Umpires...

Today we had a couple games in an out of town tournament. We got beat pretty badly in the first game, but in the second game we were coming into the last inning trailing by 2 runs (we were the away team)

I go up to the batters box after the leadoff grounded out and looked to my third base coach for the signs. He was discussing something with the manager in the dugout. The plate umpire told me to get into the batters box and I apologized, “I was just waiting for my coach to give me the sign.”

He told me he didn’t care about what my coach was doing, and that he should be paying attention to the game and that I should also be paying attention to the game. He also whined about how dark it was getting (the sun wasn’t even down yet) and that he wanted to go home already.

Well that really got me ticked and I missed the pitch by about a half inch on the barrel and popped it up. The ump was like, “Perfect this will make it even quicker.” As I heard this I had to try really hard not to let go of my bat during followthrough. I really wanted to let him eat my bat but I have more class then that…

Anyway one of our guys ended up getting a grandslam on errors (would have been a single otherwise) and we had a perfect bottom half.

Sorry for venting but that sort of thing just ticks me off.

Yup, sometimes you get those kinds up umpires. How old are you? I think as you get older, you will see better umpires, although this is not always the case.

The funny thing is I thought this ump was pretty good at calling the game, I mean he had a consistent strike zone and everything.

He was just a, for lack of a better word, “D” bag.

There is without a doubt a small population of amateur umpires that have a “let’s get this over with” mind set,.along with.”oh, before we begin coach, that’ll be $$$$$”.

And there’s just enough of these people in circulation who treat this experience than nothing more than easy money, a quick make-a-buck and “don’t call me, I’ll call you.”

I’ve witnessed these people with a borderline appearance that insults this noble profession, with wrinkled clothes that just came out of the trunk of their car, and a very poor awareness of just what this game is all about. And to top it off, these people know that games during the school year have to deal with creeping darkness and start times that take this into account … so … you’d think that ole blue would get to the park on time to start the ball rolling. Nope! Here he … they … come, two minutes before ground rules, and to add insult to injury the first thing out of their mouth is …” ok, let’s get this game going, come on guys put a fire under it!”

Now I will give tick-for-tat for a lot of the mindless personalities that a most umpires have to deal with minute by minute, inning to inning. Add to this a barrage of insults from the lunatics holding down the lawn chair sidelines, and I can see how many umpires get the attitude that they do.

On the other hand, you must realize that armature umpires are hired agents from an umpiring board. This board, or association, is much like a union - employment agency. The board has a group of people that set forth a charter, a list of things its members must subscribe to, an ongoing educational program, dues, uniform requirements and so forth. And since they (umpires) are the official representatives of baseball - playoff and championship births, ERA’s and a ton of other stuff are in their court and effect you greatly. So, if you’re not getting the services that you expect from the person(s) in blue - SAY SO. You’re paying for that service.

Now let’s look at the other side of the fence. The player that was waiting for a sign from his third base coach was told … and correctly I might add … to “get with the program and get in the box!” His coach had no business plunking his attention anywhere but to the batter and paying attention to the game at hand. This umpire had every right to light a fire under this batter - but had no right to remark in anyway beyond that with a sarcastic remark. And any player or coach that receives such a remark or overhears said remark should immediately call “time”, politely walk up to that umpire and remind him/her that one of the many reasons for putting those Jefferson’s (money) in his/her pocket is to be professional - he/she is being paid to call the game, nothing else.

I did this years ago, after a semi-insult to me while leaving the mound after a short visit to calm my guy down. It was drizzling rain and the UIC was not in a very good mood. I stop’d just before reaching the first baseline and politely walked to the UIC at the plate and asked him to repeat what he said - I wanted to make sure a second time before I went any further. He wouldn’t, I didn’t leave the home plate area until I was tossed. Three weeks later a review board from the league and the umpire’s association that was providing services, convened and waived my fine and placed a probation letter in the umpire’s performance file. Later on the same experience happened to another person in our league - a player, and the umpire was placed on suspension.

Coach B.

I know what you mean. I’ve had a fair share of bad umpires. If there is something I noticed it was that over time things change. For the longest time umpires are purely in it fir the money and there for make bad calls and are really whiny. But as you go on you find more people doing it for the love of the game and less for the money. But even then it’s always hard.