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Unread 04-16-2005, 08:49 PM   #1
JBowling
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Default Fan Ejection

I ejected a person in baseball for the first time in two years today. It was a fan.

This was a varsity level contest. In the bottom of the first inning, the opposing team's pitcher, a side arm pitcher, was missing the strike zone low and away on a consistent basis because of the motion that he had on the ball.

With every pitch that missed in this location, the ejected fan loudly objected to the call. At one point, the fan even yelled, "come on blue, don't squeeze him out there." This fan's reaction started to incite other fans to start to object to pitches that were called balls low and away. So at the end of playing action, I took a few steps toward where this fan was sitting and simply said, "Sir, you are gone." Of course, this brought on a tirade from the fan about how I was calling the game. I asked the opposing team's coach to take care of this fan. The home school A.D. was not in attendance nor was there an identified game administrator. The coach told the gentleman that he had to go.

After the game, my partner and I were walking to our cars. The fan was waiting for us with a few quips of personal attacks on me and my sexuality, which he knows absolutely nothing about. I just kept on walking.

Any thoughts on how this situation could have been handled differently?
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Unread 04-16-2005, 09:04 PM   #2
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If you truly felt the guy needed to go you need to tell the home coach or administrator(which in this case you couldn't find) then it is up to them to remove the guilty party.

Umpires don't eject fans, it just isn't the way things are.

It looks very OOO, especially in your situation, if the guy isn't screaming profanities or anything else offensive then he is within his rights as a paying spectator.

Hell, there is nothing I love better than large crowd sitting close to the plate riding my a$$ after every pitch.

Sounds to me like you are the exact opposite, you need to either learn to tune them out, or embrace the "love" the fans have for you.
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Unread 04-16-2005, 09:09 PM   #3
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When I feel that the fan is disrupting the game or becoming out of control, I will go to the team's head coach and tell him that he needs to control the fan or fans. If that dosnt work, I will tell the coach to have the fan or fans removed from the park.

I would not go directly to the fan. I think that going directly to the fan, puts you at a disadvantage because now it's one against many. Not that it would'nt eventually get there, but it does give you some space and might get the fan or fans to stop.
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Unread 04-16-2005, 09:13 PM   #4
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One suggestion: Why not try calling it the way the fans would like? One would expect your strike zone to bounce around a bit, but as long as the fans are happy; right?

On a serious note: It has been my experience that when a sidearmer is missing it almost always is to the outside and usually low. So I hear what you are saying.

Since it was a fan I think I would have given the coach one chance to get him under control. The next peep out of him and EJ would have followed. I don't think it is OOO to EJ a fan especially if he is inciting others. I have never ejected a fan personally but I have told far more than one that the rules apply equally to the spectators. This has always been enough.
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Unread 04-16-2005, 10:53 PM   #5
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I'm with ww870 here. Unless a fan is using obscene language or profanity or is shouting threats towards you, you can't do anything about it. If it does happen, you ask the manager/AD/security to remove the fan.
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Unread 04-17-2005, 08:27 AM   #6
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The thing about this situation is that in talking to my partner after the games were over. He felt that this same fan was giving him $h1t the first game as well.

After this particular fan got the EJ, everyone was settled and calm the rest of the game and the game progressed rather nicely.

I'm not proud of the fact that I EJ'ed a fan. I feel that had I not EJ'ed him that game management would have been a mute point.
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Unread 04-17-2005, 09:58 PM   #7
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let me preface this with the fact that i don't work HS ball, and i don't know FED rules. OK, that being said...is there a rule somewhere in HS or FED ball that says you can dump fans??? fans aren't a part of the game. if you can't work with them harassing you, you're probably in the wrong profession. the ONLY reason i would agree with having a fan removed is if they were threating me, or anyone else. notice i said "having a fan removed" and not "removing a fan". fans are not there for us, as umpires, to dump.
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Unread 04-18-2005, 04:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeaky
fans are not there for us, as umpires, to dump.
No one is there for us to dump; not the coaches, players, fans or other authorized persons. However, when they engage in behavior that conflicts with the orderly procession of a game they are ALL liable to be ejected. That bit you wrote insinuating that there is a difference between "having someone removed" and "removing someone" is garbage. There is no difference. I reject your comments emphatically.
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Unread 04-18-2005, 06:46 AM   #9
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Oh, there is definitely a difference between, "having a fan removed" and "removing a fan".

If a fan's behavior escalates to the point that they need to go, you have security, the home club, or school representative, depending on what level you are working take care of getting the fan to leave.

As umpires, we should never acknowledge that the spectators even exist (kinda like assistant coaches, huh Tee, ), much less should we approach the screen and tell a fan that they are gone.

That is the epitome of OOO. The fans don't exist. Keep your mind between the lines, and do the job that you are paid to do.
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Unread 04-18-2005, 09:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ww870
Oh, there is definitely a difference between, "having a fan removed" and "removing a fan".
Okay, I will split hairs with you. Of course there is a difference between you the umpire directly ejecting a fan (eg: saying "sir you are gone" and giving him the mechanic) and having another official eject him. My point is at the end of the day he is gone at the umpire's insistence no matter who physically tells the offender to leave. My original statement stands.
I would never attempt to eject a fan face-to-face (and I would not advise anyone else to). If you do, the fan is probably going to tell you to stick it where the sun don't shine. Then you are going to have to go and get another official (probably the coach) to see the offender out or suffer the penalties; which is what you should have done to start with.
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Unread 04-19-2005, 04:11 AM   #11
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If you can't take what a fan says or encites you are shouldn't be out there. It has been part of the game since it started. I understand at the youth level there may be causes for a umpire to ask a coach to have a fan leave. At the HS level and above deal with it... let that fan look like an idiot, not you. I remember my first D1 plate job, I had a fan threatening to kick my ass after the game! Ignore it it is part of our profession. Go out there and dedicate 100% focus on what happens on the field...not off of it. As far as I am concerend when I work a game there is no crowd..if you want to move up you need to learn to tune them out.
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Unread 04-19-2005, 06:53 PM   #12
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Most of you have commented that the fans have a right to be at the game and that umpires have to block out the reactionary comments at times...to which I agree.

Unfortunately in our area (thanks to hockey and the verbal - and sometimes physical - abuse the spectators give to referees), our local association has implemented some rules in respect to conduct by a fan during a game being played within our city parks, (as a matter of fact the city brain trust has made a local by-law outlining the circumstances and penalties if this happens).

While this is probably not the case in your areas, we do as umpires have the right to expel a fan from the game surroundings (at least to the parking lot away from the diamond) providing in our judgment the behavour has gone beyond the normal decorum found during a baseball game, (my partner in a play off game last year was kind enough to expel one of the kids mothers for comments and actions unbecoming a first born child bearer!!!).

Sometimes we must remember the fans (good or bad) are part of the atmosphere of a game and while they tell us (sometimes too often), that we've blown a call, hey...it keeps us on our toes!!! This is why through this forum, we learn to interpret and present the rules as we see it. It's still a game...and a very good one at that.
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