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Everything posted by MadMax

  1. Aptly said. We umpires bristle and are all scared of the P-word. However, know the best way to avoid a Protest? Know the frakkin’ Rules, and quit making sh!t up!!
  2. Follow-on to @noumpere‘s answer: Say we are between innings, and the F2 (catcher) dashes out to the plate, and the F5 (3rd Baseman) is trotting out to his spot, and on the way past the mound, picks up the ball, and at the encouragement of the F2, tries his hand at a pitch... is that F5 the new pitcher? Say we are between innings, and the assistant coach sends #22 out to mound as a new pitcher. Concurrently, the Head Coach is talking with you (as PU) and wants #32 to be the new pitcher. You look up at the pitcher... the numbers don’t match, so you ask the HC what’s up with this error. He tells #22 he doesn’t want him pitching yet. Is #22 the new pitcher, and is he committed to facing a batter? Say the DT is in a mound conference, and the HC takes the ball from SP #41, and hands it to his F6 (Shortstop) #11, who takes all his accessories off, and toes the rubber, and makes a warmup pitch. Then, an assistant coach calls out to the HC that #11 is over his pitch count, and “can’t pitch”. Is #11 now “locked in” and committed to being the new pitcher? The answer to each of these is No. The changes have not been formally announced, and/or the ball has not been made Live (again) yet. That first one, in particular, is one that trips up a lot of baseball participants – players, coaches and umpires alike. Kids are kids, and kids are (often) morons. Just because an infielder Ian trots to the mound to pick up the ball, stand there and wait for his pitcher friend Jackson to toss or hand it to him, does not mean that Ian is the new pitcher, or should “suffer” a penalty of being considered the new pitcher, replacing Jackson.
  3. My crew is using: Fūl Workhorse (mine) – a wheeled split-level duffle that holds everything except shirts/jackets/plate coat. When traveling by air, those wearables are packed in the duffle, but when traveling by road or rail, I keep those wearables in a Stevoy 40” Gusset Garment Travel Bag (best $10 spent on Amazon this year). Diamond 33” Rolling Gear Duffle – my crewmate carries everything in this, including his extensive arsenal of polishing supplies. Wilson Split-level Gear Bag – my other crewmate carries everything he needs in this. We are able to pack all three of these in the trunk of our crew car (sedan), along with our personal luggage, laundry bags, and a complete cleaning tote for the crew. Several of my Vultures and colleagues back home favor the Force3 Ultimate Gear Bag. I opted for the Fūl, because like the eBags model, came in at a budget-friendly sub-$100 price tag.
  4. I’m not going to flame you... this is smart. I actually take it a step further. At the close of the plate meeting, I click the button on my/our (crew) stopwatch right in front of the coaches. Invariably, an assistant coach or designated scorekeeper or “book baron” will inquire with, “What was our start time?”. I’ll answer, after quick checking the stopwatch, with, “45 seconds ago”. Oh sure, I might give them a clock-standard time, but I emphasize that we are on a timer/stopwatch, and that we (the umpires) have the official time. I do not shave time. I have worked with guys who do, and it’s gotten them into trouble eventually. Despite not fooling with the timepiece, I’m not immune to outbursts of idiotic, unwarranted grief. On one particular, memorable USSSA 13U game, I clicked the stopwatch in front of both coaches. 2 hours later, time expired as the HT batter hit into what became the 3rd Out. I fished out my stopwatch, and saw 2:00:25, and called the game as complete. This one dad for the HT went certifiably _apesh!t_, claiming I was “robbing the kids of playing baseball, but you’re (I’m) still getting paid!!! You’re robbing them!!! And getting paid!!!”. He was visibly shaking and pacing back and forth like an agitated animal. I held the stopwatch up towards the HC, speaking through him towards the griping parent, “Look at it! The time reads 2:00:45. I can’t fast forward a stopwatch!!” Evidently, we started at ~ 7:58am. The parents were under the assumption we started at 8:00am, “‘cuz that’s what the schedule said.” Now now, no need to be cheeky. Some of my fellow Vultures use their phones, while others have Apple Watches, FitBits, or those Samsung “Watches”. As I said, I don’t have a problem with a colleague using a phone – often for scheduling and coordination issues – in a discrete manner, because I know (at least trust) that he will not be caught unawares when I’m about to put the ball back in play. Or, he’s going to go to the fence and turn his back to check between innings instead of standing there at A after the 3rd out and promptly fish out his phone. @yawetag is right... I and several of my colleagues favor stopwatches, and use this model: Or, if you want an inexpensive countdown timer & stopwatch, this is $10.99 at Amazon: Amble Stopwatch, Countdown Timer and Stopwatch Record 20 Memories Lap Split Time with Tally Counter and Calendar Clock with Alarm for Sports Coaches and Referees https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L8PSTC9/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_ifadDbTGZQK2B
  5. Because you're you, and from what I've read, you're in a position of some sort of leadership. Also, there are games which are conducted bereft of any supervision or authority other than the umpires. For those, it is a personal and professional well-being issue best addressed by having a phone accessible / close at hand. However, when doing tournament or academy ball, or sanctioned High School or Collegiate ball, there is either a site director, tournament director, athletic director, or some sort of supervisory staff present. For those games, you really don't need a phone, and as such, you shouldn't have a phone. Even though that phone might have a countdown timer / stopwatch / and clock on it more advanced than my simple stopwatch, I really don't want a developing umpire, or an umpire I don't know (ie. haven't worked with before) to have a phone on him. There are too many temptations and tendencies to take calls / answer texts / engage in social media / etc. during the game when they are really needed to perform their job attentively. Now, I would be a hypocrite if I didn't mention that my fellow Vultures do carry our phones with us, in some manner, on games. However, I trust that these colleagues: A) understand the context (they don't bring their phones on field during High School, College, or Pro games), and B) exhibit enough discretion to know what, when, and how to utilize their phones. There are days when we're conducting games, but then have games later on that we're still receiving scheduling information on.
  6. Is this Ms. Garner an umpire evaluator? Fitbits and other smart-wearables are all the rage. I’ve taken a greater interest in getting an Apple Watch (I suppose I could just go with a basic FitBit, but why not go whole-hog?) once my crewmate told me that he’s putting in 4,000 – 5,000 steps on one of our recent 9-inning games!! My health and fitness has become a paramount to me now that I’m 44 and starting to feel the effects of a “hard sports life” as a catcher, goalie, and snowboarder. I don’t mind the “awareness” bands. We’re human, after all. I lost a GF to cancer when we were in our twenties, and one of my Vultures lost his son to a knock-down, drag-out bout with bone cancer, so you better believe that we – as an umpire community and brotherhood (as we claim so often) – will be commemorating that kid and his tenacity with a bracelet at the very least. Maybe even a wristband and/or a patch on our shirts. Heck, I’d wear an orange innertube around my middle if it brought “awareness” to the war against cancer that we’re all immersed in. How about these past two events (three, if we count Memorial Day) in the Major Leagues? Wherein professional umpires are wearing not only non-black hats, but also arm/wristbands, often on both arms?! And lest we forget the “white band campaign” that the MLB Umpires undertook, collectively, just last year? But yet we have a few particular umpires (on here) who get all bent about a simple Father’s Day armband! (Not you, @Jimurray ) With so many tournament games formatted to time limits, I’d rather a BU wear a timepiece / watch than carry a phone. The phone is too much of a temptation to check / use between innings or during lulls. I’m particularly fond of a stopwatch, but there’s an advantage to using a timepiece that has a countdown timer. Whatever form it is – handheld, wrist, heck, I’ll even take an egg timer – it is crucial to keep accurate time. Do not approximate, do not round up or round down, and do not shave time.
  7. Very true, @grk17, Wilson Wraparounds are not much more than open-cell foam and wool yarn in a leather casing. However, despite being antiquated, these pads have density on their side. They also have a great deal of surface area. Thus, when a ball impacts the mask, the frame takes the brunt of the energy and distributes it to the pads. With more surface area than other pads, there’s more contact between the frame and the pads. The All-Star LUC-MAG pads have that internal distributor plate in them for this reason. Then, because of the heft of the foam, wool, and leather the pads dampen that energy rather well. The problem becomes that they are heavier than other synthetic pads, and when damp, that weight goes up. Other than personal preference, there is no technical merit to leather over synthetic fabric. Synthetic fabrics wick better, dry faster, don’t rot, and are lighter. Leather does hold up against dirt abrasion, which catchers masks often are subject to, getting tossed on the ground repeatedly. But when does (or should) an umpire’s mask ever hits the ground???
  8. I’m following up on @Jimurray‘s answer, but I’m going to be less kind... Oh, it does matter. If you’re officiating a football, soccer, basketball, hockey, or lacrosse match (heck, water polo!), what is used to signal the stoppage of time and to cease action? A whistle. Can you use a kazoo? A duck call? How about a toy slide whistle? I know! An airhorn! A bugle? Surely you can clap really loudly, right? All those noise-makers surely get attention, do they not? But, they are completely unexpected and ridiculous! Game participants start to question why you’re using it, and not just a simple whistle! So why not just use a whistle??? ... So, why not just call “Time”, as all other umpires are supposed to, and typically, and expectedly do? There are two “killing” words, or calls, in baseball. Just two (Fed rules adds a third due to the nature of that ruleset) – Time and Foul. That’s it. Anything else is atypical and unexpected. No, these (calling of “Time” and “Dead Ball”) cannot be used interchangeably. The inability to use the proper word – Time – is either improper training, ignorance, or blatant stubbornness.
  9. Yup. Just a Davis chin tag stitched on.
  10. @AL-Ump, I can tell you right now that the default +POS pads (which I nicknamed “AirChambers”) and the All-Star LUC pads are virtually identical. They’re rather good. Several of my colleagues use them (supplied by me). My Vultures are a different lot. Most of us use Team Wendys, Wilson Wraparounds, or Wilson MemFoams. In Arizona, the one limitation of Team Wendys is largely negated – temperature. When cold, TWs are hard as rock. To be effective, and not cause soreness if impacted, TWs need to be over about 50°. Wilson MemFoams don’t suffer as badly in the cold, but when warm, they actually crush too easily.
  11. And you know you have to add this disclaimer because somebody here will certainly point it out. You really do live in that camo-lovin’ part of the state, huh?
  12. Take photos of the busted parts, post them, and either @wolfe_man or I will have a solution for you.
  13. You have nothing to worry about. Of the ten Vultures who routinely face down 85+ MPH, three wear a Schutt/Adams XV (including the “most important” one – me ), and not one of us has been injured in the shoulders, chest, or torso while wearing it. And this spans 3 years. Curiously, three of the Vultures wear the Force3 UnEqual (2 V2’s and 1 V3), while 2 wear Golds and 2 wear Platinums, and none of us has had a shoulder, chest, or torso injury. The primary factor to this success is just what @MikeSafari and @rjdakin mentioned – the attention to fit. The CP, whatever it is, must be worn snugly, with as minimal of gap between the body and the CP as possible. This is why the Schutt is so appealing – it is the lightest and best ventilated CP of the entire hardshell class. It’s one of the endearing features about it. I’ve noticed that when we Schutt-wearing Vultures get hit, everyone knows it, and remark at how loud it was. That it must have been quite a shot. By contrast, the Force3-wearing Vultures get no notice or care, because the thing is so darned quiet.
  14. Actually, they do. The same D3O foam, complete with the holes, are in their shin guards. It just doesn’t have the vent holes to match on the plastic carapace. Their shins are very light and quite protective – they just aren’t as perfect good as the Force3 Ultimates. Other ways to keep cool? Invest in a wring-and-sling cooling towel. Wet it, wring it out, sling it around a few times in the air (snap it), and then wear it around your neck. It definitely helps. Do not let a colleague or supervisor give you crap for it. They’re not the ones out there calling that game in that heat. If you’re a a HSM wearer, consider getting a TM. Buy a synthetic black hat and ice/dunk it between innings. If you simply must have a HSM, then consider getting a black doo-rag or head covering that you can ice/dunk between innings and then wear under the HSM.
  15. The latter, because the ball remains Live. Otherwise, with a bunt attempt judged to be Foul, the ball is Dead. The batter, because it is a Foul Bunt Attempt as the 3rd Strike, is ruled Out.
  16. I'm of the opinion that, at this age level, once the runner has been tagged, he is out and is now a retired runner. His collision with the fielder – who had the ball securely when he made the tag (not that he was receiving the throw and/or bobbling it) – cannot cause or create the dispossession of the ball. I wouldn't go so far as to apply Malicious Contact (these are 8 year olds, for crying out loud), but just simply explain to a coach (if he even bothers to ask) that the Runner was tagged out, and the ball came free after the tag out.
  17. When I worked at REI, we had a book on our shelf amongst all the maps, guidebooks, and travel logs that became legendary. Any time a customer engaged us for advice that stretched beyond mere gear and technique wisdom, and started to go into harrowing tales from the wilderness, we'd direct them to this book: Yes, it's a real, published book. It has since spawned a whole series of books... No SH*#, There I Was No SH*#, There I Was... Again No SH*#, There I Was... Again, Volume 2 No SH*#, There I Was... Gone Wild No SH*#, There I Was... At Last
  18. "First"? Are you referring to now, or back in November?
  19. I usually answer this question, “Any way, but not the way @BT_Blue spells it.” Arik is consistently putting spare letters in it, and I’m sure he’s just driving himself mad trying to pronounce it... the un-obvious way. I’ve heard it pronounced two ways in the industry, both similar... but neither have a short î or long ā... Beavis. There’s “Ty-tí-nahl” or “Ty-tân-uhl”... it actually sounds more like “Tylenol”. It’s a portmanteau of “Titan” and “Aluminum”.
  20. Did you miss this, @ilyazhito? Mudder isn’t making for an easy read, since he’s using “U1” instead of “BU”. From where did you, @Mudder pick up that you should go to B with 2 outs, R3 only? Likely, you got it from a Fed colleague or trainer, who himself picked it up from some loose-leaf manual or advisement or “clinic” that emphasized the need to get on the 1B side of the centerline (running from plate, through mound, to 2B) on a play at 1B, especially on 2 outs, because that’s where the most likely play is going to go. Yes, it’s important, but that doesn’t mean your IP should be at B. Doubly so, you cannot be at B with R2 in the 2-man System, even with 2-outs. Even with R2 and R3. What if a WP/PB occurs, and both runners advance, with F2 ignoring R3 scoring so as to throw to 3B?? What if there is a pickoff at 3B? Are you really in an optimum position for that call, in B? Do you shift over to B with bases loaded and 2 outs? I hope not, and trust you don’t. But according to your proposed rationale, why is that any different? No, the CCA has us in C for R2 only, R3 only, R2+R3, R1+R2, and R1+R2+R3, with two outs, because we, as BU’s are expected to get our ass across the centerline. Don’t be lazy, move your feet, get on the 1B side of the centerline, get (as) set (as possible), and make the call at 1B. The problem is, Fed is a harbor for umpires of sloth and lazy behaviors. If not an outright harbor, then it tolerates that deficiency too much. In 2-man? Are you sure you know what you’re talking about? I don’t see any sarcasm tags around, and you’re trying to rationalize it, but it just doesn’t hold any water. In 2-man, with any runner on any base, the BU is inside (at either B or C), period. While inside, the BU has fly ball responsibility from F7 to F9, only giving up that responsibility should F7 or F9 be headed towards their respective foul lines and it becomes Fair/Foul and Catch/No-catch. Also, with a runner in scoring position (R2, R3, or R2+R3), BU has responsibility to the bases, while PU has first-and-foremost responsibility to the plate. You’re going to honestly tell me that, with R3, and the BU in D (like you’re saying), if the ball is a ground ball to the infield, that the BU is going to race in from D and get all the way across the centerline to get near 1B to make a call there??? Worse, on a routine liner or uncatchable fly ball to the outfield, you’re going to expect the PU to vacate the Plate to watch BR’s touch of 1B?? That’s what’s implied by your proposition. Even worse, we have a liner or fly ball to the left field foul line. Is not the BU, who you placed in D, supposed to go out on that? And doesn’t that leave everything to PU??? How about on fly balls to the outfield with R3 only? Does that now revert back to PU’s? @ilyazhito, I really don’t think you thought this through. Even if you were confused between Mudder’s request on 2-man versus 3-man, you’re still making a grave error... With R2+R3??? We must have an Umpire inside, at either C (highly preferred) or B (where U1 would be in 3-man, less than 2 outs, in this same situation) so as to administer 2B... where a Runner is... or did you forget what R2 means?
  21. MadMax

    3 man

    This is wrong. With both Base Umpires at their wing/line positions, they have Fair/Foul on their respective line and must stay on a ball that potentially could go into DBT in their “zone”. Now, if U3 “forgets” about potential DBT, and signals Fair and dashes in towards 2B (in other words, a routine movement), then PU could observe the ball threatening DBT while he’s on the move to 3B as part of the Rotation. U1 should this time Read that U3 has dashed in, and then U1 will sink, observe BR’s touch of 1B, then enact the Rotation – call “Rotate! Rotate!” and move to Home Plate. In this case, again, it is crucial that U1 – and to some extent, PU – Read U3. Oh, and if I didn’t mention it before, U1 should quit griping.
  22. MadMax

    3 man

    With no one on, and both wings (Base Umpires) at their IPs on the wings (lines), then... at the ball being hit into play... Unless the ball is hit right at him, U3’s first thing to do is Move. Unless the ball is hit right at him, U1’s first thing to do is Read. So, in this play, the ball is hit directly at U3, and he must judge Fair/Foul, so that takes priority over his Moving. As such, U1 must Read if U3’s staying put over there (on the ball), and should – without bitching about it – come in on a dash-&-glance (or pivot, if you will). This U1 cannot simply stay at 1B, or expect this to be a Rotation. As soon as U3 stays where he is, or goes out from there, any Rotation is OFF and we revert to 2-Man. A sharp PU will recognize this and call out to his U1 that 2-man is ON (“2-man! We’re in 2-man Frankie!”). The point is, U1 isn’t, or shouldn’t be, reading the ball simply because it’s not hit to his area of coverage! Instead, he’s reading, or should be reading, his partner U3!!! Got it? Okay, so building off this, a lot of U1’s get themselves into trouble and also make 3-man umpire movements look awkward because they don’t Read first. Conversely, they react first, thinking that everything is 2-man, either forgetting that they have an AoC in the outfield to go out on, or that they have a U3 partner who has his own AoC and set of responsibilities that he executes on the Move.
  23. Alright... according to the receipt from All-Star... Item: PFM4000MAG ... Description: Lightweight UltraCool Mesh Pads for FM4000Mag Masks ... Size: GPH
  24. That's news on me... I was under the impression that it was dyed during the Injection Mold process.
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