Ouch! Old Bill got the best of me once again and I’m a dollar poorer because of it. Even though neither one of us got a 100%, he missed fewer than me. This was my lowest test score to date, and even though my scores don’t really matter as I am not looking for a job, I still want to do well. I hope they throw out the lowest score, because this one will be it. This last test was on the pitcher, and a couple of the questions just stumped me. Tomorrow’s test will be on balks, so I better study up tonight. In todays lesson we continued with situation management. We talked about how and when to issue warnings for intentionally pitching at someone, as well as how to identify potential warning signs. They also talked about crew consultation, getting the play right, and how to write incident reports. Very interesting information, and even though it was geared for the pro umpire, the concepts can be applied to almost any level. No real POE’s in the classroom, however, I have another great quote. As we all know, umpiring really is built on integrity, and they preach that daily. They talk about your character, how you conduct yourself on and off the field, and to own up to your mistakes. But one thing they have repeatedly told us is, “Let them question your judgment, never let them question your integrity.” Honestly, you can’t put a price on what we are learning here.
On the field we worked on ground balls to the infield and base hits with runners on 2nd and 3rd. Most of the footwork was the same as we have been using. In the 2 man system while on the bases, TUS is really focused on starting positions and getting the proper angles. If you look at the PBUC 2 man manual, it really makes sense that from your proper starting position and using the proper angles, you will be in the proper position for most plays. Another POE that they constantly drill into us is keeping your chest to the ball. While I have always known and tried to use this concept, it wasn’t until these drills here and the instructional staff that I realize just how critical it is. It is crucial in being able to read a play, get your proper angle, and get your proper positioning. Its also important when having to move quickly on plays that develop fast. We also drilled some time plays today and we had some fun with that. Had some good reps on the field today, and I’m starting to see some of the students beginning to catch on and start to rise to the top. It will be interesting to see who makes it on to the evaluation course. Honestly, I don’t envy the evaluators job, almost everybody here wants a job, but not everyone will make it. I wish all the students well.
In the cages, they added in check swing strikes and balls. While the verbiage is the same as I am used to, the cadence in slightly different. For instance, I’m used to say and point, “yes”, then come back with the hammer and say “he went.” Here the entire verbiage is said with a point and then you signal a strike without any voice. This illustrates another area where previous training and muscle memory makes it sometimes tricky in quickly adapting. We all get so used to doing things a certain way, that it isn’t always easy to remember the proper verbiage taught here. We had some more good reps in the cages and had some more fun in sunny Florida. Only at ump school!