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carolinablue
09-19-2008, 01:26 AM
I was asked by my booking agent to do a couple of LL minor games Saturday and I said I would. I haven't done but a couple of these. I have done a lot of majors and lately only juniors,seniors and Big league. I have a pretty " agressive " strike three mechanic . Should I continue with my normal mechanic at this level or back off a bit for the younger kids. I know I will need to expand my strike zone a bit.

kylejt
09-19-2008, 02:33 AM
I was asked by my booking agent to do a couple of LL minor games Saturday and I said I would. I haven't done but a couple of these. I have done a lot of majors and lately only juniors,seniors and Big league. I have a pretty " agressive " strike three mechanic . Should I continue with my normal mechanic at this level or back off a bit for the younger kids. I know I will need to expand my strike zone a bit.

You have a booking agent for LL minor games? Really?


Okay, I do a lot of these, so here goes. Dial it waaaaay back. No flamboyant punchouts, not Luciano-esque calls at first. Strike three, he's out, etc. Do watch for 7.13, because the little guys, and coaches really don't know better. This is an educational division, so take some time to school the coaches if they seem clueless, which they probably are. Do feel free to use the whole LL strike zone, that'll be plenty.

The most important thing is to have fun while you're out there. If you don't go away from a LL minors game without having a few laughs, it's not for you.

Ozzy
09-19-2008, 11:21 AM
I was asked by my booking agent to do a couple of LL minor games Saturday and I said I would. I haven't done but a couple of these. I have done a lot of majors and lately only juniors,seniors and Big league. I have a pretty " agressive " strike three mechanic . Should I continue with my normal mechanic at this level or back off a bit for the younger kids. I know I will need to expand my strike zone a bit.
Keep your mechanic, just dial down the vocal part. Don't change anything else as this is how you operate. Reining it in too much may screw up your regular mechanics. Just as long as you aren't jumping all over the place! :lol: :lol:

Richard_Siegel
09-19-2008, 12:41 PM
Why have a flamboyant strike three mechanic at any level? What’s wrong with a simple two arm pump and say “strike three” in a normal tone of voice? Sometimes I see guys who look like they are celebrating when the call strike three: Spinning, arm pumping chainsaws, howling, yodeling, so they can hear it in the next county. It’s just another strike and everyone (even LL minors) knows that strike three means you’re out. Why do you have to put on a show?

IMO, being too aggressive on a strike three call can imply that you’re either trying to attract undue attention to yourself, or you’re hunting for that third strike to move the game along. Even though the latter might be true for all of us (me too) we shouldn’t let that show.

IMO, if it appears that you are getting too excited when you call a strike three, it reflects on you as not being totally impartial. I think if you are considering having to dial back your strike three mechanic for the little guys, then perhaps you’re doing it to flamboyantly at all levels you might umpire.

BrianC14
09-19-2008, 02:38 PM
Dial it down?!? What?!? 8O

How else is a guy supposed to make it on YouTube!?!

:wink:

western_ump
09-19-2008, 05:25 PM
I don't have a problem with an aggressive called 3rd strike at higher levels of play. Now, if you pull a Leslie Nielson from Naked Gun, then we have a problem.

Dragon29
09-19-2008, 05:31 PM
Why have a flamboyant strike three mechanic at any level? What’s wrong with a simple two arm pump and say “strike three” in a normal tone of voice? Sometimes I see guys who look like they are celebrating when the call strike three: Spinning, arm pumping chainsaws, howling, yodeling, so they can hear it in the next county. It’s just another strike and everyone (even LL minors) knows that strike three means you’re out. Why do you have to put on a show?

IMO, being too aggressive on a strike three call can imply that you’re either trying to attract undue attention to yourself, or you’re hunting for that third strike to move the game along. Even though the latter might be true for all of us (me too) we shouldn’t let that show.

IMO, if it appears that you are getting too excited when you call a strike three, it reflects on you as not being totally impartial. I think if you are considering having to dial back your strike three mechanic for the little guys, then perhaps you’re doing it to flamboyantly at all levels you might umpire.

I think there's a big difference between having a 'celebration' style strike three mechanic (which I agree is ludicrous at any level) and simply emphasizing the punch-out.

Obviously, we're talking about a 3rd strike looking as opposed to swinging, but I use what some people call the 'chain-saw' (it was explained to me as 'tearing the phone book' - whatever) on a 3rd strike looking. It's not flamboyant, loud or otherwise over-the-top, but it is different from simply calling a 1st or 2nd strike, or a 3rd strike swinging.

There was a time when I did not do this, but I was instructed by my association to 'dial it up a bit' - but just a bit (no-one's advising histrionics of any sort) because it's what coaches expect and makes them think you look more professional. This, in turn, helps keep them off your a$$ if/when things go sour on them.

This slightly enhanced mechanic has, I think, helped in this regard.

I want to be clear; this is less 'dramatic' than any/all MLB umpires you see on TV do when they have the same call. I'm not trying to compare myself or the level of ball I call to them - just using it as a reference for this post.


Oh - and I agree with kylejt about having fun with it. You should be able to walk off the field with a smile on your face at the end of one of these games.

carolinablue
09-19-2008, 06:00 PM
I am a rookie umpire and it didn't take me long to realize when I found this site that I had stumbled upon a gold mine of knowledge and experience. When I make a post I look forward to input from the people that frequent this site. Most of the people here have been umpiring and studying rules well before I even consider becoming an umpire. Please realize that what I am about to write is done with all due respect.

I have been around baseball all my life. As a young child I watched MLB and swapped trading cards with my friends. I played LL and HS and coached for numerous years ( no high level ball ). I found as a child there was a certain beauty to the game. When a double play is turned, or a player with a cannon throws the ball, or a pitcher paints the black. I also love to watch a good umpire work. How they bang a guy out on a close play or call a strike. I was always captivated by that.

That being said, when I first started , my strike three was the same as all my other strikes. One day I was watching a MLB game and seen an umpire ring a guy up and to me it looked good, so I copied that mechanic. IMO, I don't get the oo's and ahh's I used to before. When we add a little umph to an out call on a close play, is that any diffent than adding a little umph to a strike three ? To me a backwards K is still one of the most exciting plays in baseball.

I may have selected the wrong word for my mechanic as well. It's really a simple mechanic, an extended fist to the right on strike and then I " pull the bow " on three. There's no jumping around but the batter does no he has been rung up.

Richard_Siegel
09-19-2008, 06:27 PM
Adding a little umph to a called strike three is fine! Just becareful that your eyes are always looking straight ahead and your arms don't block your view. (You should always looking straight ahead on ANY strike call.) If you are turning to the right you should change that habit. The game still has to be umpired while you're looking away from the field.

This is something you should not copy from the MLB guys. MLB guys have 3 other partners who can watch the field, and he has to impress a whole stadium full of spectators. So he can turn to the right on a strike three call. You're just working front of 15 or 20 parents who are within 50 feet at the LL complex who can hear you even if you keep your head is facing the field.

The 'tearing the phone book' method is a good choice. Just stand up tall, face forward and do that two fisted pump: left arm goes forward, right arm comes backward, and call out "strike three!" Try NOT to make grunts or groans, or shout something "Haaaah!" Just say "strike three!"

Dragon29
09-19-2008, 06:34 PM
Adding a little umph to a called strike three is fine! Just becareful that your eyes are always looking straight ahead and your arms don't block your view. (You should always looking straight ahead on ANY strike call.) If you are turning to the right you should change that habit. The game still has to be umpired while you're looking away from the field.

This is something you should not copy from the MLB guys. MLB guys have 3 other partners who can watch the field, and he has to impress a whole stadium full of spectators. So he can turn to the right on a strike three call. You're just working front of 15 or 20 parents who are within 50 feet at the LL complex who can hear you even if you keep your head is facing the field.

The 'tearing the phone book' method is a good choice. Just stand up tall, face forward and do that two fisted pump: left arm goes forward, right arm comes backward, and call out "strike three!" Try NOT to make grunts or groans, or shout something "Haaaah!" Just say "strike three!"

Exactly - Well put.

Richard_Siegel
09-19-2008, 07:09 PM
One more thing about the strike three call.....

This hard to describe in writing only but ....

As your verbalize "strike three" try to be sure that your tone of voice is very matter-of-fact, or businesslike. Sound like you're not impressed by the pitch, you're just calling out your decision.

You want to avoid and hint of "happiness" or overtones of "gladness" or "thrill" from your tone of voice. If the players or coaches on the offense hear any perception in your voice of a "wow! element" in your call of strike three, even though you might just be impressed by the great curve ball the pitcher just threw, it will seem to them like you're routing for the other side. With younger players and inexperienced coaches this can become a problem.

Many years ago when I was the UIC of my local LL, I had a coach call me and complain to be that the umpire doing his game made his players upset because he was calling the strike threes against his his players with "much more empahtically" then he was calling them against the other team. He perceived from this that this umpire was pulling for the other team.

carolinablue
09-19-2008, 07:19 PM
Thanks Richard.

On a bit of comical note. My sons senior fall team had a double header last Sunday and the umpires didn't show up. Everyone knowing I'm an umpire asked me to do it. I refused at first but realized no ump, no games, so I reluctantly did it.
To make a long story short, I ended up punching my son out twice, once on the inside corner and once on the outside. He don't think too much of my strike three mechanic.

Richard_Siegel
09-19-2008, 07:25 PM
I have been in that position several time myself. And I admit was giving by son a little slack on the close ones and I had to punch him out too. I don't know what he was looking for?

carolinablue
09-19-2008, 07:29 PM
I had a rough day that day. I wasn't mentally prepared and it was very windy and the wind was really effecting the pitches. It was messing with me. I have never encountered that before. A lot of late movement on them.

BrianC14
09-19-2008, 08:00 PM
I have been in that position several time myself. And I admit was giving by son a little slack on the close ones and I had to punch him out too. I don't know what he was looking for?

Who had the keys to the car? :!:

PeteBooth
09-19-2008, 08:03 PM
Thanks Richard.

On a bit of comical note. My sons senior fall team had a double header last Sunday and the umpires didn't show up. Everyone knowing I'm an umpire asked me to do it. I refused at first but realized no ump, no games, so I reluctantly did it.
To make a long story short, I ended up punching my son out twice, once on the inside corner and once on the outside. He don't think too much of my strike three mechanic.

Even though you said "On a bit of a comical note" Your post is why it's best IMO to have NO game then to umpire your own kids game. You cannot enjoy it.

I know we are not supposed to dwell on the past or regret things, but one of the areas I do regret is umpiring my kids games when they were in LL. I did it for both my son and daughter and I wouldn't do it again.

If no umps show up then simply have a scrimmage. Have one of the coaches call balls/ strikes from the mound or since it's a scrimmage simply give each kid a certain amount of pitches and then move on.

or they could do what we used to do when I was a kid. We used and old chair as "umpire" If the ball hit the chair it was a strike - No complaints Well I suppose you could but the Chair will not care.

Pete Booth

carolinablue
09-19-2008, 08:11 PM
I always keep my plate gear in my car to be sure I don't forget anything when I am doing a game. I think I may start taking it out when I go to one of my sons games. " Sorry guys, I don't have my gear with me, get a couple of volunteers and call from behind the mound. "

carolinablue
09-22-2008, 05:42 PM
Just wanted to say thanks for the tips . I toned it down and had fun per your suggestions. I even was asked by the visiting team if I would come out their way and call some games this week, they really liked the job I did. I didn't do anything special though, just hustled and looked like I gave a crap. Perception is reality.

The only problem I had is my back is killing me today. Those young kids strike zone is way down there.

Richard_Siegel
09-22-2008, 06:19 PM
None of the text enhancements, like bold, and italics seems to work.....?

To the issue of your back hurting from the little kids low strike zones.... When doing very small kids, you do NOT have to squat down any lower than you do for regular sized teens. Just accept that your body will not allow you to comfortably set up at the top of the strike zone. Just use your normal plate stance at your normal head height.

Concentrate on adjusting your mental perception of the strike zone to accomodate your higher head height. This is not hard to do. After three batters you will have adjusted. From then on the rest of the game will be normal and your back will thank you.

If there is anything negative about this, I find you might call some strikes a few inches higher than you would with your head at the top of the strike zone. With little kids, that is not a bad thing at all!

western_ump
09-22-2008, 11:43 PM
I had a rough day that day. I wasn't mentally prepared and it was very windy and the wind was really effecting the pitches. It was messing with me. I have never encountered that before. A lot of late movement on them.

If you're tracking the ball properly, and using propper timing, you won't have problems with the wind/rain/noise/grass/pitcher/batter/catcher, etc...

Just a suggestion.