Mechanic for Plate Umpire after Batter Hit by Pitch (Lost Mechanic)
A good mechanic which must be used whenever a batter is hit with a pitch –get your mask off, come out quickly from behind the plate and get between the batter going to first and the circle.
You must still use this mechanic as a good preventive umpiring technique even if it is not specifically covered in the current CCA manual. The most seemingly non-confrontational situation can escalate quickly. You may not be aware of the types of situations below. This is why we encourage umpires to discuss their experiences with teams and include a discussion on team tendencies during the umpire pregame.
Perhaps this pitcher and batter have past history and this is the hit-by-pitch which is the last straw for one or both of them.
Perhaps the pitcher has already hit multiple batters in this game and one of them is this batter’s best friend.
There has been bad blood between these teams
You did not hear a coach yell to the pitcher to move the batter off the plate, but the batter heard it
The pitcher is fed up with batters who have been hit by a pitch on their elbow guard while hovering over the plate and the plate umpire has awarded first base.
Watch for these “red alert” signs immediately after the batter is hit and as you are moving out from behind the plate:
Batter immediately stares at the pitcher before starting toward 1b
The pitcher stares at the batter, makes a move toward the plate area, or gives any indication that there may be a confrontation
The batter turns around and says something confrontational to the catcher.
The catcher immediately moves from her position as if something might happen (perhaps the catcher who has a beef with the batter)
Even the on-deck circle batter may want to get involved. A quick glance at her is advised.
One of the coaches, either from the coach’s box or the dugout may move aggressively toward the plate area and/or starts yelling anything to the effect that this is bullsh#%t, that’s the third batter who has been hit…or other argumentative communication
You can probably think of other situations or “alert signs” not listed above. If you have a good one, send an email to John Bennett so it can be added.
NOTE: Base umpires should also be aware and alert to these situations and “red alert” signs. You should be watching the action at the plate area and as the BR is moving toward 1b. You can do this as you are watching any runners who are you responsibilities on the bases. Look for the same “red alert” signs as listed above. Perhaps the plate umpire did not see the actions or hear the coach. Perhaps the plate umpire does not know of past history and it was not discussed among the crew before the game