Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Umpiring 102

I umpired my 2d game last night, for free, at our local LL field.  The place has a little room called the Umpires lounge that you and I would call a closet. I will admit they supply top shelf gear for the volunteer umps. I grabbed my chest protector, shin guards and mask and head out to the field.  They also have a balls and strikes hand clicker for the umps to use. I grabbed one quick out of the plastic tub. Later that will mean something important. 
My #4 so joined me at the game and he got to manage the scoreboard.  He was in heaven and sat behind all night. A different kind of father/son bonding.  (But I love it just the same)
Let's get to the game, shall we?  It was a longggggggg one.  It lasted 6 innings, with 8 pitching changes and 31 runs. I had multiple calls at the plate, a couple at third and an interference call I had to make. I will explain the interference in detail, but first the closest play at the plate. It was truly a close play, probably the closest I had in a long while. The good news was I had a great 4 foot view of it.  I can honestly say the runner was safe by a pinky toe.  The throw came in, the catcher caught and started to apply the tag from my left. The runner was sliding in to the plate from my right.  The catcher slid his glove across the plate just as the runner was sliding in. I saw it clear as day. The runners left foot pinky toe touched the front edge of the corner of the plate a microsecond  before the tag.  I made the call, SAFE, and the catchers bench went nuts.
Now to the interference, and I am telling you this because the interference was on the same team as the catcher.  Ball is hit into the gap in right center with a man at first and one out. Man on first runs around the bases and the other teams third baseman interferes with him as he is rounding 3rd. I drop my mask and allow the play to continue.  The runner is tagged out, called out by me, at Home, not even close.  I call time.
I head to the visitors bench and advise them the run counts since I called interference. They are happy.
I head to the interfering teams bench to tell the coach and needless to say he is livid.  Tough day.
So there you have it, a out and run scored on same play. Now I want you to know that the team that seemed to get all the bad calls won the game with a bottom of the 6th walk off double.
It is no surprise to me why they have a hard time getting volunteer umpires. It is great knowing I was being watched by my son though.

Add to all this my knees aching and you can imagine why I like to get paid.  Advil.......Lots and lots.

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