I will admit, I used to be a young, stupid baseball coach. I used to get to into an umpires face because I didn’t like his/her call. I don’t do that any longer, not unless I really think that an umpire is out to screw one of my players, my team or myself and I doubt that this actually happens very much at all.
There is an umpire in Niagara who thinks that he’s God’s gift to umpiring – DL are his initials. He’s not a bad umpire, knows all of the rules and what not, quite likely at least as well as I do and likely better than I do. The only issue with him is that in every game, at least once, he makes his mark on that game. He either blows a call and one can only assume is isn’t just a bad call, he’s doing it because he can. I am sure he’d deny it and I am also sure that every coach that has ever had him as an umpire would agree with me.
I don’t think I am like that. I love baseball, I love coaching and I don’t mind umpiring. I don’t love it because of idiot coaches and players. A lot of them think it is ALL about them. It’s not – baseball is a team sport, sure, there are individual accomplishments but in general, you win as a team or you lose as a team. If an umpire is doing a good job, he or she should remain “unseen” on the field.
Last night, I unfortunately wasn’t “unseen” because of what I would describe immature, bratty, uncontrolled players from one of the teams that I had last night. The coaching staff of that particular team should be ashamed of themselves – if I EVER let my players get away with the chirping that those players did last night, I would retire as a coach. I never let my players chirp an umpire, ever. If I thought that something was bad enough that it needed to be discussed with an umpire, I would ask for time and go and speak with him or her. The players, and not all of them, were idiots. I am not sure what level of baseball it was, but those players will NOT get a scholarship, they will NOT get recruited. They don’t have the maturity to play ball at a higher level and this, I can guarantee.
I have been involved with baseball since the early 1990’s, before those players were born. I am not the be all and end all in baseball and I know that I have a LOT to learn but I have also seen a lot. I have been to clinics and I have been to umpiring courses as well. I am a Level 2 certified coach for Baseball Canada and have been a certified Level 2 umpire for about 10 years.
I have spoke with recruiters from colleges and universities both in the US and in Canada. I have been told what they look for. I have spoken to Major League Baseball scouts from various teams. I know what they look for.
What they aren’t looking for is the type of player that I saw last night.
All I have to add is this: To the players and coaching staff of the one team from last evening, you all need to grow up and learn what baseball is all about.