Re: New Conduct Rule -DW?
Posted by Dan McGinnis on May 28, 2019, 5:13 pm, in reply to "Re: New Conduct Rule -DW?"
I usually don't post much on here anymore, since people call me out on virtually everything I say; however, I watched most of the Atlanta tournament on live stream - more so than usual and paid closer attention to what effect the new emphasis on the Code of Conduct might have. AND I can answer a couple of the questions posed above. |
Before I do, let's get the disclaimers out of the way. I concede that I am not affiliated with Conference or any teams in it. For some people on here, that disqualifies me from telling what I observed or having an opinion on most, if not all Conference-related topics. I contend that my lack of bias makes what I say here more objective than those with skin in the game. AND I do have a fairly well-rounded and extensive history with the game - including at the highest levels, so I am NOT upper level softball ignorant or naive. Also, I am a gray-beard (69 this year) and my hey-days were in the 80's & 90's. Some might say that alone makes me irrelevant and should keep me off this board. That being said, I am getting on here anyway and sharing what I saw this past weekend.
First, at least a couple of the umpires DID know about the conduct enforcement issue. A couple of times I heard people asking them about it through the backstop between innings and they gave common sense responses that they could only have given if they knew about the Code of Conduct and understood it. My guess is that the other umpires were probably equally up on it based on my observations on how they handled those situations.
Further, the umpires seemed fairly comfortable ringing up upper level players on legit called strikes, rather than being intimidated into not making the call. A called strike on strike two seemed to be the same as strike one. Overall they were pretty darn consistent on balls and strikes (from my camera-angle vantage point anyway) regardless of what those 10 ejectees might want to say. My take? If the stepped up enforcement becomes the norm, obviously the teams and players need to do a better job of adjusting to it - more so than the umpires.
Second, yes, there were instances when I felt the umpires had thicker skins than they needed to and let things go that I thought should have called for a response - at least a warning. Dale says 10 ejections and I say it could easily have been at least a half dozen more from the games I saw. For the most part, the umpires were more concerned with profanity directed AT people than an expletive outburst after a bad at-bat.
NOTE: I DID NOT AT ALL EVER GET THE IMPRESSION THAT THE UMPIRES I SAW HAD EXCESSIVE EGOS AND ACTED AS IF THE GAME WAS MORE ABOUT THEM THAN THE PLAYERS. Quite the contrary, they seemed almost invisible unless they NEEDED to be otherwise - and even then, they seemed low-key - not being overly demonstrative when ejecting someone who deserved it.
Also, mostly the umpires were pretty good about giving scores, the inning and number of HR's left. If these were just local umpires, they seemed up for the job and their lack of experience with Conference ball didn't show much - except for one thing. They were pretty liberal about letting batters step out of the box and go through their routines after nearly every pitch and letting pitchers screw around wasting time as well. Not at all surprising that a lot of games lasted over two hours.
Overall, I give these guys and gals a B+ or a low A-.