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Cyrus Cassidy #45437

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Posts posted by Cyrus Cassidy #45437

  1. I'm totally not joking.  I have PTSD from combat and from law enforcement (treated and doing just fine, thank you).  To me, umpiring is a way to focus my hyper-alertness and energy; it's an escape from always looking over my shoulder, visually checking every person I see for weapons, noting exits, reading body language for threats, etc.  Plus, I have loved the game since I was little.  It's a few hours where I'm just in love with the game and not worried about evil.  It is genuine therapy for my PTSD.


    HOWEVER, evil is still real.  Just because I have a few hours when I don't have to think about it does't mean it has disappeared.


    I was umpiring a college summer game last week in Nebraska.  I had the plate, and when I work the plate everything outside the foul lines is completely tuned out.  I seriously have no idea what people are saying because I'm so focused.  And to be honest, this was the fastest game I've ever umpired and I wanted to be ready for anything.  This was a close game with a lot of close calls (post game video review showed we got ALL of them right!).  There was a lot of talk coming from the benches, but I truly had no idea what they were saying.  If the ball is live, I'm focused on the ball!


    Between innings, the home team assistant coach approached me and told me the visiting team was making racist comments about the home team's center fielder, who was black.  Despite a law enforcement career in which I spent almost my entire career in the ghetto and came to hold a very dim view of humanity, I have to admit I was a little shocked.  He then told me what they said, which I will NOT post here.  Suffice it to say, there was no room for interpretation; they were blatantly racist statements.

    I approached the visiting team head coach and told him about the accusation.  I said that I had not heard the remarks, but if I had, the offender would already be gone.  He said nothing and walked away. 


    NOTE:  I'm also a trained interrogator, and have been trained in reading body language, micro-expressions, etc.  This is not voodoo; it's science, and I have been documented to be more accurate than a lie detector (93% per occurrence versus 77%, so I'm significantly better than a lie detector!).  This guy's micro-expression and body language told me one thing:  The accusation was true, and he knew who had said those terrible things. 


    Even though the courts have found me to be an "expert witness," it's not in a baseball rule book.  I'm not ejecting on that one, but I laid down the law, nonetheless.

    I'm new to this college summer league and I'm hoping to use it to break into umpiring in the NCAA, so I didn't want to become "That Guy" after my first game with them.  But, racist remarks are very severe.  Think about it -- I dedicated two careers to standing up for people who can't stand up for themselves.  My spiritual beliefs are grounded in the idea that every human being is made in the image of God, and therefore has value.  These acts were more than a simple insult; they were an attack on the fabric of what it means to be human.  I simply can't stand for that. 


    I called the assignor and told him what happened, and then told him my plan for the next game:  If I hear it (and I tend to hear a lot more when I'm working the bases), I'm ejecting the offender immediately, no warnings.  If I don't know who said it, I'm asking the dugout.  If they happen to tell me, I'm ejecting the offender.  If they don't tell me, I'm ejecting the head coach because he's responsible for their behavior.  The assignor agreed, and then he called someone at the league and each team owner.  I'm told each team had a come-to-the-divinity-of-your-choice meeting.


    Later that day, I was sitting in my hotel room going through my mental preparations for another fast-paced game, where I would be on the bases.  I kept thinking about the injustice of it all, and it made me sick to my stomach.  I mean that literally.  I wondered if I was coming down with something or if it was being incensed at this whole affair.  It was definitely the latter.  It also didn't go away the entire game because I had no way of knowing what would be said next.  To be honest, I was LOOKING for racist comments.  We had some close plays (also 100% correct on post game video review!), but I was more worried about some idiot in a hood. 

    There was a lot of bench jockeying again, but no racist comments. 


    It's been nearly a week and I'm still angry about it.

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  2. Look up Cowboy Kent Rollins on YouTube.  His whole channel is about dutch oven cooking, cast iron, and chuckwagon cooking.  He cooks professionally from an old Studebaker chuckwagon and recently restored it. 

  3. So there I was, umpiring a high school baseball tournament.  I had the plate, and my partner on the bases was a rookie.  He is going to be a solid umpire eventually, but he's still pretty new.


    Anyway, this call was on me.  Runner on 2nd with 2 outs.  The batter smacked a line drive into left-centerfield for a base hit, but tried to stretch it out into a double.  The runner from 2nd touched 3rd and was coming home when the batter-runner was tagged out sliding into 2nd base.  The runner crossed the plate a split second after the out was made, but before my partner made the "out" call.  My partner did the right thing -- those of you who watched baseball in the '80s remember umpires making the call right when the play happened.  Now we're taught to SLOW DOWN on the call -- see it, replay it in our heads, look to make sure the fielder still has the ball, and then call it. 


    By rule, a run cannot score if the third out is made on a force out.  However, because the batter-runner stretched a base hit into a double, this was NOT a force out; it was a tag out.  I positioned myself to see the play and the runner touching home, keeping both in my field of view.  I judged the out happened, then the runner touched home, then my partner signaled the out.


    My call started an argument and two coaches nearly found themselves in the parking lot early.


    This is a classic "time play," and whether or not the run scores is determined by when the runner touched the plate -- either before or after the third out was made at 2nd, NOT before or after the call was made.  In this case, I signaled "no run" to the score keeper, and both coaches from the batting team nearly came unglued.  My partner, of course, had his back to home plate to make the call at 2nd, so there was no going to him to confirm my judgement.  Call stands.  Go back to the dugout.

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  4. I read some early 19th century primary documents that quoted some of the Native Americans who were speaking to the author.  Apparently they said "a heap" quite a bit, meaning a lot -- i.e. "We go hunting buffalo a heap."

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  5. 28 minutes ago, Wallaby Jack, SASS #44062 said:



     .....you orta give up on them mortars .......... they seem to be bad for your health ..........   :mellow:


    It was incoming; I didn't really have a choice!

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  6. I've had military grade tinnitus since 2003 when a mortar round almost killed me.  The ringing in the ears is a good trade for my life :)  But no, I haven't found any way to reduce it.

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  7. I made my professional umpiring debut on Thursday, June 2nd.  This was the season opener of the Colorado Springs Snow Sox hosting the Trinidad Triggers.  Both teams play in the Pecos League, an independent minor league. 


    Friday, June 3rd, I was in Trinidad working the plate. 



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  8. Obscure hobbies:


    - History -- Revolutionary War, Civil War, WW2, ancient Egypt, ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Greece, ancient Rome, ancient Israel

    - coin collecting -- 19th and 20th century U.S. coins, ancient Roman coins

    - collecting mid-19th century American firearms

    - bullet casting

    - umpiring baseball


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  9. They're a no kidding serious academic society.  There are a lot of niche societies within the history discipline; this is just one of many.  I was a member of the Society for the History of the Early American Republic for a while, as well as the Society of Civil War Historians.  As much as I love baseball, I've never joined SABR.

  10. 28 minutes ago, Red Gauntlet , SASS 60619 said:

    Surprised that would make a difference. Can a servicemember refuse combat service because of nomenclature? Wasn't Korea a "police action" officially? None of our wars have been "declared" as such for generations.


    You're asking about American soldiers; the story is about Russian soldiers.  It's a giant logical leap to assume that soldiers in every army worldwide fall under the same regulations.

    • Like 2
  11. 20 hours ago, Rip Snorter said:

    I saw a guy shoot a 45-70 derringer at an indoor range, knocked himself silly and lacerated his forehead.  His friends were howling, the rest of us tried to look concerned.


    Did you say .45-70 DERRINGER?????

    • Haha 2
  12. 8 minutes ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

    He doesn’t know that he’s taking on someone who could clean his clock if provoked.

    True, but I'd rather not go through the legal wrangling.  To be frank, after careers in the military and law enforcement, I'm rather tired of using violence, even though every time I did it was legally, morally, and ethically justified.  That doesn't mean I have to like it.

    • Like 5
  13. 1 hour ago, Subdeacon Joe said:


    Huh...I would have thought that critters - rabbits, birds, gophers, etc. would be just part of the field, and the "not part of the field" would be things thrown on the field by fans.  

    The rule says "natural" part of the field; interpretation manuals clarify that means things that are supposed to be there.

    • Thanks 2
  14. 30 minutes ago, Subdeacon Joe said:


    I take it that it's a live ball and the defense just has to deal with it.


    There is a remote rule about a batted ball striking anything that is not part of the field while in fair territory, which we should have invoked.  However, the result of the play was exactly the same based on where the batter-runner ended up.  So we didn't need to.

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  15. 13 hours ago, Alpo said:

    By "intentional walk", you mean the picture is aware that the batter is a good hitter, so he walks him on purpose with four very outside balls, to get him on base because the next guy up can't hit for spit?


    Oh yeah. I definitely want him to homer. Either that or the catcher drops the ball on the third strike, and through a comedy of errors the batter makes it all the way around.


    That's one way to intentionally walk.  To speed up the game, MLB and every level on down have changed the rules to allow the pitching team's coach or catcher to simply tell the home plate umpire they want to walk the guy.  There is no longer any need to pitch four times.


    HOWEVER, the rules added an interesting caveat.  If the defense pitches four balls (intentionally or not), the ball remains live while the batter takes his base.  Thus, if he catches the defense napping, he could attempt a steal.  The defense can also attempt a pick-off at any time when the ball is live.


    BUT, if they walk by declaring it to the umpire, he must call "TIME" before awarding the base.  The ball is dead and no playing action can occur until he puts it back into play.  He cannot put it back into play until the batter is in the box, the catcher is in his box, and the pitcher is engaged with the rubber.

    • Thanks 2
  16. Having been out of LE for nearly six years, my memory of specifics if fading.  Google the brand and read up on them, but I'm fairly certain that's the brand that was known to fail quite regularly.  That may be how it ended up unused in a storage facility -- police departments junked them as quickly as budgets allowed and replaced them with different brands.

  17. 17 hours ago, Cypress Sun said:


    I've heard/read that the problem with soft body armor (no plates) is that the effectiveness degrades after lengthy exposure to heat, humidity and sweat.

    As suggested, call the manufacture.


    This is a manufacturer's suggestion.  To test their claim, my old department took out a bunch of body armor that was over 25 years old and well used.  We shot each of them dozens of times and didn't start to get any penetration until we had hit the same spot multiple times.

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