Baseball

Baseball

Just Deal With It!

I f umpiring were simply confined to ball/strike, fair/foul and safe/out rulings, it would still be a game fraught with disagreements about arbiter judgments, but...

So You Say You Want Games?

Ispent years as an umpire assigner from Little League to major college and, of course, I worked for my fair share. All have pet...

Dead Ball Ground Rules Needed For Quirky Ballfields

Very few baseball fields are identical. While infields are all alike, size-wise, the shape of the outfield will vary and the alignment of outfield...

Listen Up to Go Up

“Keep your mouth shut and listen.” Although it sounds harsh, it might be one of the most important pieces of advice an aspiring umpire can...

Which Strike Do I Get?

An old adage that we hear from time to time is, “When in doubt, call ’em out.” While that is a myth that shouldn’t be...

11 Hacks for Onfield Umpires

With a new baseball season rolling along, here are a few tips and hacks involving plate work that can help you out as an...

Take a Wedge

The evolution of the mechanics of calling plays at home plate has been fascinating to observe. Plate umpires can make decisions on 250 to 300...

Rungs of the ladder

In my time as a minor league and collegiate umpire and supervisor, I was often asked what umpires should do to move up the...

Hip, Hip No Way: Yankees vs. Dodgers 1978 World Series

Reggie Jackson earned the nickname Mr. October because of his bat. But a baserunning play swung the 1978 World Series in favor of Jackson’s...

Batboys

Where are all the batboys? What happened to them? And when did they disappear? In this context, I’m referring to the little kids (usually but...

Right Foot Forward

It’s a basic rules concept that the location of a fielder’s feet in fair or foul territory has no impact on the fair/foul determination...

Balk This Way

In many cases, not much happens after a balk. The runners get to advance one base, a defensive coach may squawk, but all playing...

The Stands Have Eyes

F or roughly the first half of my amateur umpiring career — which lasted from 1966-2016 — umpires could go about their business without having...
Baseball Umpire Larger Crew

Nail the Postseason Transition to a Larger Crew

As high school baseball enters the postseason, umpires face a major transition beyond the mere increased intensity of the games. In many states, the arrival of postseason play brings...

When To Stop A Game

When to stop a game because of darkness or weather are among the toughest calls of an umpire's career. Next to those, you might think...

No Happy Accidents

Last summer, I was working the bases as part of a two-person crew when it became apparent the defensive team was thinking about making...

Changing a Call

For many years, an umpire changing a call was considered a sign of weakness. The current thinking at all levels of play is that...

Players Can Drop Clues to Help On Tough Calls

I didn’t get away with much as a kid. If I’d broken a family heirloom or eaten the last piece of pie, I’d crack under even the...

On Your Mark, Get Set … Stay There

Recently, I came across a couple of film clips taken from major league games played decades ago. In one, an umpire called a tag...

Proper Path

In the top of the seventh inning in Game 6 of the World Series on Oct. 29, 2019, the Washington Nationals had Yan Gomes...

It’s High Time to Talk Timing

U mpires always stress the importance of good timing behind the plate (and on the bases, but that’s a topic for another day). But to...

Supplemental Signals

On a force play when the ball initially beat the runner, but the fielder had leaped or pulled his foot off the base to...

Optimal Positioning at Home Plate

The evolution of the mechanics of calling plays at home plate has been fascinating to observe. Plate umpires can make decisions on 250 to 300...

Use Your Head With Doubleheaders

By Jon Bible Doubleheaders (DH) can be the bane of an umpire’s existence. At the most basic level, a DH just means two games instead of one, whether of...

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