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Unread 06-27-2008, 07:16 PM   #1
Richard_Siegel
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Default Retroactive appeal again.

Its funny how things come at you in bunches. Last night I had a situation simliar to my previous "Retroactive appeal" thread but this time I was the BU.

Senior Legion Ball. No outs. One runner at 3B. The batter hits a monster high fly ball that is coming down just behind 2B on the outfield grass. F4, F6 and F8 are converged to make the catch. The play had all the appearances that the ball would not be caught because of the windy conditions and with the 3 confused fielders all hollering for the ball.

Out of nowhere the second baseman lunges and catches the ball. He rolls on the ground and holds onto the ball. "That's a catch!" I hear the 3BC yelling at his runner, "What are you doing? Get back!" I figured R3 must have tagged-up at 3B and started sneaking down the line towards HP expecting F4 on the ground to not be able to collect himself and throw the ball to the Plate.

However, F4 come up on his knees throws a bullet to 3B. I am in the C position with my back to R3 and whatever was is doing. I let the throw turn me to the play. I see R3 diving back to 3B. F5 catches the ball an instant before I see R3's fingers reach the base. The throw was high giving F5 had no chance to tag R3. I called him safe because F5 was not able tag.

Instantly F5 is looking at me like I have 3 heads. The 3BC says, "We'll take it!" I immediately knew something was wrong when I heard the 3BC say, "We'll take it!" That is coach-speak for, "We know the umpire kicked the call, but since the call favors us, we will not complain!"

My partner calls "time." He comes over and we speak....

I ask him, "What have you got for me?" He asks me, "Did you think the runner tagged up?" I say, "Yes." My partner explains, "Well he didn't. He left on the hit and almost reached the plate! He turned and was going back to 3B to not get double-up!"

I go right to the 3BC who is also the HC and I explained my misunderstanding of the situation to him. He was OK with it, since he, by his "We'll take it," comment, had already admitted I kicked the call!
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Unread 06-27-2008, 09:15 PM   #2
shickenbottom
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This is probably one of the most difficult plays for the Field Umpire. #1, since there is a fly ball in your coverage area (cone, V), you've got the catch / no catch. #2, since you have a R3, on all fly balls, HP has the tag up with the exception of down the Right field line. #3, since you are the Field Umpire, you have all plays at 1st, 2nd, and any runner returning to 3rd.

I'm one of those umpires that will check if I have a question on a swipe tag, pulled foot, ect, if there is a reasonable doubt in my mind. I try to make it a habit of one play, one call. In this situation, if I saw the 3rd baseman with his foot on the bag, and the runner was late getting back, but no tag was attempted or pplied, I would probably point to my partner and ask if he's got a re-touch prior to the play. Then based on the response, give the safe or bang the out.

Based on your response, I'd have a word with your partner for calling time and comming over to speak with you. He threw you under the bus. Although justified in correcting the call, he needs to give you ample time for you to make your own decision to come to him for any information he has. The Plate umpire may have the re-touch or appeal of 3rd, the attempted tag play back into 3rd is still the Field Umpires.

This is where an Umpires "I Have Information" signal can help you out. Whether it's an open palm across the chest, removing hat and fiddling with it, or some other pre-determined signal. Seeing this as the Field Umpire in these situations, allows you to call time and converse, rather than giving the appearance that he is over-ruling your call.
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Unread 06-27-2008, 10:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shickenbottom
Based on your response, I'd have a word with your partner for calling time and comming over to speak with you. He threw you under the bus. Although justified in correcting the call, he needs to give you ample time for you to make your own decision to come to him for any information he has....
I was the only person on that field that didn't know what was going on. I kicked a call and everybody knew it. I was very grateful that by partner called time and came over. There was noone thrown under any buses here. I clearly DID make my own decision already and it was dead wrong. My partner immediately knew I didn't know the runner left the base without tagging because it was a dumb-ass thing for a runner at that level of play to do. He knew I would have never expected that. I think it made us look very good that we got together right away and got the play right. The point is that my partner was not correcting a judgment call. Here was pointing out that I had misapplied a rule.
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Unread 06-27-2008, 11:25 PM   #4
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Richard:
Good work. And I agree with you. Nobody got thrown under the bus. Kudos to your partner for not letting you "die" with an obviously wrong call. Right or wrong, I have told my partners for years, "Don't let me make a mistake. If you see something that we can fix, tell me."
It does work well in that, then, my partner is providing information that I obviously don't have and allowing me to make the final decision.
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Unread 06-27-2008, 11:28 PM   #5
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Richard,

I have learned that R3 is the PU's responsibility on a tag up, which seems to be the right mechanics referring to your post. You, being BU, have your back turned towards R3. Even if PU might have some difficulty to get the right angle on the flyball and R3, you have no possibility at all to get both in your line of sight.

In my opinion, you should not have made the call on R3.
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Unread 06-27-2008, 11:40 PM   #6
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I agree with the "no bus" comments. In this case, your partner calling time was probably a few seconds before the DC comes out to you and says "Please ask your partner".--and you know that was coming. Your pards actions make you look good as a crew, as opposed to making it seem like the DC's request caused you both to get together which then changed the call.....
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Unread 06-28-2008, 01:01 AM   #7
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Richard.. I hate to say this... but your loss is our great gain.

I wonder how many of us truly thought this play through BEFORE it happened..

I know I didn't

UNTIL NOW!
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Unread 06-28-2008, 03:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcmeyer
Richard,

I have learned that R3 is the PU's responsibility on a tag up, which seems to be the right mechanics referring to your post. You, being BU, have your back turned towards R3. Even if PU might have some difficulty to get the right angle on the flyball and R3, you have no possibility at all to get both in your line of sight.

In my opinion, you should not have made the call on R3.
If you're saying the PU should have made the call on R3 going back into 3B that would wrong. It would also make the BU look like an idiot. How can you expect a man standing 100 feet from the play and looking straight up the 3B line at a runner diving back into the base to make a call when another umpire is standing 20 feet away with a perfect angle on the play? It would be a call by the PU with zero credibility. The PU would be guessing.

A play on R3 going back into 3B has to be the BU's call.

This was a highly unusual play. It involved a runner doing a very stupid thing. As many of us have said many time before on this forum, the 2 man system is not perfect and requires a lot of cheating and comprimises. This is a play that fell into one of those cracks. Lucky for us there are not too many of them.
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Unread 06-28-2008, 12:08 PM   #9
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Richard,

Per the PBUC manual with a runner 3rd only, on 1st & 3rd, 2nd & 3rd or bases loaded, and when the fly ball is the base umpires responsability, the tag up at 3rd is the plate umpires responsability (PBUC, 2006, Pgs 46, 64,73 & 77).

So on an appeal wouldn't it be the plate umpires call-if you are using PBUC mechanics?
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Unread 06-28-2008, 12:42 PM   #10
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I know this is easy to say with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, but remember "watch the ball - glance at the runners." With a "monster" fly ball, you would have a chance to take a peek at R3 to see what he is doing. Is he running on the contact or is he headed back to the base? If he was headed home, it would be fair to assume he hadn't tagged when his next move is scrambling back to 3rd. Bang him out.

Having said that, I doubt that I would have done that as BU. In the future, thanks to Richard's post, I will.

Great post Richard. Definitely NOT a TWP.
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Unread 06-28-2008, 12:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean
Richard,

Per the PBUC manual with a runner 3rd only, on 1st & 3rd, 2nd & 3rd or bases loaded, and when the fly ball is the base umpires responsability, the tag up at 3rd is the plate umpires responsability (PBUC, 2006, Pgs 46, 64,73 & 77).

So on an appeal wouldn't it be the plate umpires call-if you are using PBUC mechanics?
Yes, if it's a "relaxed action" apeal, with R3 now in the dugout.

Probably (99%) not in the play as described.
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Unread 06-28-2008, 08:42 PM   #12
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I was at a 3-man camp this week. I asked one of the instructors and the reply was pretty much consistent with shickenbottom's 2nd paragraph.
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Unread 06-29-2008, 12:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean
Richard,

Per the PBUC manual with a runner 3rd only, on 1st & 3rd, 2nd & 3rd or bases loaded, and when the fly ball is the base umpires responsability, the tag up at 3rd is the plate umpires responsability (PBUC, 2006, Pgs 46, 64,73 & 77).

So on an appeal wouldn't it be the plate umpires call-if you are using PBUC mechanics?
If R3 was sitting in the dugout and before the next pitch they appealed at 3B that R3 left too soon, then you are right, that appeal call is the PU's. But for any call on R3 going back into 3B during playing action it belongs to the BU.

You have to remember the I did not make the call with "appeal" in my mind. The 3BC yeslling "get back!" made me think he had left before the catch. In hindsight a swivel of the head to check on R3 prior to the ball coming downmight have helped, however, it is my MO that I usually do that head swivel after the catch. If it is not caught, no swivel needed! When F4 lunged to catch the ball and rolled on the ground, he ate up my head swivel time and I had to stay with him to wait to make the catch/no-catch call. He immediately came up throwing so I never got the chance to look away and glance at R3.

The failure to attempt a tag on R3 by F5 did not give me a clue that it was a continuos action appeal because the throw was very high. F5 had to stretch to his tippy-toes to catch the throw. F5 stayed on the base. A second after the catch, R3 slide back and grabbed the base. Seeing F5 not trying to tag R3 made sense to me as normal because F5 was all stretched out when the runner arrived, there was no opportunity for F5 to tag the runner. I did not realize at that moment he did not have to tag the runner.

The play was a "perfect storm" of situtations, that IMO would have prevented any umpire who did his job right from making the right call. I was lucky that the coaches (whom I worked with many times before) involved were glad to see the game umpired properly and the play was called by the rules. The offense did want get a runner safely back on third because of a bad call.

The PU mentioned to me after the game that the catcher was yelling "no-tag." If heard that it would have changed everything. But I guess it wasn't loud enough.
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