “time” called? It always seems that way unless something dramatic happens (I seem to remember some guy a few years ago stealing second after walking to first before the next pitch happens, but dont remember where that happened). It seems like on ball 4 that not just the two teams but the umpires go into “time out” mode. Is it a time, is it time only after the runner gets to first (hence Pacheco could be tagged out if he did not return to base in time for the “time” to end), or am I reading into what is happening. Is there ever an automatic “time” in the game, like a ball hit foul into the stands? The above question RMH and your answer made me wonder now about something I have noticed for years.

  • EdtheUmp | September 27, 2011 | 7:37 am

    Doc…another good question.

    After ball four, TIME is not automatic. They do it in the big leagues most of the time. Why? Most of the time a catcher asks for it in order to go out and talk to his pitcher or an infielder wants to say something to him.
    I remember something like your stealing second play as well, but that’s as far as my senior citizen memory goes.

    As for your automatic time…there are a myriad of times when the ball is declared dead, either verbally, by signal(both arms in the air, etc.)or with no outward signal given(foul ball into the stands and such). If you think hard enough I’ll bet you can come up with most of them.

    As umpires, we try to keep the ball “live” as much as possible. If the ball is “dead” there are only a few instances when an out can be declared. By keeping the ball “live” some baserunner may do something stupid and we may be able to call an out.

    An out gets all umps(especially myself)closer to the end of the game and the Bud Lite that is iced down in the trunk of my vehicle.

  • rockymountainhigh | October 2, 2011 | 9:04 am

    This would never happen in the majors, but can happen at the lower levels. When does the ball become live after a new ball has been issued (usually after foul balls)? The moment the catcher gets the ball from the home plate ump or after the the pitcher steps on the mound with the new ball? To be specific, under normal conditions if the catcher misfires the ball back to the mound the runners could move up. Sometimes after foul balls, the catcher gets the ball and throw it back; sometimes the umpire throws it back himself. If the catcher gets a new ball after a foul ball and misfires it, can the runners move up or is the ball still dead?

  • EdtheUmp | October 2, 2011 | 9:44 pm

    rmh…

    The ball is dead until the pitcher is holding the ball in the pitching position(windup or stretch)and on the pitching rubber…the ball isn’t “alive” until the homeplate ump points at the pitcher(implying “we are ready to play”)or points and says the words, “play” or “play ball.” Then and only then can the game commence.

    In the “bigs” some umps do one or the other of the above, some do nothing.

  • Rocky Mountain High | October 5, 2011 | 4:01 pm

    I think it was the next to last game AT&T Park when some idiots pointed a red laser twice at a Rox pitcher. The first time the crew chief went to talk to the dugout to reqeust security to resolve that problem. It happened a second time a couple of innings later. Does the home plate umpire have the discretion to award a strike to the pitcher (without a pitch) or a ball (if it was a Rox hitter up at the plate? I would hope so so that would keep the crowd under control.

  • EdtheUmp | October 6, 2011 | 7:47 am

    RMH…

    You sure do come up with good and interesting questions.

    The HP ump doesn’t hve the discretion or authority to do what you ask. At the ML level, and not knowing exactly how the home team would handle the situation, common sense comes into play. If the home team personnel cannot find the person(s) doing what you describe I can envision the HP ump declaring(or threatening)a forfeit, after many, many attempts to curb the abuse. I don’t think for one moment that a forfeit would actually be awarded but public address announcements would, eventually, ferret the guilty party out, probably from the fans around him.(He can’t stay hidden forever.)

    As I’ve stated in numerous early posts, most fans are great and really add to the atmosphere in a positive way. As a HP ump nothing “pumps you up” and forces you to bear down like a raucous crowd when the game is on the line.

    However, there are individuals, and sometimes, small pockets(usually inebriated)of idiot fans that take away from the moment for fans surrounding them. The are labeled idiots for a reason. They truly believe they are adding to that great atmosphere. They are dead wrong.

  • Rocky Mountain High | October 8, 2011 | 10:17 am

    It happened in the Phillies-Cardinals game last night; Jimmy Rollins hit a grounder down the line and it was a foul ball. The 1B ump said fair ball and it was a ground out to Rollins’ disbelief. Once the ball gets past the bag, it becomes the 1B ump’s call. Before the ball reaches the bag, it’s the HP ump’s call. Correct me if I’m wrong. It looked like the first baseman got in the way of 1B ump’s view when he circled to scoop up the grounder trying to catch the ball fair before it hits the foul ground.

    What I don’t get is why don’t the HP ump help out and overrule the 1B ump? It happens all the time in NBA games where sometimes the referee closer to half court can see the action better than the ref behind the baseline and overrule him. Don’t you think the major league umps do the same thing?

  • progmatinee | October 26, 2011 | 11:16 am

    Here’s sort of a silly question…why do some umpires yell a word or a sound that doesn’t even sound remotely close to the word “Strike”.

    I was watching the WS the other day and can’t recall who it was but he would say something like “HALL” or “HAW” or something which to my ears part of it aounded closeto “BALL” so its pretty dang annoying.