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[Baseball umpire 14]

Fifth or Sixth Day

During the week I got feedback that there were favorable comments on my performance from more than one source. A storm was rising concerning the President's handling of Alex's expulsion. The next weekend I got an assignment at home for a game between Paris and Melun (Savigny-le-Temple). It was a one-game play-off for fifth place in division 1A.

The weather was a considerable improvement over the gale in Saint-Lo. Michel took the plate and I was on base. Almost immediately the coaches were on us with remarks like "an umpire only costs two games, don't screw up."

It was a well-played game however. I counted six innings where the offense was crushed one-two-three. This was good defense. Melun opened the score after a close call on second in the second inning. The runner wasn't happy because the fielder did not have his foot on the bag on the throw out. I had three calls like that during the game, and you would have thought the players would catch on. Instead they howled even louder after each out I eventually cornered Sam and asked him to explain to his teammates that if the fielder is reasonably close to the bag, particularly on a double play, umpires give the advantage to the fielder on the call on his motion, not his foot position. If it is obvious he is not even close to the bag, the runner is safe.

Paris pulled ahead in the bottom of the second and stayed there. They swept the game seven to one in eight and a half innings. There were no home runs, Pershing Stadium in Paris has a real outfield.

In spite of the easy tone of the game and the dominance of Paris, their coach ended the match acrimoniously. He made another snide remark about umpire passivity, an obvious reference to Saint-Lo. I finally shot back. "What do you have against us, coach? If there is no report, there is no expulsion. I don't make up the rules, I interpret them."

He shot back, "There was a report, and the President lost it."

Conspiracy theory is not restricted to the United States Congress.



[Baseball umpire 16]

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