Friday, February 22, 2013

Shucks & Fickle

Shucks! I spent three whole days out watching umpires at the Kajikawa tournament and didn't see a single hairy brouhaha or even a dicey umpire screw-up - things that no umpire want in his or her game but that often serve as great teaching moments for other umpires. That is a tribute to the umpires who worked that tournament. They brought their A games. They came ready to umpire even though it was still mid February. So what I did see was a lot of very good umpiring and umpires focused and working on their games. 

Last weekend I observed umpires in a smaller tournament and they did have a somewhat unusual play - which they handled well enough. It got me thinking and maybe it will you too. 

Here's the situation: bases loaded, less than two outs, batter hits what could be an infield fly between home and first base. The fielder is straddling the line ready to catch the ball. The umpire declares, "Infield fly rule. Batter is out if fair." Then the batter-runner plows into the fielder. Well, that's interference for sure but is there more?

Say the collision happens before the ball is touched (thus not yet obtaining fair or foul status) - is it fair or foul, is it infield fly or not?
Say the collision happens just as the ball is touched over fair. That makes the batter-runner, who interfered, already out on the infield fly rule.
Say the collision happens just as the ball is touched over foul. So now the batter-runner is not out on the infield fly rule but she still interfered with a catchable fly ball. 

There is a lot to sort out on a play like this. Keeps you sharp. Makes you get back in the rulebook. 

In The Brothers Karamazov by F. Dostoevsky, a character laments, "Fickle is the heart of a woman."
And so that is my excuse for yet once again changing up, rearranging the Cactus Umpires web site. 

It occurred to me that by having all the 'umpire stuff' on a page different from the home page, that most umpires would, after initially browsing the whole site, simply go straight to the Umpire Stuff page and never again visit the Home page. Well, I want to post important (relative, I know) stuff on the Home page…or, leastwise, stuff I would like umpires to see. 

So here's what I'm gonna do. I am going to eliminate the Umpire Stuff page and put all that was on it, on the Home page. That way if you want to see the Umpire Stuff, you will have to go to the Home page…and hopefully notice my 'important' announcements. Ha Ha. I will probably devise a sub menu for across the top of every page and, of course, have already put a 'quick links' menu at the bottom of every page. Another thing I plan to do is have a "What's New?" section on the Home page. Then, whenever I add something to a page, I will put that page in the What's New? section with a date of when I updated or added something. My thought is that that will let you go straight to whatever is new without having to search all around the site for new stuff. 

I'm working on all that now. I'll keep the Umpire Stuff page up for a while with a redirect on it for those of you who are already going straight to it. 

Happy Umpiring!

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Web Site and Kajikawa

I've been getting a little more work done on the Cactus Umpires site. I tired of sorting through video (for the time being) and starting looking through my stacks of pictures. Found some good action sequences so have added them to the Pictures page...causing me to have to create a page 2. Have a couple more - shorter - sequences to get up but not sure when that will happen. 

There is an excellent sequence showing Malcolm Boyles adjusting to a play at the plate. He lets the play show him and push him into a great position for the call. 

Also got one more video up talking about the college mechanic changes and how they might affect you in ways you may not have thought much about. 

So while I was puttering around in the site, I decided some 'quick navigation' links at the bottom of each page would make it ever-so-much easier to move around the site. You will find these quick links at the bottom of every page for everything that is in Umpire Stuff.

The college tournament Kajikawa begins this Thursday, Feb. 7. I will be out and about observing umpires at it. Maybe I will even get some new pictures or video clips for the site. For sure I will get good discussions that perhaps I can share on this blog. Stay tuned...

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Moving On

I was hoping to get some discussion about the crow-drag. It's got to be a pretty pertinent issue for umpires but maybe I'm the only one that finds the direction given a tad confusing. I also understand there might be a certain amount of risk for an umpire to post a comment so I guess we'll just move on. 

Lots of rain here in Phoenix this past weekend so I locked in and got some work done on the web site. Uploaded about 20 more videos and have a good start at organizing and getting more ready to go. I discovered with the number of videos growing that I had to have a better navigation system so put a new one in place. Check it out on the Umpire Stuff page and let me know what you think. I think it will make finding what you want, or even just browsing, easier. Also added a Search function. Heck...if the rain keeps up, I may get a whole lot more done. 

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