SAN DIEGO — An inherent aspect of baseball is the rivalry between coaches and umpires. Last season during a number of San Diego County high school games, the rivalry evolved into an all-out war.
Most of those involved in the disputes, including San Diego Section Commissioner Kendall Webb, say the main problem was the inexperience of the section's new umpires.
Last season, Umpire Services Assn. replaced the San Diego County Baseball Umpires Assn., which had been the dominant service providing officials for the county. USA, a 2-year-old organization, stepped in after SDCBUA failed to agree to a contract last year with the section.
The section's board of managers, in its June 12 meeting, unanimously agreed to reinstate SDCBUA exclusively for the 1987 season. Coaches throughout the county let out a collective sigh of relief.
"I've been coaching at Granite Hills for 10 years, and for the past nine years our games were professionally done by umpires who handled problems in a professional manner," Eagle Coach Gordy Thompson said. "But then to go through a year like last year without (SDCBUA) umpiring, things were chaotic . . . it was like a circus out there."
Chewed out: The familiar round can of smokeless tobacco in the back pocket of many high school baseball players will disappear next year because of the San Diego Section rule prohibiting the use of any form of tobacco at the site of high school sporting events.
The California Education Code has long prohibited the use of tobacco on school campuses, except in designated areas. The section will require that any coach or player caught chewing a wad of tobacco or smoking a cigarette on the playing field will first receive a warning and, on the second offense during a game, will be ejected. Even the possession of tobacco could trigger a warning and ejection.
San Diego is the only section in the state with such a rule.
"We're just saying that we think there is enough of a health problem here and we're making a statement," said Webb, who initiated rule.
Steve Vickery, El Capitan baseball coach, has had success with his policy prohibiting players from using tobacco during a game or practice. "I thought it would be a problem because these kids have been dipping and chewing for years," he said. "Some coaches will ask how can they stop the kids if their parents allow them to do it. . . . We don't leave the choice up to the kids."
Prep Notes Coaches, comings and goings: Ramona High baseball Coach Bill Tamburrino also will coach the Bulldogs' varsity football team this fall, replacing Billy Clark, who resigned after two years to take a job outside of coaching. . . . Vic Player, who coached the Lincoln High football team from 1963 to 1982, will return to guide the Hornets in the fall. He replaces Skip Coons, who led Lincoln to the 2-A championship last year. Coons stepped down because his temporary teaching credential expired. After he is fully credentialed, Coons may return to the position.