Intentional Beaning Something You Think, Not Do

I saw this YouTube video earlier today where a HS baseball team intentionally drills an Umpire. ( The clip shows the pitch about 4 times, once in slow motion, so you can really see what is going on. For me, it only took one viewing. As somebody who caught all through HS and one year in college before switching primarily to 1st base, I knew exactly what happened.

There are always umpires that get under your skin as a player. They get on a power trip, or more often than not, they are just so bad at their job that you can’t understand why they are paid to be behind the plate. Granted being an umpire is tough. I’ve done it for Little League games and know that it is no walk in the park, but some of these guys are flat-out brutal. Sometimes they are so bad that you just want to punish them for it.

I can honestly say that anybody who has caught for the majority of their baseball career has thought about doing just what these kids did. The pitcher delivered a high fastball and the catcher, acting as if he thinks a breaking ball is coming, slides to his knees to block the pitch, thus leaving the ump wide open for a beating. Normally the catcher wouldn’t act like he was going to catch the ball, then instantaneously drop to his knees and duck like this kid did, but that’s another story.

The thing is, while I have thought about doing this time and time again, I have never done it, nor even heard of it being done until today. It’s a pipe dream. It’s something you think about in your head and you smile about, like those visions you have about beating the snot out of the school bully. But once its enacted in real life, it becomes more than a dream of retribution. It can be dangerous. 

Umpires have been knocked unconscious time and time again during games and hitting one square in the face with a fastball is a good way to have it happen again. But even if you don’t care about the umpires safety, this play is never carried out because people usually have enough self-preservation instincts to keep the idea in their heads. What happens if you get thrown out of your championship game for it? What happens if your coach knows what’s up and benchs you? Or kicks you off the team? Or, if you’re like this catcher, you lose your spot on the college baseball team you were planning to be a part of?

Bad calls will always exist in sports. Umpires will miss balls and strikes. Refs will miss fouls, or make them up. It just comes with the game. If you want to get retribution, you take the ump out of the game. You make it so he doesn’t have to make calls. You carve batters up. You make them swing and miss; you allow your defense to make plays. When you go head-to-head with an umpire or a ref, you are going to lose. As an athlete there are times to simply swallow your pride and trudge forward. When you don’t, you leave yourself open to punishment. The worst part about that? It takes the focus off how terrible the ump may have been, and puts it squarely on your shoulders.


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