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MadMax last won the day on November 11

MadMax had the most liked content!

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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)

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  1. MadMax

    Transaction Experience Thread

    FIFY. You missed a word that... well... changes the meaning.
  2. MadMax

    Visor in Nike Ti

    Oh, best practice for polycarbonates... First, flip it over and remove the two screws holding the lens to the bracket. Remove the bracket and keep til later. Then, with just the lens, you can place it in a bowl of mineral spirits, and then wet-sand off the glazing (mirror finish). Do this a couple times, but especially do it once before spray painting it. Use "plastic fusion" spray paint for best results. Once completed and dried, reattach bracket.
  3. MadMax

    Jim Evans School

    The operative word in the question is "20". My advice (notice I say advice... not a directive or an order, which sooooooo many guys are too quick to give) is to consider and exercise that which is a core fundamental of umpiring (and a word you'll hear a lot while being instructed) – timing. While there isn't an exact number given by the League or the schools, the "window" appears to be between 22/23 and 30. @Radwaste50 is correct in that the only way into "the pipeline" (the path to The Show) is through either or both of the two schools (Wendlestedt or The MiLB Academy). However, there are several other ways to prepare yourself, structure your tools and skills, discipline your on- and off- field activities, and gain experience prior to (a) School so that your enrollment and attendance is the most effective for you. Jim Evans' clinics, or those put on by equitable experienced umpires, are examples of these steps. Another is to locate big-time baseball events, such as CBUA Showcase, USSSA Winter Nationals, MSBL World Series, Perfect Game Classics, etc. – events that are in need of competent umpires for game coverage and which are coordinated by top-level umpires with proven track records and connections. For example, one of the MSBL World Series events is held here in Phoenix (they also have others in Florida, Las Vegas, and San Diego). It is always looking for umpires. It is coordinated and administered by a professional umpire JB. JB is extremely well-connected, and is deeply involved in college baseball throughout mid-America. One of the reasons I relocated to Phoenix from Wisconsin (besides @KenBAZ elbowing me to do so) was JB serving as my evaluator at the CBUA Showcase event held in Iowa. Another option to explore is the MLB Umpires Evaluation (Day) Camps. The locations vary year-by-year, but they are free to attend, structured in a curriculum that is only positive and beneficial to you, and present to you an opportunity to impress and warrant a scholarship to attend one of the Schools! I attended one 3 years ago in Chicago, and it was wholly beneficial. (see here for 2018, as reference; 2019 is not published yet: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/umpires/camp/index.jsp?content=mlbuc_clinics ) One more recent option to consider is going through a placement in an independent pro/summer league. @jwclubbie has established an Umpire Placement Course/Camp to serve as a training, evaluation and connection portal through which to work in one of several independent pro/summer leagues (he has the details). As part of their payment structure, some of these leagues offer scholarships to attend one of the two Schools of your choice. So not only are you getting trained and evaluated by professional umpires, but you're also working alongside other established umpires, in games which will begin to relate to the speeds and talent levels that the Minor Leagues possess, all while earning money and credits (scholarship dollars) towards enrolling in a School. The alternative route is to just pay the $3,000+ tuition, walk in to a School, and see if you sink or swim. And even if you swim, have someone tell you, "You're good, kid, but... ", and have that "but" followed by "you're not old enough yet", "your fitness needs some work", "you need more experience", etc... any number of things that you could have been told now, in a setting that doesn't leave you financially, psychologically, and emotionally spent, or precarious.
  4. MadMax

    Visor in Nike Ti

    If any of you fellow gear junkies are wondering where I and my comments are on this... I'm over here, sitting in the corner, rubbing my temples and humming "take me out to the ballgame..." And yes, @JDavis225, most of the visors are just simple brown or grey. The visors from Markwort are available in what they call Silver, which is mirrored, and then the lens color is dark grey, while the other option is what they call Rainbow, which is mirrored again, but the lens color is very blue.
  5. MadMax

    Austin Hedges' Force3 HSM

    Lo and behold, guess what made an appearance... Here in Phoenix, we host the month-long Arizona Fall Classic, which not only involves the Major and Minor League talent, but also collegiate and high school -aged talent from throughout the country. Week to week, starting with Freshman, then Sophomores, and so on, teams square off in structured, strictly-showcase games that behave more like scrimmages. It's all about showing off pitching arms, skills with the bat, speed on the basepaths, Pop-times for catchers, and the occasional oh-so-slick turned DP. Well, during the Senior FC week, I had a catcher trot out from the dugout completely decked out in... Force3 gear. Including this: Ain't it pretty? Obviously, the cage has been completely reworked. It's noticeably better executed, seeming to wrap around instead of just jutting out into space like the previous model. Of course, the new forehead cage extension is the obvious improvement, significantly reducing the number of direct on-shell impacts. But notice, too, that the shell shape, or planform, is completely different than the previous model. I had been critical of Force3 for lazily employing a rather common planform that had been used throughout the baseball industry by a number of manufacturers, including the likes of Easton, Louisville Slugger, Worth, and Rawlings. That shell screamed "cheap, cheap, cheap", and was likely used so as to get immediate NOCSAE approval. This latest shell, though, is of a planform only used by All-Star (UnderArmour), and is more... well... planned, and thought out. Personally, as a "Gear Guy", I'm not too keen on equipping this to the majority of amateur catchers yet... simply because this thing is an investment, and far too often, amateur catchers are "coached" to unceremoniously dump the mask on a ball merely being put in play, leaving the bat, or getting just a foot or two away from their mitt. HSMs are constantly getting dumped on the ground, or ending up smacking the Plate Umpire as they're being hurled off. So too, I'm not sold on this for umpires either. I think more can be done in regards to utilizing the Traditional Mask (TM), and supplementing it with a hard hat. Umpires have to take a mask on and off much, much more often than a catcher does. There just simply isn't a helmet-mask designed for umpires. But as to what is currently available to umpires, my "professional" opinion is that this, the Wilson Shock FX, the All-Star MVP2500+, and the Easton M-series are the only real options to consider. Anything else isn't going to cut the mustard.
  6. Happens quite often. And, as umpires, we cannot put or compel a pitcher into a Balk call or situation. The same can be said regarding the Hybrid stance, as an example. If I’m about to make the ball live (call/point “Play!”), and I’ve got a F1 staring back at me in the Hybrid stance, I should not, indeed cannot, make the ball Live until F1 is in a legal stance. It would be improper of me to make the ball Live only to immediately yell “Balk! Illegal stance! Gotcha!”. A similar, typical thing happens with amateurs. The pitcher hastily, absent-mindedly toes the rubber. With ball in either hand, he stamps his foot a few times, making a new trench for his foot. He then adjusts the brim of his cap. Then he acknowledges which middle infielder he’s “got” on a come-backer, by raising his pitching arm back towards 2B and giving a point or waggle. Then he rolls his shoulders, settles in, and looks in towards his catcher. All during this, R1 is still taking his batting gloves off or putting his oven-mitt sliding glove on, talking with his 1BC, standing atop 1B, while the next batter hasn’t even gotten into the box yet! Where is there an act of deceiving the Runner in there??? So yeah, there may be, somewhere in there, an umpire (whether PU or BU) quietly telling F1 to tuck his shirt in. And, that kid doesn’t think to “legally disengage” so as to comply.
  7. MadMax

    Runner intentional interference

    It’s not possible to get two outs from this, with this being a ground ball (pop fly is different, see below), and R2 only. With no force play, there isn’t a DP to turn. Thus, either we are calling the R2 out for Interference or we’re not, as @maven was alluding to. If we have Interference in this case, then the ball is Dead – it’s the same as if the ball touched R2, or if R2 makes physical contact with the fielder making a play. Since this isn’t an Interference to break up a DP (such as a FPSR violation), then what the fielder does with the ball next is irrelevant... that ball is already Dead, and R2 is out. BR is placed on 1B. If we choose the other option, and interpret that act as not hindering or impeding (and the fielder’s successful fielding of the ball is borne out by that), then we have BR out at 1B anyway, right? There is a belief amongst some amateur umpires that we (as umpires) need to punish, and thereby prevent further, inappropriate baseball behavior and shenanigans. That it’s our way of “policing the game”. Thing is, there isn’t rule support for it. So, from instances like the above situation, we’re only able to get 1 out. Lastly, two outs can be the result of a pop fly. You’ll see this most often near an occupied base. Pop fly, and the protected fielder is interfered with by the Runner. We cannot ignore this, and the penalty of Out is applied to the Runner. The ball is successfully caught by the defense, thus the BR is out, too, as would be expected.
  8. MadMax

    Nike TI

    I’m still waiting to hear how Thailand figures into the equation, and where and how a Nike Titanium was purchased. They’re not for retail sale here in the US. Because they’re imported, surely, they have to have a declared value and a tag, but Nike has not made them purchase-able through retail, or even wholesale, channels. From what I’ve researched, the Titanium frames are produced in a single shop, likely in Taiwan. This shop is not responsible for the pads, nor the harness, so it is entirely likely that the frames are combined with their accoutrements in Thailand (where a number of Nike -brand fabric products are sourced), or that was shifted to China so as to bypass tariffs, taxes, and limitations. In either case, until I/we hear where and how the new Nike Ti Icon was purchased, we really can’t speculate as to its authenticity... again, because they’re not available to the domestic public.
  9. Dunno... Halloween special? ALSO... Feedback on what was discussed. Perhaps it's not good form to say "discard it" or "get rid of it" when it comes to accessories on this unit. At least Diamond has the courtesy of including bicep guards and a hard-plated abdomen extension within the purchase price of the overall CP! If you don't need them, then perhaps we say, "leave them off" or "put them aside"... by saying "get rid of it", it really cheapens the product. The Diamond may be a less expensive copy (knock-off) of the Wilson Platinum, but it certainly is just as good as the (overpriced) Platinum, if not better because of the included accessories! ... and it doesn't have that stupid billow pad. That should be removed and discarded immediately from any Platinum. _Useless_.
  10. MadMax

    Nike TI

    From where and how? Where did a previous one note or disclose that it was made in Thailand? Where does this current one disclose that it's made in China? There has been a difference in the masks of the "Icon" family over the past 10 years, as the planform has been refined, experimented on with different gauges of Titanium, hollow steel, and lately Titanal (pronounced Ty´-tin-ahl), and been shopped around to different fabrication shops.
  11. MadMax

    Problems with Plus POS Orders (again)

    3 of my 5 masks are +POS ZRO-G's, as are several of my Vulture colleagues. For a hollow-steel mask, emulative of the revered Icon, complete with decent pads and a harness, and priced at $49, you cannot beat it. I have never had a problem ordering from +POS (Dan), and I think it all has to do with Emailing him first, prior to ordering. In this way, it introduces your email to him as a "trusted" customer. He got absolutely torched by PayPal a few years ago, mostly off scammers ordering and cancelling stuff. So if you contact him before ordering, indicate what you're ordering and use the email / ID you're going to pay with for PayPal, it seems the process goes as it was intended.
  12. Pardon me, then. I just distinctly remember a topic thread on here about Ohio changing that logo three times in as many years, and I read that the distinguishing difference was the particular year. Maybe I misread it, maybe it was misinterpreted, maybe it was maligned... maybe I just fixated on it because of how much I, a Sconnie and Badger-alum despise Buckeyes. Anyway, that aside, I find it... odd... that if a state as individualistic as Ohio, in this case, is instituting a thorough revamp of its uniform code such that you must buy and use a particular shirt (or other uniform article), why would you choose the most outdated and arcane style of said shirt? Hmmmmm....
  13. MadMax

    New Diamond CP

    I wouldn't say that... I just need to point out that some CPs – the WestVest Platinum and even my preferred Schutt XV – tend to be broad across the chest. They become a flat wall where a more cylindrical shape could have its advantages. By segmenting the plates, the CP achieves that cylindrical, wrapping shape for those with slimmer builds. If you're a larger build, where the effect is lost, it's of no consequence. Where you'll really like the fit is at the top of the chest, where that stupid, unnecessary billow pad has been eliminated.
  14. MadMax

    All Star FM4000MAG

    That was likely the top pad "bottoming out", compressing flat such that the mask bars made contact with your forehead. Stu, I'm sorry to hear that this happened to you... hope you're AOK and unaffected long term. This just steels me to get my hard hat out and in production.
  15. MadMax

    New Diamond CP

    @BT_Blue, @acpar72 means the extension (tummy guard) doesn't look good under the shirt. With that hard plating backed by 1" sofa cushion foam, of course it's going to look odd. "foam throat area extension"? You're giving it more credibility than it's worth. That billow pad is stupid and purposeless. @tpatience, with the seams laid out like that, does it achieve a better cylindrical fit (ie. wrap around you) than the Platinum? It looks like it would suit a narrower, slimmer build.