Notes from Kleiner's Korner

Game Management

April 25, 2024

We are now in our third week, and everything overall is going great, and I have received some good feedback as well as my own observations from several games so far. 

Please continue to work on game management skills. Many of you have made great strides in this area and it shows with only a couple of ejections so far. 

Game management is not only dealing with discipline but also game situational awareness.  This is what I would like to see some more focus on.  Having a true feel for the game at hand.  Little things like knowing when it is likely a bunt should be happening, i.e., 1st and 2nd with no outs late in a tie game.  Knowing this can help with coverage with a “cheat a step of two”.  Also, for the plate guy, extra focus on the pitch and attempt.  I have seen a few good pitches called a ball in a bunt pull back.  Remember, you need to know if he offered, but you also must call the pitch.  Sometimes watching the bat takes your focus off the pitch.

Another item that will gain you credibility with coaches is something as small as having a feel for when a coach is going to make a mound visit or issue an intentional BB.  A quick glance toward the coach in these situations prevents the coach yelling to get your attention or worse having to walk all the way from the 3rd base box to get your attention.  You will be surprised at how they register that little acknowledgment as “hmm, this guy is in the game and in tune”.  Know when it is likely for a pinch runner or pinch hitter. Doing the same thing, a quick glance will help with awareness and game flow.

These are a few of the “little things” that move umpires to the “next level” so to speak. 



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