Friday, April 23, 2010
UPDATE: After a game this weekend, I've now tried to change the angle of this call. Rather than simply hold my position and allow the throw to come from behind me, I was able, on a few plays, to shift to my left, almost taking me back to the "B" position. This gave me a better look. I find it to be a tough call but that helps.
Posted by JJ Shea at 12:27 PM
Monday, April 19, 2010
For those that are not umpires at the youth level, I’ll let you in on a secret: We’re not all experts when it comes to the rulebook. Have you ever read the real, unabridged baseball rulebook? It’s packed with information, written in an odd type of legalese and it sometimes contradicts itself. We read it, we know it but we don’t know it all, completely.
I believe that since we know so much about the rulebook, we understand how much we don’t know – if that makes sense. In my experience I can tell you that we know it better than many of the coaches out there. I say that with a bit of humility because when I coached, I thought I knew the rulebook. That’s why we talk to one another...often.
We do more than our fair share of research. We peruse websites, take online tests and read the rulebook for fun…for fun! In our small group, we actually have access to a MLB umpire who has encouraged us to email him with questions. He’s a great guy that instructs at an annual camp we attend and loves the game.
My umpiring relationships remind me of something I learned in college. You can study all you want but study groups can really help. It’s such a benefit for a fellow umpire to arrive and say, “I had a situation yesterday…”
Posted by JJ Shea at 2:35 PM