2009 Fall Baseball Letter #22

"Put me in, coach!" Your positive attitude is displayed

 when you're ready to play and ask for the opportunity

 to get into the game. Tell your leader, "I've been

 doing things to prepare myself for this job/task. I'm

 confident I can deliver if you'll give me the chance!" 

 ~Paul Sims

Because we are beginning this week with our fall orientation session, I wanted to make it known that we are enthusiastic about having the opportunity to evaluate and observe NW Umpires and also the 24 new applicants.

I want to take this opportunity to welcome all of you to fall baseball.  The 24 new applicants are in competition to prove to us that they belong with us as an umpire.  I want those of you that are NW Umpires and evaluators to welcome them and work with them to help them become NW Umpires.

Reality is that we are all in competition with one another.  Let's make sure this competition is one of nurturing one another to become the best we can become.  Not only are we evaluating but we are teaching and helping one another to get better.  The game of baseball demands that we cannot just stand pat with what we know and can do.  We must add to our knowledge and skills each and every day to make the game of baseball and umpiring a better place to work.  It is up to us to improve the sportsmanship and quality of the game by how we approach our job.

Good luck to all of you in this quest.

Your colleague,

Larry Gallagher

Questions 31-40 are below excerpted from the Questions from Jim Evans Desert Classic in 2004.  This information is also available on www.nwumpires.com in Larry's Corner.

31.  When will and umpire’s timing be quicker:  When the BR is safe or when the BR is out?   The umpire’s timing will be quicker when the BR is safe because there is no need to observe if there is firm and secure possession. 


32.  What is the umpire looking for when his eyes are focused on the base?   The base umpire is looking to see if the 1st baseman has contact with the base and if the runner touches the base.  


33.  Describe four type plays that can develop when the pitcher is covering first base.   A tag play, an obstruction, interference and a force play. 


34.  What should the BU do when the throw gets by the first baseman?   He should try to get inside the cutout as on a pivot and be ready to take the BR to 2nd base and/or back to 1st base. 


35. What is the proper adjustment when a throw from the left side of the infield pulls the first baseman off the base toward home?             The base umpire will take a step, look and a lean toward the 1st base foul line.  He would use his left foot as the first step.


36.  What is the proper adjustment when an infielder’s throw pulls the first baseman off the base toward right field?   The base umpire will take a step, look and a lean toward the infield grass or toward the mound.  His first step would be with the right foot.


37.  Why do throws in the dirt create problems for the umpire?   Because they look like they might be a “true” throw and also, as you listen for the ball to enter the mitt or glove, you will maybe hear three sounds.  The ball hitting the dirt, the ball hitting the glove or mitt and the BR’s foot hitting the base.  This can confuse the best of umpires.  Also, there is the possibility of a pulled foot.  There is also the possibility of a juggled ball.


38.  Why do short throws to first base create problems for the umpire?   There is less time to move your head to focus on the play.        There is a greater chance of juggling the ball on short throws.        You have less time to make your decision. 


39.  What is the ideal distance for a force play at first base?   The manual reads 15-20 feet but the accepted distance and what is in the Federation and taught at the professional umpire schools is 15-18 feet.  The NCAA does not specify any distance but they do say the most advantageous position possible. 


40.  Should the umpire regulate his movement into position on how hard the ball is hit?  Why?   No, because all umpires should be trained to bust into their angle and distance.  If you can get to your angle quickly, you will have more time to read a “true” throw or a poor throw.  This will give you a better chance of getting your call correctly.  If it is a poor throw, you will have more time to make an adjustment.  This is a mistake many umpires make.  They do not bust to their angle and therefore, sometimes are suprised by the closeness or quickness of the play.  Getting into position early based on the origin of the throw, has helped me greatly in not missing these plays. 
Waiting for a play to occur is always better than just getting there in time.

Do not ever be surprised on the baseball field. 

"Surprise is an umpire's worst enemy!" 

This is a quote from Jim Evans.

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*NW General Membership Meeting - TBD 2020

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