I had a game tonight at Blackbrook Park in East Hanover – it’s a field that I always enjoy working. It’s huge, all fenced in with foul poles and dugouts. Airplanes headed for Morristown Airport come really low over the field. And, while I don’t work there much, it seems that something happens every time I do. My 1st game there, one of the teams was coached by Ray Mosso – who has become a good friend and my primary assigner. It’s directly due to that that I went from 50 games one year to 150 the next. Another time, they called me a bum and a cheater. Remember that? Today, it was my longest game of the year, at 2 hours and 35 stinking minutes.
So that’s the looooong game and Blackbrook. One of my umpire pet peeves is when anyone, and especially my partner, discusses the strike zone, or references it at all before the game (like, for example, “big zone today, right partner?”) Now I really like the guy I worked with tonight, and he’s probably a better ump than me, but he put it out there enough that it was in my head and I had to really focus to stay true. And as it was I’m sure I had a bigger zone than necessary, and it certainly didn’t move the game along any. So if we ever work together – stay off of my zone!