Recap Show: Dale Scott
Welcome to The Baseball Awakening Podcast where we dive into the raw, unfiltered, unsexy side of player development.
On this episode, Host, Geoff Rottmayer, recaps his conversation with Dale Scott. The biggest takeaways that he discussed on this show are:
- Umpire school sounds fun and intense.
- Umpire school teach rules, but also the mechanics and fundamentals of setting up to make a call or see a play.
- The mindset umpires need to execute their work.
- Similarity in mindset of athletes and umpires.
- Learning to be in the present moment and call the game one pitch at a time.
- and many more.
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Hey guys Geoff Rottmayer here with the Baseball Awakening recap show where I share with you the biggest takeaways i got from my conversation with Perry Husband – as well as how I plan to implement what I have learned with my players that train with me at my academy in Tulsa Oklahoma.
Again, as I always say, we want to hear from you because different things mean different thing to different people so it would be interesting to see how you guys interpret something that Perry said or something that I am going to say today. I will make a show reading your email because we can all learn something from it, so my email is going to be email@example.com, so so me your thoughts, comment, or feedback.
I leaf my conversation with Dale Scott wishing I would have tried being an umpire when my playing days ended. It was amazing to me how much similarity there is to being a professional umpire to being a athlete. I had never really though about the mindset of an umpire and the potential of their mind wonder or second guessing the last play or call. But anyways, I went through and and Dale to explain what umpire school was like.
What was interesting, was he said they are scouting you from the moment you get there. They are seeing how you interact, how you carry yourself, all the stuff we sit here and tell the kids to be aware off because college coaches and scout are taking notice, same way for umpire school. That interesting to me – it shouldn’t be but i just hadn’t really though of what would be involved in being an umpire.
But the school from what it sounded like, it was intense but sounded like it could have been a lot of fun as well. Learning and understand the rules is a big part. The breaking all the way down to understand the origin of a rule and why it was put into place. That would have been something cool to have learned.
Then Dale talked about the work that goes on the field and in the cages. Its interesting because just like hitters and pitchers, fielder and base runners, there are things you have to do that will allow you to be the best umpire you can be.
In the cages there were calling pitches of a machine while either having a left handed hitter up or a left handed hitter up and there was a certain way to set up, with the stance, feet, head height and learning to track the ball with your eyes and not your head. And then on the filed, its about knowing the situation and what potential calls their might be and what might consider a to be a rule such of infield fly rule, and then making the right move to put you in the best position, distance and angle to make a great call with great timing. He talks about being mentally and physically exhaughest just like a professional athletes. Man I hadn’t ever really though, and maybe I am the only one, but I hadn’t really though about what all would go into being an umpire or better yet a good umpire that umpire at the high level of the game where everything is so fast. SO it was a lot of fun to learn.
So anyways, I went on to ask Dale, what it was like when he first reported and started his professional career. He went all to explain what most players would explain before big games – he said a lot to time before a big game or big series you build up this worry and butterflies but once the game starts you are doing what you have been trained to do. I though this was interesting – umpires are human and they have the same emotional response as the players do. But its the build up that plays on you mentally.
He went on to talk about how, when you first get your first assignment in pro-ball – everyone at that level is trying to figure it out. Players are in new environment, umpires are in new environments – there are players who don’t speak english they are pitchers who cant control the baseball, guys are throwing harder than Dale was use to throwing.
I had asked him how tough it was catch a pitcher at that lower level who is throwing extremely hard but has zero control. I love his answer, he said as an umpire, just like a hitter and a pitcher would say, play the game one pitch at a time. Be present in the moment. The moment you start guessing or overthinking – you are losing focus on the game. The moment you start over thinking, you will miss that next call or that next play – just like we tell hitters, fielder, and pitchers that. Play one pitch at a time and stay present. The other things he said – was as an umpire his job is to try the baseball, he is not trying to play the cat and mouse game that hitters and pitcher do. If he start to think like a hitter and anticipate a off speed and pitchers comes with fastball then he will likely miss it. So just trust the eyes and keep the head still to make the call. So kind of like a hitter, we tell them to trust their eyes and their body will respond just like during training, the umpire is trusting their eyes to make a call. Zero guessing and predicting what pitcher will throw because they are not hitting the ball.
We went on to talk about timing. When you are seeing the game at a level where pitchers are throwing hard with great movement, and you got super fast guys on the base path you must take the time, take that extra half second to make a decision. He also talks about slowing the game down and really making sure he gets the call right. Same way we would tell a hitter or pitcher to slow the game down, umpires do the same thing.
Interesting stuff, and from there we went on to talk about angle and distance and I ask him to share what that meant because he had mentioned it several times though out the conversation. He explains that the most important thing for an umpire is the angle because you may not always be close to a play, but if you got the right angle, they you got a pretty good chance of getting the call right. So getting the right angle is more important than distance and obviously if you have good distance and angle thats better but you need to have great angles as an umpire.
So, the whole entire conversation was fascinating to me and like I said earlier, if I would have know I would have tried it out when i was 22-23 as it sounds like fun. Catch the rest of the conversation to hear more about dale world series appearance and all start appearance. My biggest takeaway if the game isnt to kind too you and finishes you off before you are ready, this might be a good way to stay on the field long, along with other things but this would have been a route i wish i would have choose instead of getting into working with kids out of the gate – and dont get me wrong i love working wiht kids and what i am doing, just think at 22-23 this would have been fun. Thanks for tuning in.