Bad Umpires

The guys that usually umpire our JV games are terrible. The guys we have for varsity games, for the most part, are pretty good. Even if you don’t really like their strike zone, they are consistant with what are balls and what are strikes.
All the JV umpires that we have had just are not good. Their definition of a strike is: right down the middle, and belt high. Anything remotly down in the zone or on the corners is a ball. And the biggest problem is, you throw a nice pitch on the outerhalf and they call it a strike. You then throw THE EXACT SAME PITCH and it is a ball. There is no consistancy. It is also frustrating as a hitter.

What am I supposed to do when on the mound? Throw the ball belt high and get rocked, or keep the ball down (like all pitchers are taught) and walk guys.

This is one of the great things about the game of baseball…life’s lessons. You just have to suck it up and somehow get batters out. Not unlike life itself…there is nothing fair about it. You get away with something over in that town but you can’t do it in this one. Go over the speed limit in Ohio by 5 mph and you’ll get rung up…in PA you might get away with 10 - 15. Every time you go out, it’s a crap shoot. Same thing on the mound…you look at that ump and think, “Well, what have we here? Jekkyl or Hyde?”

We play 9U player pitch ball and what’s worse is when the ump tells you at the beginning of the game that his strike zone is going to favor the pitchers so get your hitters swinging and then still calls a major league strike zone.

Kids worry way more about what the umpire thinks than anything else. Do you know how many times I’ve seen good players put themselves out of the game because of one stupid call? Everyone makes mistakes, and I see more often than not an umpire get yelled at about something that he called correctly. Its okay to get mad, personally I don’t, but don’t let your frustrations last for the entire game. Yes, even if he isn’t consistent at the plate, don’t worry about it. Life goes on. The game goes on. Its high school ball for god sakes.

Now don’t get me wrong, I want to win more than anything in the entire world. If you’ve seen me in gym class you would know. I could care less what I’m playing, it could be chess for all I care, I want to win. But I will never drop myself down to the level of a bad umpire or my teammates that cry about everything. It is only high school, if you are in the pro’s I can understand getting mad. Those players are amazing. They put their entire life’s efforts into baseball, they have way more of a right to argue than kids who’s main focus should be school. I love baseball but I don’t spend every hour of my day practicing baseball, although I would love to do that.

But it is just not that big of a deal. The next game will come. Hopefully you get a better umpire.

Worry about what you are doing wrong, not what the umpire is doing wrong.

Try to make yourself better, you can’t make the umpire better.

[quote=“mccjo2”]The guys that usually umpire our JV games are terrible. The guys we have for varsity games, for the most part, are pretty good. Even if you don’t really like their strike zone, they are consistant with what are balls and what are strikes.
All the JV umpires that we have had just are not good. Their definition of a strike is: right down the middle, and belt high. Anything remotly down in the zone or on the corners is a ball. And the biggest problem is, you throw a nice pitch on the outerhalf and they call it a strike. You then throw THE EXACT SAME PITCH and it is a ball. There is no consistancy. It is also frustrating as a hitter.

What am I supposed to do when on the mound? Throw the ball belt high and get rocked, or keep the ball down (like all pitchers are taught) and walk guys.[/quote]

even though there are bad umpires, if you consistantly command you pitches they have to call them. if you can throw a outside corner pitch 4 times in a row at the exact same spot you will get the call. even if you walk the guy if you can show him yes i ment to throw it there and your the wrong one they will start calling it…but if your inside then outside then middle you wont get it. just cuz you spot a corner once in a while doesnt mean youll get the call

Well I had a pretty bad expirience today, might as well vent.

It was a big, big game for us. 6-3 in a fairly dissapointing first half, thats really bad for our team, and the league leaders at 8-1 coming in. I’m one of the top three pitchers in the league, going against the other one of the top three. Hes a really solid pitcher, tall, lanky, good stuff, going D1 on a scholarship. Good kid too. Anyway, heres the shit that got me angry-

1- Hes getting calls 6 inches off the plate, and with his command, he lived out there all day and our hitters could do next to nothing with it.

2- I was getting squeezed terribly from inning 1 on pitches on the black, inside and out I probably had about 13 of the 17 inches of the plate to throw too. I dealt with it ok because I have some very good stuff, but all the same, it made me fall behind alot of guys on pitches that most umps call strikes.

3- 3 of my 4 walks involved 3-2 counts, where I threw ATLEAST two borderline strikes in the atbat with 2 strikes. In the fifth inning, I threw a 3-2 changeup that came RIGHT BACK OVER THE MIDDLE. This pitch was perfect, the batter swore and took a step towards the duggout, and then realized he hadn’t struck out. It was ridiculous.

4- The ump is the opposing pitchers summer coach, how is that not a clear bias to the other team… he couldn’t have atleast done the bases?

5- Despite all this, the only time I even showed I was upset in the slightest with the call was on the 3-2 change, as anyone would have. I don’t make a habit of getting angry with umps, because really it doesn’t do a shred of good for you, but it was just such a terrible, terrible call that I showed a little emotion.

We ended up losing 4-0, I threw pretty well given the circumstances and there was a pass ball with the bases loaded in the fifth, followed by a bad throw, that let two in. So it should have been 2-0, but ended up 4-0 when i came out. My line was like 5 innings, 3 hits, 4 walks, 7 or 8 K’s. Not bad, but just dissapointing to me.

I know that thats baseball, sometimes you get the shitty end of the deal, and i’m sure I’ve been on the opposite end more than a couple time in my career as well, but all the same, its not fun.

Oh well, just wanted to vent a bit.

To me, Bower’s discussion hit the nail on the head. jakejeckel made some good points, too.

As bad as a few umpires sometimes appear to be…I don’t think anybody gets into umpiring with the idea in mind of treating kids unfairly. I get as cranky as anybody else does when ‘obvious’ calls go the wrong way (against my kid’s team) but I’ve learned to bite my tongue and keep it to myself. For some strange reason, I don’t feel nearly so sanctimonious when dicey calls go against the opposing team…

If an umpire’s strike zone is a tuna can, well…it is usually the same tiny zone for both sides.

If the ump’s strike zone is wildly inconsistent, okay…it is probably inconsistent for both sides and the first team to learn where in the zone strikes are called more consistently will probably have a better game, all things considered.

Some umpires have a better grasp of certain pitches than others–if your given umpire doesn’t appreciate your curveball on a given day…well, you still have to find a way to get the job done.

Okay, so there are some really terrible umpires, just as there are terrible incompetents in every walk of life. Hopefully, your league reviews serious complaints made against incompetent or misbehaving umpires and is empowered to take action to remove them, if necessary.

My backstop came into the dugout after a grinding inning - he just couldn’t get the plate ump to give our guy the inside corner on anything. This did not go by the watchful eye of the other dugout. So, every one in that order crowed the plate like crazy.

But, out backstop comes in with a big smile on his face and I just had to ask what was so funny about our guy being "cracked’ like that.

He said the last batter was so close to both he and that plate ump - by leaning over with the top half of his body, that the plate ump muttered under his breath …

" son, you get any closer to either one of us you better be on one knee with a proposal of marriage, a box of chocolates and a diamond for one of us …"

Coach B.

[quote=“Coach Baker”]My backstop came into the dugout after a grinding inning - he just couldn’t get the plate ump to give our guy the inside corner on anything. This did not go by the watchful eye of the other dugout. So, every one in that order crowed the plate like crazy.

But, out backstop comes in with a big smile on his face and I just had to ask what was so funny about our guy being "cracked’ like that.

He said the last batter was so close to both he and that plate ump - by leaning over with the top half of his body, that the plate ump muttered under his breath …

" son, you get any closer to either one of us you better be on one knee with a proposal of marriage, a box of chocolates and a diamond for one of us …"

Coach B.[/quote]

There are a couple things I do to combat that situation. First, if a guy is on top of the plate…I’m going to hit him. I am going to hit him with the meanest nasty fastball I can muster. That is my plate and the batter has NO RIGHT to have any part of his body within 2 inches of it.

Second, if an umpire won’t call the inside part of the plate, I’m going to hit him. The catcher is going to setup outside and I am going to “miss” a sign and put one in the umpires left arm.

I would absolutely advise the first option for anyone at any level. The second option, well that is a personal stance that I wouldn’t advise everyone to attempt. First it may get you tossed, second you have to have good enough control to pull it off, third you have to throw hard enough to make it hurt. When I am on the mound I am arrogant, I am mean, and I am the best damn pitcher in the stadium regardless of who else is there.

I guess that is what you get when a closer chimes in though :slight_smile:

sorry if it sounds somewhat crass. It is a different story if I am coming into the game with runners on base on a close game. But generally speaking if a guy is on top of my plate he is getting brushed back big time or flat out hit.

The youngsters that come up through the amateur ranks with a “brash” and “I’ll eat ya alive” demeanor, soon find that a quiet, professional and a polished performance, best identifies who and what they are.

Superior craftsmanship has no equal. It is a standard that all others will attempt to obtain – but disguise their work as little more than an imitation.

Coach B.

[quote=“Coach Baker”]The youngsters that come up through the amateur ranks with a “brash” and “I’ll eat ya alive” demeanor, soon find that a quiet, professional and a polished performance, best identifies who and what they are.

Superior craftsmanship has no equal. It is a standard that all others will attempt to obtain – but disguise their work as little more than an imitation.

Coach B.[/quote]

I sent you a pm

Our first game I’m expecting a bad umpire we play our rivals in Green River, Wyoming and we have some real bad blood that’s gone on between us from throwing at a batter’s head to dropping a helmet into our first baseman’s knee we hate each other and the problem is when we play there the coach’s brother’s are always hired to umpire so we get the short end of the stick all the time even if we’re not playing that team but we’re just playing a tourney there those guys intentionally hose us.

Just part of the game, just try to do what YOU can to win and don’t worry about what you CAN’T control in the game.

We all want to believe that the strike zone is a perfect rectangle, from the left and right sides of the plate with the top and bottom defined by the batters appropriate body parts, depending on the league. (Watched a little league game last night, and the strike zone was nose to toes). The truth is that the strike zone is not an absolute, the only absolute is that the umpire calls the balls and strikes. How you deal with it, both during the game, and after, will play a big part in how you develop and grow as a pitcher.

[quote=“wrecked_elbow”][quote=“Coach Baker”]My backstop came into the dugout after a grinding inning - he just couldn’t get the plate ump to give our guy the inside corner on anything. This did not go by the watchful eye of the other dugout. So, every one in that order crowed the plate like crazy.

But, out backstop comes in with a big smile on his face and I just had to ask what was so funny about our guy being "cracked’ like that.

He said the last batter was so close to both he and that plate ump - by leaning over with the top half of his body, that the plate ump muttered under his breath …

" son, you get any closer to either one of us you better be on one knee with a proposal of marriage, a box of chocolates and a diamond for one of us …"

Coach B.[/quote]

There are a couple things I do to combat that situation. First, if a guy is on top of the plate…I’m going to hit him. I am going to hit him with the meanest nasty fastball I can muster. That is my plate and the batter has NO RIGHT to have any part of his body within 2 inches of it.

Second, if an umpire won’t call the inside part of the plate, I’m going to hit him. The catcher is going to setup outside and I am going to “miss” a sign and put one in the umpires left arm.

I would absolutely advise the first option for anyone at any level. The second option, well that is a personal stance that I wouldn’t advise everyone to attempt. First it may get you tossed, second you have to have good enough control to pull it off, third you have to throw hard enough to make it hurt. When I am on the mound I am arrogant, I am mean, and I am the best damn pitcher in the stadium regardless of who else is there.

I guess that is what you get when a closer chimes in though :slight_smile:

sorry if it sounds somewhat crass. It is a different story if I am coming into the game with runners on base on a close game. But generally speaking if a guy is on top of my plate he is getting brushed back big time or flat out hit.[/quote]

  1. This is a way to get yourself thrown out of not only out of a game, but out of a league. In school ball, this is also a call to your Schools Athletic Director who may remove you from the team, before league or state athletic association action is taken. No School’s AD is going to let his school gain this type of reputation!

  2. What goes around comes around, if you consistantly go head hunting you may find yourself “wearing” a lot of pitches, and so will your teamates. You are a team mate FIRST! Do I even have to mentioned the fights it might cause.

  3. Umpires talk. The most effective way for umpires to retaliate is just to call every pitch you throw a ball. It may be waist high and over the direct middle of the plate and it will be called a ball. How long are you going to last then?How may games will you cost your team before you are deemed unuseable by the coach? Some umps will throw you out of each game before the first pitch is even thrown…

  4. In our litigious society, This is cause for a lawsuit for assult.

Now where is the win here? Not saying that you shouldn’t move guys off the plate, but throwing behind batters or setting up the ump is just stupid!