2009 Fall Baseball Letter #16

Fall Umpires and also NW Umpires,

Below are some ideas about some real basic mechanics ideas.  More to come later.  Most of this stuff is in the PBUC red Manual for the 2-Umpire System.

Reminder about the August 19 Fall Baseball Orientation Meeting at 6 pm at The International School of Minnesota in Eden Prairie.  We will start promptly at 6 pm and finish close to 8:30 pm.

I have not yet received confirmation from some of you.  I hate to be a pest but I am one.  Let me know if you are going to be at the meeting or not.  For applying umpires it should be of the highest priority for you unless your vacation or job takes you away at that time.

Peace, LG

Mechanics Questions for Fall Baseball Umpires and Evaluators.

Remember, an umpire should have a good reason for any action he takes on a baseball field.  Read the red PBUC Manual for the 2-umpire system.  There are good reasons listed for anything that is recommended you do here.

1.       As a plate umpire, why do you follow the BR up the 1st baseline when no one is on base?            To observe the BR’s position in or out of the running lane, help your partner with a swipe tag or pulled foot and in case of an overthrow to go toward DBT to observe if the ball remains live or becomes dead. 

2.       How do you follow the BR up the first baseline?  By getting on the line and straddling it as soon as you come to a stop. 

3.       What are some of the things you do as the BR hits a ground ball to the infield with no one on base? 

     a.       P-R-R, Clear the catcher;

     b.       Remove your mask;

     c.        Work your way up the 1st baseline on the dirt straddling the foul line;

     d.       Observe the release of the throw by the infielder;

     e.        Come to a standing set straddling the foul line;

     f.         Observe the play at 1st base by no longer watching the throw once it is released but observe the play and be ready to help your partner in case of a pulled foot, swipe tag or over throw.  You are also responsible for the BR being in the 45-foot running lane and it would be your call if there is interference at 1st base by him. 

4.       What are the 3 possible decisions the base umpire has to make once the ball is hit? 

     a.       Decide if it is a routine fly ball or not.  If it is routine, he will come in and pivot.  If it is trouble, he should move to develop the best possible angle for a catch or no-catch.   

     b.       Decide if it is hit to the left side or right side of the infield.  If it is hit to the left side of the infield, he will try to get a 90o angle for the play at first and also getting about 15-20 feet from his play at 1st base.  If it is a ball hit to the right side of the infield he must determine if it is a pressure ball or not.  If there is no pressure from the 2nd or 1st baseman, he should get the largest angle possible by going to about 1-2 steps in fair territory again with about 15-20 feet from 1st base.  If the base umpire reads pressure, he should take the play in foul territory on an angle that he can see the release of the throw and also be able to see if the fielder covering 1st base has his foot touching it or not.  Never get so the base is completely between you and the fielder that is covering 1st base.  The base will block your view and you will also have a blur going by you that you will not be able to determine the safe or out call.  Don Denkinger play of 1985 in game 6 of the World Series. 

     c.        And of course, you also need to get set for your play if you read a “true” throw and get the call correct.  To get the call correct, you need to have good timing.  Good timing will be there if you allow the entire play to occur, mentally digest the information you receive and then physically make the call.  If it is a poor throw, i.e., the throw is off line, too high, in the dirt, etc. you will need to adjust based on where the throw goes.  If it takes the 1st baseman toward home plate and he is definitely off the base and there is a chance for a tag play instead of the force play, you should adjust by taking a step, look and a lean toward the 1st base foul line.  If it takes him toward the outfield, your direction of step should be toward the mound and you will be looking for the pulled foot this time and probably no tag attempt. 

     d.       Good timing comes from proper use of eyes.  This means that once you know the ball beat the runner and the fielder is on the base, you now need to get information that the ball is securely held by the fielder by shifting your eyes to the fielder’s glove or mitt.  If he has it securely, now is the time to decide that you have an out or not.  If the runner has already arrived before the ball, then you don’t need to wait that long to make your decision.  Remember this statement – You will be able to call a safe earlier than an out on force plays.

News Flash

*NW General Membership Meeting - TBD 2020

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