"When you're playing Little League baseball you don't get the pro umps". This quote came from one of the "senior" umps at Tuesday nights game. No shocker there, but at least be fair.
They played a team they've played before. A team with coaches similar to Dylan's coaches. A group of guys who show respect for the kids and teach them the game. Theres some yelling once in a while, but they also give credit when credit is due.
After two innings there was some grumbling about the strike zone. This was coming from both teams so at least the ump was being fair in that case. The more senior ump was behind the plate but making a lot of calls that the field ump should have been making. He just so happened to not see the play where the first base kid blocked the runner from advancing to second. We're talking standing in front of him with his arms out. This happened several times and when the coach called it out they simply didn't see it. They did however see Dylan knock a kid out of his way and talked to the coach about it. The coach had previously asked the boys how many of them played football, and told them to use their shoulders to get through if they needed to. Then there was the play where one of Dylan's team was coming into home and the catcher missed the ball but blocked the plate. He was safe but the ump said not a word about the play.
Now we come to the final inning. The game is tied 2-2 and they have completed 7 innings. They decide to play one more inning as they are within the time limit. Dylan's team does not score. There are two outs and they get a base runner. She steals second and then on a hit takes off for 3rd base. The ball gets thrown to 3rd and the kid puts the tag on her before she reaches the base. The field ump calls her out. Final out, the team starts to leave the field and the home plate ump suddenly yells "Safe". What!! The coaches are in shock, the kids are in shock. He had the out. A little arguing goes on and senior ump tells them he had a better view. The other coach tells him that she was clearly out. He's not budging. The game continues and she ends up scoring.
Dylan's coach ended up filing a protest to have the game brought back to tie. The coach from the other team agreed. This is where I have some respect for him. They clearly did not win the game and I know had the tables been turned Dylan's coach would have acted the same as he did. The kids get a little talk after the game and we overheard their coach tell them that although the record shows they won, he didn't think the win was fair.
The kid that made the play at third usually bobbles the ball when thrown to him. He lets a lot of balls that should have been fielded by him go into left field. This was his first real play and the smile that broke out on his face when he put the tag on was more of a look of relief. Soon turned to a frown but he got some reassurance once the game was over.
So I'm not sure on what the rule is on one ump overturning a call by another ump but I guess we'll find that out tonight. Hopefully they'll have different umps tonight.