Tag Archives: MLB

UmpTalk #18: Five Types of Managers

“People always want to know whether there’s a magic word. Is it ‘c*cksucker’? Is it ‘assh*le’? No. The magic word is ‘you.'”—Umpire Gary Cederstrom, as quoted in As They See ‘Em: A Fan’s Travels in the Land of Umpires, by Bruce Weber

We begin what will be an unending look at handling situations, arguments and the personalities involved in them. Today’s podcast is about the types of managers you will face when situations and umpire arguments arise.

Part of what makes me an expert in this field is because I was terrible at handling situations. Managers frequently got in my head, got me off my game and really affected the game.  But during those times, I would reflect on the situations where I failed, what caused me to fail and work on making myself better when the next situation arose. Towards the end of my career, I actually looked forward to participating in the art of the manager’s argument.

From observing these situations, I’ve been able to categorize five types of managers you will face off against. (I’m sure I’m missing some, sound off in the comments and tell me what I’ve missed.) Every manager is some type of the following. On Episode 18 of the UmpTalk Podcast, we look at these types of managers, their motivations and how to counter act those.

One podcast will not make you a better umpire arguer, but it hopefully will make you think about types of managers in your association and how you deal with them.

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SHOW NOTES:

Here’s my five types of managers, their objectives, the key phrases they use to get in your head and some tips on how to handle these situations.

MANAGER #1 – THE PSYCHIATRIST

OBJECTIVE OF THE PSYCHIATRIST:

  • To get in your head
  • Make you doubt yourself and maybe get a call later in the game

KEY PHRASES FOR THE PSYCHIATRIST:

  • “You’re better than that”
  • “Come on, <your first name>”
  • “I’ve seen you out here before, you don’t normally make that call”

HOW TO COUNTER:

  • Confidence. Don’t let it get to you
  • Be firm. This type of psychological warfare is hard to draw a line on, but be firm with your limits

VIDEO EVIDENCE OF THE PSYCHIATRIST:

No idea what was said here, but this is just awesome.

MANAGER #2 – THE VOLCANO

OBJECTIVE OF THE VOLCANO:

  • To blow off steam. Possible that the manager just runs hot
  • To inspire team

KEY PHRASES FOR THE VOLCANO:

  • <Censored>
  • <Bleep>
  • You <bleeping> <bleep> <bleep>

HOW TO COUNTER:

  • These are the easiest to handle because they often provide plenty of opportunities for an ejection
  • Then you can just sit back and watch the show
  • Most dangerous when they have a mouth full of chewing tobacco
  • Make sure you write down exactly what they said in the ejection report

VIDEO EXAMPLE OF THE VOLCANO:

Wally Backman

MANAGER #3 – THE CRICKET

OBJECTIVE OF THE CRICKET:

  • To get in your head
  • Take your focus off the game
  • Work the umpire for an extended period of time, possibly swing momentum
  • Trolling to get you to engage first and be the aggressor

KEY PHRASES OF THE CRICKET:

  • That pitch isn’t down
  • We got that pitch last inning
  • You’ve missed three on us now
  • Poke a hole in the mask, you’re missing a good game

HOW TO COUNTER:

  • Set a firm line, escalate when necessary (first look over, then say something with mask on, then take off mask, then eject)
  • Talk between innings, not inside his dugout
  • Don’t give the cricket the satisfaction of being the martyr unless absolutely necessary
  • Beware your body language on these

VIDEO EXAMPLE OF THE CRICKET:

Chirp, Chirp Donnie Baseball

MANAGER #4 – THE EYE DOCTOR

OBJECTIVE OF THE EYE DOCTOR:

  • Get an honest explanation of the play
  • Typically the eye doctor is the most reasonable to deal with
  • Maturity and confidence is key

KEY PHRASES OF THE EYE DOCTOR:

  • Tell me what you saw there.
  • What did you have on that play?
  • Are you sure about that play?

HOW TO COUNTER:

  • Difficult for younger umpires to deal with Eye Doctor because they often don’t have the right answer
  • Practice your rules phrases – knowing  a simple phrase like “voluntary release” can save an ejection
  • Don’t talk too much
  • Beware of The Eye Doctor turning into The Lawyer

MANAGER #5 – THE LAWYER

OBJECTIVE OF THE LAWYER:

  • Get you to define every period and every comma of the rule book
  • Get you talking and keep you talking until you screw yourself into the ground or twist yourself into a pretzel

KEY PHRASES OF THE LAWYER:

  • What does that mean?
  • Explain that to me.
  • <after first explanation> Well, that’s not what happened. Are you sure?
  • <after second explanation> Are you sure? Check with your partner

HOW TO COUNTER:

  • If you don’t know, shut up. The Lawyer is also a shark and can smell when you don’t know what you’re talking about
  • Know the same key phrases as above
  • Keep your sentences short, don’t keep talking when you’ve said what you need to say
  • If you do agree to check with your partner, don’t let him negotiate the terms. Tell him, “I’ll go check with my partner, but that’s where this ends. You’re not going to argue from that point forward.”
This has nothing to do with nothing, but it’s hilarious.

UmpTalk #17: Lance Schoenwald, Pro Umpire Camp

484814_445566532186016_189476148_nLance Schoenwald was a 2004 graduate of the Harry Wendelstedt School for Umpires and began a career in professional baseball.  But he didn’t stop there. He is now working to help others reach those professional ranks with the Pro Umpire Camp in Shreveport, LA.

We spoke with Lance about his umpiring career, what is important for umpires at the next level as well as finding ways to help those umpires around you.

Lance’s camp has a lengthy list of alums in Independent Baseball, Minor League Baseball as well as high levels of College Baseball.  Lance’s focus is on preparing umpires for the next level of umpiring and help with placement in six different leagues.

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Editors Note: I apologize for the sound quality of this episode and I managed to cut off the first 3 minutes of the interview. Lance, I’ll happily have you back on the podcast at a later date to do more of our talk at a higher quality level!

Umptalk #15: Billy Haze, D-I NCAA Umpire and Operator, Black & Blue Umpire Camps

Billy Haze, D-I UmpireBilly Haze was inches away from a dream and then walked away. Only to have the pull of baseball bring him back into the game.  Billy was an aspiring AAA Minor League Umpire, but didn’t get the MLB call up.  After some time off, he returned to the game and is now at the top of the D-I NCAA baseball umpires profession as well as helping others take their first steps in umpiring with the Black and Blue Umpire Academy.

BBUCBilly Haze and Michael Bilinci join us from the Black and Blue Umpire Camp to talk on Episode 15 about daily life as an NCAA umpire, who should attend the BBUC camps and the intangibles assigners look for when trying to find folks for the next level.

The Black & Blue Umpire Camps can be found on YouTube, Facebook as well as their website.

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Show Notes:

BBUC Umpire Camp – Main Website

BBUC YouTube Channel

BBUC Facebook Page

A cool video they show at the start of camp

Umptalk #14: Gil Imber of Close Call Sports

GilImber
In the era of sabermetrics and advanced statistics, the SABR revolution finds itself seeping into umpiring.  One of the leaders in this avenue is the website CloseCallSports.com. That website is run by Gil Imber and we talk with him on Episode 14 of the UmpTalk Podcast.

ueflbw2

 

Close Call Sports is a website that tracks umpire ejections but also allows the community to analyze close calls in not just baseball but all sports.

The site works to analyze controversial events objectively, but also introduces a big element of fun as well. It is a great website to visit for umpires, baseball fans and wanna-be rulebook lawyers.  The centerpiece to the website is an “Umpire Fantasy League” which tracks ejections of umpires, assigns scores to those ejections and allows players to get points according to how their “umpire team” does. The league also awards points for correct applications of rules as well as case studies.

We talk with Gil about how the website started and his own umpiring background as well as some of the more controversial posts on his website.

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Show Notes:

Close Call Sports Website

UmpTalk #11: Hunter Wendelstedt, MLB Umpire and Owner, Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School

SPORTS BBA-YANKEES-TWINS 8 MSHunter Wendelstedt was going to become a teacher. However, the “family business” had a higher calling for him and he followed in his father’s footsteps. Hunter and Harry Wendelstedt became the first ever father and son duo to  umpire a MLB game together in 1998.

Hunter did end up becoming a teacher, by the way, as he is now the owner and operator of the Harry Wendelstedt School For Umpires, the family’s other business.

On Episode 11 of UmpTalk, we talk with Hunter Wendelstedt about his father who umpired over 4500 professional baseball games. We talk with him about his own 15 year MLB career. We talk about concussions and, of course, we talk about Umpire School and “Safes and Outs.” logo2 So rarely do we get an opportunity to hear from the Men in Blue (or Black, or powder blue, but thankfully, no longer red) who work at the highest levels of baseball – listen closely towards the end of the interview when Hunter talks about how he spends every 7th Inning Stretch. Pretty cool stuff. Thanks to the folks at the Wendelstedt School for helping to set up the interview. iTunes43223322222Podcast42223242222  twitter_thumb1_thumb_thumb_thumb3322facebook_thumb1_thumb_thumb_thumb332[1]Google_thumb1_thumb_thumb_thumb_thum

Show Notes:

Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School Here’s a nice video by MLB on a look inside the Wendelstedt School The incident we spoke about in 2011 where Hunter got a concussion and finished the inning.

UmpTalk #9: Jim Evans, Former MLB Umpire

Episode 9 is an interview with former Major League Baseball umpire Jim Evans.  Jim was a veteran of the MLB Umpiring Corps for 28 years getting his start almost literally off the street and ending up working in four World Series, seven AL Championship Series and numerous All-Star Games.

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He was a crew chief and after his umpiring days were done, he put his education degree to work by creating the Jim Evans Academy of Umpiring in the early 90’s.

Jim is one of the most dynamic speakers you’ll ever hear about umpiring and we spent some time recently talking about his academy, his umpiring career and his advice on the study of the rulebook.

Show Notes:

  • The Academy of Professional Umpiring – Link
  • Professional Baseball Rules Index – Link
  • Jim’s Equipment Company Force3 Pro Gear – Link
  • New Umpire Mask (Not yet out)

UmpTalk #3: Five Umpiring Nevers

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Sweet Lou getting in the grill of an umpire. Maybe he failed an umpiring never?
Sweet Lou getting in the grill of an umpire. Maybe he failed an umpiring never?

Umpiring is all about getting in position, doing the right thing, making the right call – but there are certain “Nevers” in umpiring that are important to learn as well.  This is certainly not a comprehensive list, but a great start to further conversation.

Podcast 3 Show Notes: Continue reading UmpTalk #3: Five Umpiring Nevers