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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/08/2020 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    “I’ve seen a better blue in a crayon box!”
  2. 4 points
    I'm 99% sure your problem isn't tracking the ball off the bat. Your problem is tracking the ball to the glove. If you are actually tracking the ball I mean REALLY tracking the ball, this won't be an issue. It's possible to think you're tracking the ball when you're actually losing it just before it gets to the plate. Now, there's another thing that could be going on: this is just a call that gets missed by the plate umpire sometimes. When you won't have multiple umpires... Stuff happens. What you can do is slow down and read the reaction of the players. If everyone is not reacting, and the batter is hopping around in pain, it probably hit him.
  3. 4 points
    Where'd that miss, middle? Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
  4. 3 points
    Funny Reply FTW, via Facebook: “Astros Hitting Coach Alex Cintron has been suspended for 20 games...” SlyDodgersFan: I thought the Astros hitting coach was a trash can?
  5. 3 points
  6. 3 points
    Game #2 in mid-90's... "Hi Dad, I brought you some Gatorade!"
  7. 3 points
    I'm working the dish at an independent pro league game. A couple thousand in the seats for "Bring your dog to the Ballpark" night, and the local APL is having an adoption event on the concourse. A voice from behind home plate rises, saying, "Hey, blue! You can get a new seeing eye dog right up here!" The entire crowd starts laughing. One of the coaches is walking by me as this happens, looks at me out of the corner of his eye and goes, "Ooph... Ouch" I told him, "Yeah - that was my wife!"
  8. 3 points
    The fair/foul call, like catch/no catch, is often rushed by amateur umpires. I see guys calling catches by outfielders before the ball's in the damn glove. Slow down. Then slow down some more. Lots of bad things happen when we rush; almost no call in baseball demands an instant reaction (compare basketball, where calls are expected to be fast).
  9. 3 points
    Wait. Why is it fair? Has it been touched (yet) in fair territory, or has it stopped rolling? Conversely, on the “Foul side of things”, what makes a batted ball Foul? Has it touched a player (eg. catcher) in foul territory? Has it touched you (the umpire)? Has it stopped rolling (yet)? Has it broken the plane of the bag at either 1B or 3B in Foul territory yet? These are a few of the defining, qualifying questions we (as umpires) process through on every batted ball. With experience, that process happens more smoothly and more rapidly. Problem is, “new” or unpolished or lazy umpires miss critical factors in that process, and call Foul or signal Fair way too quickly. On one of your dribblers in front of the plate, there is no urgency to signal Fair (or Foul) until the ball is either touched, or stops rolling. This gives you (the umpire) a chance not only to re-acquire it, but also to go through your process. How’d the ball get out there? Did it deflect off the batter? Did it deflect off the catcher? Consider all the visual and audible clues in this process. And no, bouncing the ball off the plate is not an automatic foul ball. The plate, as you know, is in fair territory. Cold, hard reality. Before any of you guys reading start commenting and snidely remarking to Mac that he shouldn’t work solo, sorry, tough cookies, but solo work is not beneath you/us, and is an unavoidable reality. This is bulls#!t. The virus ain’t transferring on the ball field. It’s not clinging to each baseball, it’s not on a/the bat, and it certainly ain’t wafting from player to player to coach to umpire to player like some pixie dust. Six feet is not some magical barrier, either, that will protect you from getting the virus... if it is, in fact, there... and transferable... on an open ball field. Oh, the virus is real, @beerguy55 I just refuse to believe, in the absence of proof, that it is transferred during a ball game. Anyway! As @maven and @Biscuit point out, some clues that will help you are how the players – notably, the batter – react. If he doesn’t come out of the box, it is much more likely (not certainly, I’ll admit) that the ball touched him. Most batters know it.
  10. 3 points
    This material is fantastic to work with and it will do a great job for this type of fix. I use it all the time when I am making things and will make a very good back pad combined with HD 80 & LD 45 Plastazote foams Think Sandwich covered in a cool max cover and you have a nice low profile pad...me I am working on a pad replacement program and seriously considering doing a full CP. Lightweight low profile and offering better protection than the sofa cushion Max talks about. Just this week an MLB umpire was asking about making a pad for his Gold but wanted to keep his cover...cannot be done that way because the Gold foam is glued down to both sides of the nylon. Look at he back of any Gold and you will see creases which happen over time and can be created just the way they are shipped from the factory.
  11. 3 points
    You're losing the ball for more than .001 seconds—the human eye can't resolve images less than about .04 seconds apart. But that's hardly a defect in you. I'll second what has already been posted. As with calling pitches, you'll call these better if you slow down and give your brain time to process all the evidence. Let everyone else help: if the batter starts hopping around on 1 foot, I'd bet the other one just took a shot. If the ball dribbles fair, and he takes off toward 1B, I'd bet it's fair. Of course, it's also useful to have a partner. This is a standard pre-game item: if a batted ball strikes the batter while he's still in the box, BU should be killing it. If he doesn't, then he didn't have it foul. PU can still kill it, based on his own view and the batter's evidence.
  12. 3 points
    As others have said, the easiest, lowest-cost solution is to just remove them. Indeed, both the Platinum and Gold CPs suffer from the same lazy, arcane, out-of-touch product regard from Wilson – the (over)use of upholstery foam in the vest. As such, this upholstery foam causes the wearer to look (and feel) just as bulky and unwieldy as an old couch, especially in the shoulders. @Razzer is a big advocate of low-cost “camping foam”, which is a closed-cell foam, sold in a roll of blue or green, and used as a pad under sleeping bags, cots, or other non-heat-producing camping equipment. It’s cheap, effective, and for gear tinkerer’s purposes (like Ray, Wolfe, and me), is a good stand-in for proposed advanced materials. For your purposes, it would work great. Get some of that, and trace-out and cut it to match the shape of the pauldron plate. Then trace and slice two slits for the attaching strap, or Velcro tab. If you want to run zip-ties thru it, you can. A very low-cost and extremely satisfying act is to slice the Velcro tab itself off the Wilson pad and use it as the anchoring strap. Then, toss the ol’ Wilson pad to a neighborhood dog, which will love playing with it. Voílá! You have yourself a much sleeker, but still “padded” set of shoulder pauldrons. Oh, and bless your heart, @Ump0000, on removing that stupid, useless billow pad on your Platy! In the category of “Most Useless ‘Feature’ On A Product”, it’s top of the list.
  13. 3 points
    Thank you for being here. You did a really good job.
  14. 3 points
  15. 3 points
    "Blue, can I pet your seeing eye dog after the game?"
  16. 2 points
    https://www.schuttsports.com/air-u5-umpire-leg-guards.html Greetings all, So, I just picked up a pair of these and my initial reaction is a solid B+. (Not as nice as my Force3s but, I wanted a hot weather alternative...) The Air U5's are lightweight and well-ventilated (like the XV HDX chest protector). More importantly, EVERYTHING on these down to the buckles screams low profile. There's a lot of great shin guards out there that tend to get cause pants to hang, snag or even rip. I haven't worn them in a game yet but, I don't see any of these problems occurring. A few more highlights include: gel-filled pillows on the knee caps which are sewn into removable pads velcro-ed onto the inside of the shinguard (I've heard they are switching these to D3O foam) which can be removed for cleaning/replacement, velcro-ed liners for the shin areas that can be removed for cleaning/replacement, velcro-ed tarsal guards that can be removed to accommodate different shoe configurations/fittings, all straps are elastic (which will wear out more prematurely than non-elastic straps but, I like the comfort they provide) and finally the top 2 straps on each side are a joined harness. I have never seen this last feature before on a shinguard, it seems very obvious and adds to comfort and fit. My only complaint so far is I would have preferred 3 prong buckles instead of hooks, but again they are very low-profile. This is my first piece of Schutt/Adams plate gear and overall I am very pleased with them out of the box. More feedback to come once I have worn them in a few games...anybody else out there using these? ~Dog
  17. 2 points
    Fellow umps, it's either safe to play baseball the way the game is, or it isn't! Just my $0.02 worth. Mike Las Vegas
  18. 2 points
    I'm guessing most people who work in R&D or engineering at these manufacturers don't necessarily work as umpires themselves and don't consult with umpires. When we are in conventional mechanics, we aren't setting up squared to the plate. We are angled slightly across the plate, tracking as the pitch is released. So because our stance is slightly opened up relative to the pitch's vector, that leaves the sides of our thighs, knees, shins, ankles and feet somewhat more exposed. Force3 and Wilson on the other hand (and perhaps others I am unaware of...) understand this and have engineered their gear to that reality... Obviously, less wrap around coverage means less material, means a lower price...so, it may be others are trying to slot on a price point to compete on price rather than benefits/features. The American marketplace loves its choices (have you seen the Oreo section at the grocery store lately?) and umpire equipment is no exception... ~Dog
  19. 2 points
    I tried these and they are light and comfortable and low profile as you said. They also don't offer much in the way of ankle protection - and the hard plastic didn't cover anything but the front of my legs. I was worried I'd take a deflected ball off the side of my calf in these. I also worried that if my stance wasn't straight-on/squared up with the pitcher that I'd take one behind the guards. I'll stick with my F3's, they're not that hot and they're comfortable to wear anyhow.
  20. 2 points
    I guess that's where being built like a fire plug and having an 18.5 inch neck does some good! Fits me extremely well.
  21. 2 points
    What is the "best" thing you have heard from the stands? Whether at you or a kid or a coach. The one that sticks out to me is last year HS playoffs. FIRST pitch of the GAME splits the plate thigh-high. I start my strike call and hear.... "get ready to swing at everything...he's all over the place!"
  22. 2 points
    I'm looking forward to being able to see the Cobalt and System7 side-by-side. My only issue with the S7 was the obnoxiously small neck area. From what I have gathered, the Cobalt has solved this issue.
  23. 2 points
    To be fair, the Diamond is based on the Platinum planform, albeit with more torso segments and without that stupid, useless billow pad. The Platinum itself is good, serviceable CP – it’s just that Wilson has done nothing to improve it in 15+ years, and gives it no favors by selling / shipping it flat. Without knowing how to properly wear it, most umpires wear it incorrectly, like a shop apron, primarily because their neck doesn’t fit the opening (when the shoulder arch plates are bent) and they get concerned that the CP doesn’t cover low enough (their tummies). You’d be amazed the anxious looks I’ve gotten once I’ve adjusted and properly fit a (mis)used Platinum to an umpire... he promptly starts tugging it down an away from his neck, and becoming very aware of how uncovered his tummy is. Not only is All-Star’s CPU4000 taller thru the torso – without the need of extensions – but it also enjoy’s All-Star’s attention to details, namely pre-curved carapace plates. This feature will also be on the forthcoming Cobalt CP. The XV-HDX “suffers” from the same inherit flaw most other CPs share – their origin can be traced back to football shoulder pads, made by football equipment companies, to a one-size-fits-most template. Wilson, Douglas, Riddell, All-American, Schutt (and Champro and Champion, by proxy)... all of them are guilty of it. Due to the focus on one-size-fits-most, the neck opening is often ill-fitting, and the breastplate and shoulder arch plates are hinged by vinyl so as to allow the arch plates to bend “around” the neck. I’ve been such a big promoter of the XV because of three chief attributes: Weight & ventilation – made possible by cultured research and experience (primarily due to football), and bold willingness to try... Use of advanced materials – instead of stubbornly sticking to upholstery foam and nylon, Schutt experimented with the TPU-EVA foam and wicking mesh crucial to their NFL-caliber helmets. This foam is, by nature, lower profile and hydrophobic, meaning it sheds water. Highly beneficial! How is it possible, therefore, to get all these new materials, at a... Cost that’s realistic – the XV represents the third progression of a CP from Schutt, and all three have been in a $68–$89 window since their inception. Conversely, the Wilson CPs have existed, concurrently and unaltered (read: unimproved) for 20-some years, and have only recently come down in price from $200+!!! I have relied upon and used the XV for coming up on seven years, and the past five have been staring down legitimate Major League pitching and hitting. I’ve taken direct fouls in this environment (yes, even a few at the clavicles), and have not suffered for it. For good spans of my summer months, I’m calling college & Minor League -caliber pitching, and again, I feel more than adequately protected. Do I expect everyone to feel this same security and confidence? No. Everyone is different, both in body type and disposition. If you feel that a CPU4000 will, or even might, be a better solution for you, then godspeed and good luck! The only thing I bristle at is someone (especially someone in a position of influence, such as the “Health & Safety Umpire” for MLB) telling novice umpires that this particular CP (cough cough Wilson Gold cough cough) is the “only one you need”.
  24. 2 points
    "Turn around, bend over, and use your good eye."
  25. 2 points
    Collarbone protection is where the CPU4000, the WV Platinum and new Diamond all have plates that attach to a large breast plate, and go over the shoulder. To me, that's a great selling point.
  26. 2 points
    I had a similar situation arise my first year umpiring LL. My game was Majors. There was a foul tip, correctly signaled by my partner at the plate, the runner on first took off for 2nd and made it without a throw. His own coaches called him back, saying it was a foul ball. He trotted back to first, no attempt was made to tag him, my partner and I looked at each other and sort of shrugged, and the game went on. After the game, I asked my supervisor (who had done LL state tournaments) via email and he said, "What the offense did was stupid but not a violation."
  27. 2 points
    Okay, suspensions are in. Cintron - 20 games! I guess they finally found someone on the Astro's that didn't have immunity. Laureano - 8 games.
  28. 2 points
    Guess Cintron (the Houston hitting coach) got 8 games and Laureano got 4. The guy I feel really bad for is Joe Kelly. He just can't get back on the field. (Side note: I ACTUALLY had someone ask me if this was real!)
  29. 2 points
    Sounds as if the guy might have needed some marriage counseling too. Maybe the umpire did that. Or gave him some medical advice. Or maybe the guy needed a new will and some estate planning. All for one low game fee! Impressive.
  30. 2 points
  31. 2 points
  32. 2 points
    Now you know how her husband must feel.
  33. 2 points
    I am NOT interested in a covid debate. The fact is, my league has mandated some practices, such as one umpire, and it's irrelevant whether I agree or disagree with them. I'm required to follow them, and they are not up for debate. I don't care what anyone's opinion on the covid situation is; I have my own opinions, and one of the great things about baseball is we can turn off the "real world" for a while. Please DO NOT COMMENT ANY FURTHER on your opinions regarding covid. This forum has been great up to this point, but if it goes political, I'm gone. I get inundated with political crap as it is. As to those who have provided the sought-after advice, thank you. As always, you have given me concrete ways to improve.
  34. 2 points
    One of my mentors warned me that at the levels I'm umpiring, neither the coaches nor the parents know the rules very well. I've found that to be very true. Batter hits a lazy fly ball just a few feet up the 1st base line, clearly in foul territory. Catcher ditches the mask and goes to make the catch, but it hit his glove (clearly in FOUL territory), bounced off, and rolled into fair territory. I called it a foul ball. Some idiot mother in the stands with the Most Annoying Voice Ever kept shouting for TWO INNINGS, "IT ROLLED FAIR! IT ROLLED FAIR!" She. Would. Not. Shut. Up.
  35. 2 points
    Sorry to resurrect this thread. But Jim in a local guy to me here in the Portland Metro Area (he lives in the Beaverton area if I remember correctly) and is from this area. I got to listen to Jim talk at an association meeting shortly before he retired. This miss STILL chews him up while talking about it. And talk about it he did. Candidly and openly. He also talked about helping EMTs resuscitate a woman who hade a sudden heart attack in the tunnel in Arizona. And urged everyone to get CPR training.
  36. 2 points
  37. 2 points
    "He's screwing us just like he did yesterday!" -- This was said about me by a fan in response to a routine force-out to end their team's half of the first inning. The best part: This happened at a softball tournament's consolation game -- a tournament where I didn't umpire any of the previous day's games . I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing out loud.
  38. 2 points
    Fan: "Hey Blue, did you lose your phone"? BU: "No"! Fan: "We thought it might be yours because there's three missed calls on it".
  39. 2 points
    He was using this one. And before anyone says it: no point covering that white.
  40. 2 points
    I removed mine as well. On me, that cap isn't covering any boney parts, just meat, so the padding can be removed. BUT THAT'S JUST ME. Don't do this because I, or anyone else said to. Everyone is built differently. Some more differently than others. So do a bone check before hitting the diamond, please. Just like checking if that bottom rib is covered, when you're down in your stance.
  41. 2 points
    My solution might not be for everybody. I just took those pads out and left them out. My Platinum fits me so that my shoulders are well covered. The actual shoulder cups hit more at my triceps/biceps area. So, now that area only has the plastic shell of the shoulder cap, minus the padding. I made this change at the suggestion of another umpire years ago. In all those years, I've never taken a hit in this area that caused a problem. The protector is so much more comfortable! It almost feels low profile...or, at least it doesn't feel like Franken-ump anymore!
  42. 2 points
    Disagree: it seems fortunate to me, as it happens so seldom.
  43. 1 point
    1 MILLION PERCENT THIS!!! They have a roster of, what, 60 guys they can pull from? What are these guys doing besides waiting for the call! By the way. I looked at the standings a few days back. Most teams were in that 19 to 20 games played range. Miami has around a dozen. St. Louis had five! FIVE!!! THAT'S INSANE!
  44. 1 point
    Everyone's zone, including my own, has been up in these new mechanics. The top of the zone looks different from B and C than it does from the slot. The other interesting phenomenon is that we now see all the pulling and jerking by the catchers. F2, if you want that pitch on the edges called a strike you need to stick it. When you pull it back in, you are telling everyone at the ballpark, especially me that you didn't think it was a strike either.
  45. 1 point
    The neck area just makes it for me. I took it with the Schutt/Adams XV-HDX. I'm going to re-do the placement of the hard plates on that to move them up about an inch higher - hopefully that will help. I've used it for two years and have been very happy, but I have taken other shots that have hurt more than I like, so I wanted to try out other protectors, and with the CPU4000 getting great reviews plus the great deal at UA right now, I couldn't pass it up. Just so we are clear, I'm not knocking the Adams at all.
  46. 1 point
    I'm getting good feedback on my strike zone's consistency, and I'm getting a lot better at calling those curves to the outside corner I posted about a while back. So I'm very happy about that. What I'm lacking right now is the ability to track the ball when it makes contact with the bat. Of course if it's hit into play I can see it just fine, but if the batter fouls directly into the dirt at his feet or hits his own foot/leg with the ball, I'm missing it. Twice now I've had batters swing, I hear the "ting," and lose the ball for .001 seconds. The next thing I see, it's dribbling into fair territory in front of the plate, so I give the mechanic for a fair ball. The runners are confused, but start running to first (I know I messed up when they look up at me all confused). Yesterday I was working a 12 year-old game using only one umpire. That's the kicker -- we're using only one umpire for social distancing, but I'm behind the plate in this particular league (I'm working with two leagues). If I had a partner to confer with, it would be easy to overturn myself. What happened yesterday, after standing there all confused for a few seconds, the runner took off to first because I signaled a fair ball. The defense turned a double play to end the game (top of the last inning, home team ahead by 2 runs). The batting team's head coach politely appealed that the ball had hit the runner's shin when he swung (he was still in the batter's box). I told him, "I didn't see it, hold on a minute," and instructed the defense to stay on the field. I spoke with the defensive team's head coach, and he admitted the ball had struck the batter's shin. This, by the way, was a championship tournament game. I like this coach. I announced, "It's a foul ball guys," and set up the runners as they had been prior to the pitch and added a strike to the count. We continued the game and they ended up getting two more outs to end the game with the win. As I was leaving the field, I told the defensive team's head coach, "Thanks for your honesty on that one, coach. I didn't have a partner to talk to. And your kids are watching you and learning about more than just baseball." I made sure his kids heard me, too. It all turned out fine because the defensive team's head coach was a honest and a sportsman, not because I got the call right. So how do I track the ball on contact????
  47. 1 point
    those are super sexy! I have never been sold on the gunmetal. Even though it seems like it might be Tony's most popular color. But this might sell me on this as my next color.
  48. 1 point
    Absolutely said, I couldn't stop laughing. Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
  49. 1 point
    Some umpires eject if you look askance at them. Some won't eject if you shoot them with a 9 mil. This batter gave nobody the opportunity to defuse. Throwing equipment and charging the mound are immediate ejections at any level. Game management is no doubt an art, not a science, and I discourage the use of 'automatic', but that's the end of the spectrum the play described approaches. All this assumes, of course, that events transpired as described (I see no link to video).
  50. 1 point
    Wow, just wow. For me at least, he's gone as soon as he slams the bat and walks out there with his fists clenched.

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