The Catcher/Umpire Relationship 

As soon as his team takes the field, the catcher has a very important job.  Before he receives a single pitch, a good catcher introduces himself to the umpire and shakes his hand.  This should be done at every level from youth baseball to the Major Leagues.

This simple gesture shows the umpire respect as a person and game official.  Addressing the umpire by his name instead of “Blue” shows that you recognize him as a human being, not some machine calling balls and strikes.

Talk to the umpire. Where is he from? How long has he been umpiring? Was he a player? What position did he play? If you were taking a girl out on a date, she would appreciate you wanting to get to know her. It’s the same principle. 

If you establish a relationship with the umpire, you will get that close call. You can ask him questions about a call. It’s not just when you are behind the plate either. The umpire knows who is stepping into the batter’s box. 

Call it gamesmanship if you want. I call it smart baseball.