Back to school today after a much needed day off. Started out with my name up on the board again with another 100% on Saturdays test. Made another dollar from Bill, too. Although I’ll have to give it back tomorrow because I know I missed a couple on today’s test. Just working too fast and not reading the whole question. We opened with a presentation from Shane Livensparger. He is a minor league umpire and developed a company called “Officially Fit.” It’s a fitness program designed for sports officials. It’s all done online and looks to be a pretty neat program. I’ll check it out when I have some time. Today’s rule book session focused on the pitcher. Mostly standard stuff, no real POE’s to report. Tomorrow we will get into balks, and I’m sure there will be many questions.
Todays field work focused on fly balls to the outfield with runners on 1st and 2nd. First we drilled base hits and then added in tags ups with the PU going down to 3rd. The usual “I’ve got third if he tags.” One thing that has been happening on plays that the PU rotates up to third is that students are running too far up the line and entering the grass cut out at almost a 90 degree angle. They want you to not go as far up and have the entry point into the cut out be more of a 45 degree angle. They are also very particular about making sure you enter the cutout only when there is a play. But today’s big POE was when we had a missed base appeal, and then the fielders threw the ball out of play. I’ll try to explain what we learned. Say you have runners on 1st and 2nd and the batter/runner hits a double to right center but misses first base. The defense gets the ball in right away to the second baseman while the other fielders are yelling to throw to first for the appeal. The second baseman air mails the throw and the ball goes out of play. At this point, I always believed that the right to appeal was now lost. Not so, because if the umpires ruled that the overthrow was part of continuous action, the defense could appeal once the ball was put back in play. If the defense kind of lollygagged and perhaps threw the ball back to the pitcher, and all play was relaxed, then if you threw over to first and the throw went out of bounds, you would then lose you right to appeal. I would have never thought to call it that way. I’m going to ask or try to find rule cite or interpretation so I have something to back me up when I get home. Very interesting stuff and that was great to learn. We had some good reps on the field, but I still have trouble as the PU taking a step back to POP on plays that I don’t have to move up any lines. I’m so used to moving a few feet to my left to observe plays like that. I’ll keep working at it, but it’s going to take some doing. We also hit the cages for what I thought was our crews best work to date. We’re all working on timing, tracking, and voice, and I thought we did well today. We got some great tips on timing from the instructors. All of their info and critiques are very helpful in honing our craft. I took a look at the video from my last 4 days in the cages and I’m actually pleased with what I saw so far. The video is very clear and towards the end of each session, the instructors add some commentary about what you did well and what you need to work on. It’s good to get that feedback and we are really enjoying our time in the cages.