• “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!~~~

  • '

You're Out!!!

The bang-bang blogging thoughts of an experienced umpire.

Softball Strike Zone - NFHS & ASA

Softball Strike Zone - NFHS & ASA
Email sent to the Utah High School Activities Association softball leadership on September 16, 2015... UHSAA SOFTBALL LEADERSHIP, In preparing for the upcoming softball season I have been reading the 2016 NFHS "Points Of Emphasis" and I need your feedback on the Strike Zone POE. As a newer softball official I have been following the more experienced officials and I find that the strike zone in the rule book is NOT the strike zone that is expe...
Continue reading
5836 Hits
0 Comments

The Power of the DP/Flex Rule - ASA & UFHS

The Power of the DP/Flex Rule - ASA & UFHS
One of the tough concepts to understand is the DP/Flex rule implemented in both high school and ASA fast pitch softball.  I found a great video by Mark McCarney that helps to explain the rule. Mark shared, "I have always been a little unclear on how the DP/Flex rule could be used. After not being able to find anything on the internet that could visually describe it, I set out to collect information and build a Powerpoint that would help myse...
Continue reading
2140 Hits
0 Comments

Obstruction - ASA Ruling - Does the runner automatically get another base?

Obstruction - ASA Ruling - Does the runner automatically get another base?
SITUATION: While umpiring at the 2014 Spanish Fork Halloween Havoc tournament 10U girls fast pitch championship game the runner rounded first and headed towards second base. The runner stopped and dashed back towards first. The first baseman was in the base path obstructing the runners easy return. The runner ran into the first baseman who was blinded by the late afternoon sun in her eyes and the runner still managed to get safely back to first...
Continue reading
4144 Hits
0 Comments

2 Runners Same Base - Is Somebody Automatically Out?

2 Runners Same Base - Is Somebody Automatically Out?
Strange things happen when a coach is trying to not run up a score while holding back his runners that are used to running as free as wild mustangs on the high plains of Montana. This happened last night as the 8-10 year old Orem team went up on the scoreboard huge against their opponents. With a runner on first the batter hit a shot that was easily a double, if not a triple. He came flying around first and headed for second. The third base coach...
Continue reading
6108 Hits
0 Comments

Spitball - Going to the mouth while on the pitching rubber

Spitball - Going to the mouth while on the pitching rubber
QUESTION: Hey Michael, in a 13-14 year old Utah State Tournament Pony division game last night the pitcher kept going to his mouth while standing astride the rubber.  He would wipe his hand off on his uniform before touching the ball, but isn't this a balk? ANSWER: It is wrong to go to the mouth while standing upon the pitching rubber, but it is not a balk. Instead, the umpire should issue a warning and then the next time it happens he shou...
Continue reading
1715 Hits
0 Comments

Home Plate Collisions - New MLB 2014 Rule

Home Plate Collisions - New MLB 2014 Rule
I just became aware of a brand new rule for the 2014 season. I read the rule without knowing it was new and then went to my 2013 MLB rule book and it wasn't there.  Sure enough, 7.13 is brand new and an important step in preventing malicious contact. SCENARIO: Runner from third comes home and opts to not slide. Instead, he breaks through the catcher by kind of waving his arms to the side as he brushes by to score as the ball goes flying out...
Continue reading
1438 Hits
0 Comments

"Fielder's Balk"... Is there such a violation?

"Fielder's Balk"... Is there such a violation?
SCENARIO: Runner on first and the first baseman is holding him on with his foot in foul territory before and throughout the pitch. The coach wants a balk called because the defensive player was in foul territory. Is there such a thing as a "Fielder's Balk"? RULING: In Major League Baseball, there is no such thing as a "Fielder's Balk". Umpires, please see below for what should be done when a coach wants a "Fielder's Balk" called. CONFUSION: The...
Continue reading
9709 Hits
0 Comments

Obstruction - "You guys have been calling it wrong around here for years!"

Obstruction - "You guys have been calling it wrong around here for years!"
SCENARIO: R2, 1 out. Ball hit and runner rounds third as the catcher receives the throw. The runner turns to head back to third with the third baseman in front of the bag clearly blocking the base as the throw is coming his way. He catches the throw high as the returning runner comes in crouched and barrels into the third baseman's thigh with his shoulder as the tag is brought down hard on top of him for a clear out. The third base coach compla...
Continue reading
1643 Hits
0 Comments

"Obstruction", "No Call", or "Must Slide"

"Obstruction", "No Call", or "Must Slide"
As the sun was low on the horizon yesterday evening we had a runner on the "AA" field going from second to third base.  "AA" has 8-10 year olds of all calibers, but this runner was on the larger but inexperienced end of the spectrum. As he came onto third the ball was on its way.  The third baseman was ready for the throw. The runner did not really know how to slide, so he started to hunch as his cleats dug into the earth and he started...
Continue reading
1433 Hits
0 Comments

LIVID - You Are The Worst Umpire Ever!

LIVID - You Are The Worst Umpire Ever!
"You are the worst umpire ever!" Pretty strong words from and irate third base coach as his runner slid into the tag right in front of him to end what would have been an incredible comeback win after tournament game time had already expired. What he saw was different than what I saw as i came down the baseline from home to make the call. Yes, it was late in the evening. Yes, it was the end to a 12 hour six game day of umpiring. But the formula i...
Continue reading
3070 Hits
0 Comments

Kiwanis Field is a HAZARD!!!

Kiwanis Field is a HAZARD!!!
Dear Spanish Fork City: My name is Michael Leavitt and I had the privilege of umpiring six baseball games on your Kiwanis Field yesterday on May 23, 2014. The Kiwanis Field is located in the beautiful Swenson Baseball Sports Complex in the south portion of the city. My responsibilities were by assignment as part of the big 3-day Memorial Day weekend tournament with the Rocky Mountain School of Baseball. COMPLAINT: The Kiwanis infield is in such...
Continue reading
1615 Hits
0 Comments

Batting Out of Order - Gotcha!!!

Batting Out of Order - Gotcha!!!
Last evening we had a heated game between Vortex and Mojo that brought about one of those dreaded situations where there is a dispute over the batting order.  This was complicated by the fact that our home team, the Vortex, was missing their scorekeeper for the game.  This meant that the book was solely being maintained by the visiting team, the Mojo. Ordinarily the home team keeps the official book, and if there are any disputes, then ...
Continue reading
1469 Hits
0 Comments

Scenarios - What is the count?

Scenarios - What is the count?
One of the toughest things a new umpire has to deal with is knowing where they are in the game and knowing what to do when something happens. There is a whole lot more to do than just watch the pitch and call balls and strikes. Yes, it is all about scenarios. Bases loaded, 1 out, and the tying run is on first base, what does it all mean? Well, a rally is going on, and this means that everything is tense and every call is critical. Wait, there is...
Continue reading
1341 Hits
0 Comments

Under The Bright Lights - OYB Umpire Tryouts 2014

Under The Bright Lights - OYB Umpire Tryouts 2014
One of the toughest things a new umpire has to deal with is knowing where they are in the game and knowing what to do when something happens. There is a whole lot more to do than just watch the pitch and call balls and strikes. Yes, it is all about scenarios. APRIL 12, 2014 - Last night we did a first with Orem Youth Baseball. We had two of our 11-12 year old competition teams show up for a beautiful Saturday evening 2 hour scrimmage and while t...
Continue reading
1433 Hits
0 Comments

3rd to 1st Rule - Failure To Adopt

3rd to 1st Rule - Failure To Adopt
For those of you who like to read books and forums on umpiring, the name Papa C., or Carl Childress should be quite familiar. I wrote to Papa C. last year regarding Orem Youth Baseball's failure to adopt the Major League Baseball rule change regarding the fake to third and then throw to first rule. Here is what I posted on Papa C's blog at: http://www.carlsbrd.com/Carl-Chat.html last June.   3-1 Move by Carl Childress on 06/06/13 "Carl...
Continue reading
1409 Hits
0 Comments

It's good to be young!

It's good to be young!
Take a look at the crouch of Aaron Leavitt as he snugs in behind this very young catcher. Now imagine getting into that position over 200 times a game. That is absolutely unthinkable for my 52 year old 6'6" body. Just looking at the low crouch makes my knees hurt!!! Michael Leavitt
Continue reading
1360 Hits
0 Comments

Tryouts 2014 - 100's Show Up

Tryouts 2014 - 100's Show Up
MARCH 29, 2014 - It was an incredible day at the Orem Youth Baseball fields as 100's showed up for their opportunity to impress the coaches and get drafted to a team. It was incredible for over 100 players from each division line up for their turn to field and hit. UMPIRING - At 2 PM we had the first umpire training clinic geared towards welcoming those who were desiring to participate as an umpire this year. A quick count revealed over 50 peop...
Continue reading
1255 Hits
0 Comments

COB Bottom2013