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BOTD 9/3/13 "Out At Home And Over The Knee?" A Late Chat Production

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David M. Katz

A Late Chat Production

Your twelve year old son, Steven, is very athletic and competitive.  Steven is still subject to spanking if the need arises.

Today is the day of your company picnic.  Families are invited and Steven attends.  A group of the kids get together an impromptu baseball game and you are asked to be one of the umpires.  Steven is on third base and attempts to steal home.  Quick action by the pitcher makes for a close call at the plate.  You call Steven out.

Steven immediately starts arguing with you that he was safe.  You stand firm in your call as you do believe he was out.  Steven becomes angry and starts cursing at you, even using the "F" bomb.  Steven kicks dirt at you and storms off of the field.

You excuse yourself from the game and head off to catch up with your son.  One of the other umpires, a co-worker,  pulls you aside and says that Steven was safe.

You find Steven sitting and watching a game on another field.  Steven just looks at you, obviously still mad, and says, "I was safe!"  He then turns his attention from you and back on the game he is watching.

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How do you proceed?

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


I think this is a teaching moment. Steven (who should have been named Casey) has just learned that adults, even dads, aren't infallible.

More than one championship game has been lost on a blown call. It's, unfortunately, part of the game. And accepting it with good grace, rather than like John McEnroe, is part of the game as well.

I'm going to tell Steven that he is correct. He WAS safe. My co-worker had a better view and told me so after the fact. As there are no instant replays in company games, because he was called out, he's still out. I'm sorry. I'm only human.

I'm going to also tell him that his response to my blown call was totally inexcusable, and I will point out what his grandfather would have done if I'd done that at his age. Since he's 12, he'll have no doubt seen A Christmas Story many times and know exactly what I'm talking about. While he reacted as he did in response to "extreme provocation", he was still wrong. He's only human too.

In this case, while two wrongs don't make a right, two apologies will save his bottom from turning as red as his eyes.


Gee Doc, you sure saved me a lot of typing! Very Happy 

I think this is exactly the approach to take unless there's still excessive attitude blowing from my boy (I rather doubt that would be the case) then perhaps I'd give him an additional reason to want to swear!


I have to concur with Kier!


John Boy

I will take Kiers advice as well, but I will tell him next time right or wrong he won't be so lucky.


Shocked  My first response is....was that really my son because I know he wouldn't even think of saying and doing what he just Im going to assume he is either possessed or he has some heat stroke going on...

There for Im dittoing JB and Kier....I think though that he can now sit the rest of the game out and do some chilling so to speak and he will know that next time he wont fare so well the next time and that he better enjoy this FREE PASS cause obviously I now have some heat stroke going on as well.....

hugs kal


If Steven is very competitive and athletic, then I'm sure this isn't his first baseball game. If he hasn't heard it before, he needs to learn that umpires are human and make mistakes, but the behavior that he just exhibited could not only get him kicked out of a game, but off of a team, as well as spanked at home.

The fact that I was the umpire who called him out when he thought he was safe probably made things worse for him. I'm going to admit that I might have made a close call against him in an effort to be fair, but that I honestly felt he was out, and that's what I had to go on.

As much as I deplore his actions and his language, I'm not going to spank for this, unless it's a repeat offense. I will suggest that he should apologize to the other kids and umpires for blowing up, then go back to playing. Whether he feels he was out or not, he'd probably enjoy playing more than sitting and pouting.

As for the 'helpful' other ump, I'll let him know that Steven was not safe, because the home plate ump called him out.


I agree 100%with Kier on this. And it is a teachable moment. I dont know abot the US and baseball but here we sometimes see Cricket as a metaphor for life. A batter getting a bum decision and learning to suck it up shows tht life is not always fair no matter how hard we might try to make it so. He entitled to feel disappointed but not to throw his toys out the pram and swear at me. He will get a pass this time and I am going to suggest that he will feel better and others will think better of him if he rejoins the game


Kier is saving me a lot of typing these days. Very Happy

Stone Man

I agree with Jack. I also think that it will be very hard for Steven to return to the game, as much as I think he should. He may still be angry, but even worse, he has had time to rerun the scene he created and is like mortified at how he has behaved.

I too think of this as a teachable moment, but since my boy did SOOOO many things wrong in such a short period of time Steven is overwhelmed as to where to start and what to do about them.

Maybe it's time for a reset.


Editor Extraordinaire
I agree with Kier. Steven has to learn to handle missed calls with dignity if he intends to play competitive sports. And while my colleague may well have had a better angle on the play, Steven has surely seen enough MLB games to know that professional players with years of experience sometimes think they're safe when they aren't. Also, even with slow motion, sometimes the play is so close that it's not possible to make a conclusion about the accuracy of the official on the field.


David M. Katz

My initial reaction was to explain things to Steven and to listen to him BUT then take him somewhere private for a spanking.

I have been swayed by the wisdom of the others and I will instead use this as a teaching moment.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


May I offer a dissenting opinion?  Steven has acted out in an entirely inappropriate fashion.  Even with the extenuating circumstances I believe he has crossed the line and tonight, at bed time, in the privacy of his bedroom, Steven's pj's will be making a descent.  My lap awaits our profane young man.

The "F" bomb?  Really? At 12 years old? Yikes!!


sparky wrote:May I offer a dissenting opinion?  
Sparky, I would be much more likely to agree with you if this had happened under different circumstances. As it is, I'm allowing for the fact that Steven might be reacting more strongly than normal out of a sense of betrayal, since it's not a random stranger, but his own dad, who is 'screwing' him.

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