Jump to content

Remove these ads by becoming a Premium Member


Established Member
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


MadMax last won the day on January 12

MadMax had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

1,683 Excellent


About MadMax

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

Contact Methods

  • AIM

Profile Information

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

More information about you

  • Your Association Name
    the West Valley Vultures
  • Occupation
    Designer / Fabricator
  • Types/Levels of Baseball called
    U18 – NFHS, mNFHS, mOBR; NCAA / NAIA; MiLB -level; CDP
  • How did you hear about Umpire-Empire?
    ABUA (umpire.org)

Recent Profile Visitors

9,244 profile views
  1. MadMax

    Pitch count question

    Alternatively, if this is a tournament using NFHS (Fed) Rules as a foundation or base, then enforcement and penalty varies per tournament. Example: If the state of Arizona has a Fed limit on pitches for AIA High School games, and we have a USA Baseball or Triple Crown or SouthWest Wood Bat tournament underway, then we are adhering to the pitching restrictions and limits of that tournament. The fact that it is played within Arizona doesn't override the tournament. Enforcements and penalties need to be inquired of the Tournament Director(s) (and not to be arbitrarily enforced / declared by the umpires).
  2. MadMax

    West Vest customization

    From a company who near-as-can-tell refuses to modify, improve, progress said chest protector over the past 20 years, and is stealing umpire's money relying on this: ... being seen in 85% of a televised baseball game broadcast. Bravo on your mod, @NicNag... too bad that a WV Gold doesn't have you in mind when and how produced. #ThinkBetter
  3. MadMax

    Hockey Style Neck Guard???

    No need for voluntary testing. Ask our resident Hockey Goalie Geek @Razzer... he has decades between the pipes to go off of. I spent nowhere near the same time as a goalie, but I did face down pucks for a few seasons of intramural hockey. I disliked the “plow”, in much the same way I dislike the dangling throat guard in baseball. The bib collar is for slash protection primarily, impact protection secondary. Would it work for you in a baseball application? Sure. The likelihood of a PU taking a direct pitch to the throat is slim-to-none. A foul-off, ricocheting off the catcher, or the plate, or a HBP glancing off to find that one vulnerable spot is much more plausible. So, is this bib collar overkill? Probably... since it’s a turtleneck collar, do you want to feel, in the words of the dearly missed Mitch Hedberg, “like a weak midget is trying to strangle you” all game? I concede, conventional “shoehorn” throat guards are cheap and hideously bland, but this bib collar, at $30+ isn’t the remedy we need it to be.
  4. MadMax

    Officials Depot vs Ump attire

    Oh sure, when you contrast a convertible jacket against those wretched sweatsacks from the other manufacturers, you’ll find yourself thinking the Smitty jacket is the best thing invented. We have to stop settling for “good enough” mediocrity, or selling out for substandard sh!t because some dude in the association is getting a kickback on locking the lot of you in to buying navy shirts and jackets from Georgie’s Garage Officials East.
  5. MadMax

    Car storage

    This, the current Xb, the KIA Sol, and the Dodge Caliber are perhaps the "ideal" lone-umpire-on-the-go vehicles. The Scions may be shaped like a box, but that lends well to the ease of using it for umpiring. I lump the Sol and Caliber in there because they are hatchbacks, too, which means you have one "common" or continuous cargo space. I myself have a MINI Countryman ALL4 (my 2nd one), and it has saved my bacon several times in regards to all the activities and officiating I do. But the best part, and where you BIG TRUCK guys can go stuff it? – it gets 32mpg, so I'm not burning my game fees on gettin' there and back. Ideally, if I was going to make my "perfect" umpiring vehicle from an existing model on the market, I'd get a Ford Transit Connect.
  6. MadMax

    Car storage

    Like you, @kylehutson, I’m a hatchback umpire. For the weekend tourneys – 4+ games per day, for 3 days at a go – I routinely bring as many shirts as reasonably possible. Obviously, weather is a big factor, but also, at tournaments I’m one of those guys who has everything “in case”. I have a spare mask, spare shinguard straps, spare hats, etc. all in case an umpire is lacking, loses, or has something break (or tear). So, all my standard stuff is in my Fūl Workhorse rolling duffel, all the spare parts are in a super-cheap tyvek zipper bag from IKEA, and my shirts are all carried in one of these: Bags for Less Premium Quality Black Garment Travel and Storage Breathable Bag 26” x 60" x 5” with Zipper & Metal Eyehole and Carry Handles for Folding for Suits, Tuxedos, Dresses, Coats & More https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N9FHOOQ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_cy4nCb7K2RCS8 A slightly smaller version for shirts-only might appeal to you: Gusset Travel Garment Bag, SPARKSOR 40" Breathable Suit Covers Carrier Bag with Handles, Foldover https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06ZYXTWGY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_9y4nCbZNQXYH6 Actually, now that I have a Plate Coat, I may get this here more robust version: WallyBags Luggage 40" Garment Bag, Black https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000AB286S/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_LK4nCbXY6WQ1Q With these last two, you can lay the shirts & jackets in the bag and then fold the bag like a taco. Mmmm... tacos... it’s Thursday.
  7. MadMax

    New CP

    I do believe Ray would have a much higher conviction-of-quality to not use sofa cushion foam (yet again!). If he did, you better believe I’d be giving him bloody hell.
  8. MadMax

    New CP

    Oh good grief. I see your bet, and raise you that someone on the Facebook pages will "get wise" and remark, "Hey! It's a knockoff of the West Vest Platinum! Is Jerry Davis taking over for Papa Joe?"
  9. Chris was one of my housemates here in Phoenix. I will not reply to posts here on this topic. PM if you feel compelled to.
  10. MadMax

    Thoughts on Rayflex mask harness

    Once again, sad face in lieu of jealous stink-face. The problem is you have two Nikes, which is a greater quantity than I have. This wouldn’t be a problem if I had any quantity to speak of, instead of a zero quantity.
  11. MadMax

    Nike air max

    Hey! Don’t dissuade him! I want Trevor to rival Jordan Baker, and when he makes it Big, we can say, “Aw yeah? We knew him when he was a lil’ tadpole umpire!”
  12. MadMax

    Stoping motion with no runners on.

    And it’s so old, you’ve since “grown up” and added a second P! Bravo! Señor Azul must be suuuuuuper bored, rolling around the site and posting citations on otherwise-cob-webbed threads.
  13. MadMax

    Question re: Plate Shoes and Schutt HSM

    You rang? The Force3 Ultimate shinguards will interface very nicely with either the NB 460V3’s in Mid or Low. I myself use and prefer the Lows, but I can see the benefits for some by using the Mids. The “soft” wings of the Ultimates really show their advantage by laying neatly over the Mids and not causing an awkward fit. By contrast, the Wilson shinguards almost necessitate you to remove the superfluous metatarsal plates, consider using a jigsaw to carve into the ABS of the shin and create a higher arch, and accept a very awkward joint between the shoe and the hard-plate side wings of the shinguard. And that’s even after the sofa-cushion foam and equivalent price tag?? That’s the “Big League thing”? Uh, no thanks. Now to the masks... I ask this of anybody considering a Hockey-Style Mask – why? ( @JSam21 beat me to it while I was writing this) What trait or characteristic are you trying to find or address in a HSM? You did point out that you’ll be seeing 80-90mph pitching. Well, it’s crucial to point out that there is no protective advantage to a HSM over a TM in regards to frontal impact. In fact, because we can choose the specific pads on a TM, we have a measure of control over that factor. Also, when you consider the progressive, active-suspension mask in the Force3 Defender, you’ve got yourself the best current option for frontal-impact protection on the market. In my “professional” opinion, current HSM’s on the market are predominantly designed and intended for catchers. The bulk of that has to do with the NFHS rules prohibiting headgear that does not meet NOCSAE approval, and NOCSAE subsequently refusing to test or approve 2-piece systems. Most often, an umpire who opts for a HSM is doing so out of either personal preference, or from concern stemming from broken bats, or turning (or worse, dropping) the head. There are a few HSMs that, unintentionally, have features that appeal to umpires. The All-Star MVP is the most well-known example, since All-Star has poured a tremendous amount of time and development in balancing geometry, weight, materials, and costs. Wilson had, without intending it, an ideal HSM for umpires in the Shock FX; it was light, reasonably easy to take on and off, well-ventilated, and featured an active-spring suspension. However, Wilson terminated production in it because catchers were heavily favoring the All-Star, Easton, and Mizuno models, which were less hindering on throwing and less prone to breaking of the suspension when the mask invariably hit the ground. An umpire’s mask (should) never hits the ground – so by cancelling the Shock FX, is Wilson serving catchers or umpires? It was Gary Cederstrom’s use of the Shock FX that inspired implementation of a “crest extension”. Why Wilson didn’t adopt this into their entire model line beggars belief, but this found its way into Mizuno (in an Asian market release), Force3, and Schutt. Schutt is known for making custom, specific faceguard masks for football, ala LaDanian Tomlinson, Kurt Warner, Peyton Manning, or Justin Tuck. The other thing working in Schutt’s favor is that they are using the exact same technology of their NFL-worthy football helmets – highly advanced D3O foam and spaced-suspension – in their baseball helmets. It’s economically efficient for Schutt to do so, despite not having a significant portion of the baseball market. The challenge is for the other schmucks (companies), who are still locked in to making hundreds, if not thousands, of conventional HSMs simply to stock them on retail shelves at a price point. I have a hunch it may be a budget issue, or a familiarity / style issue. The Defender-II HSM is brand-spanking new, and commands a justifiable premium price point. @BlueRanger may have had his trusty All-Star MVP for the past 2-3 years, it’s still intact, and it matches / complements his school or team colors. All-Star does offer the MVP in a dizzying array of color and style combinations, while Force3 is just introducing it; I do heartily applaud Force3 to debuting it in matte grey, which looks super-swank. But notice, there isn’t a black-on-black version out in adult sizes yet... why’s that? Because umpires are the most lazy, tight-fisted misers in the market!!! Not so much the case. Forehead shots are a valid concern of @kylejt‘s, but catchers take far more at-the-eyes-and-above shots than we do, simply due to location. No, the ones that really smoke us are the chin shots – it’s like an uppercut to the jaw delivered by a heavyweight boxer. BlueRanger should know this – what are catchers taught to do at the reception of a pitch, or in blocking one? Drop the chin. What is it umpires are directed to do? Lock in, and keep the chin jutted out, like Mount Rushmore or the Old Man of the Mountain at Franconia Notch. I’m not saying either practice has to end... but why hasn’t headgear been yet designed to address these traits individually and separately? Why do we keep expecting catcher gear to suffice for umpires? In summary, @Rock Bottom, if you’re just starting out in umpiring, I’m not going to dissuade you from using a HSM. However, it’s worth noting that a great deal of your training, evaluations (from “higher” umpires), and perceptions (from coaches) will hinge around getting the mask off as quickly and cleanly as possible, so you have an unencumbered view of the play (or ball). A TM is just so much easier and lighter in that regard, and what I encourage many umpires to do, especially HSM wearers, is to have a TM – even a cheap one – with them for use at clinics, camps, or “known” evaluation games.
  14. MadMax


    campaigning for more post views are we?
  15. MadMax

    All-Star MAG Smaller Bottom Pad

    Ah, so you don’t want the revised, thicker version with the reinforcing plate? You just want the original LUC pads, then, standard equipped on and for the FM25 and FM4000 steels.