Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tmac's Teachable Moments - Base Touches

Occasionally, it's fun to take a play and break it down and use it as a teachable moment. Welcome to Tmac's Teachable Moments, analyzing the best in baseball—from an umpire's positioning and mechanics point of view.

Let's look at this play from the Reds and Rockies game.  Here we have an appeal of 3rd base on a runner who scored.  This is a play that we all dread, but in this case, we have a 3rd base umpire who can and should be feet from the play.  You'll notice at the 1:16 mark of the below video ("read more") that our 3rd base umpire is nowhere in frame.  I prefer getting low leaning in and being close to a touch when I'm at 3rd.  It gives you credibility in that one in 300 chance a runner actually MISSES a base.  I feel like I see a missed touch about once a week, BUT they usually don't appeal.

In this case, 3B Umpire Adrian Johnson calls the runner out and if you look closely, you can see the runner hesitate a couple steps past the bag.  We take this information in as a picture begins to present itself.  Now, Johnson is afforded the luxury of Replay, but sadly, most of us are not, so if you get the opportunity, stick your nose into a touch.  Coaches and Managers see this and it gives you credibility with the call you have to make.  In this case we have only one place to be as a 3rd base umpire.... We're looking for a touch and we're looking for the possibility of a following play into 3rd base from the catcher.

When we get in close on touches we're engaged to the action and we have all important believability.  Happy Umpiring!!

Video: ("Read More")
Alternate Link: Cincinnati appeals a base touch at the hot corner (MLB Network)


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