Jump to content


Photo

The use of an illegal bat in Florida District game

rules cheating district sectional florida

42 replies to this topic

#1 BaseballMom

BaseballMom

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 7 posts
  • LocationFlorida

Posted 20 July 2014 - 03:43 AM

Hello! I would appreciate your comments on the situation that unfolded here this past week.

 

Last weekend the District Championship game for Florida District 2 LL BB was held in West Melbourne, Florida. The West Melbourne (WMLL) team of 12 yr. olds faced the Eau Gallie (EGLL) team and the game ended in controversy because an illegal bat was used to hit a homerun and bring in the winning runs.

 

The WMLL coach tried to call timeout immediately after the homerun but the umpires did not grant it. Not until after 2-3 pitches were thrown to the next hitter was his request granted since he would not stop calling for time. The EGLL team tried to hide the bat but it was eventually brought back for the umpires to review and it was deemed illegal. However, the umpires determined the protest had come too late. On that technicality, the umpires presented the WMLL coach the option to play or forfeit the championship game.

 

The Southeastern Region officers were given facts on Monday and they did not return a ruling until late Friday evening.

  • The bat used is illegal.
  • The runs count and the EGLL keeps the win.
  • The EGLL coach and player have to sit out the next game.
  • EGLL advances to Sectional.
  • WMLL season is over.

 

While the rule states that the WMLL coach had to call timeout before the next hitter was pitched to, what happens when the umpires will not give him the time out he is calling for? 

 

How can the LL admit that the bat used to bring in the winning runs is illegal and let the runs stand and the cheating team advance?

 

What do you tell little 12 yr. olds who are taught to obey the rules when they see the cheating team be rewarded and their season cut short?

 

What if EGLL wins Sectional? Can you imagine the headlines - "Team Uses Hot Bat to Blaze Trail to Williamsport" ?

(picture of the yellow Louisville Catalyst on the fence prior to being used)

 

I appreciate your time and your comments.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Illegal bat used at District 2 championship game by EGLL.jpeg


#2 Manny

Manny

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts
  • LocationNorthern Virginia

Posted 20 July 2014 - 11:28 AM

Well, by rule, SE Region was correct. It's too late to protest an illegal bat once the next batter enters the batter's box. They didn't even need to penalize the manager and player with missing the next game since that penalty comes with an appropriate appeal of the violation.

My question: Why did WMLL's manager wait until the kid hit the home run to try to appeal? If he suspected the bat was illegal, he should've said something right away. You talk of obeying rules, but the manager waited and waited until then to bring up the fact that the bat was illegal? That's pretty unsavory in my mind.

And how do you know that EGLL flat-out cheated? Could it be possible that this kid unknowingly used an illegal bat? LL's bat rules have gotten so out of hand recently with what is and what isn't legal, it's hard to keep track. And why wasn't that bat discovered by the tournament staff before the tournament even started, or by the umpires before the game?

All that said, if the manager truly had no clue of the illegal bat until that moment (maybe a parent tells him as the kid rounds the bases that the bat might be illegal), he should've done everything possible to be heard, to include walking out onto the field and getting the plate umpire's attention. If that were me, I would've been out there in a flash and forced the issue, and then go to the TD and yell, "I protest!" if the umpire wouldn't grant me time. I certainly wouldn't have stayed in the dugout and let my pitcher deliver pitches.
Manny Aponte

#3 Lou Barbieri

Lou Barbieri

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 3,082 posts
  • LocationThe Villages, Florida

Posted 20 July 2014 - 01:33 PM

First, the rule should say prior to the next pitch (just like BOOT) not prior to next batter entering the Batter's Box.

So, the kid hits a home run with an illegal bat, the next  batter runs out and gets into the batter's bix

The opposing manager asks for and it is granted time but it's too late, the next batter is already in the box!

 

I agree with Manny, if I was the manager I'm telling my pitcher not to pitch.

If need be I'm asking my catcher or pitcher to ask for time.

No way am I letting a pitch be thrown before I get to make my Protest.

 

As for this incident, since the pitcher did throw some pitches to the next batter I don't see where the Protest could be upheld, sorry.

At least the Region took "some action" by suspending the manager and player from the next game.



#4 Manny

Manny

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts
  • LocationNorthern Virginia

Posted 20 July 2014 - 01:56 PM

Lou brings up a bone of contention that I had when I read the rule.  How in the world did LLHQ justify making the appeal viable until the next batter steps in the box?  They turned this thing into a race between the next batter and the manager.  Heck, the next batter could get into the batter's box while the previous kid who used the bat is circling the bases!

 

Perhaps they purposely did it to prevent this exact scenario of the unscrupulous manager who waits until the kid who unknowingly uses an illegal bat hits a home run, and then wants to take it away from him.  I dunno; maybe I'm giving LL more credit than they are due.

 

But I agree with Lou.  The rule should allow for the appeal to be made until a pitch or play, just like it is in any other organization that has illegal bat penalties. 


Manny Aponte

#5 Guest_BaseballMom_*

Guest_BaseballMom_*
  • Guests

Posted 20 July 2014 - 09:12 PM

Thank you reviewing this with me. Without writing a book about it all here's a little bit more background. 

  • Before the homerun became the issue, the head umpire instructed the other 3 umpires to ignore any calls from the WM coach & that all calls from the coach would only be recognized by himself.
  • He also gave a clear directive to the coach to not set foot on the field unless he was granted a timeout or he would be summarily ejected from the game.
  • The homerun is hit.
  • While the kid is rounding the bases a spectator shows a picture of the bat to the coach.
  • The coach starts  asking to be recognized by the umpire.
  • The kids are all surrounding the homerun hitter and the next player gets ready to bat.
  • The head umpire told the pitcher to play ball ignoring the coach's calls.
  • When the umpire finally acknowledged the coach - because he wouldn't be quiet, 2-3 pitches had been thrown (and the illegal bat had been taken out of the dugout and into a car in the parking lot!).
  • The coach said he wanted to protest the game based on the homerun bat.

Should he have run out onto the field risking ejection by an umpire who was clearly NOT being helpful?



#6 Lou Barbieri

Lou Barbieri

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 3,082 posts
  • LocationThe Villages, Florida

Posted 20 July 2014 - 10:42 PM

As I said above, he should have told his pitcher to not throw a pitch.

The pitcher (or the catcher) could have asked the umpire for Time.

Once Time was granted the manager can come onto the field and make his Protest.

 

One thing to note, "While the kid is rounding the bases a spectator shows a picture of the bat to the coach." that is actually illegal, the manager and coaches are not supposed to be in contact with/talk to the spectators.

 

That said, for whatever reason, it does sound like the Ummpire had a problem with your coach/manager.



#7 richives

richives

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,122 posts
  • LocationOwego, NY

Posted 21 July 2014 - 02:39 AM

As I said above, he should have told his pitcher to not throw a pitch.

The pitcher (or the catcher) could have asked the umpire for Time.

Once Time was granted the manager can come onto the field and make his Protest.

 

One thing to note, "While the kid is rounding the bases a spectator shows a picture of the bat to the coach." that is actually illegal, the manager and coaches are not supposed to be in contact with/talk to the spectators.

 

That said, for whatever reason, it does sound like the Ummpire had a problem with your coach/manager.

 

The participants may not address (or mingle with) the spectators. Nothing about listening if one addresses them. Like in the LLWS having them yell that a runner missed 2B.  3.09


  • BaseballMom likes this

#8 B_Hanlon

B_Hanlon

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 623 posts
  • LocationPomfret Center, CT

Posted 21 July 2014 - 03:19 AM

It all sounds bizarre, I have never heard of an umpire that would not recognize a coaches request for a time out. What if the manager wanted to visit with his pitcher who just gave up a home run? The manager is going to walk out of the dugout and call time and no way would he be ejected.

I'm guessing it took 2-3 pitches before the parent showed the coach and the coach acted on the evidence.

#9 BaseballMom

BaseballMom

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 7 posts
  • LocationFlorida

Posted 21 July 2014 - 04:55 AM

Thanks again for taking the time to read. It is difficult to explain without someone doubting that what transpired was actually true. I am just a "baseball mom" of a player on the team that lost trying to retell it as objectively as possible but the events are surreal.

 

The coach did not wait until 2-3 pitches were thrown. Once the homerun hitter was rounding home his team came to the plate to welcome him and the coach got a better look at the bat.  He immediately tried to get the umpires, any of them, to recognize him, not wanting to risk the head umpire ejecting him as he had been warned would happen. The coach did not stop until the umpire asks him what he wants, and the coach says protest the home run bat. I cannot say why the pitcher kept pitching, I'm assuming it's because the head umpire told him to continue.

 

Also, and this is to show how some people knew what our coach was yelling about, right at that time, the brother of one of our players gets a video of a person from the opposing team trying to hide the bat in a car in the parking lot!

 

Our coach was also told to stay in his dugout while the umpires conferring with the DA. They ask to see the bat and they are shown a different bat. Only because of the digital pictures were they forced to bring out the right bat. The protest went all the way up the chain to Williamsport but our coach was not a part of any of the conversations, not even allowed to listen in.

 

I understand the rule about the protest having to be made before the next at bat but the umpires seemed to have the coach over the barrel. The game was close, actually top of the last inning and he didn't want to risk ejection.

 

It makes me sad to see my 12 year old saying that the other team should not be in Sectional today because they cheated. Our team was a really good one, nice boys who practiced hard in the hot Florida sun. Unfortunately in this game they were off their usual batting abilities & didn't score as much as they were used to so a close game decided by an illegal bat is really hard to take for them.



#10 Lou Barbieri

Lou Barbieri

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 3,082 posts
  • LocationThe Villages, Florida

Posted 21 July 2014 - 11:10 AM

Rich, I agree, but a fan yelling out something is totally different than a spectator coming over to the fence with a picture and the coach going over to the fence to look at it.

Now, if someone was yelling "that's an illegal bat" OK, but coaches should not be going over to the fence to talk to spectators or look at picutres.

That said, I would think the "punishment" would probablby be a Warining with a "don't do it again".

 

==============

By the way, EGLL went 0-2 in Sectionals, they lost 5-0 and 11-1.

I guess they didn't get to use any illegal bats !!!



#11 lenniegladue

lenniegladue

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 21 July 2014 - 03:53 PM

Quick questions: Regarding the plate umpire, what is his 'home' league? Might have something to do with his unwillingness to acknowledge the manager. How many times was the illegal bat used prior to the homerun?



#12 amutz

amutz

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 888 posts
  • LocationNorCal

Posted 21 July 2014 - 04:14 PM

I am surprised the Umps permitted the bat in the first place.  All bats should be inspected before the game and non-approved bats removed from the dugout.   It's standard pre-game stuff.



#13 Mike_Hirschman

Mike_Hirschman

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 1,325 posts
  • LocationWinston-Salem, NC

Posted 21 July 2014 - 04:28 PM

There is obviously a lot to this story, including emotions.

 

In the end, SE's hands are tied. I would venture to guess the District Administrator received an unpleasant phone call after this all went down. But once a pitch is thrown, there isn't much that can be done about a protest. The protest would be in reaction to not observing the illegal bat request BEFORE a batter gets into the box. So ultimately, I would sense that you COULD have two points of recourse here... but once the pitch is thrown, it is done. That's why we tell coaches that if they want to, refuse to play until you get your phone call. 

 

The illegal bat rule wording issue is a valid one... but since it is written similar to other illegal bat rules (i.e. FED), the protest timing during tourney play probably wasn't fully thought out. 

 

And if you don't think these kids and coaches are hiding bats and pulling them out a little later when "necessary", guess again... 



#14 Mike_Hirschman

Mike_Hirschman

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 1,325 posts
  • LocationWinston-Salem, NC

Posted 21 July 2014 - 04:34 PM

As an addendum.... LL HQ has suspended player and coach for a game each and will look at the wording of the rule:

 

http://www.floridato...eague/12869697/



#15 USEXPEDITE

USEXPEDITE

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • LocationTENNESSEE

Posted 21 July 2014 - 05:37 PM

I think it all comes down to the little things that need to happen before the Managers Plate Meeting. Umpires need to check ALL equipment ie: Bats for cracks, dents and being illegal. Catchers gear to insure Mask has a Dangling Throat Protector. Then BOTH managers need to be asked "Coach is your team equipped to Little League Standards?"

With all that being said I hope that the PU had some hard questions asked of him during his after game Evaluation by the representing District Umpire Consultant.


J. Gallagher

L.L. Umpire Registry

Babe Ruth National Umpires Assoc.

Tenn. Secondary School Athletic Assoc.

ABUA, NASO


#16 Lou Barbieri

Lou Barbieri

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 3,082 posts
  • LocationThe Villages, Florida

Posted 21 July 2014 - 06:46 PM

I agree with the pre-game inspections but if they "tried to hide the bat after it was used" it wouldn't be a stretch to think this bat somehow made its way into the dugout AFTER the equipment inspections.

Game comes down to the last inning/last at-bat and somehow Jimmy's loaded bat makes its way from the car to the dugout just in time for Jimmy's at-bat.

Likewise, it makes its way back to the car right after it was used !!!

 

Unlikely, maybe/maybe not (unfortunately).



#17 BaseballMom

BaseballMom

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 7 posts
  • LocationFlorida

Posted 21 July 2014 - 06:57 PM

lenniegladue .... This game was actually a second game played that day. My son pitched the first game and he thinks it was used then, too, because of a really long homerun hit in that game.  We had played this team before so he was familiar with their caliber.

 

The head umpire was from our league and apparently had a "history" with our coach. Coach is a dedicated, passionate baseball kind of guy with 2 sons playing on the team; not saying he's perfect but he knows his stuff. I also know his dealings with the boys has never been questionable; always, even when they mess up, building them up - and I've been in LL for 11 yrs and have seen some men who don't belong near children.

 

amutz and Mike_Hirschman ... It was a long, soap-opera kind of day :-)  : double header,in the humid heat and lightning/bad weather delays typical of Florida Summers. Same umpiring crew worked both games. In the first game, the coach had protested a similar bat which had been thrown out because the end cap had become dislodged. In the second game, coach had questioned another bat but the umpire had said it was fine and told coach to "move the game along."  So yeah, there's more to the story.

 

usexpedite .... that was one of the saddest things for me as a parent. I have always tried to give the umpires the benefit that even if a call is bad it's not due to bias but just being human. I've had my boys playing in this league for 11 yrs. and have seen at least 2 of the crew, especially the head ump, multiple times. However, the way our coach was treated and biases on display definitely exacerbated a bad situation and robbed Little League of an opportunity to shine as a place where sportsmanship and fair play is more important than winning.  The head umpire is probably one of the most experienced with many,many years with LL, I think he's being recognized soon in New York for that. It seems he let his emotions win that day and we were on the losing end.   

 

To his credit our coach huddled his team together at the end of that final inning to speak to them.  He took responsibility to explain that life is not always fair but we learn from these situations and can hold our head high when you play by the rules. The  boys kept their composure right up to that moment and some left crying - not yelling at the other team, mind you.



#18 Mike_Hirschman

Mike_Hirschman

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 1,325 posts
  • LocationWinston-Salem, NC

Posted 21 July 2014 - 08:29 PM

I chuckle at the comments in that article... it appears the coach isn't exactly an angel... but that wouldn't give the umpires a legit reason to ignore him, either. So, as I said, there appears to be a lot to this story.



#19 bbumpire71

bbumpire71

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 21 July 2014 - 08:53 PM

This is an unfortunate event that with preventive umpiring could of avoided this situation. Everyone keeps saying that the umpires should of noticed this bat during equipment checks. Personally I am not sure if any umpire could possible memorize the  "approved" or "un-approved" bat list. If any one has read these lists for the 11/12 division it is extensive. The way I teach and is directed by our DA, we check the bats for cracks, dents, etc. and look over the bat, look for the printed LL approval, however even if the bat does not we leave the bat alone and move on. We only question bats once a coach has asked for the bat to be checked by the Tournament site director, who has the printed approved bat list. It should be placed on the head of the manager to know the legalities of his teams bats.

 

After reading comments through this thread and the comments on the article from the Florida Today,(which never posts anything about LL on a normal basis) there is more to this story. And I'm sure that there's a back story between the umpire crew and manager of the said team. However, as a umpire we need to be neutral no matter what our past is with a coach. I hope that the District UIC and DA have a stern talk with the crew and especially the plate umpire. With that said, a coaches mannerisms can alter how umpires handle them. However, professionalism should still be administered by the umpire crew on the field, no matter the coaches field decorum. Personally, I do not care how hot the day and how long I have been out there, my level of professionalism never waivers. And I am sorry but if a guy has many, many years of service doesn't make him a good official.


  • BaseballMom likes this

Chris Reynolds

FL-D22

District Staff

District Umpire Trainer

FL State Tournament Umpire

SE Regional Tournament Umpire


#20 Mike_Hirschman

Mike_Hirschman

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 1,325 posts
  • LocationWinston-Salem, NC

Posted 21 July 2014 - 08:58 PM

We experimented in our district with asking managers to carry a copy of the bat list with bats highlighted that their team carries. (It is now five pages long...)

 

I've sent the idea up to The Hill. 





Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users