I was working a LL Minor A game as a favor to a guy and I ran into something that doesn't happen much in the majors, need some more experienced umps to tell me what I should have done, after I tell you what I did.
The OM was also coaching third. He was the visiting team as well. Everytime a player came out of the dug-out he would leave the coaches box and conference with his player. Because it was Minor A level I let it go through the first line up of batters. (Admitting my mistake) But in the 4th inning I warned him that he could only have 1 Offensive conference per inning and that last one was it. Sure as Geaorgia asphalt is hot, doesn't he conference with the next batter. So I am standing there waiting and I yell out, "Coach that is strike one!" He gets all odd faced and wants an explaination. I call time and explain since he asked nice. I told him he can send signs and talk from the coaches box but no more meetings with his players, that is what practice is for. I tell him again, one conference for the offense per inning and he is delaying the game. I then advise the pitcher the count is 0-1 and to play.
Let the flames begin!!
Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!
5.09(d) supports the one offensive conference per inning.
6.02(c) supports calling a directed strike when the batter refuses to enter the box
IMO, you're right at the edge here. If the coach is just saying something while the batter is on his way to the plate, I'm letting it go. If the coach stops with the batter and conducts a conference that holds up the game, I'm asking him to knock it off. That's what it sounds like you did. Since he didn't take the hint, I think the directed strike is your next option, since tossing him for not taking the hint would be overkill.
The batter didn't refuse to get in the box, so the directed strike should have been protested by the OM.
You should have stopped it early by saying when the second batter was stopped "Hey (insert the manager's first name here), only one conference per inning".
Minors is instructional, and unless it really delaying the game, I let stuff like this go. If it's really bogging down the game, explain/instruct the manager what he needs to do.
You say tomata, I say tomahto. Did the batter get in the box? No. You can split hairs about the meaning of "refuse", but if everyone is standing there ready to go and the batter exits the dugout and makes a beeline for the 3rd base coach, that's good enough for me.
Having said that, this is Minors and unless we're running out of daylight or against time contraints, I'd just let the coach know to keep it shourt and sweet if he absolutely needs to talk to his batters as the come to the plate.
Ok. "Batter, take you place in the box" Continues to talk to the coach. Is that good enough for you, or does the kid have to give you the finger and tell you to f&*k yourself for it to be "blatant"?
I guess I see both sides...
In my years of coaching and managing Minors most instructions & peptalk were occuring at the dugout gate before the kid came out - mostly during the previous batter's at-bat. (An advantage of no On Deck Circle.) Sometimes I'd walk over to the plate talking to the batter when I needed to retrieve a bat. I don't see why every kid needs to visit the coach at third base - especially this late in the season.
That said, I guess early in the season I always took a few offensive "timeouts" per inning for instruction in the middle of an at bat because of events/problems during the at bat. That is unless the umpire (who are Major's coaches in our league) hadn't already taken a timeout to correct the batter's or catcher's positioning. Minors is suppose to be instructional so there is a dynamic tension there.
(Edit for typos)
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