CA District 47 Little League


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Umpires

Nicky Trevino kept a log (below) from his travels to the 2017 Intermediate World Series BB tournament in Livermore, CA.  Below is the recap of his trip:

Day 10

In my haste to leave the ballpark the night before, the game went extra innings and we were to be at a dinner party, I locked the motor home keys inside the motor home.  My wife and I slept in as we were up late the night before, so we grabbed a late breakfast and headed to the field to try and get in the motor home.  I thought about how I could get in and all my answers involved breaking something.  My wife saw my dilemma and suggested we call AAA (Triple A) which we did.  After about 40 minutes the guy was able to break in without breaking anything.  Of course, everyone who saw what was going on had to come over and razz me about my latest motor home blunder.  Oy vey, what a week!

 

So, once again, I was on the right field line and we alternated the lines each inning so everyone could work the championship game.  I had one catch call, and I left the field.  My next inning back, inning 5, I had a player heading to the foul line on a full run catch a ball about 3-4 in fair territory.  The ball started to come out so I waited to make the call.  He retained possession so I signaled fair, then out.  I think that was the extent of my two innings of work in this game.  The championship had New Jersey on the U.S. side and Puerto Rico on the International side.  New Jersey fought hard every game, and in this one they would fall behind and either tie the game or retake the lead.  With the game tied in the bottom of the 7th, with runners on 2nd and 3rd, New Jersey moved up the outfield players.  The next batter hit a ball over the outfielder’s heads to win the game for Puerto Rico.  It was a good game, and exciting right to the end.

 

I sent a text to all of our umpires in the morning about getting together after the game one last time.  Many had early flights to catch, but all agreed to get together after the game.  I reserved a restaurant for 20-30 people and we ended up having about 40 show up as their families joined us.  It was like no one wanted this to end, and we stayed at the restaurant to about midnight when they closed.  It was hard saying good bye to everyone, but it was time to return to reality.  I had to go back to the field and pick up the motor home and we finally got to the hotel about 1 am.  I returned to work today and so I got up at 5, left the hotel about 5:45, and was to work by 9 am, driving the motor home.

 

So, you may ask what one thing did I take home as a result of this World Series experience.  I have to say the reality that Father Time has caught up with me, and I am not as young as I once was.  I did have a fantastic experience, but will likely be my last.

Day 9

Today we had two games at 1 pm and 5 pm, but we also had the Challenger game at 9:30 am.  This game for the handicapped kids has always been a very humbling experience.  The umpires were asked to be on the field and the W.S. players switched as being  "buddies".  Our our District played in this game against a team from Azusa in So. Cal.  On our way to the field I saw our D.A., Stan Read, and his family as well as Paul Easton and Rick Krepelka whose name I can pronounce.  Once again, it is always good to see friends and family at these tournaments.  Although I have made some great friends here, nothing beats long-time friendships and family.  Derek Gillespie and his wife were also here and are two of my favorite people.  My wife returned prior to our game so it was a good day so seeing those close to me.  When I did my first plate, on the first day of the tournament, our former D.A. Bruce Barnett came down with his wife and it was so good seeing them.  I thank all of those who have sent messages as it really helps getting through this week.  When I leave on Monday, I will have been here for 12 days.

I have called these games semis, but they are in reality finals for the U.S. And International brackets.  The winners play in the championship game.  I was assigned left line for the U.S final which had the scrappy kids from New Jersey against the defending champions from Hawaii.  Hawaii jumped out to an early lead and they looked as strong as ever.  New Jersey battled back to tie the game, and then Hawaii would pull ahead.  I think New Jersey tied the game three times after it looked like Hawaii would pull away.

New Jersey must have felt they had to do something different to beat Hawaii because they had multiple double steals - all successful.  At the end of seven innings we had a tied game, 4-4.  I had a couple of catch calls, but that was it.  In the bottom of the ninth inning, New Jersey put a runner on base and he promptly stole second.  The next batter crushed a ball to left center over the fence, and I had the home run call that won the game for New Jersey.  This was a very good game, and it was a joy to umpire.

My wife came back down and after the game we had a farewell dinner at one of the umpire coordinator's home.  The meal was catered from a local Italian restaurant and the food was very good.  We all had a chance to unwind and it most returned to the hotel about 11:30.

We now have final assignments for the championship.  I am on the right field line, and we will alternate umpires so everyone gets a chance to be on the championship game.  Obviously, this is not a dream assignment, but I have realized that this group of umpires have been very good and I must not have looked as good as they have this last week.  I have also realized that as I approach my 61st birthday, I do not move as well, or look as good when moving as these younger umpires in our group.  Although I may still have some umpiring left in me, this week has been a tough realization that the thing I have loved to do may be coming to an end.  It is hard for me to come to grips with this, but I have been doing this for over 20 years.

Day 8

We had the day off today to give visitors a chance to sight see, and I welcomed the chance to rest.  I slept in a little, skipped breakfast, and did some laundry.  I have been craving Mexican food so I walked to a restaurant for a late lunch.  When I woke yesterday I felt fatigued.  Doing these games every day was starting to wear me down.  My knees have felt fine, but I have been struggling with calf/hamstring soreness.  

My wife was going to come back down here today but decided to stay home until the semis.  Once again, I drove the motor home here so I have had no car.  I decided after lunch to go see the movie "Dunkirk".  The theatre was about three miles away so I walked to and from the movie.  I think that walking helped stretch out the muscles, but my feet hurt a bit today.
 

Day 7

I was moved to a different crew today, which was odd.  They switched me and a guy on the other crew for some reason.  Once again, assignments sometimes at these things come with no reason attached.  So, my new crew had the first game of the day hitch was a consolation game.  Each team is guaranteed three games here, so even though both of these teams were already eliminated, they were able to play a game for no more than pride. This game had France against the Southeast team from Florida.

The game was close but Florida pulled away at the end.  One of the French pitchers took a ball off of his shin and went down hard.  He writhed in pain and the medic came out to tend to him.  After a few moments, the pitcher was able to stand up and was able to stay in the game.  The plate umpire allowed him to take a few pitches before we resumed play and the pitcher seemed fine.  The batter who hit the ball ended up at first, and there was a runner who was at third that ended up scoring.  The pitcher started to throw his first pitch to the next batter but the pitcher could not put weight on his leg and he stumbled down the mound without letting loose of the ball.  In all the commotion I missed that the runner from third had scored.  I balked him almost apologetically as my partners did not call the balk, and we all knew the player was hurt.  I went to award bases and yelled "You,", then pointed to third and there was no runner, so I spun to first and awarded second to the runner.  The pitcher was then removed from the game, and I took a heavy razzing at dinner from my new crew for balking the pitcher who was in a ton of pain.

This was possibly the least attended game of the whole Series so far.  I would guess maybe 12 people total were in the stands.  It was a Thursday game at 9 am so maybe that had something to do do with that.  Maybe because it did not mean much is he other reason few showed for the game.  Not much else to report in the game and Florida won 10-6.

Our second game had me at the plate for the international elimination game.  The winner of the game would go to the International final and the loser would be finished.  So, you can imagine the pressure everyone was feeling on this game.  The teams were Venezuela and Korea, both teams needing interpreters.  My first plate game had Venezuela and it was an interpreter disaster.  The wife of one of the umpire coordinators handled the interpreter duties for Venezuela and she did a fantastic job.  She would take down the change from the manager and then bring to me.  This worked so much better than our first interpreter.

Korea has had the same interpreter for a number of years and he relays things quite well.  I will say that he appears to be somewhat biased, so I am not sure he is a local interpreter or if he travels with the team.  Our game was cruising along with some very good pitching, and the Korean pitcher had to be close to 80 mph.  The pitcher steps off the mound and looks like his hand is over his mouth and is kind of stumbling around.  We call time and it end up that the pitcher has a bloody nose.  Fortunately, no blood got on his uniform and once again the medic came on the field to try and stop the bleeding. This took some time and the medic had to finally stick a solid piece of gauze in his nose which seemed to work.  I give him a few pitches but the gauze falls out and he starts bleeding again.  The medic again tends to him and this time puts a little bigger piece of gauze in his nose.

I am ready to put the ball in play, and the first of a number of gamesmanship starts to happen.  The batter fakes like he is gagging, and I have the interpreter come out.  She tells me the white piece of gauze with blood that is in the pitcher's nose is making him sick and nauseous.  I am sure the Venezuelan manager told him to do that so the Korean pitcher would be taken out.  I have the medic come back on the field, she changes the gauze and cuts a smaller length of gauze so it is not so visible.  I go to put the ball in play and the kid tries the same antic, but I put the ball in play and signaled to the batter to stay in the box.  Finally, we moved on.

The Korean manager now wanted to get back at the Venezuelan manager.  After a big hit by the Venezuelan team, the Korean manager and interpreter asked for time and then asked for the bat to be checked as it was illegal.  I yelled down to my partner on first and asked him to check the bat, it was a BBCOR bat and was fine.  The Korean manager asked again for time and repeated this same tactic an inning later.  I had seen him do this in an earlier game so I knew what he was up to.  This time, the bat was right by me and I saw it was a 1.15 aluminum bat - legal.  The manager tried this a third time and I would not even allow him to come down.  I told the interpreter that the gear was checked and all gear was legal, moving on!

I had a close play at the plate that the Korean catcher thought he tagged the runner.  I had the runner touching home with his hand before the tag.  The catcher was shaking his head at me, stared at me, then stared at his dugout until the manager came out.  I explained to him what I had and he did not ask for an appeal which tells me I probably had that right.  The manager, coaches, and players of the Korean team were very poor sports.  I grabbed a very low curve for a strike, I knew I called it too quick and it was a ball. The Korean manager came out with the interpreter and as they were walking down I told them I was not going to discuss balls and strikes.  They continue down so I think it is something else.  I stop the interpreter and tell him again we are not going to discuss balls and strikes.  The manager tells the interpreter something and then he tells me the manager says I should be more consistent.  Alright, we are done - head back to your dugout now.

Wouldn't you know it, the manager tries the bat thing again, this time saying it has a composite handle and it is illegal.  It was an aluminum barreled bat - legal, and moving on.  This guy was really getting under my skin, as well as my partners.  As the manager is on his way into the dugout, he stops, turns around and stares me down with this angry look.  Now I am really ticked off, but remain neutral on the field.

The Venezuelan team played the best game of their tournament and the Korean team had too many miscues which was very unlike them.  Venezuela hung on to take a 2-0 win.  After the final out, I make my way to the gate to wait for my partners.  The Korean first base coach walks by the gate on his way to his dugout and once past us he stops and looks our way.  I figured he was going to congratulate the other manager so I looked out the gate to make sure our coordinator was there.  I then turned around to make sure my partners were ready to exit and that Korean coach is staring at me, glaring at me as if he was going to charge me any second.  Extremely poor sportsmanship from a team that is normally reserved.  It felt like I was about to start World War III.  

Even with the nose bleed stops and the tactics by both managers we were able to get that game finished in just about two hours.  Crazy game, and one I am certainly going to remember the rest of my life.

We received our assignments for the semis and I have a left field line.  We will receive the championship assignments on Saturday night.

Day 6

Our umpire rotations had me on first base for our first game which was between the team from Texas and the kids from Jersey.  Once again, the scrappy Jersey kids held their own and had a tough battle. Close games are often won or lost on one play, but Texas made a couple of defensive errors that cost them the game.  The starting pitcher from Jersey kept the Texas batters off guard and the final score was 2-0 in favor of the kids from Jersey.
 
Our normal rotations would have put me back at the plate for our next game which had the last two U.S. undefeated teams playing, Hawaii and the host from Danville.  I worked a few games down here in the regular season and in all-stars and I had seen the Danville team a couple of times.  I told a number of you how good the Danville team was and a few kids could really hit, but as a whole, their pitching was much better than their hitting.
 
Well, when the assignments came out I was moved to the right field line, and I suspect that was because I had already seen Danville a few times and the rough game I had down here in all-stars happened to have Danville playing.  You never know all the reasons why you get moved, or assigned a certain position, but I tried to roll with it.  This was a VERY important game, and our umpire from New York had the plate who is very good.  
 
Hawaii kept the Danville hitters guessing all night and either they did some real in depth scouting or the pitchers were just that good.  I had a couple of catch calls and one foul call but that was it for me.  Someone mentioned after the game that Hawaii had a no hitter going into the seventh.  Hawaii held a 2-0 lead to the end of the game and knocked Danville into the elimination game while Hawaii advanced to the U.S. final with the win.
 
Our plate umpire did a fabulous job and I think game time was under 1 hr 45 min.  This game had a lot of intense moments, and the place was packed as Hawaii fans travel in numbers and of course the host team is local so many showed up for that.  Fun game, just what you would expect at a L.L.W.S.

Day 5

First game today for our crew was between France and Venezuela.  I was on third for this game and as fate would have it, I had Venezuela in the third base dugout.  I was committed to hustle them out on defense, but they kind of move as they want to.  I do not think any of the innings were held up due to their slow pace.  Believe me, I was raised to be courteous and kind, and I feel a real tension in hustling these teams to play.  We are to be ambassadors to our visitors to this country, but we also need to get games finished under three hours.  It has been a tough balance for me.

France is certainly underpowered in this Series.  They try hard, and they have good attitudes, and seem to draw a crowd of local girls when they play.  It appeared to me that Venezuela was saving pitching and still easily handled France 7-1.  This win moves Venezuela to the elimination game so we will see what happens on Thursday in that game.
 
I had very little activity on my base this game, aside from watching runners touch their base as they went by.  These kids all seem to be so fast, and built tall and lean.  It is hard to comprehend that we are watching the elite athletes of the world for this age.  We are enjoying the level of play, that is for sure.
 
Our crew had East team from New Jersey against the Central team from Indiana.  Indiana had a parent that sounded like a character on the water boy, and would yell out things like, "Show'em what you got".  He said that probably 20 times that game, and usually when the team was in a real tight spot.  Anyway, that was entertaining to us.
 
I had second base and again did not have much going on aside from some force outs.  If you have watched the video streaming on any of these games you will see many umpires here are setting up in C with a runner only on first and then at B for when a runner is on second.  I stayed with B this game for both situations and I did see the merit of setting up in C as you are right down the baseline and have a great view of the front of the base with nothing more than a lean or a step.  I may try that if I get another assignment at second.
 
The Jersey team is very scrappy, a couple of kids are pure hitters.  I think one kid had two home runs in the game, and he is not an huge kid, he just has a pure swing.  This team has a chance if they can keep their attitudes in check.  The coaching staff is very negative, and they always seem to have a scowl on their face.  If the players make one bad play they get yelled at incessantly.  
 
Indiana just does not have the depth that Jersey has and Jersey handled them fairly easy with a 7 -2 win.  Again, I think Jersey was saving pitching for their next game, but these kids can hit.  New Jersey was up to bat and the pitch before had a runner at third.  The next batter hits a shot off the shin of the Indiana pitcher and he goes down hard.  The medic comes out to look at him and after a few minutes he is cleared.  He takes a couple of pitches and we are ready to go.  I missed the runner scoring from third in all of that and then the pitcher from Indiana, already trailing in the 7th, started to pitch and when trying to plant his front foot he never releases the ball and stumbles down the mound.  I could hear crickets as the place went eerily quiet.  I break up the quiet by calling, "Ba-aa-aa-lk", almost as if I was asking a question as my partners said nothing and I thought I missed something.  I start to award bases and I start with the runner on third and I say "You!", as I look to the empty base at third and realize that runner is no longer there, then turn to the runner at first and award him second.  It did feel like a senior moment that is for sure.  After the game my partners razzed me for balking the poor kid for all we knew his leg could have been broke, which it was not.  Fun time with the umpires.

Day 4

Our crew only had one game today, and I was on the right line.  We had The Hawaii team  playing the Indiana team.  Hawaii is very good, and we had a 10 run game after 5 innings.  We had a very vanilla game, not much to report.  I had a couple of fly outs to call, no fair/foul calls.  Our plate umpire is from San Jose, so he is the most local here.  During the intermediate state game final, he took a shot to the neck that knocked him out of the game, in the hospital, and required a stint in his neck.  He was considering not coming to the World Series but decided he would take the assignment.  He did a great job, took one to the inner knee about mid-game but was very solid.  He has had some prior concussion issues and he bought a mask that has little shock absorbers in it - pretty cool!  I don't think we had an appeal of any kind in the game, like I said, kids played baseball and we were glad to be a part of it.

Day 3

Our crew had two games today.  I had the plate for the first game, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.  This was a dream assignment, a plate at a World Series.  I felt great, the body did well, but we had real issues with lineup changes from the Venezuelan coach.  An interpreter was assigned to the Venezuelan team and the interpreter and the manager did not do well together.  The manager would argue with the interpreter that she was telling me something different than he wanted.  The manager constantly yelled at his players, and if my Spanish is correct, he was telling them they were not using their heads or their heads were somewhere they did not belong.

The players on both teams seemed to be affected by the warmer weather and they were just dragging.  Their lack of hustle slowed the pace of the game.  Coaches on both sides would wait until the ball was thrown down to make their changes, which further slowed the game.  I would try to get the ball thrown down and the catchers would almost always take one more throw.  This was frustration on frustration for me.  I had a 3-2 count where the runner took off for first, I thought he was going to talk to his coach, but he was standing on first.  I figured I had the wrong count and did not say anything. The score booth brought it to my attention it was 3-2, so I had to retrieve the runner.  Once again, one more thing in a game where nothing was seeming to go right.

Puerto Rico went ahead and held the lead to win the game.

Our second game was the host team, Danville, against a team from New Jersey.  This was a very good game with a low score and not much to report.  Towards the end of the game one of the teams requested an intentional walk, and it was granted.  This is only available to major and minor play, so this should not have been granted.  I figured I had missed a pitch with a hit batter, but that was not the case.  There was no way I was going to stop the game when we had four guys inside who should have known that.  Danville went ahead and closed out New Jersey in the last inning.

Day 2

Saturday, day two

Our day started off with an 8 am meeting with the tournament staff, managers, coaches, interpreters, and umpires.  General game protocol was discussed and there were many questions.  The team from Venezuela asked what do they do if they only came with their gloves.  The tournament director, also the local D.A., said Easton is giving every player in the series their own bat.  The interpreter came back to say the team had no helmets or catcher's gear.  The tournament director is going to loan them some equipment from his District.  It is amazing to think a team would make this journey with only gloves.

I grabbed a quick bite to eat, changed clothes, and then headed to the field to setup the motor home and to check gear.  Each umpire had a time slot to check gear, from 10 am to 3 pm, and I had the 3 pm slot.  After setting up the motor home, I went over to see how gear check was going and it was already done.  Some of the teams who were to come later showed up way early so they went ahead and checked their gear.  Since all the gear was checked, my wife and I went and grabbed a quick bite to eat.

I had to change back into my umpire uniform as we had a parade in downtown Livermore. The parade was to start at 4 pm and we arrived a little early to walk around the downtown which is very well done.  All the teams were bused in and were staged to walk down the street.  The opening ceremonies were held at a small park in the downtown area which was set up with an half circle design.  Each team was introduced and walked in with their respective banners they won at their Regional tournaments.  They then announced the umpires by name, one by one.  They even had one the local high schools send cheerleaders which was a nice touch.  The mayor spoke, there was a short convocation, the tournament staff was introduced, and then the teams were fed at  one of the restaurants downtown.  All the umpires are going out tonight to Cattlemen's - I love Cattlemen's.

That was about it for today.  The games start tomorrow and I have the second game at the plate, Puerto Rico against Venezuela.  I can hardly believe this is happening.  I have thought about this for 20 years and it is about to happen.  I am truly a blessed man.

Day 1

7/28/17 First day of activities

I left home Thursday after work, arrived at the hotel in Livermore around 8 pm.  My wife and I were traveling in different directions as she left on Sunday for a trip to the coast with some friends, and I had been ocean fishing the week before.  I came down one day early so we could see each other as she headed back home from her outing.  

 

We also had our first official meeting at the field as there is an umpire trailer there for us to change in and have pre/post game meetings.  We did a walk through of the field, discussed how translators will be used for changes and appeals, and we saw where all the video is ran which is upstairs in the score booth.  Long story short, I was flagged in by three people directing me where to park the motor home.  One guy had the rear to watch as I went through a gate and said I was clear - NOT!  The gate caught the rear of the motor home and caused some damage - oh well, it could have been worse.

 

We were then off for a dinner with all the umpires and their family members who were able to make the trip.  We have umpires from Canada, Puerto Rico, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Florida, New York, Massachusetts, and California - 14 in total.  Two of the tournament staff hosted the dinner at their home and it was a very enjoyable and relaxing time getting to know some of the tournament staff and the umpires.  Many of you have met Gerard Takiguchi as he and Mike Ragan have worked a number of our softball tournaments over the years.  Gerard is on the tournament staff and is also the UIC for Ca57.  Gerard will be working with the umpires and has been since the first Intermediate World Series.  

 

We had a Bocce tournament for the umpires after dinner and our team went 0-2 but it was a lot of fun.  Dave Mantach is also one of the umpire evaluators and the dinner was at his and his fiancé's house.  Just a great time to meet everyone in a very relaxing atmosphere.

 

Assignments were given out at our first meeting for games through Wednesday which already seems like a long time away.  I have the following:

     Game #2 Sunday noon - Plate

     Game #4 Sunday 6 pm - Left line

     Game #6 Monday 3 pm - Right Line

     Game #8 Tuesday noon - Third

     Game #10Tuesday 6pm- Second
     Game #12Wednesday noon - First
 
I am honored to have the second plate of this World Series.  The games from Thursday on will be given out the night before.  I might add that Mario Murillo is working the Major Baseball Regional in San Bernardino and he was assigned the first plate for that regional.  Quite the showing out of the box for our District.
 
We have a meeting in the morning for all the teams and the umpires, then gear check of all the teams, and finishing the day with a parade in Downtown Livermore with all the teams, umpires, and tournament staff.  This was a great first day of this experience.

 

Link to 2011_Regional

Little League Pledge
I Trust in God, I Love My Country and Will Respect its Laws.
I Will Play Fair and Strive to Win, but Win or Lose, I Will Always do My Best!!!
Parent/Volunteer Pledge
I will teach all children to play fair and do their best.
I will positively support all managers, coaches and players.
I will respect the decisions of the umpires.
I will praise a good effort despite the outcome of the game.

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