Well, it’s finally over. We had our last field reps this morning and it’s in the hands of the evaluators. No more early morning classroom sessions, no more field instruction, no more cage work, no more discussion sessions in the dining hall. We just have our banquet tonight and then our individual interviews Wednesday morning. Today began as usual in the classroom at 8am, and after a few announcements, Kevin Winn who is involved with a couple of independent leagues, gave a little presentation. His leagues are the Can-Am and the American Association. I had not heard of those leagues, but it is an opportunity for some graduates that are not moving on to get some experience. It’s probably helpful for those who were close to go and work some high level games for a year or two, and then try again for a job in MiLB. There was also a presentation from one of the instructors on Perfect Game. That’s another opportunity and I might throw my hat in the ring as some of their events are in Southern California. After that, we hit the fields at 8:45am for our last field reps. We only had a morning session today, so each student got only got 2 turns each on the plate and bases. Time was running out to showcase your talents to sway the evaluators. By this time, I know some of the students were already picked to move on, and barring any huge catastrophes, I’m sure today wasn’t going to change that for the students that have had a repeated strong showing. It was the ones on the bubble that had to show their mettle today. The mood was good and upbeat today, and most students were calm and not really wound up tight. Everyone went out today and did their best and let the chips fall where they may. The handful of students I talked to felt like they gave it their all and that was that. I saw a lot of positivity in the students, even from those that knew they aren’t going to be moving on. Credit that to the staff who kept telling students to do their best and reminding us that not everyone would get a job. They also wanted us to trust in their judgment and that not everyone sees what they see when evaluating students. But most importantly, and I think a great message, was they told us to be honest with ourselves when determining how well we thought we did. They said some students will think they did better than they actually did, and others are actually better than what they believe. If you give yourself an honest assessment of your time here at school, you won’t be too shocked or surprised tomorrow. Regardless of what happens, they stressed to us that no matter what level we work at, we are much better umpires because of the school and our determination to improve our craft.
Overall the field reps went well, I did a couple of things wrong in my reps, but overall, I’m pretty happy with my time here. I think today I had a little bit of fatigue set in and I wasn’t as sharp as yesterday. Regardless of where the evaluators rank me, I worked hard, learned a lot, got along with the instruction staff and students, and took all their advice and critiques to heart. Kudos to The Umpire School for assembling such a great group of instructors. I always felt that each one had our best interests at heart. They treated us all the same no matter our age or skill level. I’m very impressed at the quality of instruction here.
We have the afternoon off today to get ourselves packed up and also to get rested up for the banquet. Bill and I will be picking up our rental car this afternoon for the drive up to the Orlando airport. Other than that, I’m going to grab some much needed sit down time and reflect a bit on my experience here. As I mentioned before, this will be my last post from TUS until I get home and finish up with final thoughts by this weekend. I sincerely hope you enjoyed the blog as you traveled with me through my time here at professional umpire school.