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E-mail Blast to League - 1/26/18

01/29/2018, 9:30am PST
By Ted Mathias, tmathias@axway.com

Hi SCLL Parents,

We have two new Umpire Coordinators for SCLL and they have this important message for you.
If you have any questions, please e-mail them directly.
Joe Raymond, jraymon0@yahoo.com
Chris Hirano, chrishirano@gmail.com

Here is their direct message in quotes.
It makes a great read so if you have the time check it out!


“San Carlos Little League is looking to recruit 12 year-olds through College-aged youth to join our Youth Umpire Program. To apply for an important role as a youth umpire, please visit http://www.sancarlosll.org/umpires

As a youth umpire, you will gain some leadership responsibility, earn a little money, and stay connected to this wonderful and nuanced game of baseball by being an arbiter of the rules. Speaking of wonderful and nuanced baseball rules, the 1975 World Series is one where a couple of nuanced rules came into play.

The 1975 World Series is ranked by ESPN as the 2nd best ever. The Cincinnati Reds took the Boston Red Sox in 7 games. The Boston Red Sox and Curse of the Bambino would live on for another generation. The 1975 Series was an instant classic. Long before ESPN and 30 for 30 productions, Major League Baseball produced a brilliant film about the 1975 series. If you have never watched the film about the '75 Series, it should immediately go to the top of your Playlist. Every baseball fan should watch the film.

It was a series filled with gripping drama, extra innings contests and just a bit of intrigue about the rules of baseball. Red Sox Hall of Fame Catcher Carlton Fisk would play nearly 25 years in the majors. Across 25 years, most players would never see a couple of rules that Fisk got involved in during the 1975 series. These two rules are not-often-seen by any player, but here is how they went --

The most famous moment involving Fisk was in a dramatic game 6. This Fisk moment was an extra inning walk-off home run that curved, curved, curved into the left field corner of Fenway Park's Green Monster. Fisk exited the batter's box and willed the potential home run to stay fair... gesturing, gesturing, gesturing with two raised arms asking the ball to stay on the correct side of the "foul pole". Was it a fair ball? Of course it was a fair ball because it hit the "foul pole" and then bounced back into the field. It was the most dramatic walk-off home run in history. An oddity of baseball is that we generally call the yellow pole that stretches above the corner the foul pole. The confounding point of the name is that the foul pole is not foul. Rather, a ball that hits the foul pole is deemed fair and a home run! It's just one of those confusing conventions and nuanced rules of this wonderful game of ours. Fisk's home run punctuated the confusing rule that the "foul pole is fair".

Speaking of more confusing baseball conventions, one of the most confusing rules of baseball is the fielder obstruction vs baserunner interference call. These rules are sometimes obscured together as they are so nuanced and rarely seen or called. Well Carlton Fisk was involved in another extra inning rules nuance. In the 10th inning of game 3, the home-team Reds had a runner on first with no out. Ed Armbrister of the Reds layed down a sacrifice bunt to push the runner into scoring position. The bunt popped up in front of home plate. Catcher Fisk, in an athletic leap, launched out of his squat in looking for a force-out on the runner advancing to 2nd base. But, the hitter Armbrister got tangled with Fisk on his way to first base. After getting untangled, Carlton Fisk would rush his throw to 2nd. Fisk's throw would sail into center field. The runner on 1st advanced to 3rd on the overthrow. The Reds would win via a walk off single two batters later. Arguments ensued and much discussion with multiple umpires played out after the entangling play near home plate. Nevertheless, the ruling on the field stood that it was just an error on Fisk. Later, in interviews, veteran umpire Larry Barnett ruled that it was just a circumstantial event. He ruled that the batter has a right to get to first base just as equal as the right of Fisk to field the ball. The fact of the matter is that the umpire was dead wrong in so stating things in this way. The correct rule -- on a batted ball, the fielder (Fisk) has a pure right to the ball, and the baserunner (Armbrister) has an obligation to avoid interfering. Armbrister should have been ruled out, and the runner should have been moved back to first base. This incorrect call on a very nuanced and confusing rule was a big factor in the outcome of Game 3 and potentially the World Series.

What's the point of all of this? Well, we play a human game with many rules and a lot of nuance. Humans will get calls right and get calls wrong. Humans will make mistakes. Even on the biggest stage, and in the biggest World Series in history, strange rules, nuance, and human factors of umpires came into play. Here in San Carlos Little League, we are also human; our umpires are human. This year, our fellow human umpires will be a great group that is 100% staffed by our youth umpires. Historically, coaches and managers have been umpires on the field in partnership with our youth umpire troop. Our youth umpires will always do their best to govern the game as they see it. But, even if they make a call that you don't agree with, just remember the 1975 World Series. Larry Barnett, a professional umpire with an impeccable record got a call dead wrong. Adult professional umpires will mess up. Similarly, a youth umpire will make a wrong call on occasion. Just remember that these youth umpires are members of our community; they are our children. Above all, remember that they are human. Remember that the youth umpires are a grand part of this wonderful nuanced game of baseball.

Thank you to all youth umpire candidates who sign up for their service to Little League. Again, to sign up for the youth umpiring program, please visit http://www.sancarlosll.org/umpires

Joe Raymond
Chris Hirano
Umpire Coordinators
SCLL Board

San Carlos Little League

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