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MadMax last won the day on September 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

    Champion Sports Armor Style Chest Protector

    I find @rjdakin's personal review of the +POS Cobra very informative and trustworthy. I'm just not in a position (yet, financially) to purchase a Cobra. Especially when we're still in the middle of blistering hot baseball, and my Schutt is the Bees' knees when it comes to ventilation. ... and for crying out loud, Arik, would it kill ya to spell Sydney correctly?
  2. MadMax

    Schutt Scorpion leg guards

    Remember when I said up at the top of the thread that "Baseball players (and umpires) watch higher-level players (and umpires) (college and/or professionals), observe what they use, and either purchase those items so they look just like that model player (or umpire), or get supplied that gear by a sponsor." And who, pray tell, is the "official" sponsor of MLB Umpire gear? Yup. Wilson gets the impression of "end all and be all" of umpire gear simply because it's on TV the most.
  3. MadMax

    Champion Sports Armor Style Chest Protector

    Well, @BT_Blue, is this Champion P230-40 protective enough for HS and College? Yes. And I'm even basing it off the 90-mph, center-mass, direct pitch that hit me during the Expedition League summer. Those are D1-D3 college kids. I've worn the +POS ZRO-G, and the P230-40 is very similar to it. Where I believe the P230-40 is appealing is to a narrow-framed guy or gal who is doing a variety of levels in one or both batsports (baseball and softball), wants 1 CP, and is in a typical budget. Keep in mind that the way in which all the other CP's except the Douglas and Wilson models are providing protection is through modern foam laminates. Force3 goes one step further by using Kevlar weave within the laminate for force absorption. Then, for a hardshell, they are attaching carapace plates atop that foam vest. Both the Wilson and Douglas models are still using single-type open-cell foam (sofa cushion foam), topped with thick ABS carapace plates. This design hasn't changed in close to 20 years. Whereas Douglas's price is based on domestic production – therefore the plastic plates can be denser because they're not being shipped overseas – that excuse is lost on Wilson. Instead, Wilson's steep price is based on marketing, and having to maintain the MLB endorsement license they love to wrap themselves in, and to keep warding off Riddell and All-American, and prevent Douglas from doing any overhauls to their existing design. The question is, though, would I buy a P230-40? No. The level of games that I do, in the quantities I do them, are only increasing for me. However, keep in mind that college and minor league umpires are (rightly so) very conscious and aware of their appearance. Many an umpire at this level has purchased and used the P200-20 because of its slim, trim, compact (i.e. non-bulky) profile, as well as its very appealing price tag that is half, if not a third, of a Douglas, Wilson Gold, or Wilson Platinum. College guys who are doing D1, in front of big crowds and cameras, would undoubtedly favor the All-Star CPU4000, or a TW-modified Gold, or commission a Douglas. Some might even spring for a Force3 UnEqual (V3 of course). ... but then there's that Schutt. I can tell you, hand on heart, I've taken it into MLB pitching and hitting environments and have not been concerned whatsoever. Its greatest asset is the ventilation, and I feel much better and less fatigued after 2-3 plate games wearing it than I would wearing a Wilson or a Douglas. So, what I've purchased is exactly what I've been most satisfied with. Now my only concern, going into college wood bat and minor league environments is a broken bat clubbing or spearing me in the head, face, or neck, and my paltry insurance vacillating on covering it. ... and no, I'm not getting a HSM.
  4. MadMax

    Dropped 3rd with bases loaded

    You must be kidding. He was given the typical cop-out excuse response of “Umpire’s judgement”.
  5. MadMax

    Schutt Scorpion leg guards

    You’re not going to find any reviews about the Schutt Scorpions, @redroofwoodworker, because the Schutt Scorpions are catchers shinguards. And if they aren’t one of the marquee brands – Nike, All-Star, UnderArmour, Mizuno, Rawlings, or Wilson – they usually don’t compel any catchers to write reviews of them. Baseball players don’t write reviews, nor really read and research them to make buying decisions. Baseball players watch higher-level players (college and/or professionals), observe what they use, and either purchase those items so they look just like that model player, or get supplied that gear by a sponsor. Best example – Wilson catchers shinguards. Yes, I lump them into the “marquee brands”, but when you hear the feedback from actual college catchers using them, they are loathsome and awful. Too flimsy, prone to breaking, inadequately padded in the knees, and more difficult to run in than All-Stars. So why do these college catchers use them? Because their university team is supplied them by Wilson. Baseball umpires are the same way. Now, to our credit, there are some of us who actually read reviews and investigate product descriptions prior to purchase. We have to read the Rulebook, do we not (or at least, we should be)? However, for the most part, there exists those umpires who watch those higher level guys (college and/or professional, again), observe what they use, and purchase exactly what they do. Or, worse yet, they get strongarmed into purchasing certain brands or suites of gear simply because their association forces it upon them, mafia-style. With that said, though, I question why you’re looking at catchers models of shinguards. A part of me is guessing that you think that they have the type of padding and coverage to withstand college+ speeds... and you’d be right... for catchers... who are in a crouch... and have their knees more exposed... and are dropping to their knees to block... and need foot & toe protection because they’re wearing typical baseball shoes... and they’re wearing the shinguards on the outside. Which you will not be doing. You are an umpire. You will not be dropping to your knees, you will not be in an exaggerated crouch, you will not be wearing them outside the pant, and you will be wearing plate shoes (if you know what’s good for ya *poke poke poke*)!!! So, I have a sinking suspicion you’re looking at catchers shinguards to provide you foot protection because you don’t want to get plate shoes. Too bad. Be serious about this job. Protect your tootsies and piggies, and get plate shoes. If my suspicions are incorrect (hooray if they are!), then we can recommend any of several models of umpire shinguards to you, including the Force3 Ultimates, the Douglas shinguards, the All-Star System 7’s, or even the (and this hurts my hand to type it) Wilson Golds or Platinums (in fact, I would recommend the Wilson Guardians instead!). The Champro, Schutt, and Diamond umpire shinguards you see are for those mid-level amateur umpires who are operating on a budget, or at a level of baseball or softball where high-level protection and bulk isn’t required. You’ll see them offered with toe flaps... why? Because mid-level amateur umpires operating under a budget don’t take the job seriously enough to get plate shoes! Take the job seriously! Get plate shoes! You’ll read/hear a cacophony of opinions and recommendations from guys on shinguards. I’m in the Force3 camp on these, and will not purchase anything else for my high-level umpire work. Would I wear or try something else, for the sake of testing, or if I had to borrow a set? Sure. I’d entertain Douglas or All-Stars. One of my colleagues even uses (and swears by!) the Schutt umpire shinguards, and we all call pro- and college-level games. So, if you are in a budget pinch, these might appeal to you (or the Wilson Guardians), but, you are likely to hear from the guys here to invest in the best shinguards possible, price be damned. They have a point, because confidently, the shinguards will be a (near likely) one-time purchase.
  6. MadMax

    Champion Sports Armor Style Chest Protector

    Okay guys, let’s clear up the confusion... First, the “Champion” athletic company that you’re likely thinking of, famous for their jerseys and sweatshirts, is not the same as this Champion Sports company, based in NJ, which is producing multi-sports equipment. With that said, here is this Champion Sports’ webpage of umpire CP’s: http://www.championsports.com/pc_combined_results.asp?search_cat=searchexact~pcpcm.parent_pc_id~2FCCFF7B38C8453F9AA189CEA0B21524&pc_id=2FCCFF7B38C8453F9AA189CEA0B21524 They’re known in the community for producing the P200/210/220 (17”/15”/13”) model line of CP’s. These use a laminate of modern foams, are quite slim and low weight & profile, and look awfully similar to the Wilson Gold CP, but at 1/3rd to 1/4th the price. How’s that possible, given that the Gold is sooooo popular and patented, too? Because Champion is not a direct rival to Wilson on the corporate landscape, and doesn’t impinge on Wilson’s bottom line. It has its advantages over the Gold – certainly the price tag, and the foam is a much thinner laminate of several effective foams instead of a thick, bulky block of sofa-cushion foam. However, it does have its shortcomings, and this is most evident in durability. Since it’s made in China, the injection-molded ABS plastic is a shade thin, and can get brittle, leading to cracks. It’s less dense than “standard” ABS plastic because that added weight leads to higher shipping costs per unit. One’s experience will differ depending simply on which batch received. Now, the model you, @redroofwoodworker, are asking about is the P230/235/240 (16”/14.5”/13”) model line. This differs from its sibling on two fronts: first, the plastic in this case is vinyl, not ABS, and second, it is even more segmented and articulated so as to wrap the torso cylindrically, instead of being this rather flat wall like the Wilsons end up acting like. I’ll even admit, my beloved Schutt XV is a bit on the broad side. If you wear a medium or less in an umpire shirt, the Schutt is very difficult to wear without looking like a hulking linebacker, primarily because of how broad it is across the chest. The same can be said about the Gold, and a stock-standard Platinum (the Platinum can be narrowed, but only through custom work). Where the Schutt truly shines, though, is in lightweightness and ventilation. The advanced 3DO foam lends itself so well to being thin, lightweight, resilient, absorptive, and when teamed with those yawning 10mm holes in the carapace plates, extremely breathable. So, like the +POS ZRO-G chest protector, Champion tried utilizing vinyl carapace plates on this model instead of ABS plastic to cut down on weight and improve flexibility. It just looks complicated, and so different than the intrinsically accepted Gold / Power / All-American -style, that it hasn’t really captured a market.
  7. MadMax

    Runner Hit by the ball

    You’re not being a jackass... softball is a perfectly valid fellow bat-sport. What we need is a questioner to state the situation completely (baseball or softball, Ruleset being used, context, etc.)... and less umpires confusing the two when firing off an answer (not saying anyone here has).
  8. MadMax

    Mask Sun Visors

    Yup. It will fit fine. There are only two masks that a standard mask visor will not fit in: the Force3 Defender (it requires one with different tab slots cut specifically for it) and All-Star FM4000 (unless you're special like @Thunderheads).
  9. Hey, if a 10-year old kid can put on and wear a mask with his hat brim forward, you can too!! Heck, he even wears black. Navy is obsolete... everyone knows it.
  10. MadMax

    4-man Rotation and Push

    @Jimurray, some of our readership do not belong to an association, nor have an association (and any training it’s supposed to provide) available to them. Even those in associations rarely, if ever, get exposed to 3 or 4 man mechanics, and when they do, the directives become, “Well, do what the pros do.” Furthermore, even with associations putting 3 and 4 man crews out there on a game, you’ll still see guys standing around, ball-watching, leaving bases or responsibilities uncovered. I point these situations out because while all the rest of the ballpark is watching the ball, at least 1-4 (I being one of them, despite being in attendance at the game) folks are watching their fellow umpires and reacting (doing something) in accordance to their next responsibility (as a crew). I pointed out the calling of Time upon Ball 4 because it is perfect example of context. In that ballgame, is R1 really going to overrun 2B, or try to go 1st to 3rd... on a walk? Is BR going to refuse to go to 1B, or is he going to stop along the baseline and talk with his 1BC, or will he *gasp* over-walk 1B? Is he really going to try and draw a throw so as to give his other baserunner a chance to advance? Is the defense (in control of the ball, mind you) really going to try and get one of the Runners out? No. Understand the context and situation you’re in. Only overly aggressive 11U coaches pull that crap.
  11. MadMax

    4-man Rotation and Push

    Since I’ve been watching the Brewers very closely these past few weeks (gettin’ nervous Cubs fans?), I spotted three rotations / pushes that should be made integral into our (pro-amateur umpires) work in 4-man. Situation A, 0 R on, 0 outs (this is the one where Granderson put it on the edge of Wrigley’s basket, such that it bounced on the edge twice and came back in play, resulting in a triple): U2 stays out and makes ruling regarding HR or not, U3 rotates to 2B, PU rotates to 3B, U1 watches touch of 1B, then releases and rotates to HP. PU at 3B “works the bag” to lineup arriving Runner and throw coming in. Situation B, 0 R on, 1 out: potential catch/no catch in CF/RF gap, U2 stays out. U3 rotates to 2B, but U1 watches touch at 1B and stays for potential back pick. BR beats throw to 2B, with U3 “working the bag” on the inside. Situation C, R2 & R1, 0 out: fly ball to F7 at the wall, U3 goes out. Catch, with R2 tagging... U2 takes R2 to 3B (R beats throw), while U1 steps inside, preparing to take R1 to 2B if that develops. PU stays Home (due to R2), and this is a Push. Bonus Situation! R1, 1 Out, 3-2 count, Runner going on pitch: Ball 4, Low, skips off the dirt and is caught by F2. While BR is dropping bat and taking guards off... “Time!” to change out the ball. No waiting until BR gets to 1B, nor until R1 gets to 2B... Time was called immediately.
  12. MadMax

    Can IFF be called after the ball is dead?

    An Infield Fly Situation is defined in the Rules – there is no “Umpire Judgement” that negates that pre-pitch. During the play itself, Umpire Judgement can negate an IFF if there isn’t “routine” or “normal opportunity” by an infielder to catch it. Your situation reads as routine... you wrote so yourself (“clear IFF”)... so the gripe shouldn’t be with the umpire. The gripe should be at your F5, for not catching the pop-fly ball, and for not doing anything effective with the ball after picking it up (such as tag the Runner(s) off the base(s).
  13. MadMax

    Batters helmet

    This is how utterly petty and nitpicky the Fed Rules (and all the correlating situations) get. If you have a batter walk up with tape on his helmet, ambiguously, we (as umpires) are supposed to disallow it. The tape might be covering a crack, holding together / in a jaw pad or ear pad, there for the name of the player or school / team to be written on, or simply because the kid finds it cosmetically pleasing. We’re not supposed to discern that – we’re to unilaterally disallow that. But then we have here the whole topic of shininess of helmets and protective gear. So it becomes an exercise in determining the “lesser of two evils”, and if tape applied to an otherwise intact helmet is what you direct a team or player to do to make it acceptably un-shiny, then that’s what to do. Or I suppose if it’s that “one coach”, you could ask him for the piece of sandpaper he’s rumored to carry, and use that to rub the shininess off.
  14. MadMax

    Trying out for College

    I PM'd you an example / resource of who "they" are...
  15. MadMax

    Batters helmet

    @Senor Azul's citation gives you the "letter of the law", but this generally admonishes all typical batting helmets (dual ear flaps) whether they be gloss or matte finish. The only "shiny" one that was outright prohibited was the "chrome-dome" model UnderArmour put on retail shelves about 2-3 years ago. That was the only "mirror-like" finish that the rules were alluding to.