Sunday, August 29, 2010

90 Foot Launch

Kicking Back Comments:
This is an interesting incident from the perspective that we have to remember as referees that players have relationships too. Very often we are asked to step in when that relationship is not going so well, but there is one there none the less. Over time it is important to form relationships with these players too. For those who see teams on a regular basis (in town leagues for example) there is nothing wrong with taking to understand the dynamics of the relationships between players, coaches, administrators, other referees, et al. These relationships are what will make or break you the further you go.

Early in my career I was instructed to call people "sir" or "ma'am" (except Barbara Boxer, who I would call "Senator"), and this seemed to work for a while for no other reason that it was polite. As I progressed and saw teams more and more regularly I found it more helpful to use a persons name in a respectful way (e.g. Mr. Bright, Ms. Murphy) as it started to form a connection between us. Later still, I took the time to know these folks and could strike up a conversation whenever we saw each other. I recall seeing Steve Nichol so frequently as manager of the local "A League" team that he would comment on my haircut when he did not like it. It was truly comical. But more importantly he felt comfortable to let me know when something was at issue. From there I would filter the comment and ask "what is he getting at?" It was usually something pretty vital to the match at hand.

It is critical for a referee to be aware of what is going on and the interactions between people to get the full picture. I recognize this umpire was a "vacation substitute" and may not have that time to be able to understand the dynamic. In which case, he should have just let it go.

I'm not advocating being willfully blind to an issue, what I am saying is take the time to understand it, and then, and only then, take the appropriate action.

Beltre taken by surprise
He says umpire was way off base

Adrian Beltre was called out on strikes in the second inning last night on a pitch he thought was low. He told umpire Dan Bellino his opinion and returned to the dugout.

“I didn’t curse or anything,’’ Beltre said. “I said I thought it was low. He said it was a good pitch and I walked away.’’
Once the inning was over, Beltre trotted out to third base and playfully boasted to Seattle pitcher Felix Hernandez that he would get him the next time. ...

Full article here courtesy of the Boston Globe.

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