Baseball cliches

111411

Moderator
Here's one for the dreary winter months. Baseball cliches that you've heard from coaches or parents, that make you roll your eyes.
 

111411

Moderator
Guy was a "coach" on my grandson's travel team, repeatedly told 11 year olds, "Look for your pitch." When you're 11 years old, and down 0-1, 0-2, or 1-2 , you'd better protect the plate. He's all known as Two-Step, as he told HIS kid, an OF, to take two steps to the left or two steps to the right.
 
The obvious: Mom & Dad: "Just throw strikes!"

Kid: "Ya think? Why didn't I think of that?"

Btw, terrible long term advice. Of course that's what most dad's do. Crouch down and place the glove in the middle of the plate, waist high. Such a shame to waste all that practice time.
 

Thavoice

Well-known member
These may be pet peeves more than cliches.....

Some cliche moments that I cringe about is that so many think a hitter 'did something wrong' when he didnt get a hit, or believe he did everything right when he gets a hit.

Or it was a 'good pitch' if the batter gets our, or a 'bad pitch' if the batter gets a hit.

One cliche I always laugh about is that so many people think that batter is some sort of brain dead and cannot comprehend what a pitcher is trying to do. "Why throw him that pitch, he was set up for XXXX" Well genius, that hitter isnt dumb, he can see what is going on and has a functioning brain to know what a pitcher is trying to do.


The cliche that coaches should call pitches because it is so complicated.
I am all about 'teaching a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime'.
One would think that playing nearly 200 games for former minor league pitcher, and a former minor league catcher, that they would be all over the process of calling the pitches but it was the total opposite.

It is not rocket science, and teach the kids at a young age. It is more about pitch execution, than pitch selection.


The one that gets worse and worse each year 'the more games you play, the better' when in fact what we are doing is taking away so much practice time that those 2-4 AB's Timmy is gonna get pales in comparison to what he could get using that time for BP/INF/OF


I am now going to PLF off my soapbox...........
 

umpire16

Active member
Oh my this is a great thread. Here are some clichés plus peeves.
  • In response to thavoice, 100% agree on thinking hitters did something wrong. Pitchers can be good to and get the hitter, it's not always about the offense. And you're right, it's not the good pitch-bad pitch scale. Guess what, the hitter nailed it. Get over it and move on. I grow so tired of watching pitchers get annoyed a hitter snags one of their pitches for a single.
  • "Hit that one squarely" - its a round bat and a round ball. That makes no sense.
  • "Pound the strike zone" - how about learn to hit a spot first?
  • "He's being recruited" - those flyers every athlete who signs up gets are not recruitment like you think - OR - one coach coming to see him/anyone else does not make your child heavily recruited.
  • ANYTHING TRAVEL OR SELECT RELATED. Good god please just stop.
  • Giving rings to 9 year old players for winning a coach pitch tournament.
  • I saw an org having a "signing day" for their 10U team. Again, good god please just stop.
  • "We just dominated in our last tournament"
  • "I saved all of my pitching for the last day" when down 0-3 in a tourney.
  • 3-0 pitches are automatically strikes (no, they're not - we certainly welcome a pitch right down the middle but many pitchers cannot actually throw it like that on demand sadly).
  • 0-2 pitches should be an automatic throw away or off the plate pitch (seriously, if that hitter can't hit s&$t, put it right back there and go after him; no need to waste a pitch)
  • The usual rules misconceptions (tie going to the runner, he must slide, etc.)
  • Every f*&king HR metric - who cares how fast, how high, or what angle it left at. If it cleared the fence, you are a hero. No one cares if it's twenty rows up.
  • Not getting foul balls, clearing bats, etc. My HS coach had the line up posted and then CUBBS. Bench players were assigned to Catch (with RF or LF), Umpire (get him water, balls, etc), Bats, Balls (out of play), Scorebook. If you got subbed by a guy on CUBBS, you took over the role. No one questioned this.
  • The slander yelled at us that makes no sense (what I call "rhetorical hyperbole"):
    • "Come on, blue!" (where are we going?)
    • "You're missing a great game!" (no, we're not because it's usually not a good one)
    • "No one came to see you!" (you're right, tell that to Johnny who just interfered with a play and made us insert ourselves).
    • "I had a better angle in the dugout!" (yeah, you probably did so pay another umpire and we will see it that way, too)
    • "That pitch had the plate!" (really? how was it? spicy, rare, you tell me!)
    • "That's not how the game should be played!" - or "They let that go in the big leagues" (we usually agree, but that's not our call - talk to the rules committee and when your kid is in MLB, making millions, he can do whatever stupid thing you think he should be able to)
    • "Why can't you get help on that?" (because I am ten feet away and saw the foot of space between the tag and the body of the player and not to mention it’s not a call we gather on so my partner 100 feet away can try to assist)
    • "That's a balk!" (every time a pitcher has a great move and they don't like it leading to a pickoff)
    • "What's he supposed to do?" (hint: not that)
    • "That's not your call!" (we literally have an entire umpire's manual from NFHS - AND - one from the OHSAA that shows the same coverages in other views- there are many you will never see on a regular basis and we know where we are supposed to be, especially in 3 and 4 man mechanics in the post-season).
    • "I've seen better!" (oye vey)
  • That well executed small ball is somehow bad. Honestly, in fifteen+ years of umpiring, the teams that can execute small ball win almost 100% of the time from HS to NCAA to even Pro. If the point is to play well together and win, teams need to be teaching this more than they are now. The lack of ability I see to execute a bunt or move runners strategically is concerning.
  • Many coaches seem to think a pitcher with a low pitch count giving up 5-7 hits and 2-3 runs over 5-6 innings is somehow a bad outing. In DII and DIII NCAA, a pitcher who can do that over 7-8 innings is a top pitcher on his team and league. Learn to play behind and learn to rely on offense. It's not always about a quality outing.
  • HS coaches obsessed with data. Yes, it is a great tool. But it is not a sub for undercoaching your team on the basics.

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.
 
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111411

Moderator
Umpire 16, you mentioned recruiting. A story from several years ago. I was an assistant on a small D4 school, that from year to year, was .500 or above. We had a soph that barely made varsity, but was getting very little time, as he struggled to put the ball into play and wasn't adding anything on defense. Dad came to us and informed us that he was upset because Kent State was looking his boy and he wasn't getting enough time. Sorry buddy, Kent State wasn't looking at your son, who didn't play summer ball, and wasn't hitting average D4 pitching, but you go ahead and live in your fantasy world. It was all we could do not to look at each other.

One more story. Three freshmen were starting, well-deservedly. There was a junior, nice kid, but again, was below the Mendoza line. Well, mom wasn't having any of this. During a game she came into the dugout, yelling that it was demeaning for her son to sit while three freshmen were starting. Well, mom, this isn't coach pitch. She was promptly escorted from the field. The poor kid wanted to crawl under the bench.
 

irish_buffalo

Well-known member
ump mentioned a couple things that irk me.

The first is parents that do not know the rules. I love hearing "tie goes to the runner." I had a knucklehead parent scream that one time and the ump said show me that in the rule book. The inflied fly rule is a courtesy and at the umps discretion. I never understood yelling at umpires. Most of the time the guy yelling, let alone yelling dumb $chit, never played, and never umpired.

The second is clueless parents when it comes to recruiting. They outnumber those who undrstand baseball recruitment by far. I've watched countless helicopter parents ruin their kid with over-management. I often wonder why baseball brings out so many rose colored glasses and I believe it has to do with the game being so complex and arbitrary that parents see what they want to see. It is like golf in that bad golfers remember their one good shot out of twenty.

The ultra elite travel BS has ruined everything.
 

umpire16

Active member
Umpire 16, you mentioned recruiting. A story from several years ago. I was an assistant on a small D4 school, that from year to year, was .500 or above. We had a soph that barely made varsity, but was getting very little time, as he struggled to put the ball into play and wasn't adding anything on defense. Dad came to us and informed us that he was upset because Kent State was looking his boy and he wasn't getting enough time. Sorry buddy, Kent State wasn't looking at your son, who didn't play summer ball, and wasn't hitting average D4 pitching, but you go ahead and live in your fantasy world. It was all we could do not to look at each other.

One more story. Three freshmen were starting, well-deservedly. There was a junior, nice kid, but again, was below the Mendoza line. Well, mom wasn't having any of this. During a game she came into the dugout, yelling that it was demeaning for her son to sit while three freshmen were starting. Well, mom, this isn't coach pitch. She was promptly escorted from the field. The poor kid wanted to crawl under the bench.
Makes sense. Not even a Kent state branch campus (and I don’t think they even have baseball).
Best friend lost his spot to underclassman mid-Junior year. I’ll spare the details. He wasn’t being recruited. So instead of complaining (and parents wouldn’t say anything because that didn’t happen back then) He volunteered one day in game two of a DH when the coach needed a backup C for the day. He’d played catcher growing up as well as his infield position.

Long story short - in that three innings he threw out two runners, made a play at plate. Ended up playing catcher part of rest of season, for summer league, started senior year went all league and walked on D1 and played for two years, then coached HS then ended up officiating like me. Strange how that works.
 

umpire16

Active member
ump mentioned a couple things that irk me.

The first is parents that do not know the rules. I love hearing "tie goes to the runner." I had a knucklehead parent scream that one time and the ump said show me that in the rule book. The inflied fly rule is a courtesy and at the umps discretion. I never understood yelling at umpires. Most of the time the guy yelling, let alone yelling dumb $chit, never played, and never umpired.

The second is clueless parents when it comes to recruiting. They outnumber those who undrstand baseball recruitment by far. I've watched countless helicopter parents ruin their kid with over-management. I often wonder why baseball brings out so many rose colored glasses and I believe it has to do with the game being so complex and arbitrary that parents see what they want to see. It is like golf in that bad golfers remember their one good shot out of twenty.

The ultra elite travel BS has ruined everything.
Thanks for the support!

can you clarify what you mean by infield fly as the umpires discretion and a courtesy?
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
Some cliche moments that I cringe about is that so many think a hitter 'did something wrong' when he didnt get a hit, or believe he did everything right when he gets a hit.
Similar to this, there is a coach that says something to the batter on EVERY swing that they didn't get a hit. It could be feet, knees, hips, arms, head, hands, shoulders or eyes. Every swing and it is always a different "mistake". Then when a batter gets a hit, he sits back and smiles saying something like, "that was a great swing, he really listens." Takes credit for every hit. What makes it worse is that he gets into the kids' heads and they think there is something wrong with their swing all the time. Batting averages drop and he needs to work more with them. And their averages continue to drop. Those players would be better off if they wore earplugs to the game.

Sorry for the vent but this type of coaching drives me crazy. I've seen it twice in my coaching life and it is what I despise the most...
 

umpire16

Active member
I'm talking about tweener plays where the ball might take some effort but is still fairly routine. Umpire discretion right?
I get it now. I’d use the word judgment as that’s what’s in many of our rules. But still appreciate the effort on your part.

I look at the ball of the hat first for Fair/foul (our process starts with this and it’s important for IFF). Then I look at arc. I have no official measure but I tend to know when it’s a fly ball or a line drive. I then pick up the fielder(s). Is one going to get to it and be able to make the catch under ordinary effort? Where is the ball? Remember an IFF can be caught on the outfield grass. If there are multiple fielders converging I look at legit opportunities to make a catch with ordinary effort. If all three are running to converge and no one has a clear shot it’s not ordinary. Then when the ball is on its way down I call the IFF. It involves judgment. But over time you tend to know an IFF when you see it.
 
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111411

Moderator
Had a guy, several years ago, insist that you could only have three players in the OF, none of the infielders were allowed to play in the grass. THEY ALL HAD TO STAY IN THE DIRT IF. He said it was illegal and that he'd seen it on an Indians game. He must've be drinking.
 

Thavoice

Well-known member
Similar to this, there is a coach that says something to the batter on EVERY swing that they didn't get a hit. It could be feet, knees, hips, arms, head, hands, shoulders or eyes. Every swing and it is always a different "mistake". Then when a batter gets a hit, he sits back and smiles saying something like, "that was a great swing, he really listens." Takes credit for every hit. What makes it worse is that he gets into the kids' heads and they think there is something wrong with their swing all the time. Batting averages drop and he needs to work more with them. And their averages continue to drop. Those players would be better off if they wore earplugs to the game.

Sorry for the vent but this type of coaching drives me crazy. I've seen it twice in my coaching life and it is what I despise the most...
Too many coaches feel that they need to say something between every pitch to the batter/hitter/fielders and information overload falls upon deaf ears after a bit.
What I always hated was at kids games the coaches would be yelling one thing (where to throw the ball) and the parents yelling where to throw it, etc, and just gets too convoluted.

I suggest every parent read The Matheny Manifesto.
 

RaiderFan76

Active member
The worst one in my opinion has got to be when the parents/coaches tell their children/players to throw strikes. I have seen that on this forum multiple times. As a coach myself, I will never say this to one of my players. Of course they are trying to throw strikes, what do you think they are trying to do? It ain't that easy all the time.
 

irish_buffalo

Well-known member
I get it now. I’d use the word judgment as that’s what’s in many of our rules. But still appreciate the effort on your part.

I look at the ball of the hat first for Fair/foul (our process starts with this and it’s important for IFF). Then I look at arc. I have no official measure but I tend to know when it’s a fly ball or a line drive. I then pick up the fielder(s). Is one going to get to it and be able to make the catch under ordinary effort? Where is the ball? Remember an IFF can be caught on the outfield grass. If there are multiple fielders converging I look at legit opportunities to make a catch with ordinary effort. If all three are running to converge and no one has a clear shot it’s not ordinary. Then when the ball is on its way down I call the IFF. It involves judgment. But over time you tend to know an IFF when you see it.
No matter how many are on base or how many outs I will hear "IFF" from a parent. As others have mentioned I will hear "that's a balk" on any pickoff move. I will have figured out that every close call went the wrong way. :ROFLMAO: Unless it the call went our way.

I have gotten pretty heated when a coach keeps calling a balk when it is clearly not a balk. Usually the same guy will refer to my batter by saying things like "this kid does not want to swing." Refer to your players and not mine. At the youth level the kids hear this garbage and it affects them and the coaches know it which is mega bush league.

Another thing that always amazed me when it came to local youth baseball is how the umps got treated. Usually a HS kid and an old man doing a game. Maybe two kids. You knew going in they were green and you might not get the best game called and after all it is YOUTH BASEBALL. There would always be parents going bonkers over every little thing. I've had to tell more than one parent to chill out. And they wonder why they cannot find umpires and officials.
 

umpire16

Active member
No matter how many are on base or how many outs I will hear "IFF" from a parent. As others have mentioned I will hear "that's a balk" on any pickoff move. I will have figured out that every close call went the wrong way. :ROFLMAO: Unless it the call went our way.

I have gotten pretty heated when a coach keeps calling a balk when it is clearly not a balk. Usually the same guy will refer to my batter by saying things like "this kid does not want to swing." Refer to your players and not mine. At the youth level the kids hear this garbage and it affects them and the coaches know it which is mega bush league.

Another thing that always amazed me when it came to local youth baseball is how the umps got treated. Usually a HS kid and an old man doing a game. Maybe two kids. You knew going in they were green and you might not get the best game called and after all it is YOUTH BASEBALL. There would always be parents going bonkers over every little thing. I've had to tell more than one parent to chill out. And they wonder why they cannot find umpires and officials.
100% Agree on youth ball. My first year I had this 9U team. The coach and some parents were a real trip. I hated going there. Had them at 10U and it was the same.

Flash forward to when those kids were in HS and I had moved up (and, like you said, not been green anymore), Coach came up to me after a game and said how sorry he was for those youth games, and he said he felt like I did a great job on the plate that night. Maybe I did, who knows. I encouraged him to join us. He did two years later and became one of the good officials. He and I worked a post-season game last year together. Full circle - I wish more did this like him, while 99% remain like that.

I don't even sit near parents at my kids' events. I cannot stand it. We had a bunch want to fight the 16 year old basketball ref a few weeks ago at my second grader's game.
 

irish_buffalo

Well-known member
100% Agree on youth ball. My first year I had this 9U team. The coach and some parents were a real trip. I hated going there. Had them at 10U and it was the same.

Flash forward to when those kids were in HS and I had moved up (and, like you said, not been green anymore), Coach came up to me after a game and said how sorry he was for those youth games, and he said he felt like I did a great job on the plate that night. Maybe I did, who knows. I encouraged him to join us. He did two years later and became one of the good officials. He and I worked a post-season game last year together. Full circle - I wish more did this like him, while 99% remain like that.

I don't even sit near parents at my kids' events. I cannot stand it. We had a bunch want to fight the 16 year old basketball ref a few weeks ago at my second grader's game.
Any baseball game I watch in person these days is from the OF fence with no parents near me.
 

Thavoice

Well-known member
Parents, by far, are THE worst fans. They just cannot watch a game objectively and see a call against their team as a bad call, and never recognize a call they get was bad for the other team.

I recently saw parents, a mom, grandma, mock 10-12 year old kids, all girls, across the isle during a game. A dad, yelling at the same kids, "no wonder you win so many games, you hire the worst officials" and other things RE officials to the kids. As of those kids hired the refs....
It was quite embarrassing and I was about to say something as I had enough.....buuut the parents stopped mocking when they blew the lead!


Sports cannot go on without the parents but by golly....they are THE worst fans
 

green_genes

Well-known member
Parents, by far, are THE worst fans. They just cannot watch a game objectively and see a call against their team as a bad call, and never recognize a call they get was bad for the other team.

I recently saw parents, a mom, grandma, mock 10-12 year old kids, all girls, across the isle during a game. A dad, yelling at the same kids, "no wonder you win so many games, you hire the worst officials" and other things RE officials to the kids. As of those kids hired the refs....
It was quite embarrassing and I was about to say something as I had enough.....buuut the parents stopped mocking when they blew the lead!


Sports cannot go on without the parents but by golly....they are THE worst fans

Was at a travel tournament a couple of summers ago when one of the mothers approached another who was keeping Gamechanger on her phone to argue about whether her son should've been given a hit on grounder that eluded the shortstop.

"I'm sorry, but that was a hit. The coaches look at that stuff."

Uh, yeah. I'm sure 50 games into your kid's 14U travel season the coaches are relying on GC to determine whether or not he can hit.
 

umpire16

Active member
Was at a travel tournament a couple of summers ago when one of the mothers approached another who was keeping Gamechanger on her phone to argue about whether her son should've been given a hit on grounder that eluded the shortstop.

"I'm sorry, but that was a hit. The coaches look at that stuff."

Uh, yeah. I'm sure 50 games into your kid's 14U travel season the coaches are relying on GC to determine whether or not he can hit.
I bet she wants any error her son made to be counted as a hit when he's on defense.

Some of these things make me wonder about my own recruitment. Not to sound old man and all but we didn't have things like GC or film highlights to the extent now. Maybe I'd have played at a different place - or more likely, not at all :)
 

Thavoice

Well-known member
I bet she wants any error her son made to be counted as a hit when he's on defense.

Some of these things make me wonder about my own recruitment. Not to sound old man and all but we didn't have things like GC or film highlights to the extent now. Maybe I'd have played at a different place - or more likely, not at all :)
It realied heavily on the reputation of your HS coach. I recall a legendary coach. A college coach would send a letter sight unseen if he recommended you. I recall sitting down with him talking about the future. Gave him like 5-6 places I was thinking about and he would flat out tell ya which ones he would send a recommendation about.

Saw this in a myriad of different ways moving fwd. Friend coached a GLCL team for a long while. Some college coaches he wouldnt bother calling back because of the BS they fed him about previous guys, while other coaches he would extend an offer without even seeing stats.

Coached with a guy who was the opposite. Promoted all of his players all over the place, D1 and such, when they didnt even have DIII talent.

Word gets around and they quickly learn whom they can, and cannot, trust.
 

Thavoice

Well-known member
Was at a travel tournament a couple of summers ago when one of the mothers approached another who was keeping Gamechanger on her phone to argue about whether her son should've been given a hit on grounder that eluded the shortstop.

"I'm sorry, but that was a hit. The coaches look at that stuff."

Uh, yeah. I'm sure 50 games into your kid's 14U travel season the coaches are relying on GC to determine whether or not he can hit.
I started to notice this ablut ten years ago......mom's. mom's have become the absolute worst than the dads.

3 times in the last week alone I saw mom's who were a complete embarrassment. One even went to the scorers table to scream at opposing players during the handshake line post game.
 
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