LG's Pet Peeves #2

This set of items are basically things I have witnessed over the years that are not very professional.

  1. Partners that do not respond to my trying to contact them prior to the game for meeting time, shirt color for the uniform, riding together, contacting the school or team, etc.
  2. Partners that do not offer to pay for part of the gas to the game site.
  3. Partners that do not want to have a pre-game at all.
  4. Partners that arrive late so you cannot have a pre-game. 
  5. Partners that dominate the pre-game conference with only their ideas.
  6. Partners that offer nothing to the pre-game conference.
  7. Umpires that do not understand the grey area of officiating is where we make our money.  The black and white of officiating calls itself.
  8. Partners that need to be the whole show.  Remember, the game is the show, we are just minor players.  The better role players we are in the show, the better it is for the game, the players, the coaches/managers, our partners and ourselves.  Also, remember, how we perform our role today affects the umpires that show up to play our part the next day.
  9. The previous #8 means UMPIRING IS ROLE PLAYING.  All you THESPIANS, be aware of that statement.  Those of you that have never played a role before, you don’t know what you are missing.  Acting is fun and really the highlight of umpiring.  For 2 hours every game, I can be a different person than my normal me and this makes life exciting.  Umpiring can be our avocation.  It definitely is not our profession, even though we need to act like it is our profession when we arrive and during the time we are there.  We must act and perform our tasks professionally.
  10. Partners that did not bring their plate gear in case of an emergency.
  11. Umpires that use willy-nilly language when communicating with you.  Not using the standards that are in the red manual.

a.       “I’ve got your back!”  What does this mean?  “I’ve got 3rd if he comes!” is the standard and not “I’ve got your back!”  Or, it might mean “I’ve got your back!” at 1st base too when there is a fly ball to the outfield and the base umpire has the catch/no catch of the ball with a single runner on 1st base.  This is a wasted movement.  If the ball is dropped, the base umpire needs his partner at 3rd base and not at 1st base.  If the ball is caught, the base umpire can take the only runner back into 1st base.  So, what help is it to cover a meaningless base?

b.      “I’m here!”  What does that mean?  Where is here?  Tell me the base and not that you are here.

c.       Saying “I’ve got your back!” in the wrong situation.  For instance with runners on 1st and 2nd and less than 2 outs (Infield fly situation).  A short fly ball into center field that is a “trouble” ball, where either the shortstop or the center fielder might have it, I heard, “I’ve got your back!”  I was thinking, “Ok, my partner is at 3rd base in case of a play there.”  No, he is at 1st base instead.  So, I have a tough play at 3rd base that I get correct but I had to go to the grass line to check on catch/no catch and then I had a terrible angle for the play at 3rd base.  This is why we need the correct language and also the base that our partners are covering.  By the way, why would any plate umpire cover 1st base with a runner on 2nd base and leave home plate uncovered?  You are supposed to cover 3rd base and get back to the plate in case of an overthrow but why would anyone be covering 1st base?

  1. Partners that will not compromise on mechanics for the sake of harmony.  Remember, when we work together we usually do better.  Remember, “A house divided, will fall.”  We all should work by the red manual but there are always some places where we will need to occasionally deviate from the standard (the red manual is our standard).  The reason we should follow the red manual is because this means wherever you work in the U. S. A. you should be able to fit in.  Wherever we go in the U. S. A., the red manual is a standard but there are always regional and local differences.  When you get to a place for the first time, you need to learn what their standard is but basically the red book is the starting place.  So, if everyone is on the same page with the red manual, the minor deviations are going to be acceptable.  My job as an evaluator is to help all of you to better understand the need for a standard and then try to get as many guys as possible to buy into that standard.