DEC 13


I‘m always ill at ease when an official with whom I’m working is on a first‑name basis with a coach. Earlier this baseball season, during the lineup exchange, my partner was all friendly with the home team’s coach. They hugged, laughed and generally acted like they were long lost fraternity brothers.

Meanwhile the visiting coach, who didn’t know my partner as well, was obviously doing a slow burn at the prospect of having his game worked by an umpire who appeared to be the opposing coach’s fishing buddy.

Much has been written about the need for officials to give the appearance of impartiality. To me, that begins with how we address coaches.  I’ve always used “Coach.” It was one of the first things I was taught when I started officiating. I look at it the same way when it comes to other professionals. My physician is Doctor, the policeman who pulls me over for speeding is Officer and the judge who hands down my fine is Your Honor. (Don’t infer from the last two examples I have any experience with those individuals.)