View Full Version : Small Diamond 1 Umpire situation
06-24-2008, 12:12 PM
We had our first ejection last night in a LL Majors game. The batter alegedly was HBP and PU (alone) did not see it. Coach said the wrong things and was tossed. The question is if working alone and if PU is not sure should he ask the batter to show him where he or she was hit and look for a mark where the ball might have hit? If the kid is in obvious pain that seems like the right thing to do. How would you guys handle it?
UIC LC LL MI
06-24-2008, 12:49 PM
Tough situation, but I think the answer is "No."
I had a batter claim he was hit in the foot by a pitch in the dirt last weekend. I did not see it, and neither did my partner in C and there was no immediate reaction to getting hit from the batter, just the verbal claim. But I believed the kid, and the catcher's reaction also suggested I simply missed the contact in the dirt explosion of the pitch.
The batter was p*ssed, but he didn't get first. Naturally, this was an egregious breach of natural justice on par with world hunger and the Middle East, and much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the offensive bench ensued, but I digress.
Caveat: LL, I'm told, has a unique culture, etc. and they may require it be handled differently. I can't speak to that.
Edit: In anticipation of the question "Well, gee, if you believed the kid, why not just give him first?", I thought I should add that doing this opens a very bad door: What happens next inning when the opposing team's batter "claims" he, too, was hit by a pitch and you don't believe him? Now you've dug a hole for yourself where you're awarding bases not on the basis of what you saw, but what you believe about the relative credibility of players from different teams. Better get out those ejection reports...you're going to need a pad of them!
Bottom line: you either saw it or you did not. If you missed it, the reason may be entirely innocent (large puff of dirt and no "ouch/wince" reaction from batter), or maybe you kicked the call and should have seen it. Either way, no base.
06-24-2008, 01:21 PM
No do not ask the kid to show you the mark. This opens up a whole can of worms you do not want opened. This would in essence be requesting a demonstration. You toss players and coaches for demonstrations.
The next thing that will happen is that a coach want to show you where a kid was hit, then he'll want to show you marks in the dirt, then ...
A questionable HBP is a great time to pause, read, react. There are numerous times where I'm unsure if it hits the batter or not (when I'm unsure I'm pretty much leaning towards he was hit). I pause, read the batters expression and it he tries to sell be that he was hit. then react accordingly.
One time I thought the batter was hit, but he gave me no indication I hadn't called time yet, and the batter steps out with one foot and adjusts his grip on the bat and is stepping back in when the catcher says, "But Blue that hit him." loud enough for both benches to hear, so I had to send him if their own catcher is going to make that call"
Another time I was absolutely positive the ball hit the batter. I saw & heard it. I come up with a strong "time!" and tell the batter to take his base.
He turns around and says it didn't hit him. I questioned him and asked, "Are you sure it didn't hit you?" he said "No" As he steps back into the box the third base coach comes running down, "What's going on he was hit?" and the batter tells his coach he wasn't.
We get back to playing the batter catcher and I are chatting about the pitch. Next one comes in for a strike. I tell the batter, "I can't believe that ball didn't hit you, I heard it and saw it."
He replied, "No, it only hit my shirt."
I hold up my left arm to signal the pitcher not to pitch and say, "You're stuck here now, but for future reference if the ball hits your shirt and it's tucked in properly, that means you were hit by the pitch."
He struck out, for the third out and the third base coach asks me if I thought it hit him. I told him what the batter said to me, and he got hot and immediately started yelling at the kid.
06-24-2008, 03:43 PM
[quote="Lancerdad34"]We had our first ejection last night in a LL Majors game. The batter alegedly was HBP and PU (alone) did not see it. Coach said the wrong things and was tossed.
Now you know why only 1 ump which seems to be the norm in LL these days. The coach KNOWS the PU is alone but yet feels the need to chastise. Enough said
[quote]The question is if working alone and if PU is not sure should he ask the batter to show him where he or she was hit and look for a mark where the ball might have hit? If the kid is in obvious pain that seems like the right thing to do. How would you guys handle it?[/quote
If unsure then wait a beat or 2. If a kid is in OBVIOUS pain chances are he was hit so award him first HOWEVER Do not ask the player to show you anything as that sets a bad precedent for future events that might happen.
The bottom line is you are SOLO and cannot see everything. The coaches should know that and give the PU some slack but this is LL and there is a reason only one umpire.
06-24-2008, 04:21 PM
Pete nailed it, especially at this age. The players are usually not Academy Award Winners yet. If you didn't see it, and the player is not reacting to being hit, then the coach is over it. On the other hand, if it was possible but you didn't see it, and the player is hopping around send them to first. Use all of the information your have.
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