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Who's call is it?

Jul 15, 2015
85
18
No runners on, batter hits a soft liner between pitcher and 2B. Second basemen comes up and makes diving catch. Plate umpire calls out, runner has ran the play out to first base and comes back and stands on first. Second basemen didn't throw to first because of out call. Plate umpire again confirms call to batter that she's out while standing on bag. Field umpire calls time and discusses with plate umpire. Call is reversed because the field umpire said he saw the ball come out (which it didn't confirmed by GoPro video).

So plate umpire, who has clear vision of the play, makes the correct call. Confirms it. Field umpire behind the play, makes incorrect call and overrides the original call?
 
Last edited:
May 29, 2015
1,166
113
Ehh ...

Typically the plate umpire has all fly balls. (There is an exception, but it doesn’t apply here.)

On something like that, it is not uncommon for the base umpire to be giving a discreet sign for catch/no catch, but it is the plate umpire’s call.

Usually you don’t get together for more information unless the umpire making the call initiates the meeting and asks for more information. Usually you don’t correct the call unless the initiating umpire has some doubt and the other umpire can provide definitive information.

On the other hand ... it is better to get the call right. Doesn’t sound like they did, but I am curious if we start to see it become more acceptable for conferences initiated by the non-calling umpire in an effort to get calls correct.

Ideally, all input should be equal. However, you often see times where age or experience wins out in the discussion.
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,414
113
Florida
No runners on, batter hits a soft liner between pitcher and 2B. Second basemen comes up and makes diving catch. Plate umpire calls out, runner has ran the play out to first base and comes back and stands on first. Second basemen didn't throw to first because of out call. Plate umpire again confirms call to batter that she's out while standing on bag. Field umpire calls time and discusses with plate umpire. Call is reversed because the field umpire said he saw the ball come out (which it didn't confirmed by GoPro video).
It isn't the field umpires place to initiate a conversation about a decision after the play has finished especially on what is a judgement call. The Plate Umpire has made a call which was his to make. If the plate umpire wants to get more information from his partner (coach or no coach coming out) he can intiate a conversation to get that info, but the non-calling umpire shouldn't be the one doing so. If the plate judged there was a catch, then there was a catch.

So plate umpire, who has clear vision of the play, makes the correct call. Confirms it. Field umpire behind the play, makes incorrect call and overrides the original call?
Just to be clear - mo matter what happened or how it looked - this isn't an 'override' - the final decision is still on the umpire who made the initial call.

The field umpire is unfortunately in the wrong here in what he did (the call itself doesn't matter - I would be just as mad if the opposite scenario from the one above happened where I didn't call a catch, and they think there was a catch). In their mind he is probably 'trying to get the call right' or 'help his partner' but he is really doing the opposite because this is NOT proper mechanics/process. Also good luck finding a remedy that is going to please anyone in this sort of situation.

Just as an aisde - if my partner did this to me.... In game - first I would want to know what he is calling time about. Then, no matter what he said he saw, I would very likley tell him it was my call to make and I saw a catch or I wouldn't have called it and if I wanted to discuss it with him I would have done so. The out would have stood and afterwards in private I would be VERY, VERY unhappy with how he did what he did. It would very likley be the last game they would ever do with me.

Lastly - GoPro video - just delete it or forget it. We can't use it for decisions so it is meaningless in any discussion. Either the umpires did what they were meant to do in making a decision (right or wrong) or they messed up ow they made the call - which in this case the field umpire clearly messed up. Whether the ball was actually caught or not is somewhat superfluous to what happened. That may sound weird to a non-umpire, but how you execute your mechanics and procedures as an umpire is a major part of getting as many calls right as you humanly can and how the mgame is managed and officiated which is why it is is so important that umpires do it right.
 
Jan 5, 2018
210
43
PNW
Just as an aisde - if my partner did this to me.... In game - first I would want to know what he is calling time about. Then, no matter what he said he saw, I would very likley tell him it was my call to make and I saw a catch or I wouldn't have called it and if I wanted to discuss it with him I would have done so. The out would have stood and afterwards in private I would be VERY, VERY unhappy with how he did what he did. It would very likley be the last game they would ever do with me.
Marriard- thanks for the great explanation. We just finished our 14u state tournament. Game 4 on Saturday the PU and FU were talking outside our dugout just before the game. No one was near until I walked over to grab water from our cooler. They discussed the game, mechanics, expectations of each other. The FU assured the PU that she did things the same way (a little defensive). The PU was very clear that he always reviews these things with his partner before game. I loved hearing their conversation and how much the PU wanted to get calls right and call the game correctly.
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,414
113
Florida
Marriard- thanks for the great explanation. We just finished our 14u state tournament. Game 4 on Saturday the PU and FU were talking outside our dugout just before the game. No one was near until I walked over to grab water from our cooler. They discussed the game, mechanics, expectations of each other. The FU assured the PU that she did things the same way (a little defensive). The PU was very clear that he always reviews these things with his partner before game. I loved hearing their conversation and how much the PU wanted to get calls right and call the game correctly.
Yes a proper pregame conversation especially with an unfamiliar partner is important.

We minimally go over the field, mechanics, courtesy runner rule, how we handle line drives down right field with no one on, coverage, etc.
 
May 29, 2015
1,166
113
It is amazing how many umpires tell me they do things by the book ... and then I am left wondering which book.

The pregame is very important. If I have never worked with somebody before, I can usually gauge by the pregame how the game is going to go with my partner. Time to relax or time to prepare for the coming storm?
 
Jun 7, 2019
142
28
I always have a pregame talk with an ump who I've either never worked with or who I haven't worked with in a long time. This weekend we had many big tournaments to cover and used out of town umpires to fill in. Had two new partners in two days. While it's always important to do things the right way, it's imperative that we do them the same way.

Two examples. I always go over 'runner on 2B, ground ball to SS, runner delays taking off for third until SS makes the throw' mechanics. Championship game Sat night, BU says he doesn't need me to come up the line to make the call on the throw back to third. We talk about it, he insists he's got it, and since it was a 1:30 AM start, I was way too tired to argue.

Next morning, after 90 minutes of sleep before an 8:00 AM start, I've got the bases. College ump with me has got the plate. He says that he'll take the fair/foul call to the bags, and I'll take them past the bags out to the foul poles. Uh....no. There's no chalk lines past the dirt, so I tell him he can line up the plate, 1B/3B bags and the foul pole and make that call himself.

Important point is that whether the mechanics are right or wrong, it's really important that we know what we're going to do so that we don't end up with 2 opposing calls at third, or two different calls when the ball bounces near where the OF foul line is supposed to be, but isn't.
 
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