Friday, April 22, 2011

A very soggy night

Last night was doomed from the start. About an hour before the game, half of the state of Missouri was covered in heavy rain so it was only a matter of time before it got to us in St. Louis. We were able to get in the first game, barely, but we did not get the second one in.

Last night I worked a Boys 12 Select Tournament game. It was a very well played game. I worked the plate and called a good game. I am trying to get back into working the box behind the plate instead of the scissors. When I was at umpire school, they wouldn't allow us to do anything other than the box but I was always more comfortable in the scissors. However, the more and more I work the box, I am finding that I am better able to see the outside corner of the plate in the box and I am better able to "lock in". By lock in, I mean that when the pitch is thrown, an umpire should not move his head at all. He should follow the pitch with only his eyes, moving your head, changes the strike zone.

Anyways, there really wasn't anything exciting in the gameplay of the game, however the rain made the game interesting. One tip I will give all young umpires about playing in the rain is this, if you think for any reason that the field is become unsafe because of the rain, stop the game and see if you can fix it. Last night, it was raining pretty hard but the field wasn't getting too wet but the bases and pitching rubber was. I had two kids slip running across home plate and three fall over trying to round a base. I stopped the game so we could take a look at the field and get the bases cleaned off. It made a big difference until the top of the 6th when it started pouring. Now, in this case, there were two outs and the tying run was on 2nd so I finished the at bat because we were close to the end. If that batter had gotten on, I would have ended the game.

It was a good night at the park. I would have liked to have gotten both games in.

Ok, before I end this post, I need to get on my soap box again, last night in my boys 12 games, I had kids throwing a TON of curve balls and they were taught to do it in a way that is really going to hurt them. As a parent of a 2 year old, if my son ever becomes a pitcher and his coach (most likely it will be me but if it isn't) tries to get him to throw a breaking ball, I'll pull him off the team. Today's youth coaches are so interested in winning that they forget that their job is to teach the game of baseball to the kids and to help them learn the skills that will make them successful at the next level. In this case it would be high school. Learning how to throw a curve ball is not doing that. Teaching them the proper pitching mechanics is. It drives me crazy that parents allow coaches to do this to their children.

Ok enough of my rant....have a good weekend everybody...hope it stays dry.

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