Jump to content

Remove these ads by becoming a Premium Member


Established Member
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by MadMax

  1. They’re back!

    Pffffffft. Har har. –200 points for even joking about this travesty.
  2. Little League Pitch Limit Overage

    No no, several tournament series do. I’ve called games for nearly every national tournament organization, and none of them require the umpire(s) to keep pitch counts. As far as I recall, USSSA directs us to keep record of innings pitched (with a pitch qualifying as a whole inning). In the other series, pitch counts are kept by a FM or ATD, or mutually by both teams. In most cases, exceeding a pitch count limit doesn’t invalidate any plays or actions in the game at present. It simply disqualifies the pitcher from pitching in the next inning, game, or day. If – and this is rare – it is grounds for a harsher penalty, such as a forfeit, then it is the TD’s staff who imposes that, not the umpires. With the thousands of games I’ve done, I’ve never seen a team actively pursue pitch count enforcement because they are simply overmatched by a pitcher, and adamantly want him off the bump... outside of Little League.
  3. ISO Force3 CP shoulder caps

    You’re a long-torso’ed oddball, Clubbie. And sure, you can get as many ribs covered as you want/need to your heart’s content. I just once again point out that certain companies focus more effort on making 3 (actually, 4) different models of CP to the same 15 year old design, without improvement, rather than making one “perfected” or “ideal” design in multiple sizes, or feature the ability to expand to suit differing needs. Do you wear your CP like a shop apron? No. You’re not included in “my focus group”. The reason the padding jacket on a Schutt is so thin is because it doesn’t have to be thick. It’s D3O, TPU-EVA foam instead of open cell upholstery foam. Half the volume for the same (or better) absorption. Heck, get a shorter one (catcher’s CP). In another vein, the Wilson Guardian might actually be a really good candidate for something like this. You’d likely be doing Wilson’s R&D department’s work for them!
  4. ISO Force3 CP shoulder caps

    Nonsense! Everybody seems to want a taller CP to cover their precious lil' tummies! "Ohhh, if only my CP covered my last rib!", they whine. I mean, why else do they let their $150+ WestVests slump down their fronts? "Ohhh, my association president / vice president / trainer / buddy said this is the only CP I should be getting, but it doesn't cover my tummy! I need something to cover my tummy when those 11 year olds bounce those pitches in!" If I was to conduct Lesson 1 of Gear Fitting, I would absolutely shock the majority of novice (or even "intermediate" ) umpires because they would come to the cold, chilling realization that the WestVest doesn't cover their tummy, was never designed or intended to cover their tummy, and that it was designed – all those 15 or so years ago – to be used with a somewhat capable catcher in front of them. Let's turn this issue upside down (or inside out) – if the standard WestVest was to be offered in a taller model, keeping to the same construction methodology it is now (and has been for over 15 years), does anyone realize how heavy, bulky and cumbersome that sucker would be??!! Here, the advantage of using a super lightweight catcher's CP, with full torso coverage, as the foundation for affixing hard carapace plates only where you need them has few rivals.
  5. Balk Award

    Spence ( @Stk004), the only thing we "leave live" for certain is a pitched-&-batted ball. If a Balk is not hit (put into play) by the batter, it is a Dead Ball. Rule Citation(s): 5.06(c)(3) 6.02(a) Penalty ... you helped me look that up at the top of the month.
  6. Run score or Not

    Look at the very elements you presented to us: Runner on 1st (R1), with two outs. That R1 is forced to 2B when Batter puts the ball in play and becomes Batter-Runner, does he not? I'm assuming that 2nd Baseman (known as F4) tagged R1, yes? It is irrelevant as to if F4 tags R1, runs over and toe-taps 2B, holds the ball (securely) in his hand and taps 2B with his glove, or shovel passes it to Shortstop (F6) who is standing on the bag to securely receive it. R1 has been retired as an Out. Because the 3rd Out was made upon a Forced runner – no matter how it was done – No Runs Can Score. You answered your own question. It is a Force out. What led you to believe otherwise?
  7. Little League Pitch Limit Overage

    Nooooooooooope. If these tournaments are shelling out for another "umpire", then I'm grabbing that umpire, making sure he's in a matching shirt / uniform, and pressing him into service on the field. He/she is not going to be solely reserved or tasked with pitch counts and scorekeeping. If the TD wants to place a Field Marshal (FM) on each field, doing those two tasks, then they do so from behind the backstop – they have zero bearing on rulings and judgements within the fence / upon the field. Thing is, @KCKUMP, it's not tournaments that are the angst of this ongoing argument; instead, it's Little League. Pitch counts are being kept so fervently not because the kids (might) have to pitch tomorrow (or later in a tournament). Instead, it's the game at present, because one team is getting overwhelmed by that one more mature / better pitcher, and the team getting thumped is hoping for a pitching change so their "kids have a chance". Parents aren't concerned about little Billy Wagner and the health of his arm; they want little Billy Wagner to be off the bump so their kids can finally put a bat on a ball. These are the same parents that whine and b!tch and cry foul when little Billy Wagner finishes 3-4 innings of dominance and then puts the catcher gear on, because their hopes of "having a chance" evaporate because that Wagner kid (I'm sure his birth certificate is forged) will throw out any would-be base stealers.
  8. Richvee inspired me: We really could use a FAST-Q – a Frequently Asked Situational & Technical Questions – section.
  9. ISO Force3 CP shoulder caps

    You could also go the Douglas / Schutt route, and buy some really strong Velcro with adhesive backing. Take the (mini)hook side, and adhere it to the underside of the plates. Have your cobbler or seamstress stitch on the loop (brush) side upon the CP padding in strategic spots. Stick the two together. I mean, the looping of Velcro tabs through slots you’ve cut in the carapace plates is a great idea... I’d just hate to see a C&D letter and suit of patent infringement dropped on you by the Big W.
  10. Rules differences from obr

    Reverso-world for us this summer. Independent pro league is running college kids out there, under MiLB rules (American League DH), with the only thing kept from NCAA is the slide at 2B.
  11. NFHS Jewelry

    TDs have to keep teams happy, for sometimes, checks are still being cashed. As long as you the umpire are not being held liable should something happen... ... but the chances of something happening are slim. Most of those rope necklaces are breakaway.
  12. Mask for season. Need a vote!

    Oh good grief... I managed to fit 3 of my 5 masks in my gear bag, and I’ve got 22-23 plate games to do. You heard my vote... I say “1”, the aluminum because it won’t bend or break while on the road.
  13. ISO Force3 CP shoulder caps

    And it’s on sale? Hot damn. 18” of coverage, too. Natural abdomen extension. http://baseball.epicsports.com/prod/90206/schutt-s3-softball-baseball-chest-protectors-co.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkdbv78yV2wIVCtvACh0y8Q84EAQYBCABEgK8KPD_BwE
  14. Use 1st names

    Ah, one of the perils of tournament baseball. God bless you. Exactly what @Kevin_K advised – “Put the names on their lineup card. If you work games without lineup cards, carry an index card and a pen in your shirt pocket.” Otherwise, use the coaches’ names often. Ask them questions, converse with them... such things as, “Mike, can you hang on to that foul ball?” or, “I got two runs across for you, Jerry.” We don’t have to foster such animosity and standoffish-ness between umpires and coaches. Yeah, they may not have read the rulebook, and some may say some bizarre things, but not all of them are out to get us (umpires).
  15. ISO Force3 CP shoulder caps

    A Schutt Scorpion CP. All D3O baby.
  16. NFHS Jewelry

    ... and conferences / mound visits, @Richvee, don’t forget those. 3 freebies, then we start pulling pitchers? Doesn’t jive with time-limited tournament games. So most TD’s and LD’s adopt Fed Rules as the foundation, bat everyone (or use DH/EH’s with free defensive exchanges), keep the “fake to 3rd is legal” (because most of these kids are used to it anyway), drop the 3 free conferences and adopt OBR’s mound visits scheme (except not doing the 6 limit, yet... how cool would that be for us umpires? Oh please yes! No more F6 asking for time to go pat his F1 on the butt!), institute their own mercy/run rules, and then encourage umpires to be... frugal in calling balks (I’ll explain later). Jewelry is pretty much ignored. With little kids (12U), I forbid metal. If they have those soft bracelets on, or those breakaway rope necklaces, I just ignore it. If they’re a metal necklace, I ask that that be removed, and kids/coaches/parents readily comply – no reason for warnings or ejections. One 10-year old here in Phoenix is of a parentage that has some kind of mysticism or alternative belief system – their family wears these incredibly intricate hemp & leather bracelets with charms and stones interwoven in, and I was told by his coach that it represents his spirit life so far (and this is a 10 year old kid!), and that it is nearly impossible to take off without cutting it (the bracelet, not his arm) off. So instead of being all heavy-handed and insistent, I had them locate an arm sleeve and cover it. What we can’t see doesn’t “hurt” us! He borrowed a teammate’s for that game, and next week, he had his own. I remember the mom mouthing “thank you” to the coach and to me when we developed the solution. Even in NFHS High School games, we can be a little more tolerant, or at least not be so draconian, heavy-handed, obtuse and quick to be all-officious. There’s something in place on our side, working for us – we’re (supposed) to ask “Are all (your) players properly and legally equipped?” of the coaches. If they answer affirmatively (nearly all do, no matter now naively or ignorantly), then we’re off the hook! We no longer make it an umpires-versus-everybody situation when you remind the leadoff batter he can’t wear a sterling silver bicycle chain draped around his neck, and certainly not outside his uniform! Am I going to stop the game, formally warn, and possibly eject the player because I spy the hint of a necklace peeking out the neckline of a uniform’s undershirt? Certainly not!... but, I know heavy-handed colleagues who would. If I need to, I’ll appeal to the coach with, “Rob, we need #18 to lose the necklace”, and Rob typically complies. During a state playoff game, I had a batter hit a run-scoring single. I was in C to start, then came over to B, and looked over to see the 17-year old kid standing there, receiving instructions from his 1BC, and there’s a big silver necklace hanging out there on his chest, over the uniform. I didn’t call Time, I didn’t make a scene, I didn’t use the word “warning”, I certainly didn’t call him Out (that’s ridiculous)... I simply got their attention, pointed at the necklace, made a “take off” or “put away” motion and said, “I shouldn’t be able to see it”, then turned back to the game and my responsibilities. He complied, because the necklace didn’t make an obvious appearance on him for the rest of the game.
  17. chest protector plastic

    No, polycarbonate is typically clear or translucent. It goes by “trade” names such as acrylic and Lexan. While it has low weight and outstanding impact resistance, it is most highly sought after and used for translucent / transparent applications. It could be used for CPs, but typically not, because it would be a waste of time and resources (meaning, no point in spending the money) so as to make it opaque. Most sporting goods protective equipment is, instead, comprised of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene – abbreviated, of course, to ABS plastic. It is exceptionally tough and highly resistant to impacts. It can be injection molded or extruded into desired shapes. It readily takes additives to improve heat resistance, strength, and color. Occurring in a natural translucent white, it takes little to no effort to alter its desired color to any of an entire range of pigments. UV resistance can be selectively introduced into the mix as well. ABS is resistant to most acids, alcohols and animal / vegetable / mineral oils, meaning most household and commercial cleaners can be used on it without any damaging effects.
  18. Set Position

    Alright, fair enough... I’ll answer as an umpire: As long as you come set, and pause/stop, it doesn’t matter if your free (left) foot’s heEl is up, down, or bare. It doesn’t matter if one or both knees are bent. Hands must come together, feet (generally) in line towards the plate, and movement below the neck must stop. I’ll answer as my minor league pitching coach would to any of the new pitchers: “If you don’t let anyone on base, you don’t have to worry about your set stance. Throw strikes, get those fü€#in’ batters out.” (I’m paraphrasing). Thing is, any professional pitching coach is going to completely break down your stance and footwork when you have runners aboard, and start you over. Then, when you ask him your OP question about your heel being up or down, he’ll reply with “Why?” Heel, heel, heel, heel, heel, heel, heel, heel
  19. Mask Sun Visors

    Ask @Thunderheads... he can fit a visor anywhere, in any mask. This model of mask, Amb? The Mizuno 2QA-122? Yeah, it uses the same basic planform as most other masks, so it would take a common sun visor. No challenge for Jeff.
  20. Set Position

    Waitaminute... from what context or perspective are you asking? Are you asking as a coach or player, developing a move? Or are you asking as an umpire, speculating on the legality of something you’ve seen? If the former, my advice is to work on your pitching effectiveness (throw strikes) and delivery (speed to the plate, throwing strikes, so as to allow your catcher to throw out runners), rather than trying to develop a “legally deceptive” stance.
  21. Champion CP cracked first two games

    Even if you took an impact in that spot, that crack shouldn’t be happening. That’s a defect, most likely from when the manufacturer shot and smushed the rivet. The hole wasn’t big enough, clean enough, or the machine press... well... missed. Chinese -produced plastics are always going to be of a cruder, less dense quality than domestic plastics. Not only are they stamping out thousands more as rapidly as possible, but they are trying to keep the products as light as possible for transportation to North America in the container.
  22. Mask Sun Visors

    All of my masks (except one, as @Thunderheads knows) have a sun visor – one part for looks, two parts for function. In sun-drenched environments (ie. Arizona) the visor is a very useful tool in shielding glare and creating a shaded area that lessens the need to squint and strain your eyes. Less squinting, less eye strain allows you to see and track pitches better. Every little bit of shade matters. In rainy environments, the visor helps keep drizzle off the hat bill. When water collects on the bill, it becomes a droplet that unfortunately will drop off – like a whitish flash – right during a pitch. At least water shakes off the mask bars and visors whenever you take it off and on. This mask sun visor you referenced is for a Force3 Defender specifically. The Defender has a deeper mask profile and the straps on the upper pad attach differently, thereby requiring a different visor. Markworts, Diamond, Honig’s, All-Star, +POS all offer visors for common masks. A visor is never for these umpires. These umpires need a swift kick in the ass. An umpire’s hat is to be worn brim-forward at all times.
  23. It's a bird, it's a plane, it's...

    I’ll draw one up soon, but it involves taking that piece of spare plastic, drilling four holes that line up with four holes you’ll drill in the shoulder pads carapace. Ream the holes into slots (so that when the plate is compressed by an impact, the plate flattens and slides laterally), place a rubber washer between the plate and the pads carapace, then pass the Chicago screw through and secure. The only thing I would be... concerned(?)... about is how to fasten the set so that it stays in place snugly. May have to replace, augment, or improve the elastic straps and T-hooks.

    Ben May, Monday night’s PU for Boston hosting Oakland, kicked the spilled dirt off the plate after Sandy Leon received the final warmup pitch and threw down to 2B... ... and this was to start the game. What difference does it make? None whatsoever. I’ll tell you what Ben May didn’t do at any time during that 9-inning game, that far too many amateur umpires do, and what gives a worse impression than kicking dirt off the plate or “properly” brushing it off – May didn’t linger by the dugouts or backstop and chat up fans or hob-knob with players.