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View Full Version : Catcher drops called 3rd strike


rarias3
06-11-2009, 10:39 PM
Hey guys, wanted to get your take on this. Normally, when I umpire kids that are HS age, if the catcher drops any corner/slightly off the plate, I'll let em know that if they want that pitch, they're going to have to catch it. However, with some of the younger ones on the 70' Babe Ruth diamond, some can't even catch pitches that split the plate in half, which I can't blame the pitcher for so I have to call a strike. What I want to clear up is what should be the proper mechanic for calling a dropped, called third strike? Keep in mind the 70' Babe Ruth rules are the same rules the big kids play by, so a tag of the runner or first base would be necessary.

I've stopped myself a couple times in the middle of my "STRIKE 3" punchout because the little squirt dropped a pitch that was waist high right down the pipe!!! I then pointed to the ground as I would on a normal swinging third strike. What should I do???

CoachJM
06-11-2009, 10:44 PM
rarias,

First, SLOW DOWN!

Second, should the batter become a runner on a third strike not caught, simply point or hammer and verbalize the strike as you would on any called strike where the batter is not out.

If the catcher or BR shows any sign of confusion as to whether you judged the pitch was caught or not, verbalize "No Catch!". You may also give a "Safe" mechanic as you do so.

JM

papablue62
06-11-2009, 10:45 PM
What I want to clear up is what should be the proper mechanic for calling a dropped, called third strike? Keep in mind the 70' Babe Ruth rules are the same rules the big kids play by, so a tag of the runner or first base would be necessary.

What I've been trained is to use your normal strike 3 mechanic, followed by a silent, palms-down, arms-extended-to-the-sides signal to signify the dropped third strike.

John

Richard_Siegel
06-11-2009, 11:10 PM
.....I've stopped myself a couple times in the middle of my "STRIKE 3" punchout because the little squirt dropped a pitch that was waist high right down the pipe!!! I then pointed to the ground as I would on a normal swinging third strike. What should I do???

What should you do? CALL THE STRIKE!!

With 12 y/o pitchers you don't want to give away strikes, you don't get that many. Why penalize the pitcher for the catcher dropping the ball? I don't get it.

CoachJM
06-11-2009, 11:20 PM
Richard,

I believe he already understands that.

He's asking a mechanics question.

JM

rarias3
06-11-2009, 11:25 PM
What should you do? CALL THE STRIKE!!

With 12 y/o pitchers you don't want to give away strikes, you don't get that many. Why penalize the pitcher for the catcher dropping the ball? I don't get it.

Rich,

I think maybe I wasn't clear in my initial post, I am definitely not questioning whether I should call it a strike or not. Believe me, I've learned that with any kids younger than JV ball, you have to take strikes whenever you can or else my legs will not like me the next day. My question is to what my mechanics should be in this situation. I know I need to slow down a bit and make sure not to start my punchout if the catcher drops the pitch, but wasn't sure if I should point to the ground as I normally do on a dropped third strike?

Richard_Siegel
06-11-2009, 11:30 PM
Rich,

...I know I need to slow down a bit and make sure not to start my punchout if the catcher drops the pitch, ......

This what I don't understand... why would you not punchout the batter if the catcher drops the ball? If it is strike 3, call it. If the ball is not caught, that is another mechanic. "no catch"

rarias3
06-11-2009, 11:41 PM
This what I don't understand... why would you not punchout the batter if the catcher drops the ball? If it is strike 3, call it. If the ball is not caught, that is another mechanic. "no catch"

I think we're on the same page...if the catcher drops the pitch, it's a strike but the punchout is the wrong mechanic, right? a simple, normal strike call would be the mechanic, do i need to verbalize the "no catch" even if everyone sees the catcher drop the pitch?

CoachJM
06-11-2009, 11:46 PM
This what I don't understand... why would you not punchout the batter if the catcher drops the ball? ...

Richard,

Huh??? How about because he's not out?

Do you really use the same "puchout" mechanic when a batter is out on a caught called third strike and when the batter has become a runner on an uncaught called third strike?

JM

Richard_Siegel
06-11-2009, 11:59 PM
Richard,

Huh??? How about because he's not out?

Do you really use the same "puchout" mechanic when a batter is out on a caught called third strike and when the batter has become a runner on an uncaught called third strike?

JM

Yes I do. It is a chain-saw pull and I say "Strike three!" ...Works for all situations.

dash_riprock
06-12-2009, 12:55 AM
Yes I do. It is a chain-saw pull and I say "Strike three!" ...Works for all situations.

Same here. Followed by the "no-catch" mechanic (as already stated). I got dinged at a college clinic for NOT using my normal called 3rd strike mechanic.

CoachJM
06-12-2009, 01:24 AM
Yes I do. It is a chain-saw pull and I say "Strike three!" ...Works for all situations.

Same here. Followed by the "no-catch" mechanic (as already stated). I got dinged at a college clinic for NOT using my normal called 3rd strike mechanic.

Wow!!! YGTBSM!

I know both of you know your stuff, so this really surprises me - because it is VERY different from how I was taught.

I was always taught that your "puch-out" (whatever "style" you use) MEANS the batter is out. If the batter has become a runner on strike three you just indicate the strike (as you would on strike one or strike two), because the batter is not yet out.

Maybe it's a regional thing or I simply misunderstood.

I'd be very interested to get Tom Clarke and Tim_C's take on this.

JM

Matt13
06-12-2009, 01:57 AM
Yes I do. It is a chain-saw pull and I say "Strike three!" ...Works for all situations.

Same here. Followed by the "no-catch" mechanic (as already stated). I got dinged at a college clinic for NOT using my normal called 3rd strike mechanic.

I'm with these two.

mturman
06-12-2009, 02:56 AM
I am coming into this late...But in regards to the batter becoming a runner on the dropped third strike, this is not necessarily so...I am finding that the situation often reflects a batter being unaware of the situation (you often hear the coaches and team mates yelling 'run') so to assume that the batter automaticaly becomes a runner is not entirely correct. There is some discussion on this here in HI as well...We tend to use the strike 3 mechanic (I use the punch move) but do not indicate out, just strike 3...I do not point or make any other gesture as it may be misread by some as attempting to coach the batter to be aware of the play that has now developed. I move into position to await the outcome only (as should my partner)...

Richard_Siegel
06-12-2009, 03:23 AM
Wow!!! YGTBSM!

I know both of you know your stuff, so this really surprises me - because it is VERY different from how I was taught.

I was always taught that your "puch-out" (whatever "style" you use) MEANS the batter is out. If the batter has become a runner on strike three you just indicate the strike (as you would on strike one or strike two), because the batter is not yet out.

Maybe it's a regional thing or I simply misunderstood.

I'd be very interested to get Tom Clarke and Tim_C's take on this.

JM

Who was it who taught you that? The fact that the catcher has not caught the ball that was strike three has no bearing on the situation. You should do the same strike-3 mechanic, indicate "no-catch" if there might be a question on that, then watch the play.

I have never been taught or told by any instructor at any clinic I have been to that I must change my strike three mechanic if the catcher fails to catch that pitch.

RichCoyle
06-12-2009, 12:49 PM
Use your regular strike three mechanic and then silently signal safe to indicate to everyone, including your partner(s), that the ball was not caught.

And yes, by rule, the batter automatically becomes a runner when third strike is not caught; it doesn't matter whether he knows or not, that rule is not disputable. If he doesn't run to first he is liable to be put out, but he stille, by rule, became a batter-runner.

dash_riprock
06-12-2009, 02:22 PM
We tend to use the strike 3 mechanic (I use the punch move) but do not indicate out, just strike 3...I do not point or make any other gesture as it may be misread by some as attempting to coach the batter to be aware of the play that has now developed. I move into position to await the outcome only (as should my partner)...

Whether or not a pitch is caught is an umpire decision, and the batter and catcher need to know what that decision is, especially if it is caught near the dirt and there is doubt as to the batter's status. IMO, a "no-catch" mechanic in that situation is NOT coaching by any stretch of the imagination.

ExCop
06-12-2009, 02:35 PM
Here's what I do:

D3K, Batter Swings and Misses:
Point the strike to the side with right hand, three fingers pointing. If there appears to be confusion about whether or not the ball was caught, I will following with safe signal and a verbal "No catch!".

Batter Checks Swing, Pitch is not a strike
I will immediately appeal to BU "Did he go?!" and if yes, I will signal and verbalize either "No catch" or "Catch! Batter's Out!" (hammer)

D3K, Called (No Swing)
Verbal "Strike 3!", pointing to side with three fingers. If batter walks back to dugout I will signal the out when he leaves the dirt circle surrounding home plate. Same if F2 tags him. If there is confusion, I will signal and verbalize "No catch!". At higher levels, I will not call such a pitch a strike, however.

Richard_Siegel
06-12-2009, 02:39 PM
Whether or not a pitch is caught is an umpire decision, and the batter and catcher need to know what that decision is, especially if it is caught near the dirt and there is doubt as to the batter's status. IMO, a "no-catch" mechanic in that situation is NOT coaching by any stretch of the imagination.

I agree 100%. Most uncaught strike-3's are obvious as the ball rolls to the backstop, or shoots 8 feet off to the side, so no-catch in those cases are not required. But announcing, the status of the ball is always information that both teams should know and deserve to know. You never want the status of the ball to be in question by anyone of the field. That is why we call fair/foul when it is in question, catch/no-catch when it is question, and even ball/strike when it is in question.

Pete_Booth
06-12-2009, 08:27 PM
[QUOTE=CoachJM;87325]Wow!!! YGTBSM!

I was always taught that your "puch-out" (whatever "style" you use) MEANS the batter is out. If the batter has become a runner on strike three you just indicate the strike (as you would on strike one or strike two), because the batter is not yet out.

JM I do not know who taught you this because using your approach you have now TIPPED the "balance of power" because you changed your mechanic on a DK3 from what you normally do. If the batter is out you give your "punch out" mechanic but if he is not out you simply say strike 3 which IMO is altering / changing your mechanic.

When you "punch a batter out" that doesn't mean the batter is out per say and perhaps that's where your confusion lies. It simply means we have strike 3. I do the same as Richard meaning give the chainsaw STRIKE 3 but I do not say in the same breath the batter is out. I am merely indicating we have strike 3.

If it is a questionable DK3 I will then point to the ground to indicate that the ball was not caught cleanly. If I am unsure I will take a quick glance at my partner who will in turn indicate to me if the ball was caught cleanly or not. After that it's up to the particpants to react.

Pete Booth

Pete_Booth
06-12-2009, 09:19 PM
[QUOTE=ExCop;87376]Here's what I do:

If batter walks back to dugout I will signal the out when he leaves the dirt circle surrounding home plate.

True for OBR not FED. In FED it is the dugout or DBT.

Pete Booth

BT_Blue
06-12-2009, 11:32 PM
What I have gone to is a two part strike three call both physically and vocally. I start my strike three mechanic by reaching straight infront of my body with my right hand. Then will "pull the string" with my left. Vocally I will make my normal strike call then add a second vocal that is a heavy and a little louder.

On a dropped called third strike I will do the first part of my strike three mechanic (both physical and vocal) and then will come up with a safe signal showing that it was in fact strike three but that the ball was not caught.

Not sure what others do but thats what I do.

BT_Blue
06-12-2009, 11:33 PM
[QUOTE]

True for OBR not FED. In FED it is the dugout or DBT.

Pete Booth

I believe that NCAA is also the dirt circle.

HugoTafurst
06-14-2009, 12:43 AM
Wow!!! YGTBSM!

I know both of you know your stuff, so this really surprises me - because it is VERY different from how I was taught.

I was always taught that your "puch-out" (whatever "style" you use) MEANS the batter is out. If the batter has become a runner on strike three you just indicate the strike (as you would on strike one or strike two), because the batter is not yet out.

Maybe it's a regional thing or I simply misunderstood.

I'd be very interested to get Tom Clarke and Tim_C's take on this.

JM


FWIW,
My understanding is the the , "special, personailzed, STRIKE THREE mechanic" that some here are referring to as the "punch-OUT" is not an OUT mechanic, but a THIRD strike mechanic.

Therefore when you have strike THREE, you use it ( I use a straight ahead, chain saw type motion). The catch or no catch is the next action.

The straight (as opposed to side looking or skipping to the side that I've seen) enables you to pay attention to the catch / no- cactch situation.

Also, for what it's worth, I add the word "THREE", but I don't think I ever add "Batter's Out", or "OUT" on a strike 3 (Caught or not caught / swinging or non swinging)... Just:
HIIIIIIKE.....(pause daramatically - ;-) ) THREE.

Oh, if a batter mistakenly starts running up the first base line when already out, I may then say (loud enough for both batter and catcher to hear), "Batter's OUT" - I don't see this much anymore , except in the yunger players...