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MadMax last won the day on September 2

MadMax had the most liked content!

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1,232 Excellent


About MadMax

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

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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 – NFHS, mNFHS, mOBR; NCAA / NAIA; MiLB -level; CDP
  • How did you hear about Umpire-Empire?
    ABUA (umpire.org)

Recent Profile Visitors

7,568 profile views
  1. Logo removal

    Honig's makes an outstanding, top-quality mask harness with no printing or logos on it whatsoever. It's available in black or navy. Sell your existing Wilson-MLB harness to one of the fanboys here, one of them will be sure to gobble it up.
  2. Champion CP Question

    Yup, they’re the same. Ump-Attire is just displaying it “flattened”.
  3. CP advice for college games

    I, too, do college-level ball with a Schutt XVm (“m” for modified). I even do Adult leagues and MiLB spring training games with it. Several of my colleagues, doing the exact same games, use Champions, Champros, Douglas-es, and Force3 UnEquals, primarily for two reasons – less bulk, and the desire to look sleeker and more athletic. Force3 UnEquals get a bit hot here in AZ because they’re so dense. The Douglas uses Qualux sofa-cushion foam, just like the Wilsons, but in a more compact, narrower style. The Champros and Champions are very good value, and because they use advanced foam sandwiches, can reduce the bulk significantly. The only reason they don’t get more “Play” is because they lack the MLB endorsement that Wilson clings to. The Schutt can be included in this discussion because it is using advanced D3O foam, keeping the weight and bulk down, but adds a feature by being exceptionally well ventilated. If it was any more hole-y, it would be blessed by the Pope! I’m still entertaining the idea of getting a +POS Cobra, and putting it through its paces – it uses a five-layer advanced foam sandwich, is less bulky than its ZRO-G sibling, but uses the same PVC shell plastic, thus lowering the overall weight and increasing flexibility. The Cobra and Force3 UnEqual Mk II are the two newest CPs on the market, and just look, well, right. All CPs can and will benefit from having a Flex-style harness, and the best Flex-style harness is @Razzer‘s UL “RayFlex” harness. Nothing about the Wilson Golds or Platinums make them more beneficial for collegiate or professional baseball. They’re both really good CPs in their own right, but not exclusive.
  4. Is this advice being given as/to a BU or as/to a PU? If to a BU, absolutely, if FPSR is judged, it should/shall be called. But if to a PU... What then? Especially with a quick touch of 2B and a release/throw, the BU is, as we’ve discussed throughout this thread, already turning/turned to watch 1B and the BR. The throw arrives, and F3 (F1 perhaps, rarely) either touches 1B or tags BR to bring a call of “Out!”. Meanwhile, the (retired) R1 has committed a FPSR violation that the PU sees from his vantage point. What is a PU supposed to do? More often than not, in this case, nothing is said by the PU during the play sequence because, oh well, the backend Out was made anyway. That’s what I meant by “not applied”, @ALStripes17. Usually, that backend out comes with no one else on base or is an IEDP (the third out). Sure, some crews might get together on the 1BL between innings and share that FPSR was violated, but what is the prescibed method? Yes, of course FPSR is a form of interference, thus, if the backend Out is only the 2nd Out – whether it be naturally completed or applied via penalty – then the offense should not be gaining an advantage. Runners should be returned (yes? I’m making sure). I’m mentioning this as encouragement / reinforcement to PU’s, some of whom may fail to apply FPSR, despite them seeing its occurrence, because the backend out of the DP at 1B was completed. So here again, what is the proper protocol to apply a FPSR violation penalty, by a PU, when the backend Out is completed anyway?
  5. Witnessed @KenBAZ do this first-hand (I was PU) and he nailed it. Which resolution is best for us, as an umpire crew? If a FPSR violation occurs post-F4/6 release, should the PU wait for the BU to come to him? Should the PU call time and go counsel the BU to coordinate a ruling/call? Or, should the PU just call it, tacking it on the end of the BU’s call of “Safe” at 1B of BR (because, of course, if BR is Out on the backend throw, FPSR is Interference isn’t applied). But we do have to consider it, especially with the results being 2 outs only, yes? Say we have R3 & R1, 0 Outs. Grounder to right side of infield, freezes R3 for a moment, then flips to F6 at 2B. Gets the out at 2B, throws on to 1B, and gets taken out in a FPSR violation. Throw to 1B gets BR... what occurs now? Do we put R3 back at 3B?
  6. What frame is this?

    Ah yes, the FM2000. This is/was the sibling to All-Star’s innovative FM4000. All-Star really put some thought and research into their new masks, and arrived at a design that employed shaped hollow tubes to gain strength and allow for (slightly, but still) greater visibility. They named this “I-Bar”, and incorporated these bars into a curved design and bar layout that further increased the strength and decreased the weight. By curving the brow (upper section), All-Star determined that the mask was more resistant to impact bends, as well as allowing more of the pads to make contact with the hat or helmet beneath it. The resulting bar layout has become iconic and almost trademark of All-Star, used on their tremendously popular MVP-25xx line of HSMs and the FM4000 TM. In those cases, the All-Star logo is present, whether it be on the shell of the HSM, or on the catcher’s helmet, or on his CP and shins, and the bar layout becomes a “secondary branding mark”. The FM2000, though, was made for umpires, who normally eschew any obvious branding marks (other than the Big Gold W). So, All-Star thought out a counter, and designed the bar layout on the FM2000 to be their logo. It also forgoes earguard struts because how often are umpires struck upon the earguards? It also allows the use of any type/brand of pads without having to cut a center split, like what has to be done in the FM4000.
  7. My thoughts on the 2017 World Series

    Do you not have a smartphone, Warren?? ESPN App streams the World Series feed for free!! We get to hear the best voice in baseball (currently), Dan Shulman. Only downside? Aaron Boone flapping his gums as a former player. Dan Shulman at the top of the 8th inning – “This is insane.”
  8. Starter uniforms for rookies

    Instead of khaki-colored khakis, I think that charcoal / slate grey “utility” slacks will suffice. Dickies, for example. I even tried out Nike Golf slacks in grey for a few games, just to see if they were a viable option (they are, by the way). I wouldn’t wear them for upper echelon games, but for youth amateur stuff? Heck yes. A plain black polo will be more than sufficient. The Majestic 2015 Plain is exactly that, and that was worn for an entire season in the Major Leagues (by limited crews, but still). You could dress it up by putting the association patch on the left chest, or the American flag on the left sleeve, or somesuch. If you wanted to expand it to Sky Blue, consider that, but try to get all of them the same, because while there is only one shade of black, there might be 8 to 10 different shades of “light blue”. The use of a plain black hat is key. This is where a lot of associations / groups putting new umpires on the field drop the ball. They don’t enforce a plain black hat, or even a hat at all in some cases. A few years ago, I was on 14-year old game, while on the field next one over, a 9-year old game had 2 new umpires, with both the PU and BU in shorts, light blue polos, but the BU was without a hat. It looked terrible. Another time, a new umpire greeted me at the field “ready to start the game” while wearing a white-mesh trucker hat (but the front was Navy!). I can get inexpensive, decent, Flexfit plain black (or navy, for that matter) hats off Amazon for $5-$9 each.
  9. Foul tip?

    No, I’m not 100% certain – which is why an umpire conference and/or video review should be undertaken. What you can’t tell me is that a PU, in that position, at those speeds, in that environment can distinguish a pitch hitting the bat then hitting the mitt with absolute certainty.
  10. Foul tip?

    That pitch changes direction... conveniently... at a point where the bat was in its arc so as to make contact with it. This is one of those events which Instant Replay was implemented for. I suppose that if PU doesn’t have contact (a clean swing), then there’s not much that the other 3 core umpires can help on at 100 feet away. If, though, PU is acknowledging contact, but is under the belief that it is a valid Foul Tip, he’d be mistaken, and an umpire conference, or a video review, would/should reveal that Contreras trapped that in his armpit.
  11. Plus POS in Trouble?

    After observing this for cyclic behavior for the past four (at least) years, here’s my guess: This is the time of the year everything starts to slow down for Dan up there in Illinois. Indeed, baseball is more or less crated up in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota, as football is in full swing and basketball will be soon upon us. +POS does not have a diverse, multi-sport catalog and as such, sales wither with half the country snowbound. Dan has, in the past, taken employment with UPS, and he may be doing exactly that again. I can tell you from personal experience (working at Big Rainforest company), that kind of work drains you, and you really don’t feel too motivated to do much else. So from the read of things, mailing labels were “purchased” and generated, but the unit hasn’t been dropped in the mail (yet).
  12. I know (of) this umpire! He’s the rare OOOO (first “O” for “Old”). He’s the same guy who calls outs for slung bats, and acts-of-exuberance by /for runners scoring (especially homeruns). He has a fondness for the Fed rulebook (which still diefies the PU), but is a master of local rules and the T3Rs or D3Rs rulesets (“Them’s There the Rules”, or “Dem’s Der da Rules”, depending on local dialect). In no way am I being ageist or a implying that a number defines your quality and effectiveness. It’s all relative, and “Old” in this context expressly means “Old thinking, stubborn, inflexible”. This guy won’t learn, no matter how, or how often, one presents it to him. In this case, this guy is of the generation or school-of-thought that believes sitting on the bases is disrespectful. And, because today’s (youth) players lack respect, and this guy doesn’t know how to exhibit / foster respect, nor know how to relate to today’s youth, he arbitrarily penalizes participants. Slung bat? Disrespectful. Bat flip? Disrespectful. Jumping up and down at the plate with/around teammate who scored? Disrespectful. And on, and on, and on... ”I’m the umpire. That stuff has no place on my watch, on my field, during my game.”
  13. "play"

    Huh! Imagine that! Every half inning. If the ball wasn’t dead during the changeover, why would a PU have to make the ball live again? Hmmmm. Thanks, @lawump.
  14. "play"

    I might be going out on a limb here, but from what I am led to believe, at the Major League level, the ball is live as soon as the F1 engages the rubber; a mechanic or vocal “Play” is not necessary. We would need a AAA or AA umpire to verify if this was the case at that/those levels too. In the extended Spring Training games we did, with R, A, and AA players, we continued our habitual point mechanic (always), combined with an audible “Play” when Runners were on base. No one – no coaches, players, staff members, or fellow umpires – gave any of us grief over it, or rolled their eyes thinking we were “over the top”. I did a AAA vs. MxPL game with a former MLB umpire as PU, and even he did the mechanic and uttered an audible “Play”... although he didn’t consistently do it. I wasn’t going to elbow him over it, and nothing occurred in the game that challenged whether or not the ball was live. The sense I got is that the guys just “knew”. At those levels, ball changes are frequent, so with a runner on, the F2 would secure possession of the ball, either vocalize to the PU to change the ball or give that “Time request” mechanic himself. PU would either vocalize or mechanic “Time” had been called, a new ball sent to the F1, he’d re-engage the rubber, and away we’d go. The PU would either mechanic, vocalize, or omit doing so (occasionally), but the ball was presumed Live. We should be mechanic’ing (pointing) the ball Live at the start of every half inning. Was that 5th warmup pitch Live? How about the 4th one? How about if the F1 is tossed the ball from the F6 catching the “come down” throw, stands atop the rubber, visibly rubbing the baseball up, and drops it? Are we really going to call an illegal pitch? Another example highlights what could be a potential mess. NFHS rules make the hybrid stance illegal. If a new pitcher climbs on the mound to start a half-inning, in the hybrid stance, I’m not going to make the ball Live until that is corrected and he is in a legal stance. Once legal, get your other components in place, then mechanic / point, and the ball is (now) Live.
  15. Pants

    Concur with @BT_Blue. I, too, have the Davis-by-Fechheimer PolyWools. I wear a 34-35 in slacks but got the 36 in these, and they fit trimmer than the 36 in the new Smitty PolyDexes.