Thursday, May 25, 2006

Regular Season Is Over

Well, the regular season is over for me in terms of high school ball. The playoffs have started, but I don't anticipate getting any playoff games. I have some issues with that, but I'll keep those thoughts to myself, just in case....

I did get a league playoff game last Saturday to determine seeding for the state playoffs. The game itself wasn't all that great, but it's a playoff game none the less, I guess.

In other news for me: I was asked to come down to the Little League Western Region Junior Umpire School as an instructor in June! I've accepted the offer, and will be going down there with Bryan, who went down to the week long school with me, Randy, and his dad in January. I look at this as an oportunity for me to become an instructor at the "adult" school in the future. Because airfares are too expensive to the LA area, I'll be driving it both ways. 15+ hours each way. Should

I'm also about 2 months away from my regional now. I think I'm almost ready. I got confirmation e-mails about my shirts, pants, and hat that I will recieve, and my hotel accomodations. Things are beginning to finalize finally!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Regular Season Over

Well, the high school regular season is over now for the most part. I have one more league varsity game next week, and that will be it. Monday I had a plate game at Lebanon, one of our 4A schools. Since they aren't a Valley League team, we only send two umpires to their home games. This turned out to be a very important game, as it had a state playoff spot on the line. A big bonus for this game for me, was that I got to work it with John. We hadn't worked a high school game together in about a year or two, so we were both pretty pleased. We decided to wear our new silver shirts for this game, since neither of us had gotten the chance to wear them yet.

We arrived about 40 minutes before first pitch, to give ourselves plenty of time to get changed, etc. Lebanon is one of the few schools we service that offers us a good dressing room that is private, and enclosed. When they asked one of our senior umpires what one thing we wanted in there was, he told them "A white board for our pre-game." And we got it. I was suprised to see the turnout of fan support for this game. The bleachers were all pretty full, with many other people in folding chairs around the backstop. I would guess closer to 100 people were there, maybe more. Pretty impressive for a high school league game.

I got settled into a groove pretty easy for this one. I felt very solid, and only made a few mistakes that I kicked myself for. None hurt the game at all. About the 3rd inning or so, the visiting pitcher un-corked a pitch that hit the backstop on the fly. About three pitches later, the coach finally game out to see if he was injured, and he was. I of course allowed the replacement pitcher as long as he needed, since this was an emergancy situation. Game went smooth, and the visiting team ended up winning because of 5 costly errors from the home team.

All in all, I think I've just about conquered my issues I had early in the season. I think I'm very close to being where I want to be. I've fixed my mechanical stuff around the plate I was troubled by. I will be able to work out the last few small things by July 30th no problem.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Week Off....Kinda

Well, last week I only worked one game. Not because I was only assigned one. I was actually assigned two, and was going to pick up a Little League game or two to work. But, about the middle of the week I got pretty ill, and was layed up the rest of the week being sick, or healing up. Monday of last week I worked a freshman game over at West. I'm not used to seeing play quite that sloppy. The kids are also so small compared to the varsity kids I'm used to seeing all the time. Suddenly I felt tall again!

The game was pretty basic. The visiting team has an assistant coach who is shorter than 3/4 of the team. He looks like he should be playing, not coaching. He also doesn't understand how to talk to umpires. I watched a game the previous week a guy I know was working, and he demonstrated a lack of knowlage in how to ask simple respectful questions. He showed that ability during our game. Had a basic play at first turn into a near collision. First baseman bobbled a grounder, and ended up in a foot race to beat the runner to the bag. He dove head first at the bag, and tagged it with his glove in time. I sold the out, and the coach of course just kind of put his arms up and was saying something not loud enough to hear, so I went on my way out to right center field between innings. But, he wasn't going to stop, and started demonstrating that the first baseman had the ball in his throwing hand, and tagged the bag with his empty glove. Now that I was a little closer, I could also hear what he was saying finally(I decided not to be mean...I had a good one, too. "Speak up, I can't hear you...the players are in front of you...."). He was saying "Are you sure??" Confused, I just said. "Yep." Then, as if he hadn't asked the question: "Are you sure?" So now I lost my patience for the little one, and just said "Asked and answered", and went on my way. I think he said something like "But are you sure..." But I just ignored him. He wasn't contributing anything intellegent to the conversation, so I didn't need to waste my time. He wasn't being blatently disrespectful, either, so it wasn't worth making a big deal out of.

This week I'm off until Wednesday. I have a 2A game at Central Linn, followed by a 4A game Friday at West Albany for Cinco De Mayo.