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MadMax last won the day on January 27

MadMax had the most liked content!

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1,694 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

9,365 profile views
  1. MadMax

    Ball Stuck in Glove...Lodged?

    And this and these people are prime examples of The Establishment, a minority conclave that is one of the greatest challenges to us as umpires (and other sports officials). The games – whether they be baseball, football, basketball, hockey, softball, volleyball, quidditch, or competitive basket weaving – change. They evolve. The correlating rules are not static, but instead dynamic. We often confuse “absolute” for “static”, and “relative” for “dynamic”. The Rules are to be referenced and applied absolutely, but they themselves grow, evolve, and adapt in relation to the game they govern dynamically. The way in which these adaptations are made through a duly designated (or elected) governing body are done through a particular process (sometimes, we’re not privy to), and when they are implemented, they are done for the benefit of Rules across the the breadth and range of their applications. Now, can a state adopt these Rules wholesale, or piecemeal? Yes, certainly, they are empowered to do so. Can individual organizations (such as USA Baseball, or Triple Crown) use these Rules, and selectively countermand or negate specific sections (such as catcher’s two-piece masks, or Mercy Rules, or defensive conferences)? Yes, certainly, they have done so for years. If these organizations countermand, or selectively apply these Rules codecies, they are often doing so for the benefit of their own organization, most often in terms of efficiency and efficacy. Here’s what is concerning – if the State of Pennsylvania is ignoring or refusing to apply this Rule, is there a reason for efficacy or efficiency for them doing so? Better yet, did they poll their constituency – the umpires within their association – as to if the Rule should be applied or negated? Sounds like they didn’t, and it just became “someone not liking it”.
  2. MadMax

    Mount Rushmore of Umpiring

    You’re that starved for baseball talk?? Your example is woefully diminutive. I’ve worked 3 of the 4 you listed (finals, at that!), and I do not consider them to be a Mount Rushmore. Perhaps a gift-shop scale model paperweight version of the real thing. If you’re speaking in strictly amateur terms, then @JSam21‘s answer is probably closer to mark. In lieu of the Olympics (which is only carried sporadically by the Summer Games), I might suggest one of the Independent Pro Leagues – such as the Cape Cod Baseball League or the NorthWoods League – or perhaps the American Legion World Series in Shelby, NC. @noumpere is on the right track – just do the best with what games you are in, and put yourself in a good spot for the next one.
  3. MadMax

    Base shoes question

    For base shoes, I am oft considering models and styles that aren’t typically regarded as base shoes. Gleaming, polished, full-grain leather black shoes are wasted upon amateur (youth or adult) baseball here in Arizona. The whole adage of “you get what you pay for” is lost, too, because with amount of games we do, on the types of fields we’re upon, and the constant sun beating upon them and fading them, your investment will be short lived. I currently use a pair of Nike Alpha Lunar Turfs. Several (dozen or so) umpires here all used Nike Dual Fusion 6’s, which naturally ran wide(r), and did fairly well on ventilation. Another significant number of umpires all have the UA Ultimate Turf Trainers, which work quite well. But all of us, to an umpire, want the cushiest thing possible when we’re doing 3-5 games per day on what amounts to brown concrete and beating sun. Granted, you’re up north in damper conditions. Have you considered these (I already found the wide models for ya): https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F132408617771 https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F202337089204
  4. MadMax

    All American v. Champion

    True to its name, the All-American was manufactured in the U-S-of-A. Thus, the ABS plastic is denser and the hardware more robust. Nowadays, anything plastic is made over in China / Indonesia, and they skimp on material quality in the efforts of making each unit as lightweight as possible so as to fit more into a container. As such, the Champion carapace plates are more brittle. All-American was a big rival to Riddell, Schutt, Douglas, Wilson and Rawlings in the heady, pre-CAD/CAM days of football equipment. While Wilson and Douglas employed sofa-cushion foam in their shoulder pads, All-American was one of the first to start experimenting with laminate foam. Laminate foams, especially in shoulder pads (for football) meant that the pads could be thinner, lighter, and perform more effectively on wicking moisture. Worth mentioning is that, at the time, the Riddell Power, the All-American, and the Wilson WV Gold were "mutual replicas" of each other. I do not know who arrived at the design first, but the Gold is a progressive step of evolution from the original WestVest design, which itself came from the Douglas (and Douglas still maintains to this day). All we know is that Wilson secured the patent, and as such, Riddell and All-American were issued C&D writs. Point is, these CPs were not being run in mass quantities to begin with, and there was alot more care and quality put into their production than what came later thru China. And in China is where the Champion P2xx's origins lie, since it has been optimized to be produced, en masse, to cover the broadest range of sizes at the lowest possible price point. As @wolfe_man noted, you'll need to get any seams or stitching repaired. You (and we, collaboratively) could possibly come up with a new billow that could be stitched in so that your neck isn't potentially rubbing against the plastic edges of the carapace.
  5. MadMax

    Throwing the bat

    Well, it would seem that there have been significantly more than a handful of umpires in Little League who did not get Mr. Konyar’s memo, because in my experience and casual research, this is where most of these fabricated calls are made. This advice rings true, not only with batters and outs, but also with runners and various antics (helmets, etc.), players and their “choice” language, F3’s and where they stand, and also pitchers and balks (e.g. can’t call a Balk during a dead ball). If an Ejection is warranted, and is ultimately required, then do so. Otherwise, use other means (talks, warnings, etc.) that are certainly at our disposal. We can’t just make up a call because we’re the umpire.
  6. “I’ve been hit ma... ma-many times.” Love ya @Scott K!
  7. 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).
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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?"
  15. 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.