Refs - Get your hand signals Straight!

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Mr Epee, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. Mr Epee

    Mr Epee Rookie

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    The world of sports is going crazy over hand signals, and last night we had the unfortunate experience of seeing what can happen when they are used improperly.

    In last night's ALCS game, the Chicago White Sox defeted The The Angels Angels of Anaheim, in the bottom of the 9th inning because of a bad call and some confusion over the umpires hand signals.

    The home plate umpire called the third strike, clinched his fist, and gave the out signal. The the Angels Angels assumed this meant the Chicago batter was out, and started to leave the field. The umpire then reversed his call claiming that the pitch had hit the dirt (which it hadn't). In that situation, the catcher is obliged to either tag the runner or throw out at 1st. The catcher heard the out call. The pitcher saw the out call. The runner ended up on first base.

    A few pitches later he scored.

    Game over.

    Horrible refereeing - incorrect hand-signals.

    In a post game interview, the referee claimed that the clinched fist out signal was simply part of his normal motion. Ouch!

    Yes, it makes a difference.
     
  2. tbryan

    tbryan Podium

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  3. esskreemr

    esskreemr Din Ă„lskling

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    Yes, the highly subjective nature of baseball refeering is one of the reasons why baseball will never be a popular sport. The calls are simply too confusing for the average audience to follow.

    To improve the marketability of baseball I suggest the following:

    1)Change the name. 'Baseball' is rather boring. It should be called 'Super Happy Funtime UltraBall'.

    2) Reduce the number of 'bases' to two.

    3) Clearly delineate the bases from the ground. Perhaps by using easily viewable stakes.

    4) These stakes could also be a target for the pitcher. Perphaps set a few blocks on top of the batter's 'home' stake. A strike could be clearly called if the pitcher could knock the blocks off of the batter's stakes.

    5) The uniforms. Man, all those team colors really bug me. It's time that every team starts wearing white. Home, away, whatever, everybody wears white. Standard color for the numbers, perhaps allow them to wear socks that show their team colors. Other than that, white. Everybody loves the white.

    6) Change the rules every now and then. Last major rule change was like 1969 or so. Rule changes since then have been minor adjustments concerning materials that the ball could be made of, suspensions, etc. Force these changes on the Little Leaguers first, then when everybody complains, make them mandatory at all levels.

    7) remove the home run. Nobody enjoys those. Also, the foul ball has to go. It just delays the action. The batter shouldn't be penalized for hitting the ball. This will encourage more precise batting action.

    8) Those wood bats have to go. It's time for some spiffy bonded polymer bats.

    If baseball makes these changes, I have been assured by a source I won't (or can't) mention, that baseball will be reinstituted into the Olympics AND will start to get air time on television.
     
  4. AllisonT

    AllisonT Rookie

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    Don't forget to have all the players wear clear lexan caps so that spectators sitting in the upper decks can see the intensity of players' eyes! Catchers will wear a bubble on their heads.
     
  5. RITFencing

    RITFencing Rookie

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    Sounds like something out of late night japanese TV. I would totaly watch Super Happy Funtime Ultraball, but then I already watch baseball, so I guess I don't count.
     
  6. epeemike81

    epeemike81 Rookie

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    really? I thought it sounded like cricket.... ;)

    -m
     
  7. GGK

    GGK Rookie

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    Do not taunt Super Happy Funtime Ultraball.
     
  8. oiuyt

    oiuyt Podium

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    Except that cricket DOES have a home run equivalent (send the ball over the boundary rope laid around the field and you score 6 runs, hit it over or to the rope on one or more bounces and you score 4).

    -B
     
  9. KD5MDK

    KD5MDK Moderator

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    Eh? It should score 6 runs.
     
  10. oiuyt

    oiuyt Podium

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    Only if ground rule doubles net you 4 runs.

    -B
     
  11. chiz

    chiz Rookie

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    If you have to be spot on everytime

    ... yea, just ask the bookies.

    Chiz
     
  12. penguin_2000

    penguin_2000 Rookie

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    In order to make clear when a runner is out of a force play (i.e. fielders attempting to turn double play via 6-4-3, 4-6-3, 3-4-3, etc), the fielder must have his foot on the bag for no less than 15 ms (mid-infielders must carry their own health insurance as well)...

    Every few years or so, they should "experiment" on the size of the strike zone to and the length of the basepath to find what works best.

    But to baseball's credit, no umpires are allowed to call simultaneous or "I couldn't follow the action"... can you imagine, bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, man on 3rd, home team down by 1 run, ground ball hit, runner and the ball arrive at the 1st base at the same time, and the 1st base umpire says, "together, nothing done"... It does make for an exciting game.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2005
  13. edew

    edew Podium

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    I actually think that would be cool for baseball. Imagine a hit to the SS. He throws to first and it's a tie according to the umpire. Re-do. That way, neither side could say they were gyped.
     
  14. RITFencing

    RITFencing Rookie

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    One thousand and one pardons, sir.
     
  15. cobaltblade

    cobaltblade Rookie

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    Last edited: Oct 13, 2005
  16. Chafunkta

    Chafunkta Rookie

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    Mr. Epee,

    While I do not doubt your knowledge on fencing hand signals, because I have just started to learn them, I have to question what you know about baseball umpire's hand signals and mechanics. Obviously you do not know them.

    The ALCS umpires made the correct call, hand signals and everything. On a swinging third strike, the out call is made with the hands as well as with a verbal "Out!" call. It is the same call if the catcher drops the ball (or in his case, if the ball hit the ground). The umpire calls the batter out and makes the signal. The runner can still run if the ball was dropped.

    If the umpire doesn't see the ball hitting the ground, but has a suspicion, then he can appeal to one of the base umpires whether they saw the ball hit the ground or not.

    Say, for instance it's an 0-2 count on the batter and the pitcher throws a strike that the batter just lets go by, but the catcher drops the ball. Is that umpire supposed to not say anything, giving an unfair advantage to the batter by telling him he can run to first? No, the out call is made, and then the batter may run on account of the dropped third strike.

    An umpire's call is not always the end-all-be-all of a call. What happens if a batter-runner is going to first, beats the throw, but misses the base? The umpire will make a safe call indicating that the batter-runner was there before the ball. The batter-runner missing the bag is left to an appeal play by the defense. In order to get the out for the missed base, the defense must then tag the runner (Thus making an appeal).

    So before you criticize hand signals and calls, maybe you should learn the rules and proper mechanics that are to be followed.


    David

    River City Umpires Association
     
  17. Mr Epee

    Mr Epee Rookie

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    Thank you David,

    That makes things even more interesting to me.

    You are correct. I do not know what instructions the MLB rule book gives to its umpires. Last night, we learned that most fans, and aparently many professional players also do not know the rules regarding the umpire's hand signals.

    When I see an umpire pumping a closed fist, I expect someone to be Out. The action used by this particular umpire looked to me like the same hand signal given by the first base umpire when the runner is out. Maybe there is some common variation on the hand-signals... but I can only speak as an observer.

    The point here is not to hammer the poor umpire, but instead to point out that variations in hand signals between individual referees can be the source of major confusion. In the worst case scenario, it can change the outcome of an event.

    It's a good learning experience for the many fencing referees here on this forum.
     
  18. pacer

    pacer Made the Cut

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    To improve the marketability of baseball I suggest the following:



    Don't you think its unfair that only fencers have to deal with new timings?
    I think the marketabilitity of baseball could be improved if there were some new time limits - no more 18 inning games, and maybe limit the amount of time the pitcher has to throw a pitch or else he gets carded for delay of game.
     
  19. oiuyt

    oiuyt Podium

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    Interestingly (to me at least) during an interview with Pierzynski I caught tonight there was a clip of the play that he's mentioned several times where he was victimized in a similar situation (at-bat pitcher headed back to dug out, got almost there, then broke for first). In that clip, which I've only seen the once, it appears that THAT umpire also made a similar out signal for the dropped third strike. While the umpire interviews (both the umpire in question last night and the supervisor in interviews today) very much feels like just claiming that the right thing was done regardless of reality, from the other clip I saw it seems that perhaps giving that out signal isn't unusual. I'm inclined to believe that the umpire last night didn't do anything wrong.

    -B
     
  20. Chafunkta

    Chafunkta Rookie

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    That's a good situation, ouiyt. The batter is not out until he/she goes into the dugout. If you really want to exploit the rules, you can watch the catcher drop the third strike, sulk back to nearly the dugout... and then break for first. The batter-runner is not called out until he/she has entered the dugout.

    There's a ton of ways to exploit rules in baseball/softball. It's great as an umpire telling some of these things to players. They're always amazed.

    If only the players read the rules...
     

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