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Showing most liked content since 02/18/2018 in Posts

  1. 7 points
    ... a pig wanders on the field and eats the ball (inside the pork home run)
  2. 6 points
    What's the first rule of Fight Club? NEVER talk about fight club! What's the first rule of Crossfit? NEVER shut the F*#K up about Crossfit! Hahahaha. You're welcome.
  3. 4 points
    Here’s an idea for you, @The1yankee... Get a new harness for that mask. Get another set of pads, if you wish, but you’re under no urgency to do so, as those stock All-Star LUCs will do just fine. Use the mask on paid games until you can purchase another mask that will be your primary gamer-workhorse. Then send that FM25 off to Tony to get fixed and powdercoated. Tony will of course fix it. The part you bent is called the wicket (the other, on the upper, is the bullring). Tony has fixed no less than 6 of mine (my colleagues and I are doing 300-400 games per year). He’ll also powdercoat it for you, and on a FM25, not only will it end up looking hella-thin, but the sky’s the limit on color. May I suggest a color that would allow you to do navy games or black games? Maybe a silver, or liquid gunmetal? You can put black pads in it, or tan pads, or swap in navy pads if/when games are conducted with navy shirts (which, east of the Mississippi are far too often). Yeah, your primary gamer is rigged for games in black trim, and you use it 90% of the time, but once in a while, you’ll get that game where your partner has nothing but Navy, or the kids are known terrors and you don’t want to bend your primary gamer.
  4. 4 points
    My housemate, fellow umpire, and good friend is having an endless laugh over this. We keep looking at this latest XV-HDX, and the use of side-buckles instead of T-hooks (which I've modified a few Honigs K-1's and other CPs to use instead of T-hooks and velcro), and the mounting method of the rigger straps, and the general shape of the new harness... ... and I can't figure out why they used "HD-" instead of "MA-". Oh, why he's laughing? It's now his last name – Adams. "I git no respect" - Rodney Dangerfield.
  5. 4 points
  6. 4 points
    Thank you everyone. The opinions and insight are great. I think I'm going to go with the Force3 shin guards. I feel like I did a decent job of getting good, quality equipment to start with so why skimp now on the last piece. I did buy plate shoes. They are actually going to be the first thing to arrive. I got the New Balance 460v3 in all black.
  7. 4 points
    Since this thread was brought back up, I thought I would share what our state leadership has said in regards to players or coaches kneeling during the national anthem of HS games. We have been told that no rule is being broken and that we have no authority to penalize the kneeler in any way. I agree with this position as the rules are currently written. Agree or disagree with kneeling, it's simply not within our jurisdiction to take action.
  8. 4 points
    Schutt is sending us a sample. We'll share more when we find out more details.
  9. 3 points
    Boom. This bad boy Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. 3 points
    Going to need to make one in Navy for backward states like Georgia.
  11. 3 points
    Just got mine back from cobbler. Hope he gets @MadMax seal of approval. I wanted real leather straps. And the double rectanglular hoops hold the DF straps pretty good.
  12. 3 points
    @The1yankee said: "Only stings for a minute, lol." Good luck with that. When/if you start calling college baseball I want you to hit me up after you take one off the bicep or wrist or elbow or gut or inner thigh and tell me it only stings for a minute. I took a foul ball off my left knee two days in a row in the same spot. My old Wilson DaviShins didn't do their job. I literally cried, couldn't stop the involuntary pain tears that second day, second hit. Limp-Walked all the way to the right field foul pole and back trying to walk that one off. Bought my Force 3 Shins that evening from my phone in the parking lot before I left the game site here in KC. Hahahaha!
  13. 3 points
    Uhmmm... what? If I remember right, the Spartans of the movie 300 were "armored" like this: Yeah, those are some impressive... CPs. The point is, that the Schutt XV, the Champro Pro Plus, the Champion P2xx, the Force3 UnEqual, and even the +POS Cobra can all be considered "low profile" because they are using advanced, modern foams and are drastically reducing weight and bulk. The System 7 could be considered in this discussion as well, because every segmented plate is pre-contoured and engineered to fit in a conformed manner. I am probably the standard bearer for the Schutt XV, and its biggest cheerleader. I use no other CP (besides trying a few others and servicing / repairing just about every CP ever made), and you'll find me work plate games for MiLB Spring Training, college -level, Independent league, High School varsity (and upper echelon programs, at that), 18U Academy / Travel ball, and Adult -league (MSBL, NABA, et. al.). I've faced off against 95+ mph. What CP I'm wearing is the least of my concerns. I say this kindly, but bluntly – you know nothing by which to judge this, or any CP, against and claim it's not suitable for "college n up". Yeah, the old default harness was garbage, but anyone who claims that the XV is incapable of treading into the same environments that the "trusted" WestVests go has been duped by the marketing machine, and subscribed to a pack of lies. It is more than capable at all levels of baseball. The only reasons why people perceive it not to be is because it's half the bulk of WestVests, and it doesn't carry a big gold W.
  14. 3 points
  15. 3 points
    Jos. A. Bank in North Kansas City did mine last year. No questions asked. Looked great. $10/pair. Good luck. I have friends here who have used other branches of Bank and some who used Men's Wearhouse. No big deal if you don't. Only you and some of your fashion conscious partners will ever notice. Unless it is a point of emphasis for your assigner and other crew members. No biggie unless you are working games that are on TV regularly or working toward that level, seriously working for it, or an anal, ex-military, clothes horse fashionista like me. Ha!
  16. 3 points
    I heard too many horror stories of close calls not to add one. Take advantage of the lesson taught by someone else's pain. I will say that for the first two years I had it attached incorrectly. I had the TG hanging from THE EXTENSION. This was a problem when I would look up to find the ball and the TG would catch on the top of my chest protector. When I would bring my head back down the TG would push my mask up and off. Not much of a safety issue, but definitely bad optics. I believe Mr. Kennedy has a video posted here about the proper way to attach the TG. It should be strapped to the lower bar of the mask proper. Once I made this switch I have had no issues. Found the video:
  17. 3 points
    I'll do a LL game myself before I work it with a coach/parent that is clueless
  18. 3 points
    I wear the Wilson titanium mask with stock Wilson pads and have no issues with visibility, other than the blind umpire thing, but that isn't the mask fault.
  19. 3 points
    IMO It needs to be higher and tighter. It doesn't look like you are getting much protection on the collar bone. The new harness will help only if it is adjusted correctly.
  20. 3 points
    May you blessed in your career. I think you will be, as you've sought counsel from guys that have the experience and wisdom to know. Keep doing that, not just with equipment, but with EVERYTHING. You will get alot of advice, and it won't all be good. So be charitable and gracious, but don't hold on to anything to tightly unless it comes from guys that still trying to grow. For my part, I found that college umpires, and high level HS umpires that are STILL training and learning are the best guys to take advice from. However, there's exceptions to this as there is to most things. Read, practice, ask questions, and verify the answers. And HAVE FUN!!!
  21. 3 points
    Echoing Ray ( @Razzer, he and I talk about this often), the planform used by Nike is the most iconic, and is the best compromise, or marriage, between weight (in any material), protection, and visibility. During its heyday, with Nike commissioning it for use by Jorge Posada and other Nike-endorsed catchers, it was a thing of near-perfect, fabricated beauty. It didn’t need a dangling throat guard, it didn’t have double bars on the eye port, and the ear guards weren’t big and boxy, making you look like a walking RADAR tower. College catchers, at prestigious Nike-sponsored universities loved it, and lauded it over their counterparts at lesser-supplied universities, who were stuck using Rawlings (shudder!), All-Stars, or Wilsons. Professional umpires got a hold of it, and those that used it, loved it. The welds were minimal and clean as can be, the Titanium was strong and light, and the mask just... was (or is) baseball. I could go a lot further into the history and details of mask design (and bore most of you to tears), but let’s cut to just a few years ago – with universities feeling budget crunches, and professional baseball catchers recognized as branding billboards, the stakes to get a branding logo on equipment intensified. College programs, despite being sponsored by Nike, were entertaining supply contracts for their baseball equipment from Easton, Marucci, Rawlings, and the like. All-Star had cornered the market on HSMs through endorsing Buster Posey and other young professional catchers, and had a huge stake in High School baseball, with catchers using their gear in High School, through to college, and on into professional levels. At this same time, Titanium started to get this “bad” reputation that it was the primary factor, of not the cause, of concussions among baseball catchers and umpires. However, the real culprit is the pads, not so much the mask... but that’s for another discussion. Titanium also got unfairly labeled as “bad” because of the warranty / customer service return nightmare incurred by manufacturers who sold it (Wilson, etc.). What this culminates in is a planform, still iconic and admired by many, sitting in the hands of its Taiwanese shop, with a reduced demand to produce it in Titanium with care and precision. So, they begin cutting corners, using varying gauges and quality of Titanium. Then they increase the production of it in steel (which they were doing before, just not to great quantity). Then they start entertaining requests for production from Adidas and Reebok, eager to supply their endorsed athletes and baseball programs with equipment without investing in the development of new, innovative gear (like All-Star does for itself... and the half-ton gorilla in the room – UnderArmour). Without that Quality Controls check, the masks were rushed through, made in steel, and vinyl-dipped (so the exposed welds no longer had to be pristine). Lastly, since Titanium is so costly, and hollow steel just isn’t providing the desired durability (without vinyl coating), they have been experimenting with using high-grade aluminum alloys, namely one called Titanal. Despite its trade name, it does not contain Titanium; instead, it is a rolled Aluminum-based alloy that specifically marginalizes deformation (bending) while enabling welding and bonding to other composites. This has been appearing on a few masks of late (especially the Adidas ones). So, after reading all this (thank you if you did), Ray is leading the groundswell to have the shop in Taiwan – the very one that holds the planform – produce a run of masks, held to a much more personal / organic quality standard (materials and welds) than some guy sitting in an office a few continents away checking a spreadsheet. I myself am heavily interested, but I’m going to get involved somehow.
  22. 3 points
    It would be a busy one. You have to be at least a little screwed up to be an umpire.
  23. 3 points
    My next pair will be the F3. Just have to get a couple of checks to start rolling in first. Scrimmages start next week!
  24. 3 points
    I'm guessing I'm a bit more neurotic on this than many. I see the quality of strike calls, mechanics, and yes... ball calls as integral to preventative game management. Crisp, strong, authoritative, and maybe even LOUD verbals and accompanying mechanics lend to confidence, certainty, and stability, which in my experience, decrease issues. When we talk about MLB umps, or a 20 year D1 umpire, it may not be as essential for them, as they've developed impeccable credibility in many cases. But for guys who haven't, strong plate work, including calling balls and strikes (which begins with great timing that results from proper use of the eyes) accomplishes the same thing, but with greater impact than having a clean, crisp uniform and personal appearance. So it matters, and it CAN hold you back. Thus it is worthy of practice and experimentation until you get it so that it's right for YOU, and works to help you accomplish strong game management. At the risk of sounding arrogant, one of the first things my evaluator said to me at my collegiate tryout was 'That's how you call a strike! Well done!'. That proved to me at that moment how important this is. Also important to note, is the importance of calling balls properly, with good timing, strong verbals, from the crouch, especially on close ones, maybe even 'verbally mapping' to indicate you know WHY it was not a strike. Many very experienced umps don't like this, they say 'it's a ball because I said it was a ball, so there's no need to explain it...', but again, an excellent preventative game management technique is letting them know WHY, i.e... a firm and clear - 'BALL... it's outside'... again, only on close ones that are not obvious, and NO physical/hand mechanics. Now coaches have no need to ask their catcher, or make any comments, they have all they need to know. Likewise punchouts (called 3rd strikes), should be athletic and authoritative with a confident verbal and coordinated mechanic that doesn't make you seem embarrassed at what you just did. You'll know if you fidgit around afterwards whether or not you are comfortable with your punchout. If you fidgit, or short step around a bit, you should re-evaluate, you may not be comfortable with it. When you're through with the call, stand still, in certainty that you got it right, looking where you need to be looking( not at the ground, the batter, or the coach) and move on. In summary, all of this plate demeanor stuff is vital and should be given highest consideration.
  25. 3 points
    That's why we get paid the $65. And, I agree that it's based on the general idea that BR can be thrown out -- but, especially in LL, it's not such a rare play to have F9 throw out the BR -- and we wouldn't consider F9 an infielder.
  26. 2 points
    Maybe "widely" around you...Never have I heard this term. I urge you to read the above case play. On a ball hit out in front of the plate, if the batter starts running, and catcher moves to field the ball, barring one of the two pushing, grabbing, tripping, etc. the other, it's tangle/untangle. Play on. Neither INT nor OBS.
  27. 2 points
    I have never, and never will, bring celery onto a field
  28. 2 points
    Had a similar play as PU once. R1 went out, I take BR and get an angle on the SS side of the 2B cutout because there's going to be a play. F9 throws a bb to 2B. BR stops in his tracks and retreats, getting into a rundown between first and second. My partner had the play back into first from the outfield side, as I covered the second base side from the infield grass. Looked real good. Almost like we knew what we were doing.
  29. 2 points
    I fully endorse Spence on this one, primarily in rarity factor. The Zigs were an ideal design – light, responsive, and with a really nifty, low profile metatarsal guard. Indeed, their demise wasn’t due to a flaw or deficiency, but because Reebok’s parent company, Adidas, doesn’t understand baseball and doesn’t care about umpires. In fact, Adidas pulled Reebok out of all Team sports and confined its focus on CrossFit. Ugh. CrossFit?! Really?! If you have access to a pair of Reebok Zig plate shoes in your size, I say get ‘em. If they don’t suit you – which is why I’ve not owned Reebok myself, as they don’t fit my arches – then you still have NB’s available... at least until 2019 and the inevitable UnderArmour models.
  30. 2 points
    My two cents... If you have the chance, go with the Zigs. They're the most comfortable shoes out there. I can't confirm this next bit but I've been told by MiLB umpires that the V3's have a tendency to tear and fall apart.
  31. 2 points
    I'll take the blame, if it's warranted! One thing you, my fellow umpires and colleagues, must have picked up – I'm quite thorough in my descriptions and explanations. I don't want anyone to feel duped or blindsided in their purchase choices. You wouldn't be making a bad choice of either of those, @Tborze. The Champion P2xx is a very solid, protective piece of gear, and both of them – the Schutt/Adams and the Champion – are both tremendous values at their price points. Same could be said for the Champro, or the +POS, or the All-Star. And yes, the Douglas and the Force3 are a high price point, but at the end of the day – and this is applicable to all seven CP's I just listed out – do you want to be paying your money to a company that will progress and improve their gear, and invest in using new, modern materials, or, at the very least, try to keep production and employment here in North America? The alternative is paying for a CP that uses arcane design practices, outdated materials, produced overseas but priced so as to maintain a Big League (exclusive) license. Sounds appealing, doesn't it? But hey! The Big League guys wear it, so it must be alright... right? There are no longer any secrets to modifying the XV in this latest HDX variant. Schutt actually observed, addressed and progressed their product as it was in use in the market – they just never publicly acknowledged it, nor privately thanked guys like me and @Razzer who made modifications on their own, likely inspiring or motivating Schutt to make those improvements. To wit, there is no longer a need to remove the default Y-yoke harness and install D-ring anchors and rigger straps on the shoulder arch plates so as to use a Flex-style harness. It now has rather streamlined bicep guards (if you're into that kind of thing), and also continues to include and allow the attachment of an abdomen extension. To really achieve a close fit, I would recommend busting out the hairdryer and heating up the shoulder arch plates and chest plate and heat-shaping them.
  32. 2 points
    I wear 18.5’s. They eventually loosen up and don’t stick out/up as much. Takes a few wearings. If they don’t loosen up you’ll get used to them. Put your thumbs under the part that sticks out for a little protection.
  33. 2 points
    Dammit, @BT_Blue, I read your post too late... My fellow Vulture just reported back last night – he was asked in to do a simulated game for Padres pitchers. When we're PU for these games here in Phoenix, we outfit ourselves with 2 ball bags (at least! I've been tempted to get a third!) so as to carry multiple ball types – Major, Minor or Foreign (I was PU for a game versus the Korean Nat'l team, for example). As they're prepping for the game, the ball tote (singular) is carried in and dropped at the backstop – all Big Leaguers, baby. Wide-eyed, my fellow Vulture fills his ball bags and heads to the plate, whereupon the first catcher hoists off his mask and introduces himself – Austin Hedges. Unfortunately, he doesn't remember the particulars of the mask he had (only one guy in the Vulture group needs to be the tech-nerd). Annnnnd Play! PS - Oh, and on that note, by being PU on these games, we are getting the chance to see (and try out!) some really top-notch masks. I held a FM4000MAG in my hands (it's like it's not even there!... but look at that Jay Leno chin!) and tried on several Mizuno masks that you just can't get here in the States, including a Mizuno Titanium. Yes, I'm gobsmacked-in-love.
  34. 2 points
    We are not fat. We are chunky. Chunky is a size. Long live chunky.
  35. 2 points
  36. 2 points
    You spend mucho to protect yourself from taking a shot to all parts of your body, most of which result in non-fatal outcomes. Why would anyone not spend ~$10 to protect themselves from a shot to the front of the neck (blunt neck trauma) which can be fatal? For me, it's no brainer. https://www.utmb.edu/otoref/Grnds/blunt-neck-inj-2010-12-17/blunt-neck-inj-pic--2010-12.pdf
  37. 2 points
    As a collective of all the cool dudes on here, we could totally do this. But how do we make it even cooler?
  38. 2 points
    It's waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy too low'n'loose on you. Way too. Way. Too. (Made my point?) This isn't a Tummy Protector, It's a Chest Protector! The billow – the padding "collar" in blue – is supposed to be at or just beneath your Adam's Apple. Hike it up, soldier! As soon as you push it up, you're going to realize the two problems with brand new, conventional, segmented hardshell CP's – the harnesses suck, and don't hold the CP snugly enough to you, and the shoulder arch plates are not conformed or pre-shaped. They're flat. The only CP's that are pre-shaped are the All-Star System 7, the Champro Pro Plus, and the Champion P2xx. All the rest get... well... flattened out (the Wilson Platinum especially!!!). As the rest of the guys here know, even my vaunted Schutt XV (and the AiR Flex prior to it) needed to be shaped and contoured to fit me properly. So, bust out the heat gun (unless you are able to put your new CP in the back of your car during a 110º+ day, like we are here in Arizona!). I use an "industrial" paint stripping gun, but even a hair blow dryer will work. For this first time, if you can remove the padding jacket, do so. Once you do this the first time, follow-on shapings can be done with the jacket back in. You might want to get a rag, and place it upon the arch plate so you don't blister or dull the finish on the plastic. Apply heat. Once you feel it become somewhat pliable, you'll want to bend it, longitudinally (from front to back) as if it was bending over your shoulder. Don't pinch it or try to fold it, but instead curve it. Apply heat repeatedly until you get the desired form. Once you do this, take another rag, soak it in cold water, wring it out, then apply this cold rag to the formed plastic plate. This may take an afternoon. The desired outcome is a CP that fits you like, well, a glove instead of hanging on you like a shop apron.
  39. 2 points
    @Razzer‘s harness should be arriving this week. Of course, I included tribute to my country and my favorite ump and put that #28. I’ll post pictures as soon as I get it on the CP. THANKS again, everyone. It’s truly awesome to be a part of this community.
  40. 2 points
    Ya always thought of a thong, for some reason whenever I saw that dyna flex mask harness lol
  41. 2 points
    The Nike Frame is the best looking mask period. To do this right the welds would have to be the same as the Finished Nike. The Addidas and the Reebok welds are a mess and that bugs me how they let them out of the factory looking so bad. I will have a few samples made up and see what can be done
  42. 2 points
    I knew that , thanks .........trying to avoid $30 and coming from Japan though ......
  43. 2 points
    I would not mention it at the plate meeting. Wait and see if anything happens. If it does, tell the head coach that they must stand down immediately or he and the offenders will be ejected. Let him know that this is a POE this year and it is how the NCAA wants it handled. Maybe he'll get the idea and stop his players from doing it. Hey Wolf....I'm adding this because I see you work HS only. Do what your assignor wants. What I stated is only for the NCAA.
  44. 2 points
    I can't find the original thread (and/or I'm too lazy to look for it). But here is the official interpretation from Indianapolis that I promised I would obtain: Bases loaded, with two outs. The batter hits a home run, but R1 (on first base) can't find the ball off the bat. The B/R runs hard out of the box, touches first base, and then passes R1 who is still standing near first base. Everyone agrees that the B/R passing R1 constitutes the third out of the inning. Furthermore, everyone agrees that this is not a force out, nor an out against the B/R before he reached first base. Here is the issue: Some people argue that the other runners (R1, R2, R3) are allowed to score under the theory that the home run is a dead ball award. Others argue that this is a "timing play" with regards to determining if the run scores or not. Which is it? Ruling (received from Indianapolis on 2/20/18): This is a "timing play".
  45. 2 points
    @Kevin_K, I have a hunch they (the PTB in Fed) don’t even foresee BU getting to 2B! I’ve seen some of the... “fitness challenged” guys working high school games as BU and I wonder – I genuinely wonder – how and why they’re still attempting an arcane pivot, defying a fateful trip to the ER or the sports othropedic’s office. So they trundle in, do their little “textbook” pivot, then realize the BR – like a scalded cat – is scampering around the bases and is going to third. So, instead of an Umpire struggling to make a call on the move (hang on! <wheeze> I’ll catch up!), they’re putting the PU “there” already. I fully acknowledge that the NFHS has to be non-discriminatory and all-inclusive (various physical forms, prosthesis, wheelchairs, etc), but to codify it – to put something like this in a manual – is just ridiculous. Because while most sane-&-sound umpires and associations would take a rotation such as this as an advisement on what to do should you have a BU who cannot execute a BR-to-3B movement, and treat it on a case-by-case basis, there are those associations (I hear NJ?) which read it as binding “letter of the law”. I mean, just look at NFHS 10-1-9.
  46. 2 points
    I knew I was getting too many different colors when a kid walked past my truck one day............."LOOK MOM!! SKITTLES!!" as he pointed in the window of my truck.
  47. 2 points
    7.11.f - A batter is out when: f. The batter intentionally or unintentionally interferes with the catcher's fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter's box OR making ANY OTHER MOVEMENT that hinders a defensive player's action at home plate;... I'd love to get off the hook on this one too, but not sure the rules will let us. Am I missing a note somewhere, or another rule that addresses avoiding being hit by pitch absolves a batter of interference?
  48. 2 points
    So you do rec ball, too, huh? Or are we still talking about shirts?
  49. 2 points
    It was me. Search for bumper stickers
  50. 2 points
    Some of you know my feelings towards government. I'm neither a righty or a lefty. But Hokieump and others have made comments about the media and I feel they (equally on both sides) are exasperating the situation for their own gains. This in turn divides the country greater than the issue itself. Then they don't let the issue go after the horse has been beaten to death. Also have you noticed when they interview people on the street about topics they deliberately select the absolute worst people to represent either side. They can never find someone with at least a 5th grade education who can make a clear, succinct point, be logical and not default to worn out bromides and clichés or even name calling. The media's problem is they can no longer differentiate between fact and opinion. They cherry pick facts which support their world view and over-engross on the commentary/opinion. If you give me the real unfiltered facts I can form my own opinion.