• “Hey Blue, the runner busted his butt running to first base, the least you could do is move 10 ft. to make a call!”~~~

  • “Wipe the dirt off that called strike, Blue!”~~~

  • “Hey Blue, did they stop printing the rulebook in Braille?”~~~

  • “Hey Blue, Lenscrafter called and said your new glasses will be ready in 30 minutes!”~~~

  • “You're killing me, Blue!”~~~

  • “Blue, that was a strike in any bowling alley!”~~~

  • “Sweep the plate Blue! It's the least you can do!”~~~

  • “Wake up Blue, you're missing a great game!”~~~

  • “Hey Blue, you're getting better, you almost made the right call that time!”~~~

  • “Hey Blue, Stevie Wonder could see that one!”~~~

  • “Hey Blue, you really shouldn't be in the game until you get warmed up!”~~~

  • “Blue, just 'cause it's a night game, doesn't mean you should be asleep!”~~~

  • “Blue, if that pitch were any further outside it would be in the West Desert!”~~~

  • “Somebody call the police, this guy is impersonating an umpire!”~~~

  • “Blue, now I know why there’s only one eye (I) in umpire”~~~

  • “You can go home Blue. We'll take it from here.”~~~

  • “Come on Blue, it’s a strike zone, not an end zone!”~~~

  • “Hey Blue, does your wife let you make decisions at home?”~~~

  • “Blue, kick your dog, he's lying to you!”~~~

  • “Blue, if the pitcher is throwing too fast for you, we can ask him to slow it down!”~~~

  • “Hey Blue, how can you sleep with all these lights on?”~~~

  • “I’ve seen better Blues in a box of crayons!”~~~

  • “I’m gonna break your cane and shoot your dog!”~~~

  • “If I had a dollar, Blue, for every good call you’ve made, I’d be broke!”~~~

  • "Is that your final answer?”~~~

  • “The magic 8 ball says……”~~~

  • “When your dog barks twice, it's a strike!”~~~

  • “Mix in some consistency once in awhile!”~~~

  • “Take off that welding mask”~~~

  • “Lenscrafter called... They'll be ready in 30 min.”~~~

  • “Open your good eye!”~~~

  • “Can I pet your seeing eye dog after the game?”~~~

  • “Looked pretty good from up here Blue!”~~~

  • “Do your sleeping at home Blue!”~~~

  • “You must be losing them in the lights!”~~~

  • “Why do you keep looking in your hand...do you have a map of the strike zone in it?”~~~

  • “I'll take three pencils!”~~~

  • “For a guy that only works 2 hours a day, you're doing a pretty bad job!”~~~

  • “Hey blue, if you had one more eye you'd be a Cyclops!”~~~

  • “RING..RING....Wake up call Blue!”~~~

  • “I've seen better blue in a toilet bowl!”~~~

  • “What's a matter you gotta broken arm?”~~~

  • “Look through the mask, not at it!”~~~

  • “It really is hot today - that strike zone is melting!”~~~

  • “Wrong!”~~~

  • “Here's a quarter, go buy a strike zone!”~~~

  • “How's work experience going Blue?”~~~

  • “Hey Blue…if you had one more eye, you’d be a Cyclops!”~~~

  • “Keep that up and we’ll shoot your dog and break your cane!”~~~

  • “"Easy Flinchy" – After a slight flinch behind the plate.”~~~

  • “I thought only horses slept standing up!”~~~

  • “You're blinking way to long!”~~~

  • “Come on Blue, that pitch was so far outside it had a hat and coat on!”~~~

  • “You couldn't see the plate if your dinner was on it!”~~~

  • “Wake up Blue, you're missing a great game!”~~~

  • “Somebody call the police, this guy's impersonating an umpire!”~~~

  • “You're like a bat without sonar!”~~~

  • “I didn't know we were golfing today, I would have brought my clubs!”~~~

  • “Did you star in "Weekend at Bernie's"?”~~~

  • “Hey blue, that call was a get outta here quick call!”~~~

  • “I thought only horses slept standing up!”~~~

  • “That was higher than a t-shirt at Mardi Gras!”~~~

  • “Hey Blue, it's against the law to make prank calls!”~~~

  • “(Hold up cell phone) Is this your cell phone? Because it has three missed calls!”~~~

  • “That pitch was like your last date, you didn't want to see her or call her.”~~~

  • “To batter as he steps into the box: "You better be swinging. You're standing in the strike zone."”~~~

  • “After the ump has dusted off home plate: "You're gonna make someone a great wife someday!”~~~

  • “You're not gonna sleep a minute tonight because you've slept all game!”~~~

  • “Did you make the call on WMD in Iraq as well?”~~~

  • “Is your rule book written in Braille?”~~~

  • “Hey Blue, how can you sleep with all these lights on!”~~~

  • “Stevie Wonder could see that one!”~~~

  • “Flip over the plate and read the directions!”~~~

  • “How about some Windex for that glass eye!”~~~

  • “The French judge says it's a strike!”~~~

  • “Hey Blue, diarrhea has more consistency than your strike zone!”~~~

  • “You need to go to confession after that call!”~~~

  • “I've seen better Blues in a box of crayons!”~~~

  • “Don't bother brushing off the corners, you're not calling them anyway!”~~~

  • “We know you're blind, we've seen your wife!”~~~

  • “They're putting your strike zone on the back of milk cartons!”~~~

  • “Hey Blue, that's not a 9 iron he's hitting with!”~~~

  • “How do you sleep at night?”~~~

  • “I was confused the first time I saw a game too!”~~~

  • “I've gotten better calls from my ex-wife!”~~~

  • “Good thing there are not three choices!”~~~

  • “Somebody get the ump his prescription mask!”~~~

  • “You flipping coins?”~~~

  • “Hey Blue is that a dinner plate? Apparently it has no corners!”~~~

  • “Admit it.... You lied!”~~~

  • “Why don't you get your Seeing Eye dog to call it for you?”~~~

  • “I forgot the Milk-Bone for your seeing-eye dog!”~~~

  • “Have you lost your strike zone in the lights?”~~~

  • “Now I know why there's only one eye (I) in umpire!”~~~

  • “You couldn't get a pitchout right!”~~~

  • “You're making more bad calls than a telemarketer!”~~~

  • “Kick your dog, he's lying to you!”~~~

  • “Be careful when you back up, so you don't fall over your dog!”~~~

  • “Did you haul in your strike zone on a tractor trailer bed?”~~~

  • “Hey Blue, if you had another eye it would be lonely!”~~~

  • “You couldn't call hogs!”~~~

  • “Keep calling them like that and you'll be bagging groceries in no time!”~~~

  • “Get a hammer and some nails, the plate is movin' around again!”~~~

  • “You call more strikes than a union delegate!”~~~

  • “Did your glass eye fog up?”~~~

  • “You couldn't call a cab!”~~~

  • “The circus is in town and the clowns are wearing blue!”~~~

  • “It's a strike zone, not an end zone!”~~~

  • “You really shouldn't be in the game until you get warmed up!”~~~

  • “Come on Blue, turn that mask around and get a GOOD look!”~~~

  • “You can go home blue, we'll take it from here!”~~~

  • “How'd you become an umpire? Flunk out of tollbooth school?”~~~

  • “How about asking the crowd?”~~~

  • “Do you want to use another lifeline?”~~~

  • “3 Blind Mice, 3 Blind Mice,”~~~

  • “What were you, a lookout for the Titanic?”~~~

  • “How many fingers am I holding up?”~~~

  • “(For an umpire is slow getting in position) C'mon blue, put the Snicker Bar down!”~~~

  • “Sweep the plate! It's the least you can do!”~~~

  • “Move around, you're tilting' the infield!”~~~

  • “Move around Blue, you're killing' the grass!”~~~

  • “It sure sounded like a strike!”~~~

  • “How'd you get a square head in that round mask?”~~~

  • “Have they stopped printing the rulebooks in Braille?”~~~

  • “Don't donate your eyes to science, they don't want 'em'”~~~

  • “Does your wife let you make decisions at home?”~~~

  • “Pull the good eye out of your pocket!”~~~

  • “Wipe the dirt off that called strike!”~~~

  • “Sure you don't want to phone a friend?”~~~

  • “You can open your eyes now!”~~~

  • “Do you get any better or is this it?”~~~

  • “You're blinking too long!”~~~

  • “You couldn't make the right call if you had a phone book!”~~~

  • “You couldn't make a call in a phone booth!”~~~

  • “Do you take Visa or American Express?”~~~

  • “Leave the gift giving to Santa!”~~~

  • “Take out your glass eye and wash it!”~~~

  • “Guess again, the last call was wrong!”~~~

  • “Blue, do you feel guilty?”~~~

  • “If the pitcher is throwing too fast for you, we can ask them to slow it down!”~~~

  • “Your strike zone is a moving target!”~~~

  • “You're getting better, you almost made the right call that time!”~~~

  • “Punch a hole in that mask, you're missing a good game!”~~~

  • “Hey, Sleeping Beauty, wake up!”~~~

  • “Hey Blue, Magnum P.I. called and he can't find your strike zone!”~~~

  • “I've seen potatoes with better eyes!”~~~

  • “Next time buy a ticket if you're going to watch!”~~~

  • “Can I buy you another beer?”~~~

  • “We know your blind we've seen your wife!”~~~

  • “I’ve seen better blues in a crayon box!”~~~

  • “I've heard better calls at a square dance!”~~~

  • “I've heard better calls between two tin cans and a piece of string!”~~~

  • “Hey Blue, were you looking for the curve?”~~~

  • “Hey Blues, which one of you is the designated driver?”~~~

  • “Move a little Blue, you're growing' roots!~~~

  • '

G Rules Batting 9

Michael LeavittQUESTION: “Is it a rule that if you play with 8 players you have to take an automatic out? Especially in the instructional league, if you are already short a player in the field and you are at a disadvantage.” Coach David

ANSWER: In Major League Baseball you must bat with a roster of 9 players. If you do not have 9, then every time that missing batter comes up, then you are assessed an out. That isn’t an issue in MLB because you are paying grown men big bucks to play the game and you have at least 24 players ready to fill the 9 batting slots during the game.

2013PONY 200Pony International rules states...

18b - A team failing to field at least nine uniformed players within 15 minutes after scheduled starting time of a game, or at any time during the game, shall forfeit the game.

However, we play in Orem Youth Baseball where we play batting our full roster. This means that if 12 young men show up, then we bat the full 12 players. OYB has tweaked the Pony International rule to state...

Each game will start on time. If a team has less than eight (8) players at game time, then they become the visiting team and bat first. If after their at bat and 15 minutes after game start time they still do not have eight (8) players, then the game will be called a forfeit. Forfeited games can be played as a scrimmage.

This means that a team can start the game with less than 8 players, without penalty, but after 15 minutes of game time they can play the duration of the game with 8 or more players. Orem Youth Baseball is NOT trying to penalize a team. Having only 8 players is plenty of penalty all by itself. The key focus is on starting games on time and playing with at least 8 players. Due to Boy Scout campouts, school activities, and family commitments, it can be tough for coaches to fill a roster of 9 for some games so OYB also gives this provision...

If you know beforehand that you cannot field a team of 9 players, contact the division commissioner for a list of players you can bring up from a younger division.

If you bring up a player, they cannot pitch or play catcher. They also should bat at the end of the lineup. Substitute players must exit the game if enough additional regular team players arrive to fill a full roster.

EARLY NOTICE SCENARIO: Your question is timely because I was notified last night that I will be shorthanded, as a coach, for my game Friday night. We lost one player to a long boarding accident that broke his arm. Two more of my players have a Boy Scout campout. And finally, our strongest player has a super-league game at the same time so I am looking at a list of 8 players left to battle the toughest team in our division. It would add insult to injury to also penalize my team an out every time a 9th batter failed to step into the batter’s box, and that is NOT what OYB is all about. I will definitely be having a younger division player join our roster for the game. Luckily I have enough notice to be able to fill the void.

NO-NOTICE SCENARIO: But what happens when you do not have notice. A week ago on Friday I knew that that 9 was the most that were going to show up for a game, also due to campouts. With just minutes to go before the start of the game my starting pitcher still had not arrived. He never did show up due to a school function (dance), and his mother felt little remorse. The family had no intention of even letting me know, figuring we always have more than 9 young men at the games. That puts a coach in a difficult position, as OYB games are not always the top priority for families. We could have played with just 8, but one of our players thought there might be an issue so he brought along one of his friends who plays in the younger division and so we batted him 9th and played him in left and right field. I notified the opposing coach before the game and all was well.

MID-GAME NOTICE: There are times when a player has to leave during the game and this may also drop your roster to 8 players even though you started with 9 or more.This happened to me twice earlier this season. In one instance the player had to leave 45 minutes early due to court mandated truancy school. The second had to leave early to participate in an LDS church baptisms for the dead temple assignment. In each case I notified the opposing coach and the player was dropped from the batting order without penalty. This could also happen in the case of injury during the game.

TOURNAMENT PLAY: The same rules are followed in OYB tournaments, although the rosters are usually at full strength for the tournament games.

CONFUSION: Since this is a non-issue with MLB due to their full big money paid rosters, the confusion arises due to the local high school rules. The National Federation of High School rules state that finishing game with 8 players is permitted with an out recorded when the empty spot in batting order is reached. The NFHS rules can be harsh. Look at this scenario from their rules interpretations...

With no outs, B1 has a 2-1 count when his nose begins to bleed. He is not able to get it stopped and as a result cannot finish his at-bat. The team has no substitutes available. His coach believes that the batter next up in the order can assume his count. RULING: B2 cannot assume B1’s count. With no substitutes available, B1 is declared out and B2 will come to bat with one out. An out will be called each time that spot in the batting order comes to bat. When an eligible substitute becomes available, the team may return to playing with nine players. (4-4-1f, Note 1, Note 2)

FAIR GAMESMANSHIP: It saddens me when I see the victory as the top priority for the coaches, especially in the OYB instructional divisions. This game is for the boys and coaches do not have to fight and claw for every possible advantage to gain a victory. Coaches should be understanding of issues with other teams and be ready to freely agree to using fair and equitable gamesmanship tactics. Let me flashback 6 years when my son Adam was 12 and I was coaching his AAA team...

We were winning the end of the year tournament game and in the fourth inning we went from being able to steal easily to being thrown out every time we were off the bag. We ultimately lost the game in the final inning. What I was never notified before the game was that the other team was missing some of their 12 players so the other coach brought down Majors to fill his roster of 12. I don’t mean brought up a younger player, I mean he brought down from the stronger division 3 players to give him a team of 12 players. He had 9 of his regular players to start with, but he wanted the strength and a roster of twelve. This was a season end tournament game with the losers going home. At that time you could bring down a player from the stronger same age division as long as the player was in the lower half of the upper division team’s batting lineup to give you the needed 9 players. The coach claimed later that he did not understand the rule and thought he had to have twelve to play (yet we had only 10 facing him that night). OYB rules stated that the player was not allowed to play at pitcher or catcher, and they were required to bat at the end of the line-up. This rule was in place so that the added player did not severely alter the play of the team and the outcome of the game. It was supposed to be an even for even trade to help fill a void. When a player was added to a team the opposing coach was also supposed to be notified before the game of any non-roster players. So there we were facing a full roster of 12 with 3 being upper division superstars. In the forth inning the coach placed one of the majors at catcher and this is why our team’s ability to steal was suddenly stopped. This same player was also batting fourth in their line-up.

In the last inning I was notified by a parent who recognized the upper division players and I immediately notified the umpires and formally protested the game. We finished playing the game and we lost by one run with our season being over. I then wrote up my protest complaint and submitted it to the league officials. They ruled in our team’s favor and mandated a forfeit and we continued on in the tournament. I was glad that justice prevailed, but I was saddened to see the other coach break the rules so that his team could win. The real losers were the boys on the other team that went home as winners and then notified that their season was over due to a forfeit caused by a coach who would stop at nothing to get the win. I also hated the fact that the coach caused a young man to play catcher with the young man knowing that he was breaking the rules. At that time all of the upper division players knew the rules about playing down. The majors were the big fish and the AAA games were a little pond that allowed them to dominate in every way.

The fact of the matter is that none of this should have ever happened. Gamesmanship starts with the coach as he leads his team through the season. Coaches should obey the rules and play fair, otherwise why do we play this game? What are we supposed to be teaching these young men? So whether we are coaching in the instructional divisions or the competition divisions, good gamesmanship should prevail! I’ll get down off my soapbox now.

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