Answer: Plate umpire will make an audible call on each strike or ball. On non-swinging strikes, call may vary in tone and intensity. Ball calls vary less; ball four call may have emphasis. On swing and miss strike calls, with less than two strikes, general practice of a signal without verbal call is acceptable. (BB- Manual, Sec. V1 - No. 11; SB - Manual – Sec. No. 2)
Question: Are umpires allowed to wear braces, casts, or splints?
Answer: These items are permitted for use provided they are padded. (BB - Rule 10, Sec. 1, Art. 7; SB – Rule 10, Sec. 4, Art. 3)
This will be the final column for the season. The column will resume during the 2012 season.