Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Home Plate Umpires Be Aware!

Far as I can see, fans are not showing up to the games to see you. But if you don't do the job you were hired to do you will be heckled.
I understand you guys/gals have it rough. But you knew what you were getting into when you signed up for the duty of umpiring baseball games.

I would like to see the home plate umpire pay attention to how the pitcher is throwing the ball on a given night and see if you can adjust to his pitch. Rather than making him adjust to your strike zone, take an inning or two to see what the pitcher is doing. Now if the guy is all over the place and unable to enter anywhere near the strike zone (rulebook version) then you go by what you deem to be a strike. (Hopefully, rulebook version.)

I say this because the fans that went to see that game were going to see the pitcher on their favorite team. And if the pitcher is known to be "around the plate" but on a particular night was in the lower half of the strike zone (or upper) I think it's the home plate umpire's duty to make the adjustment for the better game outcome.

If your strike zone is strictly yours and one team is getting the benefit of an easier adjustment, who do you think is going to win? That is not why umpires were added to the game of baseball. Quite the contrary. Umpires were introduced into the game to follow a set of rules that kept the game fair and eliminated any extra curricular or unseemly behavior. Your job initially was to keep things in line. No hanky-panky.

When one teams appears to have an advantage the umpires truly are the "bad guys." There is a real good chance that game will have gotten out-of-hand and an indelible scuff mark will remain in the fans' and players' minds because of the ineptness of that particular game's umpire crew.

Finally, I think it behooves you to have a yielding manner in which to call balls and strikes. Those who have this style of assessing what is and is not a strike will get a better understanding from the players,coaches, and managers because they will remember how your flexibility was for the betterment of the game and they'll think twice about giving you grief on a bad night you may have in the future.

Kevin J. Marquez