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MadMax last won the day on June 1

MadMax had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

992 Good

1 Follower

About MadMax

  • Rank
    The Road Umpire
  • Birthday 06/13/1975

Contact Methods

  • AIM

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Phoenix, AZ
  • Interests
    Rally racing, Snowboarding (instructor / tech / barnstormer), Soccer (still play it), Hockey (working toward being a linesman), Baseball (umpiring, obviously), Architecture, Restorations

More information about you

  • Your Association Name
    the West Valley Vultures
  • Occupation
    Designer / Fabricator
  • Types/Levels of Baseball called
    U18, modified NFHS & OBR; Adult Wood Bat, OBR (AL); CDP (sixth year)
  • How did you hear about Umpire-Empire?
    ABUA (

Recent Profile Visitors

6,934 profile views
  1. Ho. Lee. Cow. I want one. That is one of the finest trained dogs I've ever seen. I miss my dogs here in Arizona, and given opportunities to interact with them at the ballparks and game venues, I take advantage of them. Most are incredibly well behaved. I could see a faithful dog not only bringing water out to the crew, but on command, shepherding coaches back into the dugout.
  2. @Aging_Arbiter, it just comes down to finding and using any-and-everything possible to reduce the brightness, glare and heat hitting your face. Back in Wisconsin and New York, I'd affix visors in my mask to reduce the glare and give my eyes some degree of relaxation, so I didn't have to squint. The visor also reduced (or controlled) the dripping of drizzle or rain from my hat bill. Now here in Arizona, the sun is so pervasive, it is vital I have a visor, teamed up with nearly constant sunglass wearing. If I could wear a Coulee hat over myself, I would.
  3. You're a lawyer, @lawump, and you've never had a Perry Mason moment?? ... I don't buy it.
  4. Recently, I can add @mw94 to the list. We did our games in 109º heat, and while he did 2 games, I was on the tail end of 4 for that day. Needless to say, my timing was affected as PU. I managed, but wasn't as sharp as I'd have liked to have been when working alongside a fellow U-E guy. Several weeks ago, I was privileged to not only (finally!) meet up with @Majordave, but he visited our game venue and watched one of my fellow Vultures and I work two games back-to-back and give us on-the-fly feedback. Here's the running list:
  5. I have a sofa cushion named after me??!!! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!!! Douglas is made here in the USA. As such, the plastic plates are much more robust (we have exceptionally good mold-injection machines here in the States; Chinese plastic is less dense because the product designers are trying to minimize weight for overseas shipment, donchaknow). The downside is the cost-per-unit; with less units produced here in the States, by a company with EPA and OSHA oversight compliance, and paying American labor standards, the cost is well over $200 per unit. Now, Douglas does draw a bit of ire because they too use sofa cushion foam. But at least they have the decency to say so. To call a spade a spade. Douglas does redeem itself in how it has demonstrated outstanding customer service, going so far as to remedy any problems or add gap protection upon personal request. I have a hunch that its a legal matter – something in some licensing or patent contract somewhere – that prohibits Douglas from "improving" the stock model by putting the gap protection on the produced-for-retail-sale unit, otherwise they likely would have done so by now. All this makes you wonder... where does that $200 for a Wilson CP actually go, considering Wilson hasn't upgraded a thing on either of them in nearly 10 years? Ask @KenBAZ, I'm incredibly envious of the Douglas because of the silhouette it cuts. I may favor and wear a Schutt XV because of how lightweight and well-ventilated it is, but I keep longing for a sleeker CP. There's an umpire we know in Phoenix here who looks incredibly trim, athletic and sleek, and it has alot to do with the Douglas that he wears... ... that and the locker-room yoga he conducts before every game.
  6. Hwah, @blue32! Call for the devil, and the devil arrives. Marucci is borrowing a page out of All-Star's book, trying to capture a signature look for brand recognition. Force3 aside, All-Star and Easton are leading the market in HSM development, each presenting their own sculpt-formed mask for and with catchers in mind. They're so far out ahead, Rawlings was forced to redesign their flagship HSM to look more like an All-Star System 7, while Wilson terminated the Shock FX line (a sales / customer-service / warranty nightmare) in favor of completely revamping their flagship HSM to be wildly sculpted and look remarkably like an Easton got it on with an All-Star, debuting it at the 2016 MLB All Star Game. If you note the All-Star System 7 HSM, it has a particular, signature cage layout. This cage layout is shaped, and remarkably strong, and has been translated to the FM4000 TM and the dangling throat guard. This design is so strong and so promising, it was translated into All-Star's latest release, the FM4000Mag magnesium alloy traditional mask. All-Star doesn't really have to put their brand logo very prominently (if at all) on their gear because the shape and layout of their gear pieces – whether they be HSMs, TMs, CPs, or shinguards – are so unique that one can tell in a matter of moments in the view from the center field camera. Easton does something similar with their CPs, using a signature "asymmetric" layout to their CP padding. Their HSMs are incredibly unique looking. With their TM, though, they wanted to appeal to the envy of college catchers everywhere – the iconic Nike Titanium. If you look at the two from a distance (like, say, center field), they look remarkably similar. Obviously, when you get up close, the characteristics become markedly different – the chin guard is far smaller on the Easton (to more easily accommodate dangling throat guards), the ear guards are nearly twice as large (to forgive collegiate catchers a mistaken head-turn), and the profile is a full half-sphere rather than the shallow "arched wedge" the Nike planform established. Aside from the Nike, the Easton Speed Elite is a heavily used traditional mask in the college catching scene (whereas the All-Star System 7 is the HSM king). The other one making a name for itself is UnderArmour's version, itself a rebranded All-Star FM25. Nike has an immediately-recognized logo for its brand. So too does UnderArmour. Easton has its stylized "E". Marucci lacks a logo. So, they're going the route of making their gear so recognizably different than everyone else, a viewer is left going, "So why does that gear look so different? Oh. It's a Marucci." There are several Marucci -sponsored travel ball / academy ball teams touring through Arizona these days. Trust me, no expense is spared on the gear they have (bats, gloves, protective gear, etc.), and these young ballplayers are immersed in the pride that comes from playing for such an elite well-funded organization.
  7. Then you'll want to summon the following Jersey Boys... @Richvee, @conbo61... ugh, I can't remember who else, but those two will summon the others.
  8. Entirely possible, especially since the temperatures keep climbing across the southern states and the PolySpandex pants are much lighter and cooler (faster drying) than even the best PolyWool.
  9. It looks badass. Tan TWs would make it even more protective. Is it just me, or should they have used blue-sea digicamo instead of green? Eh, @BigUmpire, @JaxRolo?
  10. What's today, Thursday? Give it until tomorrow, Friday... you may find a shipping notification in your email, as the recent pattern of behavior is that Dan and/or his assistant have been accruing orders to drop them in the post on Friday before COB.
  11. No no. Rest assured, @blue32, I only use black, navy, or charcoal ball bags (and charcoal only when the shirt color is determined at the last minute, and it's a tame game (LL, etc.)).
  12. You don't (further) penalize the team; instead, you penalize the transgressor with an Ejection for malicious contact (MC). This should be the case for all amateur baseball (college included). If the Ejection brings the playable lineup to 8, it may mean forfeiture of the game. But there aren't any other penalties – outs or otherwise – to impose. You may have to... advise or remind the coach(es) that any retaliations will not be tolerated.
  13. I'm sitting in a Texas Roadhouse after calling 9 baseball games over the past 3 days in 117°+ Arizona heat, watching the Mets get shellacked yet again by the Dodgers, when I notice the camera zoom way, way, waaaaaayyyyy in on Travis d'Arnaud and the Force3 Defender mask he's wearing. Travis is new to the Defender TM, having previously used the Mizuno Samurai HSM. The Samurai is one of the most thoroughly padded HSMs on the market, but doesn't get enough play besides the sleeker, more sculpted All-Star System 7's and Easton M-series. With the camera zoomed in on the telltale, trademark springs of the Defender, I begin reading the closed captioning of the two ESPN broadcasters discussing the details of the mask, and how it is progressively suited to reducing impact force and the likelihood of concussions. The camera pans to show all three spring points, and even shows the profile shape, with the broadcasters pointing out the standoff distance. They go on to say several catchers in the league are now using it, and there is now a hockey-style version on the market (the Defender HSM). In a move of directorial brilliance (the guy in the truck should get an Emmy nomination), the camera then pans to zoom in on Lance Barksdale as PU for tonight's game... wearing a Wilson Titanium Low Profile... with Wilson leather wraparound pads... Sigh. Facepalm. The broadcasters then contrast the Defender TM against the Wilson TiLP, and how little protection it affords the umpire. Barksdale's nose is on the verge of poking out of the eyeport, and the mask is nearly flat on his face. One of the broadcasters laments, "I never saw the point of that mask". #TimeForChange #GetWiseOffWilson #OtherOptionsExist #HeadInTheGame
  14. My my my, how people soon forget the pioneers. Behold: I've been rocking this custom powder coated Bay Blue Metallic mask since the top of March! I wear it any time I've got a Sky Blue or Bermuda Blue shirt on. And yes, I wore it on Father's Day. Yes, that's an Aluminum DynaLite (nicknamed "DynAlum"). Notice the rounded ear guards. I'm taken plenty seriously as an umpire. There's something to be said about complementing and completing the details of the style you're projecting in regards to game management and aptitude. If I show up in faded combo pants, no plate shoes, shinguards with big toe caps on them, one "utility" ball bag, a Ping powder blue golf shirt, and a royal blue catchers mask (double-wire eyeport and big square earguards), like my neighbor PU did at the complex the other day, I may have problems being taken seriously – by coaches as well as fellow umpires. If I was a HSM-wearer (which I'm not and like never will be), I would so get the All-Star System 7 in digital camo black-n-grey. That'd be a badass look for an umpire. Tasteful line? I think it looks far more garish to see black masks and black pads teamed with navy shirts! Thus, so long as navy shirts are still in active use, then such masks as the one that is a member of my arsenal of masks will still have a, rather tasteful and appropriate, purpose.
  15. No, probably just a bad day at the fabricator shop in Taiwan (?) where they're made. A worker placed the left arrowhead strut too deep on the ear guard, and the auto-welder still was set to shoot it at those pre-determined points.