Saturday, April 01, 2006

Things Are Looking Up

Well, the weather finally cooperated for once this year, and I got all my games in this week! After my struggles early in the week, I finally was able to get back to working on what I needed to work on to get myself ready. I had a pretty good finish to my week, and got in two pretty good plate games. I mentioned my game at Toledo on Tuesday, and then yesterday I worked the plate at Newport.

This would end up being a very challenging game for me, even though it all went pretty smoothly for 6 innings or so. The game was a big deal, as it was for first place in the league. The game started out pretty well. A little history: Newport's head coach stepped down for a year. I'm not sure of all the details, but he needed some time for personal matters was one reason I heard. He's back this year. In the first inning, last year's head coach, who is an assistant this year, started popping off about balls and strikes. I decided not to bark at him about that, but rather find another reason to let him know that I do know where he is, that I do hear him, and that I wouldn't be putting up with any crap from him. So, I decided to tell him to move the bucket he was sitting on all the way inside the dugout, along with a long stare in his direction, and staying firm with him when he started to whine about it.

Things were quiet for a long time after that. That is, until the 7th inning. Newport was up 3-0. They were struggling a little. The had walked two in a row. Then, with a 3-2 count, I called a pretty close pitch a ball, for ball four. The assistant came storming out of the dugout glaring at me to go replace his pitcher. I found out from my partner while he was out on the mound, he was broadcasting general statement of disgust with my strike zone. My partner told him to stop, and he began to get into it with him. I found the head coach, who was out to give his catcher a ball or something, and told him to go get him, and have him stop with the strike zone stuff. As soon as the assistant was upset enough with my partner, he made a bee-line to me to tell me "To talk to your partner, and tell him he wasn't even talking to him!" I wasn't going to have any of that from him, and told him to stop, and get back in the dugout. He wasn't going to listen, so I ejected him.

Things went down hill from there. But, I didn't lose my strike zone. I did, however, change my body language, which isn't a good thing. I got some more good pointers from my partner, and Brad, a professional umpire. Now, I just have to implement them in games. I'll get a chance this week. Monday I've got the plate at wildfire, Tuesday I go to Toledo, and Friday I'm at West Albany.

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