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Everything posted by MadMax

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?"
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!”
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. MadMax


    campaigning for more post views are we?
  13. 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.
  14. MadMax

    Thoughts on Rayflex mask harness

    I got a chance to try one out, as @Razzer did bring a few working prototypes with him to Florida, but I have not been able to use one in a game. I fully endorse all of Ray's products, but I don't necessarily need one of these, as the $12 monochrome (black, or navy) harnesses from +POS and Honig's work just fine for me.
  15. MadMax

    Mask Porn?

    You guys are mean.
  16. MadMax

    F3 throat guard?

    How is that any different than that stupid gold or white W stuck on every mask pad chin tab, throat guard, or at the top of “every” CP you see? I’m all for it! Brand away! All-Star’s cage layout has become wholly iconic, which they carried into their TG. We (at least some of us) go gooey over SSK and Mizuno guards – why? Because they look unique and progressive, rather than the plastic shoehorn all the other companies churn out on the cheap. Cheap, cheap, cheap. Umpire gear is mired in the age of antiquity because of how cheap these companies operate. When you think about it, though, in regards to this Force3 TG prototype, this might be one of the first – or at least select few – TGs made for umpires. Are high school catchers wearing throat guards? No, most of them wear (by rule) the HSM. Are college catchers wearing throat guards? Typically not, because TGs get in the way of your face when you prop your TM (or HSM, for that matter) atop your head. Point out one MLB catcher that wears a TG. I won’t hold my breath, because you won’t be able to find one. So who does that leave, but us umpires? The more exposure that Force3 can get, the better, because that company is one of the minute few actually progressing and producing gear for us.
  17. [sarcasm, not directed at Scott] B-Buh-But that is false advertising! It’s not “Pro”! The Pro guys don’t wear these! I mean, the common knowledge is that if you wear anything on your wrists or forearm, even if it’s a Father’s Day or Mother’s Day commemorative wristband, you’re a pathetic poseur of an umpire, and you should be given nothing but disdain and derision. Be a real umpire, and ignore all these helpful things! [/sarcasm, not directed at Scott]
  18. MadMax

    Nike TI with Navy pads

    Indeed. I watched that one until the bitter end. $217 is a much more realistic price than the overly inflated, completely trumped up fantasy price of $300+. Am I a buzzkill, Arik?
  19. MadMax

    Ump Attire Black Friday

    Because your local has old*, stubborn guys in it that either don’t want to pay for a new shirt, or don’t want to look like the “big league guys”. Both are sad excuses. *= Old is an attitude, not an age
  20. MadMax

    Ump Attire Black Friday

    Penalty flag! 15 yards... ... oh, wrong sport.
  21. MadMax

    Shin Guards with Mid-Cut Plates

    I fully endorse my colleagues’ feedback ( @Richvee, @BT_Blue, @boyinr ) on this, and let me add... Unlike the Wilson Golds, Platinums, and Douglas shinguards, ankle wings on the Force3 Ultimates are soft. Yes, soft. Now, before that worries you, the ankle wing is comprised of a rigid half-sphere dome, backed by Kevlar. So with the midtop plateshoe, you get the benefit of overlapping protection without the Frankenstein-esque rigidity the other “premium” guards result in.
  22. MadMax

    Volleyball State Finals

    And the photographer got the most important participant of the game in the shot, too! You! How many net violations did you call?
  23. MadMax

    Future Nike Apparel?!

    Ray is usually has a finger on the pulse of MLB Umpire gear, so I'm inclined to believe him. Nike has a supplier's contract with Major League Baseball for select fan apparel, undershirts, staff shirts (polos, half-zips, etc.), hoodies, staff wear, and staff footwear. They share the footwear mantle with New Balance, who (of course) has it for staff footwear, as well as MLB Umpires footwear and supplemental shirts (undershirts, polos, etc.). Majestic still has the contract for on-field jerseys, shirts and jackets for both players and umpires. All the hoodies worn by the players / staff during the postseason were Majestic. New Era, '47, Nike and UnderArmour share (not equally, but do) the contract for hats. I would venture a guess that the Nike 1/4-zip pictured above isn't an Umpire article, as Ray points out. Instead, it might have been supplied to MLB Support Staff, such as the Video Replay techs, or the coordinators, or the Umpire handlers, or anything else that is in Operations on behalf of MLB, not the individual franchise team and/or the ballpark. There are alot of people involved in putting on a baseball game.
  24. MadMax

    Future Nike Apparel?!

    Shirts? Meh. At this point, I could take 'em or leave 'em. I'm just convinced that the more modern they get, the harder the eastern states will cling to the navy with red & white trim stripes shirt as the "official shirt" of their high school / American Legion / Little League / whatever associations. And Nike putting the swoosh on the chest will just fuel their anti-corporate, anti-marketing contempt. Pants? As in, athletic slacks made of Dri-FIT in ready-to-wear styles and sizes? Engineered to not fade (as rapidly), and not costing $80 per unit? Yes please.
  25. MadMax

    Transaction Experience Thread

    FIFY. You missed a word that... well... changes the meaning.