The level of coaches & umpires

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Aug 25, 2019
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The problem is, very little umpire training is provided. The softball sanctions all need to invest in and provide umpire clinics.
I've said it before, the first pitch I ever saw as an umpire was in a game, it was little league, but still......I went to local classes for both USSS A and high school ball, never had anyone evaluate my pitch calls, never did mechanics in the field.
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
6,351
113
California
I've said it before, the first pitch I ever saw as an umpire was in a game, it was little league, but still......I went to local classes for both USSS A and high school ball, never had anyone evaluate my pitch calls, never did mechanics in the field.
Wonder the percentage that happens no evaluation pitch calls n mechanics???
 
Apr 20, 2018
3,295
113
SoCal
David Eckstien has a short book that is a quick wonderful read. When my son played HS ball the Angels backup catcher, Miller, (Reggie Millers brother) later became a scout for the Angels and was responsible for bringing Eckstien to the Angels told the story of why he pressed management to take him. I wish I would have recorded it but the thing I remember him saying about him was he never gave up. He said his attitude in the dugout was the same whether they were losing 10 to 3 or if they were winning 10 to 3. He had heart.
 

pattar

I wasted time and now doth time waste me
Jun 8, 2016
12,372
113
David Eckstien has a short book that is a quick wonderful read. When my son played HS ball the Angels backup catcher, Miller, (Reggie Millers brother) later became a scout for the Angels and was responsible for bringing Eckstien to the Angels told the story of why he pressed management to take him. I wish I would have recorded it but the thing I remember him saying about him was he never gave up. He said his attitude in the dugout was the same whether they were losing 10 to 3 or if they were winning 10 to 3. He had heart.
Lol..everybody loves an underdog 😀. He had heart..and a lot of skill.
 
Last edited:
Apr 14, 2022
50
8
Ok but I am not sure why you keep saying arm accuracy? I am not an Eckstein expert but if a MLB SS lacks arm strength they would have to make up for that via glove to hand transfer quickness, playing the best angles, etc etc…not accuracy..
The 2 most important things are catching the ball (hand eye coordination) and making an accurate throw. An average arm vs a strong arm is a .1 of a second or a couple of feet on the runner. Very few plays are decided by this amount.
An accurate throw allows a full stretch. This will make up .05 seconds.
People tend to focus on the speed and velocity. Within reason the a higher fielding % trumps a few plays a year were getting the ball to first faster matters.
 
Jun 6, 2016
2,073
113
Chicago
The 2 most important things are catching the ball (hand eye coordination) and making an accurate throw. An average arm vs a strong arm is a .1 of a second or a couple of feet on the runner. Very few plays are decided by this amount.
An accurate throw allows a full stretch. This will make up .05 seconds.
People tend to focus on the speed and velocity. Within reason the a higher fielding % trumps a few plays a year were getting the ball to first faster matters.

I can assure you that in 2022, no MLB front offices evaluate a player's defense based on his fielding percentage.

It's very weird to bring of Eckstein in this discussion since he was not a good Major League defensive shortstop for his career. He had a couple solid seasons early in his career, but he had to move to second base for a reason.

More plays than you think are decided by the ~2 feet you mentioned, especially in high-level softball. It's gotta be way more than half.
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
6,351
113
California
The 2 most important things are catching the ball (hand eye coordination) and making an accurate throw. An average arm vs a strong arm is a .1 of a second or a couple of feet on the runner. Very few plays are decided by this amount.
An accurate throw allows a full stretch. This will make up .05 seconds.
✔ accuracy matters!
People tend to focus on the speed and velocity.
✔ They're definitely can be lagtime/slower time with non-efficient fielding mechanics and non-efficient throwing velocity. I do agree that a lot of people only look at velocity and forget the fact that non-efficient fielding/ transition mechanics eat up the clock.

In this way,
Efficiency in the entire defensive mechanics
From the intial touching of the ball to realesing it
and including throwing velocity...
matter to getting outs.

Like a catchers pop-time.
ALL defensive players should work on being efficient!
 
Last edited:
Apr 14, 2022
50
8
I can assure you that in 2022, no MLB front offices evaluate a player's defense based on his fielding percentage.

It's very weird to bring of Eckstein in this discussion since he was not a good Major League defensive shortstop for his career. He had a couple solid seasons early in his career, but he had to move to second base for a reason.

More plays than you think are decided by the ~2 feet you mentioned, especially in high-level softball. It's gotta be way more than half.
Eckstein played 8 seasons at short during that time he averaged .5 dwar. He moved to 2nd when he was 34 shortstop stats went down at 32. For reference over a similar span Seager is 2.7 dwar vs 4.0 from Eckstein. Eckstein (25-32) from 2001- 2006 had a 5.5 dwar, Edgar Rentaria (24-31) was 5.1 dwar with a gg. To say he is not good proves my point. That is why he was used as the example.
More games are decided on errors on routine balls than just missing a close play.
 
Jan 25, 2022
170
43
The level of coaches to the skill level their coaching and the level of umpiring to the games they umpire.


Topic question~
Do you think at a certain point there should be an upper level skill of a coach? (whether that's at the beginning ages or to upper talent level?)
And at a certain point
Do you think the Umpire should have better skills to officiate upper levels of talent in games.
*Primarily speaking to officiating travel ball.
Interesting concept~
"the level being umpired has little to do with the skill of the umpire" but should it?
I think the skill level of a coach should always be the best available of the willing candidates. But that's ultimately up to whoever is doing the hiring. A program that wants to win will actively seek out that kind of coach. That one I think is entirely dependent on the people supporting and administrating the program, regardless of the level. Obviously at lower levels you'll take just about anyone who will volunteer, which is usually a parent. That's how I got into it, and I was very reluctant to do so because I didn't feel I had the knowledge to do it. I played baseball until I was 15, and knowing what I do now, I know my coaches at that level didn't do much actual teaching, so I missed out on a lot.

But I knew what I didn't know, and when an opportunity to get someone more experienced with me kinda fell into my lap, I took it. I backed up and let him do his thing, and we worked really well together. I've learned a ton as a result. I try to be the best I can be, and I think at this point I'm a competent MS coach. I wouldn't try to coach a HS team yet, though...not just for my sake, but for the sake of the kids who could get a better and more successful experience under a more experienced coach's leadership. But not every potential coach is willing to admit something like that to themselves.


Umpires, though...they're officials, and officials should always be held to a high standard. I'm not speaking of parent volunteers or someone who was begged to officiate a game. I'm talking about real umpires who were trained, and are assigned and overseen. They should be competent and should be held to that standard by not only their own leadership, but by the coaches who are at the mercy of an umpire's calls. So I definitely think better umpires should be assigned to games with higher stakes. I've always figured there was pride involved in that anyway. I'm sure it's a high honor to umpire the world series, or officiate the super bowl or a national championship. Seems like props for a career well done.

There are awful umps, and awful coaches. As I said, many coaches reluctantly take the job and being awful is simply a product of inexperience or being sour over taking the gig out of necessity--and maybe some umpires take the jobs reluctantly as well when they see that the kids will suffer if there aren't enough officials. I try hard to respect ALL the umps. I wish I knew them all by name, but unfortunately the names I remember are from the bad experiences. Hopefully though, none of them see me coming and want to run. :)
 

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