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Showing most liked content since 03/25/2018 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    Youth sports are best played by orphans
  2. 6 points
  3. 6 points
    Sorry guys, things have been hectic around here last couple of days. Anyway, just now got off the phone with Joe. MLB is having a dispute with Wilson on some issues so MLB has directed that Umps will cover the "W" out on the vests until resolved. Might be some NEW changes in the works also, but can't comment any further at this time. Thanks for your patience! SJA :-)
  4. 6 points
    Pardon the war story: I had a runner truck a catcher (rather more obviously with intent, lining him up, etc.). After I tossed him, his coach came out to see if the opposing player was OK. The runner had gone back to the dugout, and he said to me, "I wish he'd hit people that hard on the football field. He's our starting middle linebacker!"
  5. 5 points
    F3 V2 traditional masks are in route to New York - then to us by Monday or Tuesday - IF all goes well with the weather. Force3 can't make enough for what we're needing to fulfill orders. We order a ton at a time and they go right back out of the warehouse. MLB umpires are using the mask, MLB catchers are using the mask - and the demand is off the charts. The helmets - we're seeing umpires going BACK to the traditional masks and a slow sale of the F3 helmet. Business 101 comes into play. We carry what the umpires want. Hope this helps.
  6. 5 points
    I always thought the F3 shin guards couldn’t be as good as the hype. Then I bought a pair for this season, and I was right, they AREN’T as good. They’re better. WAY more comfortable and much cooler than my Wilson platinums. I’m a convert now. I’m a “hands on knees” guy, and they are great for tucking your hands behind them.
  7. 5 points
    Good quiz question. If this found it's way onto a NJ re certification test, the answer choices would be.. a. R3's run scores, BR declared out on proper appeal b. This is a time play c. This is a force play, R3 scores d. both b and c
  8. 5 points
    Wearing the new uniform styles has what to do with the calls? I just said I like to wear the newest styles. Why is that an issue? I think an issue is the umpire who bought 20 going out of business shirts fifteen years ago and now refuses to get anything closely resembling up to date. The umpire who has the opinion that our shoes should always be all black. Still wears the Dalco button up shirts.
  9. 4 points
    33 years. How many I've ejected? Can't say; I usually forget about them 2 days after. How many I didn't eject, but should have? 11. I remember each and every one of them.
  10. 4 points
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/0Z68er4M2vruBO0a2 Beyond incredible!
  11. 4 points
    I had a new JR umpire (this year) call me about the coaches complaining about his strike zone. I asked what they said. He said they kept saying the zone was too big. I told him, next time you see this coach, explain to him that this is your first year, and it was one of your first games. Since the league provided everything for your, the strike zone that they had ordered will shrink to fit after its used a few times.
  12. 4 points
    Stu, I see your very good idea, and raise ya... If there isn’t a (working) scoreboard, I routinely make a rudimentary score ledger on the back of a lineup card. Instead of writing, “Lafayette HS Sabres” and “Northwest Central HS Pathfinders”, I’ll write, “Jacque’s Team” and “Davey’s Team”.
  13. 4 points
    The MAJOR factors that are going to be taken into consideration on any one umpire's zone are factors that umpires may not even consciously think about, but they are THE factors that affect one's zone more than any other factor and they are all grounded in mechanics: proper footwork, proper head height, properly setting up in the slot and proper timing. By way of example, if you are not properly setting up in the slot (say for instance, you set up directly behind the point of the plate), you are going to have a totally different view of the strike zone than most umpires. As a result, this will be a "factor that can will affect the zone". Furthermore, if you have bad timing, this will affect your zone. Simply put, none of the game participants will "know your zone" because your zone will be all over the place. Advance concepts and theories of calling balls and strikes are fun to discuss and argue (and GOD knows, some of them have been debated to great lengths on this and other websites). However, how often in a typical game do they occur? Once? Twice? Three times? These mechanics, however, are THE factor that affects your strike zone every pitch, of every game, of every season. [Now as for the advanced mechanics, here is my list (this is high school varsity and above): (1) Don't call a pitch that is not caught by the catcher a "strike" unless it is right down the pipe. (2) If the catcher sets up OFF the outside corner and the pitcher throws a pitch (usually a fastball) that pops the mitt (catcher doesn't move the glove), you must "ball" it. Everyone in the ballpark saw the catcher set up outside; plus the defense in this situation is usually trying to pitch a "ball" to get the batter to chase it. Call this pitch a strike and you will lose credibility fast. (3) If the catcher receives a pitch and then jerks his glove back toward the plate or toward the center of the plate, then "ball" it. If you strike it, you will quickly get the reputation that you can be "fooled" by a catcher (even if that is not the case). If the defense complains about your "ball" calls, respond with a, "if that was a strike, then why did your catcher have to jerk his glove six inches?" This is one of the very few times when it is okay to throw a catcher under the bus (something we normally don't do). After all, he is throwing you under the bus by jerking his glove. (4) If the catcher sets up on a corner, and he has to either (a) reach across his body to catch the pitch, or (b) move his entire body across the plate to catch the pitch..."ball" the pitch unless it is 100% over the white of the plate. (In other words, if any part of the baseball is over the dirt..."ball" the pitch.) The pitcher missed his spot big time; no one wants a pitcher to be rewarded in such a situation. Trust me, in this situation the pitch looked like a ball to both dugouts (who can't see the corners of the plate). (5) In "big boy ball" it is not "where the ball crossed the plate". How a catcher receives the pitch matters. If the pitch lands in the dirt, or if the catcher's glove hits the ground after receiving the pitch, "ball" the pitch. NOBODY wants that pitch called a strike. (6) If the catcher's glove goes straight up (his arm extends mostly vertically) to receive the pitch...this is a pretty darn good indicator that the pitch was high. A catcher who wants a strike at the top of the zone, can extend his arm out horizontally in front of him so that his glove is set at the top of the zone to receive the pitch. If he has to snap up past his ear, that's a real good indication the pitcher missed his spot big time. (7) If a batter who has a count that includes three balls, starts running to first base as the pitch is crossing the home plate area or before you rule on the pitch...the pitch is a "strike" unless it was just a brutal pitch that was no where near the zone. If you call "ball" after a batter had started running to first base before you ruled on the pitch, you will get the reputation that a batter can fool you.]
  14. 4 points
    If anyone on earth would know, Joe would .... and when HE blocks out the "W", .... something is going on. Call him!
  15. 4 points
    I need to clarify something you said (placed in bold by me). The Force3 UnEqual is not a traditional hardshell CP. It lacks any of the external plastic carapace plate segments that define a hardshell CP. These carapace plates serve two purposes – structural & shape foundation, and force/energy distribution (not absorption; this is important later). Hardshell CPs carry with them several shortcomings and problems that are tolerated when one considers the protective needs they provide. Bulk (volumetric size), weight, flexibility, dexterity, ventilation & breathability, and damage to other equipment (ie. shirts, jackets) when impacted are all factors that, rightfully so, take a back seat to the incredible speeds and forces at play in upper-echelon levels of baseball. That’s not to say that mid- or lower-level baseball isn’t just as perilous, but these environments have an additional factor affecting them and intensifying those noted factors – frequency. The MLB guys have the “luxury” of donning a CP for 41 games, as part of a 4-man crew (less running), in a monitored environment. They may get hit once a game, but the average is likely much less. Granted, the forces are like comparing a hammer to a piledriver, but far too often, manufacturers and users alike fixate on the one-blow piledriver and are surprised when all those factors contribute to failure when beset with a dozen “small” hammerblows. So, that’s where softshell CPs come on the stage. Because they lack the external carapace plates, they reduce weight and bulk. Ventilation and breathability are drastically improved. Without hard surfaces, shirt damage (holes, tears, bruises, scuffs) is virtually eliminated. The shape is not dictated by the rigidity of carapace plates, thus can conform to your own shape and provide more localized protection, as well as reducing hinderance of (your own) movement. So too, because it conforms to your shape better, the CP itself is less likely to shift out of place or droop (and this is where a Flex-style harness makes all the difference). Softshells, though, lack one key component – energy distribution. Sure, they’re comprised of the very same foam (or often better and more advanced than the Wilson CPs) performing energy absorption for the hardshell CPs, but they get overwhelmed by the localized application of force energy. A softball, because of its less density and greater surface area, doesn’t “pack as much of a punch” – it doesn’t carry and transfer as much force energy. A smaller, more dense baseball, transfers and applies that increased force energy to a more localized point of impact... if only we had something to distribute that energy laterally to be absorbed by other foam further out! And that’s what a hardshell does. Kevlar is actually not a plated, hard surface. It is a fabric, woven from strands of aramid synthetic fiber. It is far more likely to be found in textiles and cloths than in plates. It is so incredibly useful in “bulletproof” vests because of its tremendous tensile strength-to-weight ratio. It doesn’t deflect bullets, it actually catches them, elastically deforming to absorb all that energy and prevent hyper-localized failure and penetration. Thing is, though, as any LEO or soldier will tell you, in a purely-Kevlar vest, while the bullet may not enter your body, you do experience localized trauma (bruising, pain) from that tremendous amount of energy. Thus, most ballistic vests and jackets have – you guessed it – trauma plates in them to further distribute and dissipate that energy, laterally. But again, why not just use nothing but trauma plates? Because they’re heavy, bulky, cumbersome, don’t breathe, and don’t conform to differing body shapes or allow freedom of movement. So what to do? Strike a balance between fixed, hard trauma plates, located in specific, crucial spots, and backed and reinforced by Kevlar. Wow, I just described a Force3 UnEqual... Version 2. Admittedly, Version 1 lacked the “trauma” or blast plates. The pure-Kevlar construction meant that all that superfluous “sofa cushion” foam, needed for absorption and stand-off distance between you and the carapace plates that would otherwise be there, could be done away with. This reduced bulk and increased breathability. The fit could be like a glove, and the need for additional shirts (bigger size) or replacement shirts (cut or torn by impact) was eliminated. However, when wading into the same treacherous waters as traditional hardshell CPs, those hyper-localized impacts were being felt (despite no baseball ever entering an umpire’s body!). Trauma would appear in the form of bruises and aches, which in a ballistic vest is a welcome concession to the alternative! As such, Force3 reworked the UnEqual design and introduced blast plates. These are plastic plates sandwiched beneath the neoprene outer skin, above the Kevlar sections, which themselves are backed by a membrane, sizing foam, and a wicking fabric. Has the UnEqual Version 2 been perfected? No. It still has some revisions ahead of it. Is it a hardshell CP? No... but neither is it a softshell. It truly is a hybrid, an enigma, an evolutionary branch. Its cost scares a lot of potential users off of it, but that’s due to its advanced materials and Made-in-the-USA nature. It could stand to use thicker, but “holey-er” plates – thicker to provide greater force dissipation but holed to increase ventilation and reduce weight (see the Schutt-Adams XV). Its single greatest challenge, though, isn’t a 95+ mph baseball. Force3 is a progressive, proactive entity that will constantly strive to improve. No, its greatest challenge is a television camera, peering in at a Major League home plate, showcasing a Big Yellow “W” at the collar of the guy calling Balls and Strikes. Everyone could benefit from that not being there anymore.
  16. 3 points
    Good plan. Packaging scales in dorm rooms might lead to some pretty pointed questions from law enforcement.
  17. 3 points
    That would be interesting. I don't ever think I've seen a 16-foot long chest protector.
  18. 3 points
    If we're counting JV, I had a 36-0 game. Our state (thankfully) has a 15-after-3 mercy rule, and that was the final after 2.5 innings (home team ahead). 20-0 after the first inning. Second inning I asked the HTHC if I could make his zone ridiculously huge and he agreed. One of the first batters comes up and the pitch is over his eyeballs. *strike* He looks at me and says "that was over my head". I said "yep. Strike".
  19. 3 points
    A pitcher named Thrower is not a good sign.
  20. 3 points
    No no, Stu, I’m a mere tinkerer compared to the likes of @Razzer. Ray has probably had both The Ump and the Cooper Ump30 on his workbench, at a time when I was still trying to solve problems with LEGOs.
  21. 3 points
    I did some mods to this CP. Here's how it turned out below. Added two buckles on front of CP (had one strap and buckle all the way around prior) and I added a 4 point harness setup (prior straps were permanently sewn and riveted in place). My son modeled it for me. He's 13, about 5-6 and maybe 180 lbs. I'm 5-11 and about 240 and it fits me just as well and covers my ribs. The only area I see where a ball might find me is the upper arms. What I really like is how low profile it is, from the side it's very close and only maybe 1/2" wide. No huge shoulder pads either, but yet it is hard shell and has a semi-floating chest piece over the heart.
  22. 3 points
    HS Varsity game. Im PU. Bot 6. Player takes a called K3 over the outside corner. Draws a line in the dirt and gets run. After the game I see a woman in a sweatshirt of that team coming over to my car. I was starting to think that id have to make a quick exit and get changed at wawa but to my surprise she said she was the players mother and asked for my email address to have him apologize for me. That night this popped into my inbox. (personal information redacted) Dear Mr. BRUMP, I apologize for losing control of my emotions during the second game today. My behavior was inappropriate. I understand that I need to handle my emotions, especially in high-intensity situations, better in the future. I meant no disrespect to you or to the game. I acknowledge that drawing a line where I thought the pitch should be called was wrong as it showed you up. My actions do not align with my values, and I regret disappointing my parents, and letting down my team. I will treat this experience as a valuable lesson going forward in this season, throughout my college career, and beyond. Sincerely, First Name Last Name Somewhere in NJ High School ‘18
  23. 3 points
    Thanks Rich for correcting my careless oversight. The Big Five Ignored Rules (4 of them are Fed “safety rules”!!) at tournaments: 1. Necklaces / jewelry (pitchers still cannot wear anything on the throwing wrist) 2. Catchers may wear an earless batting helmet (skullcap) and traditional mask 3. Batting team will have >2 players up warming / timing up the opposing pitcher during Dead Ball time (tolerated if all have helmets on) 4. Players (and some coaches, for that matter) are everywhere besides the dugouts. Whether that be chasing down foul balls, running the warning track, behind the backstop visiting with their parents, off to the bathroom (or concession stand), or seeking out the complex’s common-ground bullpen (and thus, you the umpire have no way of policing how the catcher is receiving those warmup pitches), they are not all confined within the bounds of the dugout. The only “chance” you have as an umpire to exert authority is to keep helmets on those members of the OT out of the dugout, trying to keep that number to 1 OD batter, and keeping them from creeping closer and closer to the home plate circle. Then you have that 3BC that wants to give his just-retired runner a tutorial on baserunning in the 3BC box. 5. Teams may bat 9/10/11–14, and there are free defensive exchanges / substitutions. If injured, a player is Withdrawn (scratched from lineup) and the lineup compressed with no Out penalty, unless the lineup drops below 9. Tournaments do this constantly because while the participants know (of) Fed Rules for playability (feint to 3rd is legal, FPSR at 2nd, immediate Dead on Balk, etc), the TDs aren’t as draconian in the “fine print” Fed Rules application... oh, and if I was to add a 6th, it’s the amount of latitude encouraged of us umpires to grant to coaches (ie. the amount of SH*# we take) before ejecting them.
  24. 3 points
    You can fix it with this: https://www.ump-attire.com/Baseball-Umpire-Equipment/Gear-Footwear/Shin-Guards/F3-LG_Force3-Ultimate-Umpire-Shin-Guards
  25. 3 points
    Yeah that’s an easy one. Pick up some F3’s.
  26. 3 points
    I'm with Richvee, but, parenthetically, I don't see how you could have called the runner out if you did not see a tag.
  27. 3 points
    The poly spandex actually have some stretch to the waist band.
  28. 3 points
    Did the batter runner safely reach first base? The answer is no. The run can never score if the BR doesn't safely reach 1st base and is the 3rd out.
  29. 3 points
    If you've gone 1,000+ games without seeing it, I'd say you are due to see it every day for a week.
  30. 3 points
    Maybe I'm due to see this for the 2nd time in my career tomorrow.
  31. 3 points
    When did @MadMax gets hold of Keith's account?
  32. 3 points
    That was cool, Rick. Even though we have been playing baseball north of the 49th for almost as long as all of you below, I wonder what the Canadian version would look like with either hockey, curling or lacrosse. Two of those sports are based on whacking each other with sticks, then shaking hands after it’s over. Humboldt strong.
  33. 3 points
    Some dude in Ohio? Rhymes with "Raven"?
  34. 3 points
  35. 3 points
    Child support is a pretty good reminder, too.
  36. 3 points
    I write and circle each head coaches first name at the top of their respective lineup cards. Every game, no matter how long I've known them.
  37. 3 points
    1) My zone got a lot better once I stopped trying to take these "factors" into account -- at least consciously. So, I went to a "call the zone" philosophy, recognizing that (a) I would try *not* to be influenced by the catcher's actions, but also (b) I wouldn't be so dumb as to think that wouldn't happen. And, the times I was influenced in (b) were exactly the times when the "factors" should be considered -- but I didn't have to remember / process them -- it just happened. 2) My zone got a lot better when I realized that I would get a lot more "reps" by staying in the same position all the time. I stopped moving "up" or "back" or "out" with the catcher -- there's no need to be in a position to whisper in his ear on every pitch. I just took a spot where I could see the zone 99% of the time -- and that means a spot where the catcher is both back and in. If the catcher moves out, I can still see. If the catcher moves up (for a normal hitter), I can still see. And, thus, the strike zone "box" in my minds eye stays the same. The 1% exception is when the batter is *way* up and the catcher is *way* up -- then I shifted just enough to see the zone -- I didn't shift as far as the catcher moved.
  38. 3 points
    This is a fair guess, but my thought is why cover them this year? Wilson is still the official supplier of MLB, so why be ashamed and cover it up this year? Something's in the wind.
  39. 3 points
    I would remind Jeremiah that you’re still blocked on Facebook, otherwise you’d give a glowing note of appreciation for him making things right. In that forthcoming post, I would thank him, but weave in there that today’s generation has to look past likes and dislikes, and that there are real people on the other side of the screen. Leave the question as to if that social media “director” wants to be paid in real money, or Likes and LOL’s.
  40. 3 points
    Please only use their 1st names ( unless you forget) always use it. It is a sign of respect. In D1 and Pro ball we do this.
  41. 3 points
    You weren't kidding. This one might have set a record!
  42. 3 points
    Well @sd181612‘s inquiry-response sure is grounds for excitement, eh? Way to track that down, Seb. If there’s anything I push, @tpatience, it’s word counts... and peoples’ patience In reading. I guess the one saving grace is I’m an umpire of very few words during a game (and this includes plate meeting!). But afterwards? If you get me on a roll, we may need a couple beers... Alright @umpstu, here we go... thank you for the kind words, and I’ll answer your very valid question as directly as I can, but I’ll try to relate it to masks (which is what the OP is obviously about) as much as possible. Why do you have a Wilson DynaLite Titanium? From what I’ve been able to research, there are five titanium masks on the baseball landscape. The originator of the species, the Nike “Icon” (my name for that planform, because it is so iconic) set the standard, followed on by Wilson, Rawlings and All-Star. The fifth is a Mizuno (of Japan) product, and due to trade and import contracts (imposed by Wilson, Rawlings, et.al. of the NA companies), cannot be sold here in North America. Of the remaining four, the All-Star is designed almost wholly for catchers, with its double-wire eyeport, half-sphere profile, and oversized, rectangular ear guards. That leaves three, and of those, which was designed for umpires? Well, again, none of them were intended for umpires specifically when they were developed, but I will admit that the Wilson Titanium was designed with umpires in mind, but that was more of a countering reaction to the upswell in popularity the Nike Icon received. The Nike Icon really turned the baseball world on its ear... er... head. Jorge Posada was a Yankee, sponsored by Nike, and was the epitome of class, cool, and a winner. Catchers throughout the ranks wanted to imitate him (and still do now) with his propping of his mask atop his head... without a dangling throat guard in his face. Its single wire construction and low, wedge-shaped profile afforded great visibility while the remarkable low-weight meant it could be worn or shed with ease. More than a fair share of umpires, spending as much time in contact with catchers as they do, got a chance to try out the Nike Icon firsthand. Soon, a substantial number of catchers and umpires alike were seeking out the titanium mask, which would supplied to them by Nike reps and connections (supplied, not sold – there’s a critical difference). There were some features on the Nike that were, at the time, unique to the baseball landscape. One was the lengthened, rake-less extended chin guard (AKA “throat guard”, but that label was to satisfy the college rule). Another was the gel-foam pads, fabric-lined with Dri-FIT. Up until then, the standard for mask pads were foam-&-wool -stuffed leather pads. Leather could hold up against the constant abrasion and punishment wearers would dole out. Leather could be conditioned, was reasonably soft, but could endure being dropped into dirt, sand, mud, chalk, or concrete. It may get scuffed, but that would “add character” and you’d wipe it off and you’re good to go. But here were these new, fabric-encased pads, comprised of advanced foams. The protective possibilities! But, there was no way (at the time) that pads like that would hold up to the punishment amateur catchers would exact upon them. That fabric would start to break down or come apart at the seams, and we’ve got users /customers who grudgingly are forced to buy new ones, or return them because they “didn’t meet expectations”. And most common users treat mask and pads as a combined unit, don’t they? This segues into what truly brought the era of the titanium mask to its nadir; not for a shortfall of performance or protection, but for a failure of customer service. Remember how we emphasized that Nike supplied the Icon instead of sold it? That not only creates an air of exclusivity and preeminence, but more importantly, constrains product and warranty support to a very defined, containable segment. If a Nike Titanium Icon bends or (heavens forbid) breaks, do you call up Nike Customer Service and negotiate a return or refund? Uhhh... kinda can’t, because you didn’t actually purchase it from Nike. Instead, you contact your supplying agent, who may or may not be able to supply you with another one. If he (or she) can’t, while it may be saddening that you can no longer use that mask, are you out any money? No, not really. Is Nike? No, not really, because they likely made ten-fold off your use of the mask as an advertising object. By contrast, Wilson sells the masks (and other equipment) to you. They (over)price it so as to pay off its development and all its peripheral costs, as well as to fund that ludicrous licensing-rights contract they have with MLB. Wilson outfits the masks in such a way so as to not protect you, but more to protect Wilson. They dread the customer service / warranty issue. If a $50, vinyl-dipped, leather-padded DynaLite bends, are you likely to claim a warranty issue? Possibly. But if you do, are they really going to be impacted by sending you another (cheaply made) $50 mask (which likely represents less than $10 in costs)? No, not at all. But if your $300 Titanium mask has a bend, or the pads split (or get discolored, even), you’ll be calling Wilson Customer Service faster than a double-play is turned. So why include super-modern, advanced pads on it if it’s likely to be the cause of a RMA? And then, if you do allow a RMA, you have to take a brand new mask – valued at $300 in your company ledgers – out of inventory and send it, with no additional profits, to a customer who is already disgruntled at the inconvenience! See the nightmare for a company? But, do you also see in there the miserly, undermining attitude and focus on profits and the bottom line? The staunch refusal to invest in progression and development out of fear of financial risk? The compromises, nay, concessions made behind the scenes because we’re (as a market) deemed as not worth it? This is why I hate Wilson. Titanium was abandoned not because it is/was “unsafe”. It was because dealing with it, as a serviceable product, was eating into profits, and Wilson was unwilling to invest in the development and manufacturing of effective, quality pads. The same fate befell the Wilson Shock FX. This is doubly insulting to us as consumers because while the Shock FX had its faults, it was a highly effective design for umpires. Where it lost a tremendous amount of money for Wilson was for catchers. Most catchers were buying All-Stars, Eastons, and Mizunos (plucky Mizuno! Can’t we keep them out of North America?!), while those Shock FX’s that were getting sold we’re getting returned or replaced because the spring assemblies would break, jam, or fail... because amateur catchers would dump them on the ground repeatedly, and no coach or parent wants to arbitrarily repurchase a $200 helmet-mask! That shouldn’t break! Why is this an issue? Well, isn’t Wilson supposed to be the Umpire’s company? So, consider all this... extrapolate it across all masks, chest protectors, shinguards, or any other piece of protective equipment. Wilson has had the “exclusive supplier” contract with MLB(U) for over 15 years. What have they done for us?? Now, here’s where we tie this in to All-Star and magnesium masks (the FM4000MAG, specifically)... the reason Wilson abandoned titanium and embraced aluminum wasn’t because “it's better”. It’s that it, in mask form, is less likely to bend or break. And if it does, it represents less of an impact on the bottom line than “servicing” a titanium does. Aluminum, while not easily repairable (neither is titanium), is very recyclable. Most aluminum product fabrication is done in China (they have a staggeringly huge infrastructure for it), so they’re able to churn out an equally staggering number of masks, both to sell and to act as replacements. Greater quantities reduces costs, but should appear as lower prices, no? But hey, it’s a $110 super-lightweight, superstrong mask instead of a $250+ one, right? But why isn’t this aluminum mask being targeted to catchers? Well, partly because the NFHS rules handicap the manufacturers to produce one-piece units (HSMs, et.al.), but more so because aluminum may be strong, but it too will succumb to breaking when being tossed on the ground, stepped on, beaten against a shinguard, stuffed in a gear bag and tossed into/out of a bus, or slammed into a dugout in disgust. And where do they break (most often)? The welds. So, with that in mind, All-Star has embarked on its end-around strategy. It’s a progressive company. It thinks. It has developed an injection die-cast, weld-less mask design that has been already exhaustively tested and refined to be the strongest, yet lightest model they could with conventional methods. And, they’re sharing it between catchers and umpires. Is it perfected yet? No. It requires a very substantial set of pads, especially at the jaw, so as to provide the impact absorption and standoff distance that using magnesium demands. That set of pads isn’t quite thick enough at the forehead... yet... for an umpire. ... and that’s where something else has to change.
  43. 3 points
    Then that settles it for me... I get new Fechheimer/ Davis PolySpandex pants next year as soon as they are offered for sale... ... along with the inevitable UnderArmour version. Variety isn’t a bad thing, guys! It brings the costs down, due to competition and hopefully exposes the cronieism that runs rampant (or should I say “ram–pant”?) in associations.
  44. 3 points
    So I handle a lot of the gear for our little league and every season I'm overwhelmed by the stench of the gear. A couple days ago I was talking to one of the guys at our local sporting goods store about catcher's masks. I'm a huge fan of Schutt, mostly due to the fact that they seem to be one of the few companies actually making advancements. Last year, I got my son a Schutt Air Max batting helmet. No soft foam pads to block air and collect sweat. It actually allows air flow. This year for the league I picked up some Schutt hockey style catcher's masks because I'm sick of trying to fix a one year old helmet where the foam has been shredded. Same Air Max padding. But we still have a bunch of Rawlings and Easton gear that needs minor repairs to get working, but they stink. But I digress. After mentioning the smell from the gear, he mentioned a product called Scenturion. I guess the local hockey team buys it by the case. But it kills odor causing germs. Well I just tried it on a bunch of smelly gear and bags and it works. It didn't remove all the musty smell, but you really have to sniff to smell it, where as being in the vicinity was usually enough to know that it was around. Anyway, I'll be adding a small bottle to my own bag this season. It is odorless, so it's not masking the smell and I won't smell like fake citrus any more. Just thought you guys might be interested.
  45. 3 points
    There is indeed a goofy FED ruling in the ballpark of this play, but not quite this one. What's missing from the discussion so far is that when R3 trucks F2, it is not only MC but also INT (that's what Cav's reference to 2-21-1 says). That, not the MC, is what makes the ball dead immediately, warrants calling an out, and sends other runners back. By rule (8-4-2e), MC always supersedes OBS. Any obstructed runner who subsequently commits MC will be denied his awarded base(s), ruled out, and ejected at the end of playing action.
  46. 3 points
    I have MC, immediate dead ball, R3 is out #3 and EJ'd, OBS superseded, no run, we move into the bottom of the 5th inning, make some notes on the card, ask VHC for the sub's name, tell F1 and the ODB, "Two more." NFHS 2-21-1, 3-3-1m Penalty, 5-1-1e, 8-2-9, 8-4-2e, 9-5-2 Exception 5
  47. 3 points
  48. 3 points
    Wow! That's pretty cool. I've been sworn AT as an umpire, but never sworn IN.
  49. 3 points
    True... but it was nice seeing @mstaylor in a response again.
  50. 3 points
    This year in the MILB, the poly spandex are optional. Next year, they are mandatory for all MILB crews. I learned this from talking with a few minor league guys