Today started in the classroom with test corrections, and yes, my name was up on the board again. 3 in a row! I think my streak is going to end tomorrow though, I may have overthought a question and answered it wrong. Well maybe not wrong, but not the best answer. It basically had to do with whether or not a runner had to tag up on a base award. I was over analyzing the question and took the position of no, he doesn’t have to tag up, but could be out on appeal. I think what they were looking for was that a runner’s base running obligations are not absolved on a base award. Oh well, we’ll find out tomorrow. We started a new lesson about interference and obstruction. Pretty standard stuff with no real surprises, but one interesting point. I attended a Wendelstedt clinic in Pomona last year and we were discussing runners lane violation. They said that a quality throw was not a criteria for RLV. I was always taught that is was necessary. Well here at TUS, they taught us that it does matter, and when you think about it, it has to come into play. How could it not? Wendelstedt told us that if the throw was airmailed into right field, then you should not call RLV. So if you are not going to call it if it is not in the vicinity of the first baseman, how could a quality throw not come into play? By default, a throw that the first baseman could handle, has to be a quality one. Anyway, I’m glad that one was cleared up. We also discussed 7.09(k) and I also think that one is a misunderstood rule. I believe there might have been a thread on Umpire Empire a while back on that one. I’m glad to say that I fully understand that rule now. Ended with some more of the 2 man system, took our 5th test, had lunch, and hit the fields.
On the fields we started working on situations with a runner on second. There was a learning curve with that one on both the plate and the bases. It’s starting to get harder now and you really have to be on your toes when it is your turn to do a drill. I had some good reps, and some not so good reps, but I’m listening to the instructors, and getting it figured out. But todays big event was the cages. They have 4 indoor cages set up and they send 4 crews at a time for their cage work. Each crew member gets 2 turns behind the plate. It takes about an hour and they also video it if you want. They put it on an SD card and I will look at it later tonight. The SD cards are optional and if you don’t have a laptop, they have a computer room with a few computers at your disposal. They mostly worked on your plate stance foundation, heel/instep and head height. It was fast paced and we had to move quickly. We got some good reps in and I thought all the guys on our crew look really solid. On a side note, I’m surprised at how many good umpires are here. When I went to Wendelstedt in 2013, most of the class needed a lot of work, some even had never worked a game. Not so here, just about everyone has quite a bit of experience, and it seems if many have college experience as well. I was expecting basically the same cross section of experience, but this has not been the case. I’m glad to see so many people dedicated to the craft.
Even though it is a lot of hard work and long days, the energy is still good and a positive vibe surrounds the class.