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Everything posted by MadMax

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. MadMax

    Trying out for College

    I PM'd you an example / resource of who "they" are...
  6. 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.
  7. This is likely 12U ball (my guess, even younger), and this is one team overly keyed up on "being opportunistic" and is going to pounce on a F1's inability to receive the throw back from his F2. There's one thing if it's a wild pitch or pass ball on Ball 4, wherein some F1's completely ignore or forget to cover the plate because R3 is coming in anyway, unable to be put out (unless he misses touching the plate, but that's a whole other tangent), so an opportunistic R2 can take advantage of it. But otherwise, once the ball is secured by the F2, and all play has otherwise ceased, we're calling Time if so requested. If I have a coach or manager requesting Time (by heading out of the dugout towards the foul line), or I have a F2 (with ball in hand) after Ball 4, I will tell the F2 I'll call Time as soon as the most advanced Runner has reached his destination base. In the case of a bases loaded walk, it's as soon as R3 touches Home. I think that the touch of Home (and the scoring of a run) should be a Live ball event as best practice, whenever possible or under our control (obviously, a HBP or a ball thrown/pitched into DBT makes the ball Dead, so this isn't exclusive). I'll tell ya, this isn't done, or even seen, in 60-90 baseball.
  8. MadMax

    Mask Query

    Why are you so shocked? I’ve said it before... I’d wear / use a Wilson product... I’ll just never buy one. It ain’t the mask that makes it look like that, it’s the pads that he’s using. Something odd about what he’s using or how he’s got em positioned in the mask frame.
  9. MadMax

    Defensive conference

    We have to understand the context here, @beerguy55. This is a USSSA 14U game, and while I would tend to agree with you, and the sentiment of, “It's only a 14U non-HS-sanctioned game, what difference does it really make?”, there is a precedent and protocol to follow. First, USSSA makes a big stink about doing OBR (modified to their suit) and tracking pitch/inning counts and score. So, within that, according to OBR, it’s an official game underway upon acceptance of the lineup card(s) by the Umpire. Thus, as soon as the plate meeting is over, it’s an official game, under OBR. Second, USSSA (at least out here in AZ) makes a point of the Umpire maintaining a uniform, standardized card keeping track of start time, score, substitutes, and innings pitched. These innings pitched determines pitching eligibility of a player later in the day or the tournament, so it’s been reinforced to us (umpires) to track and report it accurately. Some teams, outmatched by a particular pitcher, reshape their strategy and pin their hopes on the assurance that that pitcher can only go 1, or 2, or 3 more innings, and they are keen to any slip-ups by an opposing coach that would force or prompt the removal of that pitcher early. I’ve had to impose a forfeit because a now-ineligible pitcher (on innings pitched) went back out to the mound and got four pitches deep into his warmups, and the opposing coaching staff insisted on summoning a TD because it “violated the rules”. Yeah, silly, I know, but the TD directed me to. In other tournaments, with any other name on the awning (Perfect Game, Southwest Wood Bat, ShowCase Baseball, etc), we’re much less stringent about this, because at the end of the day, it’s less about the score and more about getting the kids reps and experience and keeping them “safe” (in playing health). If I have a coach lingering around, or heading out to the mound, I might inquire as to what’s up, or kindly and casually remind him that he doesn’t need to be out there. It might be a case of a control-freak coach, or it might be a case of the coach noticing something in warmups that may be an onset injury. It would certainly help to know that, as I certainly would not want that youngster pitching if his arm is about to go, or he’s got a bleeding blister on his finger.
  10. MadMax

    Mask Query

    For what it’s worth (FWIW), Wilson has retired the “Platinum” planform of their Titanium, in both the standard and Low Profile (uber-flat) models. The new DynaLite Aluminum (DynAlum) models, and the planform that defines them, replaced them as the “top-end”, strong, lightweight masks in Wilson’s lineup. Based on their (relative) success, Wilson decided to re-introduce a titanium model in this planform. It’s less flat and wedge-shaped than the “Platinum”-type, with far less aggressive forward rake on the chin guard. I’ve tried one on, it's a rather good unit.
  11. MadMax

    Ebay finds

    Ah, the Champro CP2x. The "One that Snuck Through... For Awhile". Notice how it looks. Looks a lot like a Wilson Gold, doesn't it? While Douglas wasn't allowed to progress their design, and Riddell and All-American were served with Cease & Desist orders (because of Patent Infringement), Champro wasn't viewed as an immediate threat, and was tolerated for the short time it was in circulation (Riddell, All-American, and Douglas are direct rivals to Wilson in football pads). It's a very good unit, using more modern foam and technical wicking fabric for its padding jacket, but lacks the ailettes (gap protection plates). Like the Champion P2xx, it is narrower / slimmer than a Gold, Platinum, and the Schutt XV. One of the things that Champro took from this design and progressed into their new CP3x series is the ability to conform around the torso cylindrically.
  12. MadMax

    YOU make the call.

    Because silo shots (straight up) typically start to arc back towards the plate, or, if otherwise uncaught, carry enough spin such that they take bounces to the foul lines. I actually commend the PU on “reading the field” – skinned, probably hard-packed, grassless infield and an artificial/portable mound are ingredients to bad hops. If the ball had not been touched, and bounced-or-rolled foul, would it not have been a foul ball? So why not tack on “... if fair!” onto the verbal declaration?
  13. MadMax

    Ebay finds

    @Thunderheads, @wolfe_man, @midtnump... the eBay photo is of a FM25Ti... Titanium. All-Star does not make a “silver w/ tan” FM25 in hollow steel. They make a grey FM25 in hollow steel with tan LMX pads, but it’s noticeably different and darker than the Titanium version. Also consider that all stock-standard, brand-new FM25 hollow steel masks have the brand-tab on the chin guard... both to advertise their I-Beam system (not found or necessary on the Titanium) and to hamper the use of single-strap throat guards (eg. Diamond) being hung incorrectly off the bottom of the chin guard. How hard is it to post a photo of the actual mask??
  14. This is the only thing working against the All-Star CPU4000. Those “select umpires” did not include MLB guys, any of “the School guys”, or anyone with the last name West. Seriously, the amount of propaganda and peer pressure exerted upon new and in-training umpires by “senior guys”, trainers and evaluators is nigh-staggering. And it isn’t persuasion by presenting them with technical specs and features (like the All-Star’s impressive pedigree above), but summarized by a simple statement – “It’s what the guys in The Show use.” This CPU4000 has a Wilson beat on every point. The only reason I purchased, use, and promote the Schutt XV is on price (half as much) and ventilation for the environments I call ball in (high quantity and high temperatures).
  15. MadMax

    Ebay finds

    @bluetick48 and @tpatience – you both got sad-face reactions on your posts representing the stinkface of loathing jealousy. Trevor – are the black-tabbed grey pads a one-off? Know the story to them? Tick – words cannot describe how upset I am with you. Instead of consulting the gear conclave here, and alerting us to this recent sighting of a unicorn disguised as a plowhorse, you recalled all the stuff we’ve discussed, recognized it, and took a chance that paid off brilliantly. Now there are only two questions: A) is it a true titanium model or a Titanal model (both steals at the price you paid), and B) are you going to use it, or re-rig it with Nike pads to re-sell it to an oaf for $350+? Well Done, both of you.
  16. MadMax

    Jim Reynolds new mask

    So, that begs the question, why did you switch to a Wilson DynaLite? Wouldn't be "Umpire Peer Pressure", would it?
  17. MadMax

    Need opinion on Shirt Sizing

    I just visited a place in Colorado that rhymes with Ponig's and took the chance to ask them about a rumor I heard and held for quite awhile. They confirmed it emphatically – a significant number of college umpires commission their shirts to be tailored, specifically in the sleeves. They do go so far as to have at least two different shirts of each color – one plate, one base – each sized and altered to be as slim and trim as possible.
  18. MadMax

    Gerry Davis Poly Spandex

    That’s a promising outlook, but I/we need the pricetag to get more comparable / reasonable.
  19. MadMax

    Jim Reynolds new mask

    Online? Heck, I found a brace of six of them on the shelf at a Big Five Sporting Goods in Phoenix for $30 ea. The pads were awful, but the frame is a standard FM25 and the harness is a for-helmet DeltaFlex. Sell the harness to a local teen catcher for $10 (heck, sell the pads too), order in a new set of pads and a for-hat harness, and you’ll have yourself a really reliable, durable rig for $50! Know another good one? The Diamond iX3-Pro (for catcher). The aluminum construction never appealed to catchers, because of their propensity to hurl masks into gear bags, lockers, and dugouts, or pitch them to the ground repeatedly. But it works great for umpires, who should never let their masks hit the ground... ... especially prior to a plate meeting.
  20. MadMax

    Douglas Shins Discontinued?

    My guess? Their price exceeded their perceived value, in light of Force3 Ultimates’ technical brilliance and Wilson Gold/Platinum’s marketing saturation dominance. The Douglas shinguards are exceptionally good, design-wise, but they’re still using sofa-cushion foam while Force3 is using Kevlar and advanced technical foams. Then, when put side by side with the Wilsons – which, too, use sofa-cushion foam – the Wilsons “win” on price-versus-cost (because Douglas is made domestically in the States versus Wilson made overseas) and market exposure (“It’s got the MLB logo on it, so it must be right for me!”). Now, Douglas might have a new design in the works, and with how little volume of sales they do in shinguards, they might be selling off the existing model, completely, prior to introducing the new model. We can only hope on that. Force3, Douglas, and All-Star “do it right”, by only doing one model of shinguard, and then optimizing its features and offering it in a range of sizes. We could say that if Force3 was to offer Ultimates in 2 more sizes, such as a 17–17.5, and one size shorter (for short, junior, and women umpires), it would be appreciated. Wilson making four different models of shinguards is just... ludicrous. And of the four, only the Guardians reflect any modern design practices or sense.
  21. MadMax

    Jim Reynolds new mask

    Not unheard of... Fieldin Culbreath and Phil Cuzzi both wear “throwback” catchers masks, with Culbreath’s looking to be a FM25, while Cuzzi’s might be an even older Wilson or Rawlings.
  22. MadMax

    Just saw the new SSK plate shoes.....nice

    American (specialty sport) shoe makers only make shoes in sizes down to the equivalent of a US 7, or a 6.5 at best... unfortunately for our women and junior umpires!!! You think them ugly? I think they’re engineering marvels. “Boa” tourniquet system, so it's laceless... we use the same thing in our snowboard boots. Cuts down on weight and laces coming loose at inopportune times. Segmented, pyramidal (“spikes”) armor plates affords flexibility while reducing the amount of armor drastically. When a ball hits, it is likely to impact 1-3 of those spike points; the energy will force the pyramid to compress, which will transfer the load diagonally, then laterally. Because of the segmented “spikes”, the armor flap is articulated, and can wrap the foot, instead of being a big shovel squatting atop your shoe (*cough!* New Balance 460v1’s!! *cough!*). The damage done to a baseball is negligible. But the big – err, small? – advantage is the smaller sizes and footprints. You don’t have to feel like you’re wearing steel-toed boots and shoes. While pricey, this will be an excellent option for the small-soled among us, because New Balance isn’t going any smaller, and Reebok is never coming back.
  23. MadMax

    Interference on Baserunner

    Yes. The play is Dead at the point and call of Interference. So, any further activity is generally irrelevant. The calling umpire got the call wrong – either he doesn’t call Interference (which I would concede, Coach @Rich Ives, is the route it should have gone, based on the description), or he calls Interference and kills the play, in which case R1 is out, and BR placed on 1B. Can’t have both on this play as described.
  24. MadMax

    ISO Wilson Ti (Old Design)

    I gave you a sad face because there isn’t an eye roll face. A Wilson Titanium will never rarely be the subject of a PT Barnum – “sucker born every minute” – job.The Wilson DynaLite Titanium planform is not only different from the (Nike) Icon, but it’s different from the other DynaLites in its own family, with its billy-goat, drastically raked chin guard. And, if you can purchase a retail one should your suspicions and doubts be raised on an existing one in a private sale, then it takes the wind out of the shysters’ sails. The Icon gets duped because it’s not available at retail, and its value is arbitrarily and emotionally inflated.
  25. MadMax

    U1 in 3 Man

    Soooo... who had the touches at 2B by R1 and BR? Had it happen a few times this season while I was PU. My U1 was so eager to do rotations, he’d interpret any big fly ball to left as either a home run or a routine hit... but my U3 was so unsure of his reads, he’d go out... slooowwwwlllly. He’d already be out, and U1 would be coming down to visit the plate... ... so who’s got 2B? “No, Lou, who’s on first, what’s on second...”