Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Top 5 Ump Ring-Ups

If you've followed me on Twitter or Facebook over the years, you might have seen a few ridiculous umpire videos that I've posted after stumbling across on the internet.  There is just something about these videos that makes me laugh so hard.  Is it the seriousness of the Ump?  Is it the insane pauses between movements?  Is it the unrecognizable sounds they make to signal a strike three?  I think that it's all of the above and them some.  So I would like to just analyze some of my favorites and share the amazing videos I have found throughout the years.

5.) The Power Arch

This ring up is done beautifully.  Notice the perfect half moon posture he displays to fully extend his ring up arm.  There is a lot of power with the follow through and you have to respect the simplicity of his call.  Just a simple "AAAAGGGHHTT" gets the job done.  No show boating here, just a Ump that knows what he's doing.  Textbook.

4.) Loud and Clear!

Now this guy is on another level compared to the ump in our number five video.  This guy brings the auditory element into the position, and hollers out a perfectly enunciated call each time a strike crosses the plate.  There will be no mistakes made in the count, because he makes sure everyone hears it, and remembers it.  Also, the "chainsaw" for the strike three call is a little tip of the cap to the old school umps of yesteryear.  You don't see very many umps performing a well executed "chainsaw" anymore and you have to respect that.  Well done sir, Well done.

3a. and 3b.  The Walk Away

It was hard deciding which of these two I enjoyed more, so I chose them both for number three.  Both of these umps perform "The Walk Away" with almost perfect execution.  The ump on the top video clearly wants to make sure this eight year old never wants to take an at-bat ever again, which is part of this job.  With the roar of a lion, and a grace of a swan (which is so elegantly displayed on the side step ring-up), this ump will make sure he separates the "could be's" from the "could never's".

The ump on the bottom has done something I have never seen before...he gives the pitcher a countdown before he can throw the ball.  How hasn't anyone else been doing this?  It allows the players in the field prepare for the next pitch, and also gives the batter a countdown until he has to swing the lumber.  I admire this technique and believe it should be picked up by major league umps.  Also, notice the good five yards he gets away from the plate before he twists like an overweight ballerina to ring up the batter.  Both of these umps displayed incredible renditions of "The Walk Away" and I applaud them.

2.) The "Wait for it".

This one has always been my favorite strikeout call of all time (Until it got a glimpse of the amazing number one video). You have to admire a guy that has a planned routine for a strikeout.  Its fabulous.  It looks like the type of call that took years of critiquing and changing to make it the perfect motion that it is.  One of my favorite things about this video the time it takes him to ring the batter up.  Notice the batter is almost halfway to the dugout by the time he rings him up.  I also like the prefect posture and the Macarena type hand movements.  Incredible...

1.) The I'm-way-to-old-for-this-shit-but-I'll-still-give-it-my-all.

Stunning.  Amazing.  Unorthodox.  Poetry.  All these words describe what you have just saw.  You see, old Rodger here has been umping independent league baseball long before you even learned how to tie your own cleats.  He goes behind the plate game in, and game out, with what I'm sure is a golf ball sized wad of red man in his right cheek to make sure that each call is made accurately and the game is played with the dignity and respect it deserves.  You have to admire this elder still making every attempt to mimic his once perfect ring up call from the sixties, but only making it look like his arms are made of pasta.  Number one goes to you sir, and may you still have plenty of years left in those flailing arms of your.

I admire each and every one of these terrific men, and if this teaching thing never pans out for me, you better believe I'm entering this prestigious ring of umpires and bring my own flair to the game of baseball.

The Lounge Chair Legends

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