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Base Mechanics, III

More diamond magic  


Blue Crew locked in on the pitch
Blue Crew locked in on the pitch
With sluggers rippin’ and ropin’, runners in scoring position, more than one runner on, the true beauty of the Two-Umpire rotation kicks in.

With fans, coaches, or players unaware, the umpire crew signals one another, outlining their coverage.

For instance, the plate umpire, U1, with a runner at 3B, will point down to home plate. This means he is covering the play at the plate. The base umpire, U2, acknowledges signaling he has plays in the infield.

This means they are following the OBR dictate: “See every play clearly and definitely.”

Coverage with runners on    •  Base umpire moves in and out of the work area.
  •  Plate umpire heads for the "library" (between 3B and home plate) for plays at 3rd and home.

fyi  Remember, despite runners on, plenty of action, your first duty as plate umpire is the ball/strike call.
  • With two strikes, look for the passed ball
  • or a dropped Strike Three. 

The ball stays live.

fyi Sometimes, especially with travel teams, even though it was a swinging strike three, the catcher held onto the ball, the batter will take off. He act like it was a dropped third strike. You can just point at the batter runner and say, "You're out."

I've also seen, in Major League Baseball, where you can call strike three on a dropped third strike. However, the batter/runner is not out until he is tagged or thrown out at 1B if he decides to go.

Make your calls crystal clear


Again
, it's nothing until you call it. Umpires must make signals—whether verbal or nonverbal—clear, crisp, and clean. With close plays, add a little oomph: point at the bag and say, “You’re there, you there” or “Safe, safe, safe.” The umpire can make the X safe sign, crossing his arms in front of him.

As mentioned, with the out, I like to first point at the bag and then throw the hammer. This slight pause gives you a chance to make sure that you call what you saw. Take your time on the call.

Important signals with runners on:

  •  IFF (Infield Fly Rule).
  •  Time play (run score or not).

 
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