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Saturday, July 30, 2005
Don't Blame The Blue

In reading John Dermodyís article on amateur baseball, he so kindly took time to get his two-cents worth in on the umpires.  Well, here is my take. 

As someone who played on an amateur team for 10 years and have umpired in the Hi-10 and Regional tournaments for a few years, I want to ask you one question.  Why would anyone want to ump amateur baseball?

I love the game, and recently umped a doubleheader between NYM and the Shockers.  Even though it was a hot, muggy day, I left feeling good about umping amateur baseball again.  Both teams were good to work for and carried themselves well.

This has not always been the case.

More times then not when I have umped an amateur game you have to deal with players that think they are Major League caliber and treat the umps as dirt.  Too many times have I endured games that was nothing but constant complaining from both sides.  Not to say that calls donít get missed, as they do, but move on with it already.  I have seen this from players that I played with as well as now umping.

So why should I give up 4-6 hours of my day, depending on travel, to get yelled at for $50.  Hell, we make more doing a 7 inning high school game then we do a 9 inning amateur game!!!  Most of us do it as we love the game and enjoy it, but some of the attitudes have taken the fun out of the game for some of us wearing the Blue.

I do games every year, and I like to think that I am a pretty good umpire.  I miss calls and deserve to hear about them.  But how about letting the Umps yell at the players when they boot a ball or make a bonehead play?  Doesnít work that way does it!

I will continue to work games as I enjoy being around the game and when you work well played games that everyone does their job it is a great rewarding experience.  Sad to say that this happens far to infrequently.

 

Let the umps know if you disagree, but donít go overboard.  When the play is over, it is over.  Donít carry your argument with you as it will only lead to problems.  Enjoy the fact that we are all involved in this wonderful game and respect everyone.  Your teammates, your opponents, the umps and the fans.  A lot of young kids who are the future are watching.


Mick Stokes

Umpire

Posted By Mick Stokes
Sunday, July 10, 2005
It's The Little Things
Certainly nothing profound is said with the statement: "It's the little things!"

But how true, when you consider how well the Minnesota Twins are playing this summer...and at the same time how far behind they continue to sink.

It's the little things.

Early in the season the Twins continued to leave men on base...many in scoring position, as the Twins lost one and two-run games.

It's the little things.

A quality pitching staff goes deep in a count, then gives in to a marginal hitter, and they gap one for a two-run double.
 
It's the little things.

The grounder that last year went through the infield...this year is a tailor -made double play.
 
It's the little things.

How many different infielders, and as a result batting orders, have the Twins had to put on the field this year.  Consistency is important.
 
It's the little things.

And this year while the Twins scuffle, scramble, struggle to get the little things to pile up in their favor...teams like the White Sox, the Angels, and the Indians are getting the little things done.

I still like this team and if they get healthy and catch a couple breaks, they will be in the hunt for a wild-card team this fall.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for some fun this summer you have to look no further that your local communities.  Every week you can get involved in a golf tournament, basketball tournament, camp of some kind, car or motorcycle race,  many great fund raisers and some just for fun.

If you are bored this summer...that's your fault.

As you may have seen on SportsCow.com, we will see some changes in basketball this winter.  For me, the jury is still out.  I like basketball, so for me changes take awhile to sink in.  I was not a big fan of the three-point line when it first started.  I didn't like the unlimited foul rule they tried for awhile.  But two halves...we will have to see.
 
In response to John Dermody's article on town team baseball...

John makes some good points, but as I read it I also realized that what we see in amateur baseball today is a result of what amateur baseball wants us to see.

The good old days of filled stadiums, hard fought rivalries, and kids growing up dreaming of the day they could play for the town team are gone.  Town team baseball is still played, managed, supported by those who truly love the game.  They can't, and they know they can't, compete with all the other entertainment venues we are exposed to today.

But watch these guys prepare a field, watch them dress in the dugouts, and settle in on a warm summer night.  There is no other place they would want to be.  They are not playing to see who comes to the game, they are not playing to develop a younger player, they are not playing with the hopes an umpire gives them a break...they love the game....and it is a good game, run by good people.

Amateur baseball in Minnesota is not dead. I don't even think it's in trouble.

It's just different.  

Dan Skogen is Sports Director and Chief Operator for KWAD/KNSP/KKWS in Wadena.
Posted By Dan Skogen
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