Shape it up!

Coach Loses Bet & Buys New Umpire Gear

Being an umpire must have its rewards because if you are going that route be ready to spend some money on umpire gear. I have never been an umpire, though I have coached at virtually level in the world of baseball. Somehow, I am good friends with several umpires and with all the arguments I’ve had with them over they years, this must be some sort of divine payback.

Last week I was paying off a friendly bet I had made with a long time friend of mine. He and I have been rivals for years, on the field mostly, and I was going to pay him by helping to upgrade his umpire gear. It was not my idea to lose, but like I said coaches do not like it when they are wrong.

My friend, Brice, is a much better baseball umpire than he was a player. Behind the plate he was alive, but he could not manage a hit and run situation if his life depended on it. Rather than be relegated to sitting on the bench, he decided to pursue the noble profession of a baseball umpire. There, he had found his home and his office of business was normally behind the plate in one of the most competitive conferences in the country.

Baseball runs in our blood, Brice and me, but too many times we found ourselves on opposite sides of an argument. We met in college and as I developed as a catcher, Brice was honing his skills as a Blue.

Recently, we found ourselves on the same field in a high school  토토   championship game and I’d promised to help upgrade his old fashioned umpire equipment if he did not blow one call. He promised to buy me dinner, a much better deal for him as I would find out. Agreed, you might not think this was a good bet on my part, but I have been around Brice and umpires like him for eons and believe me when I tell you this. They know when they make a mistake. Rarely do they not blow a call.

With the way the game is structured, umpires are like the Pope. They are infallible and once they make a call, even if they are wrong, this call is gospel. Umpires are trained like this and many carry this inability to be corrected in all walks of life. I knew Brice would blow at least one call. Many coaches might not catch the intricacies, but I would and i was already planning where we would have dinner.

In many ways coaches and umpires are alike. We do not ever expect or like to be wrong and when we are, obvious or not, we deny it, hide behind the cloak of our position and expect severance and understanding. Umpires don’t argue like coaches. They do not have to, instead sliding behind the heavy veil of authority.

Brice and I met for a burger and in his hand was a catalog with the latest umpire gear. Like I said, I lost the bet, I have no idea how he got so lucky. Anyway, I was prepared to spend maybe $40 plus the meal, but when I saw the knowing smile on his face, well, I was not prepared for what was in store.

Did you know these chest protectors are now made out of some sort of armor plating? The one I saw in the book looked a lot like it belonged to the movie character, Iron Man. It must fit under the shirt somehow, because I have never seen an umpire with one visible.


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