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  1. 17 points
    Hey guys, thanks for checking in with me. Overall, I consider myself to be extremely lucky to be where I am at this point. I am completely independent, and am back to running my business. I don't have quite the stamina that I had prior to my injury, but I had a record month for my business in April and there are lots of reasons to believe I can continue to bring value to my clients and referral partners. I'm mobile and walking without any assistance, though I do walk with a pronounced limp. I only have one PT session left, partly because the insurance company says so, but also because my therapist says that they have really done all they can do for me. They have given me all of the exercises that I can do on my own and I continue to do that at home and at the gym. I go to the gym three days a week and do the elliptical along with a ton of stretching and resistance training. The difficult thing to deal with is that I have a few conditions that don't seem to be improving (yet). I have something called Dural Tension which basically is a tightness caused by the damage to the nerves. It is particularly present in my right ankle/foot area and results in a range of motion loss in my dorsiflexion (the opposite motion from pointing your toes). In addition, I have hyper reflexes in my right leg, along with spasticity which makes controlling my gait difficult. Each of these conditions is my main concern when it comes to getting back on the field because they are directly related to the challenge I face when trying to run. My overall sensory deficits have not improved in any measurable way. I still have the same numbness and tingling that I had following my surgery. Though I can still feel touch, I also still have no hot/cold/pain sensitivity on my left side below my chest. My right hand has gotten stronger and my current grip strength is 82 which is miles better than it was just a few months ago. I never had great handwriting, and it still sucks, but it's more than serviceable and legible. I am going to work a HS All Star Showcase game on June 1st. It's a 4 man crew and I will be U1 and we'll just not rotate so I don't have to cover home. I can't wait to get back in uniform and be on the field with my brothers, if even one time. Nobody knows what the future holds, so I am going to cherish that day and game like it's the World Series. Sorry for the long post, but it's almost therapeutic to write it all down. Thanks again for checking in and for all your support.
  2. 10 points
    I’ve read through the original post and responses and here’s my take... Dumbfounded or not, if you think the batter swung, tell your partner what you saw. I actually had this happen in a game last night. I could see the pitch was inside, catcher slid over, batter went about 3/4 around, partner gets blocked out by catcher and came to me. EVERYONE knew he swung except the guy who had to make the call. So he came to me and I got it. That’s how we work as a team...the best team on the field. So, you screwed up by not handling that situation properly. You know what? Who cares. The only way we learn is to screw something up. I guarantee you’ll never screw that situation up again. Did you throw your partner under the bus? Yes. You know what? Who cares. He could/should have handled the situation better. But instead of realizing that he was working with an inexperienced partner and even though he has some tire marks on his back, he should use this as a mentoring opportunity, he decided to get pissed, switched partners, blows you up and doesn’t want to work with you anymore. That’s BS. Speaking as an assignor, we need you more than we need your partner. You screwed up. We can fix that. We can’t fix egos that say I don’t want to work with a newer guy because he doesn’t know what he’s doing and made me look bad in the process. Speaking as the guy who runs the clinic you mentioned (Mid-American Umpire Clinic), I’m willing to help you. You say you want to attend but might have to wait a year before trying it. If waiting a year is “real job” related, so be it; but if having to wait a year is related to budget issues, get with me privately and I’ll take care of you to get you into the clinic this year.
  3. 10 points
    First, don't EVER talk to a fan. Ever. (did I make that clear?) Second, Ignore / Acknowledge / Warn / Eject You ignored at first; AC was throwing hands up and asking where some pitches were - not a good thing, but not worth anything. The moment he says "it's down the middle," you jump to Acknowledge - "I had it down, coach." This tells him you understand what he's saying, but it's not the place to argue. He replies with "it's a strike all day," you're in Warn - "That's enough!" If he doesn't understand what that means, he will soon enough. After "That's enough," if he says anything back to you other than "Sorry," you're probably in Eject. This is all increasingly so because he's an assistant coach. Leashes for them should be much shorter, but that comes with him understanding his leash is shorter. Oh, and don't ever talk to fans.
  4. 9 points
    What a great umpire!! He's gotten every call correct!
  5. 8 points
    I hope @MidAmUmp will chime in here . But IMO @Richvee is right on point, but here are my $0.02. Early career - Take the Little League, Pony and other lower levels of games. While I personally don't care to work these levels any more, the truth is they CAN make you a better umpire. You will see things at these levels you will not see anywhere else and it will give you the ability to think on your feet and how to use judgement. Get a Mentor - If your group or association doesn't offer mentoring opportunities, find your own. The key, and most difficult thing, is to find a mentor who really knows what they are doing. Early on you will probably not be able to tell the good umpires from the pretenders - I still get fooled from time to time. Evolve as an umpire - Umpiring is changing - don't be afraid of changing. Coming up through the lower ranks you will most likely develop some bad habits taught to you by well meaning, but not the best informed folks. Add to that rules change, mechanics change, assigners have their preferences to what you should do and you need to be able to adapt. Clinics - Can be extremely good for developing your skills, try to go to some periodically. Whether you're going to be looked at for a position on a conference/organization's staff or for personal growth. Find reputable clinics. When at the clinic, be a good student. Ask questions but don't try to stump the ump. Be an active participant and engaged. One of the most common complaints I see about clinics is the amount of time people say they waste in line for drills, etc. Their time isn't being wasted, but their opportunity is. When in line watch the others whose turn it is see what they are doing, both right and wrong. Use that info to make the most of your time when it is your turn. Patience - Don't expect things to happen overnight for you. It takes hard work and dedication. In some organizations it may take a little longer for that to be recognized. Get Feedback- Have a good post game with all your partners. Even "Good ol' Smitty" who thinks much more than himself than his abilities, may have a gem every now and again. Take that feedback you get if its positive, negative, even wrong and sort through it and try to apply it to your game. Pay it Forward - As you move up the ladder bring others with you. Teach them what you've learned, help them avoid mistakes you made. There is a serious shortage of umpires out there. Bringing people up with you will not reduce your game count, will not hurt you in any way. It will only help you. Being the guy who is looking out for other umpires and helping them develop and grow is an easy way to get the positive recognition that will help you move up. Participate - Be involved in your umpiring group/ association. I'm not saying kiss up to the assigner, but volunteer to help when, where and how you can. Availability - As the saying goes, "Sometimes availability is your greatest ability." I personally have both benefited from my availability and had my growth limited by my availability. Early on I had nearly unlimited availability. I actually called my first varsity game just a few months after starting umpiring. Not because I was good and deserved it, but I was available. The assigner had someone bail and needed an umpire immediately near where I worked and knew I wouldn't have a problem leaving work. I arrived 20 min before game time. (just for reference, typically an umpire in our association will not get a varsity assignment for 3-4 years). But on the flip side, my collegiate career has been limited. I no longer have unlimited availability, I would work weekend games, but being able to travel distances or do weekday games was out of the question, so that makes me less attractive than others who have greater availability. Nobody owes you anything - Yes, there are good ol boy systems; yes, assigners have their favorites, yes, there may be umpires you are significantly better than, that get better assignments than you. Those are the breaks. You may not be able to fight city hall, but focus on what is in your control and your hard work will be recognized. If not by your group, find another umpiring association. Keep the right mindset - I mentioned I do not like youth games. But you can learn from those. Use games that are "beneath you" to develop your skills. Work on your footwork, play with your mechanics. Get different angles. Concentrate on making sharp crisp mechanics. Think of your own "what if scenarios" to keep yourself engaged. Humility - Everything above can be improved with a dose of humility. Don't get an ego and become "That guy." The guy while his actual skills are okay, but he thinks he's God's gift to umpiring. The guy nobody wants to work with. Be honest with yourself. If you can't be honest with yourself, you can't be honest with anybody. Learn from your mistakes. Dissect those situations and learn from them. Don't just look to assign blame to others.
  6. 8 points
    Last Sunday I was in Toronto visiting Crew 8 Hallion Cuzzi Tichenor and Hamari who all use my old CP harness The crew are all using my new UL FLEX CP and Mask Harnesses Hallion did not even consider waiting until his next plate job, he asked me to fit it for him and the mask harness. I launched this new product today and have been at it all day doing custom work for umpires all over the US If anyone would like to know more or order just shoot me an email Regards Ray UMPLIFE
  7. 8 points
    I think the largest thing with OP is missing is the glamour, night life and chicks that come with the gig! Just cannot keep those umpire groupies away! Oh, wait... that's Rock Star... I get easily confused! Bottom line... I take the 25 or so HS game fees a season and pay off or pay down a bill, take a vacation, or something similar. Am I going to pay my house payment with this extra 'side job'? Nope. I could work games almost every day of the year, but as other posters have already said, this is a hobby. Get out there, get some exercise, see the sun, make a 14 year old cry... all the important things!
  8. 8 points
    FIFY. Waste of your time and breath. Roughly half of the coaches you’ll give that little speech to will know when and how to approach an umpire, and that they are responsible for their team and fans (and most of them want their fans kicked out anyway). You just insulted them. The other half that don’t know won’t listen to you anyway. Just give your first name, get theirs. Examine and validate the lineup cards. Ask the all-important question, “Are all players properly and legally equipped?”. Cover ground rules, ask for any questions regarding ground rules. Barring those, if this is a timed game, click the button on the timer or stopwatch, and break the meeting. I bet you will have a good game... or at least no worse than you would have had you continued talking for five minutes to an unreceptive audience.
  9. 8 points
    I nominate this post for U-E's Joke of the Year.
  10. 8 points
    I got the matte black w/ the graphite pads (gray) .... nice lookin' combo!
  11. 8 points
    Get some Team Wendy's
  12. 7 points
    I wrote an article in Referee Magazine a couple of years ago titled "The Eyes Have It" which talks about watching the infield warm up between innings. I do this for several reasons, but the #1 reason is to train myself to see the throw out of the fielder's hand, judge if it's true or not, snap my eyes to the bag and listen for the ball to hit the glove and to see if the fielder's foot is on the bag. Then, and this is the most important part of this drill, let my head and eyes travel up to the glove to ensure secure possession and voluntary release. This "proper use of eyes" is the key component to good timing. If you do this on every play, whether the BR is out by 10 feet, or if its a banger, then it's nearly impossible to make the call too quickly. This drill creates muscle memory so when the game is on the line and your call is critical to the potential outcome, you will rely on this training to maintain proper timing. Also, you don't have to be overt about it. Just stand in short right field where you normally do and stand normally. Nobody knows that you're practicing except you.
  13. 7 points
    @ArchAngel72 , in my experience a "that's nothing" call from a partner tells me he's very experienced. It means that not only did he see the action, but processed it and came to the conclusion that there was no infraction AND understood in the moment that others might think otherwise and that his "no infraction" judgment needs to be communicated accordingly. I considered it an important milestone in my own development when I signaled my first "that's nothing" on the field. I am working hard to make it a more natural part of my game for sure. FWIW.
  14. 7 points
    It was wrong for him to switch crews and it was wrong for him to text you like that. Did you screw him? Sure. But instead of using it as a chance to help you learn, your partner pouted and then sends you a scathing text? That's BS. I suspect if I went to my partner and he replied with "It's your call," I would more forcefully ask, "DID. HE. GO?!!" and put it right back on him. Then we would have a conversation after the game to help him better understand 2 man mechanics and working as a crew. It is the responsibility of more advanced umpires to help those coming up. Guys that don't see it that way are just hurting the brotherhood.
  15. 7 points
    I can't believe this, especially after what I've written today, but I'm taking the "softer side" on this. Not on the call - even if shocked, you should have just given what you had. And it led to the SH*#storm that followed. But - again, opinion of HokieUmp, LLC only - the partner was a dick about it. Kind of massively. Sure, it was a bad look on the call, and it led to an EJ. But gunning the batter on strike one later was HIS cock-up, even if events got him distracted. More importantly, I'm not a fan of the switching out AND the follow-up dickishness via text. If you're man enough to text someone to call names, and run down the person's level, be man enough to say it to them AT THE TIME. Better still, help a brother out by walking him through the issue. (Unless, of course, you're one of those that believes keeping others down helps you get better ball OR that the umpire world is just SO chockers with people, that we don't need all the guys working we can get.) Dude's a dick. I'm not even sure I can get behind the "apologize to him" camp, unless he's a 'big dog' and might screw up your schedule. My return text might be: "sorry for the mistake and the problems it caused. but don't worry about us working together from this end." With an optional* "go F*#K yourself." (*May not be optional.)
  16. 7 points
    As a Christian, I believe in the power of resurrection. My days as an official are not over yet. After some counseling and many conversations with several fellow officials, I have decided to give it another whirl. I've already talked to my assignor and he has agreed to have me back in the association next season. I'm also planning to officiate football in the fall. Ump-Attire ought to be happy with this news, as I will have to buy all new gear. So far, I've lost about 80 pounds with a bit more to go! I will be a much better official this time around. Thanks for your support when I left earlier this year. It was partly what made me consider giving it another shot. Jonathan
  17. 7 points
    Said loud enough to the catcher, but meant for the coach to hear............. I hope they keep up with those "good takes", we'll be out of here sooner than expected!
  18. 7 points
    on 2 separate occasions, you mention "it took a second to figure out what hit me" You're umpiring a baseball game. I'll go with ......IT WAS A BASEBALL that hit you.
  19. 7 points
    The first one of the year came early. And out of nowhere. But that is no excuse to whiff on it. Preliminary round of tri-county tournament. Seed 12 hosting seed 19. Top of the 5th with the home team up 12-4. I am U1 New F1 takes the mound for top of the 5th and retires leadoff hitter. 2nd batter laces a single to CF and I come into the middle to notice F1 has studs in his ears. I call time and advise the head coach that his team has a warning on jewelry and direct F1 to remove the studs. F1 says he cant. I suggest to him that he can either have earrings or pitch, but he cant do both. DTHC comes out to talk to my partner and several other ASSociate coaches are milling about outside the dugout. One of them shouts out that studs are allowed . It's a new rule. I approach DTHC who is calm, understands what I said, and just wants some clarification. As I near the dirt circle at home plate, the same ASSociate coach starts walking toward me and barking "It's a new rule this year!" I have no idea who this jack-wagon is and I suggest that he needs to get back in the dugout. He think other wise. As I am having a conversation with the head coach, he says other umpires have allowed F1 to cover the studs with band-aids. I tell him that the studs need to come out. He instructs F1 to come to the dugout to take out the studs. As I say this, our friend the ASSocaite coach comes towards me once again shouting "It's a new rule this year!" At that point I realize he has requested to have his ticket punched. I acquiesced to his request when he pointed at me and yelled, "You need to read a rule book!" Ticket punched. Buh by. Thanks for flying K2 airlines. Your stop is now. Sometimes things just fall into your lap.
  20. 7 points
    How dare I what, friend? What you do is akin to lopping the roof off a DeLorean (goodbye gullwing doors!) just so you can have a convertible. Barbarian!
  21. 7 points
    On average he had the correct number of stops
  22. 7 points
    Coach: You make that call when we're getting our asses handed to us like this ? Umpire: Sorry about that coach ? Coach: What ? So you're sorry that you made that call ? Umpire: No no, skip, I'm empathizing. My therapist said that I should empathize more and be sarcastic less.
  23. 7 points
    I usually don’t wash my pants until after a few games but when I do, I put them in the washer inside out so the outside doesn’t fade as quickly. Got that trick from a MILB guy
  24. 7 points
    I found that using this new signal, below, really is subtle and lets only my partner know we need to speak:
  25. 6 points
    I guess I didn't screw up enough the first three go-arounds. So they brought me back and this year I'm the crew chief for the American Legion World Series. The games will be August 15-20. They should be on one of the ESPN networks, again (usually ESPN U).
  26. 6 points
    Hey folks, I know I post many things on here that SWMBO does/says etc., but I feel this worth mentioning as it may be beneficial to some of your local organizations. As the UIC for my local LL for 15 of the last 20 years, SWMBO stepped up to run concessions this year. She is also helping our Safety person, who has been on deployments and in training. SWMBO went out and got seven (yes 7) AED units donated to our LL organization. We have 1 at each of our fields now. Last evening, one of those units had to be used. While initially, one thinks about catchers taking a foul ball to the chest, pitchers to the chest, etc., this was a dad coaching Tee Ball. He collapsed during a game. There happened to be 2 nurses at that game. One started CPR, and the other retrieved the AED. After one cycle of CPR, and one shock from the AED, his heart beat and breathing returned. He was talking to the EMT's loading him into the ambulance. My contention is that I am "self proclaimed" FIFTY TWO and FAT and that very well could have been me that dropped. If at all possible, I encourage you to make mention of this to your local organizations and ask them to acquire an AED for the field. You never know when the life that is saved may be yours.
  27. 6 points
    @ArchAngel72 I was watching an 8/9/10 district championship game last night. When Team A changes it's pitcher to a kid throwing harder that the previous one, Team B backs their batters up to the back edge of the box. Consequently, the catcher backs up a little. Remember, ....8/9/10 y/o.......... Catcher now catching the ball about 6 inches off the ground for "called strikes". Team B parents start to come unglued. I find out about this after the fact as I am at the concession stand partaking in the wonderful treats that they have prepared for me that evening. I hear the commotion from there. I get back, and ask SWMBO what I had missed. She explains the (above) situation to me. Now, many of the parents know me from umpiring LL all over the district for years. I had that E.F.Hutton feeling (you young folks can google the E.F. Hutton commercials) for a moment when I retorted to SWMBO that "just because the players move back, doesn't move where the strike zone is located over home plate". SWMBO calmly stated, "that's what I told them". .........I think it's about time to get her a uniform. This father/son umpiring duo has been done before. I'm considering the Husband/Wife duo.
  28. 6 points
    My '65 Mustang had a padded dash as a boastful safety feature. I think my Lexus has more airbags than a House full of Representatives. Thank you progress.
  29. 6 points
    As a member of our association's instructional staff, I foresee spending a significant amount of time bringing the membership up to speed on this rule change. There will be a fair bit of confusion among umpires but also among coaches so it's critical that umpires are confident in how to administer this rule on the field and to respond appropriately to the inevitable challenges that will come from coaches that will unintentionally make illegal substitutions. It may also be difficult to ensure the college umpires in our association don't apply the college DH rule on a HS field.
  30. 6 points
    So, with the conclusion of this year's NFHS Baseball Rules Committee meeting in Indianapolis, my four-year term on the committee has come to an end. I am proud to have served, and I met a lot of people who have a deep commitment to prep baseball and who have become lifelong friends. With that said, I wanted to write a post that explains how the baseball committee process works. There is a lot of bashing of the rules committee on social media (not so much this site...but a lot on other sites). I thought I could give an insider's perspective on how the process works. Like any endeavor, my tenure on the committee had some lows, but it had a lot more highs. There are 11 voting members of the committee. First, there are 8 members who represent the NFHS' eight sections. (The NFHS divides the country into eight sections.) I represented Section Three which has nine states in the Southeast United States. Next, there is one member who represents the National Federation's officials association (an umpire) and one member who represents the National Federation's coaches' association (a head coach at a high school). Finally, there is a voting chairman (the committee chairman is almost always an executive in some state's high school league office). One knock that I see a lot is that there have never been enough umpires on the committee. This is actually false. During my tenure on the board, there have actually been an average of six (out of 11) umpires on the committee. During the year, any state can make a rule change proposal. In fact, you (meaning the person reading this post) can make a rule change proposal. You would need to propose the rule change to your state's high school association. If they agreed with your proposal, they can then submit it on your behalf to the NFHS for consideration by the Baseball Rules Committee. Each June, the Baseball Rules Committee meets in Indianapolis to discuss (sometimes "debate" is a better word) all of the rule change proposals submitted during the prior year. The deadline for submitting proposals is sometime in early May. During the meeting, the committee can ONLY vote on rule changes that were proposed before the deadline. That is, the committee cannot propose its own rule changes during the meeting. If a committee member wants to change a rule, he has to submit it before the deadline. After the submission deadline, but before the committee's June meeting, every state office is sent all rule change proposals. The state offices can then contact their representative on the committee and direct their representative how they want them to vote. Of course, in a section like mine (with 9 states) all of the states may not agree with one another on each proposal. In which case, I would have to use my own judgment when voting. However, if a clear majority of states in my section instructed me to vote a certain way...I'd have to vote that way. This is because I represent the interests of my section's states on the committee. During my four years on the committee, I would send all of the rule proposals to my nine state offices every May asking them for their opinions or directions as to how I should vote. Some years, I would only hear back from 2 or 3 states. Other years, I heard back from a lot more. At our meeting in June, we would discuss/debate the rule change proposals. Finally, we'd vote on them. Additionally, if the baseball rules committee felt that there were issues in the sport that needed to be addressed, but did not require a rule change, we could vote to insert new plays into the casebook. Since casebook plays are not "rule changes", but rather are interpretations of existing rules, they are not required to be submitted to the states ahead of time. And, in fact, it is common for the committee to draft and adopt a new casebook play(s) after having a discussion on a particular issue when we felt we could deal with the issue with a casebook play rather than have to wait to submit a rule change proposal the following year. Now, we get to the part of which many are ignorant: When the rules committee passes a rule change, it must be approved by 2 1/2 other committees. I say "2 1/2" because three other committees actually look at the rule changes the rules committee passed, but only two of those can actually reject or approve those rule changes. The third committee is the Sports Medicine Committee. They review our changes and only give an opinion as to whether or not an approved rule change poses an increase risk of injury to the student-athletes. The sports medicine committee doesn't actually approve or reject a rule change the rules committee has made. However, I guarantee you that if the sports medicine committee gives an opinion that a rules change (approved by the rules committee) poses an unreasonably higher risk of injury to the student-athletes, then one of the other two committees is going to reject our rule change. [As an aside, let me state that the Sports Medicine Committee does some incredible work. First, they have some of the most famous sports-medicine people in the country on the committee. Second, they do some incredible research. Third, they really do care about the students and their safety. In fact, I ended my tenure on the rules committee believing that the work the NFHS does for student safety through its sports medicine committee is perhaps the NFHS' greatest contribution to sports in this country.] Next, the rules changes that passed the baseball rules committee are then reviewed by the "rules review committee". This committee is comprised entirely of NFHS employees. They are basically all of the rules editors for all of the different sports. So, the baseball rules editor (an NFHS employee who sits in during the NFHS baseball rules committee meeting) has to defend the rule changes we passed to his colleagues (who are the rules editors for all of the other sports.) It was explained to me by someone with a lot of history working with the NFHS, that the purpose of this committee is to make sure that a sport's rules committee doesn't go off the deep end and make a bunch of crazy rule changes. The "rules review committee" basically serves as a check to make sure that the baseball rules committee, for instance, can't be hijacked by a group of like-minded people who then makes wholesale changes to the baseball rulebook which then fundamentally and drastically changes the nature of the sport. When the "rules review committee" looks at the rule changes passed by the baseball rules committee, they look to make sure that the "balance between offense and defense as it should exist in that particular sport is maintained", that player safety is not adversely affected, and that the sport itself is not being drastically changed without just cause (among other things). If this committee rejects a rule change that the rules committee made...then the change is dead. When the "rules review committee" rejects a rule change that was passed by the rules committee, they sometimes explain why they rejected the rule change...and sometimes they provide no explanation. Finally, any rule changes that were approved by the "rules review committee" must then be approved by the NFHS "Executive Committee". This committee is almost always comprised of the executive directors of various state high school associations. I am not familiar with what this committee does when reviewing the approved rule changes, but I think most of the time they will approve the rule changes as long as the sports medicine and "rules review committee" have signed off on them. In summary, the NFHS is a bureaucracy...there is no doubt about that. Like anything, that has pluses and minuses. It goes without saying that the NFHS does some great work. What sometimes frustrated me is that before one bashes the baseball rules committee, one should know that sometimes the baseball rules committee is not the entity with which you have your disagreement. Sometimes, we pass a change to the rules that umpires overwhelmingly want, but it gets rejected by the "rules review committee" or "executive committee". I can tell you (without going into details) that this has happened during my tenure more than once. Nothing posted here is confidential. In fact, the NFHS has buried somewhere on their website a video as to how the rules writing process occurs (found it: https://www.nfhs.org/sports-resource-content/rules-writing-process-video/). Since there is hardly a week that goes by in which the rules committee isn't getting bashed somewhere on the internet, I just thought I'd post how things actually work (since I doubt most umpires know...and most don't know about the video). It was a great four-years. I appreciate all of you who communicated with me (especially by private messaging) over those four years so I could know what umpires from across the country were thinking.
  31. 6 points
    The New Flex CP Harness is a change from my original and offers a true 4 point connection with excellent support and comfort. Already being used by MLB Umpires Adam Hamari, Phil Cuzzi, Todd Tichenor and Tom Hallion with more orders coming in everyday, MiLB umpires have already been ordering the new Flex It will fit any 4 point connection harness on the market today The old harness was really a 3 point connection with the top straps being one point of connection which was worn tight to the neck and snug on the sides. Guys were wearing them too tight all round causing undue stress to the neoprene which sometimes resulted in tearing or breakdown. The New Flex is a true 4 pointer and has contour for the sides which will take the stress off the neoprene when worn correctly. Tight on top, snug on the sides. Available in Black/Grey Trim or Grey/Black Trim
  32. 6 points
    Just an Update... I'm still alive and well. I do plan on being more involved once again, at least on the site. I've had another job change. I left the Waterpark in April. It was an absolutely great job and a ton of fun, but only May through September. Not much for an HR person to do at a waterpark in the winter with only 5 employees and I needed much more responsibility and a challenge. I'm now at a defense contractor running their HR dept. So now as I'm settling in at the new job I have made it a point to return to the helm of Umpire-Empire. @Thunderheads, @LMSANS @johnnyg08 @Stan W., @Majordave, @HokieUmp & @MidAmUmp have done fantastic at keeping everything rolling smoothly and I cannot express just how much I appreciate it. So I haven't umpired since March 2018. Just haven't had time. Do I miss it??? Yes and no. Yes, I really miss being on the field calling games and working with other umpires. But also no I don't miss it as much as I thought I would. I enjoy the time at home with my family. Looking back I wonder just how I was able to squeeze umpiring into my schedule. I have been non-stop with various activities this spring and cant imagine the travel and just overall time away from home. A couple of weeks ago I attended my first game as a fan in probably 5 years as my ECU Pirates came and visited ODU. This is the first game I've been to since @dumbdumband I went to an O's game. Now I still watch the game as an umpire and see the game very differently than the average fan, and I hope that never changes. Will I return to Umpiring? I plan on picking up some fall ball games this fall, but there is no way I'm going to work the number of games I once did. I'm thinking 1-2 a week tops and if I don't get a game, I just don't get a game. Also, I know the site is in major needs of some software updates. You guys see and experience the issues with TapaTalk and that's on my list. I need to: do some tweeks on the server side of things update the forum's software. THEN TAPATALK! Finally fix the automatic promotion feature ( Established member, Inactive, new member, etc...) But I will be around more and have enjoyed living vicariously through you all. Also, I will be continuing my Quick Tips YouTube series in the next couple of weeks. I've trashed the ones I had in the can to be released. And have already started a new set of topics I want to cover. As always thanks for your continued support of Umpire-Empire!
  33. 6 points
    I had one that had obviously been thinking about this....... Batter asks Catcher "Are there a lot of hot chicks at your school"? Catcher: Not as many as I would like there to be, why? Batter: I don't like my coach anymore so I'm surveying schools that we play............
  34. 6 points
    No matter how you communicate it, your mechanic will be followed by this:
  35. 6 points
    I'm not talking about 'new' as in 'new to me' ....but I'm talking my first piece of BRAND SPANKING new equipment! My FM4000 MAG will be at my door this afternoon and I must say ....... I'm pretty damn excited! Photo to be added later!
  36. 6 points
    I'm not talking about the first year guy. I would never expect them to have everything you could need. But the guy/girl that has been doing this for over a decade and hasn't bought a new shirt in 7 years or doesn't have a jacket? That's the person I have the issue with.
  37. 6 points
    If this pic wasn't of an MLB guy, most of you guys would be roasting him. (me, I couldn't care less. Be comfortable out there)
  38. 6 points
    Maybe I’m in the minority, but I don’t find the force 3 to be that heavy. I thought it would be worse out of the box. And I’ll take any extra weight if it means not sacrificing protection.
  39. 6 points
  40. 6 points
  41. 6 points
    Jonathan, I wish you the best. I appreciated what you said in your post. We have all been there at one time or another. I hope someday you can get back on the field because whether you know it or not, more people appreciate YOU than not. It's not easy to forget A-holes, but this world is coming apart at the seams. Sometimes being on the baseball field can help take us away from all the crap we experience and work, home, you name it. When it no longer stays fun and takes this type of turn, take care of yourself first.... I wish there was something else I could say to keep you on the field. I would be proud to work with a guy like you as I'm sure others here and around the baseball world would too. But in the end, do what is right for you. I'm sure God has great plans for you and other's around you. Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us. And thank you for making us all realize more than ever we are the THIRD TEAM out there. We need to look out for each other no matter what!
  42. 6 points
    Kiddie ball umpire starter set.........."Throw that inside pitch again son"............
  43. 6 points
    The first game of today's double header The second game of today's double header Yesterday's game Tomorrow's game
  44. 5 points
    So do you "hear" a chainsaw through the ear piece so you know to give that mechanic?
  45. 5 points
    This is just my unscientific opinion, but the shots that look and sound the worst are usually not that bad. You want the energy from the ball to be dispersed in other ways — loud bangs, spinning your mask off, etc. It’s the “quiet” shots that die when they hit you that are the worst. That means all of the energy is being directed in one direction — straight back into the impact point on you.
  46. 5 points
    Slightly different angle, I believe umpiring to be the best job a high schooler could have. Where else could I make $20 an hour, while setting my own schedule, and doing something I love? Even after spending close to $1000 to overhaul my equipment, get stuff to do basketball, and pay for gas, I still came out way ahead last year, and I'm getting even better games and pay this year, with way less overhead (driving a way more gas efficient car!).
  47. 5 points
    Did his ass get a concussion?
  48. 5 points
    Thanks for your comments you young whipper snapper. lol Once, while in Memphis, I had a 12 year old game with a catcher who introduced himself as Will the Thrill. Loved my games with that kid. Just one of those kids you remember. Anyways, when he was at bat I called a ball at the letters a strike. Some Mom unloaded on me and Will the Thrill told me to not pay attention to her. Remember that the strike zone back then was the letters to the bottom of the knees, but called from the waist to the bottom of the knees, except for me. So, Will the Thrill's team came back on defense with him still catching. First pitch at the letters I ball it. Lady starts in on me about how I called that a strike on her son's team. I called time and proceeded to walk towards where the grieving mother was sitting, all the time disregarding Will the Thrill's pleading and begging of me to ignore that woman. I walked to the fence and said, "Look. When I called it a strike on Will you told me it was a ball. So I call it a ball and you tell me I should call it a strike. You really need to work on your consistency", and I walked back to the plate. As soon as I had turned my back on the fans they all busted up laughing and Will the Thrill soon recovered from his embarrassment. From then on fans from that team never gave me any issues. At a hs game I was working the dish I called a strike at the knees and the head coach replied, "NO WAY", from the the third base coach's box. I waited until the coach was facing me, took off my mask and replied in my best Wayne's World voice, "WAY". Coach had to turn away from me because he had burst out laughing. Next time he made a substitution he came to me and said, "Dude. That was the funniest thing I ever heard on a baseball field in my life". Now, this works for me and may not be for everybody and I'm sure that some will disagree with an umpire doing anything like this. But, remember it's a high school baseball game. An extracurricular activity for high school kids. Umpires aren't perfect, but they make fewer mistakes on a field than the players and coaches do. After 25 seasons and thousands of games, I believe I'm correct in that assessment. Sometimes it just takes a little humor to resolved a situation. Find out what it takes that works for you to diffuse a situation and use it. If you have to continuously get the AD to work the stands for you then you should look at what you need to do to improve. And it takes years to become a really good umpire. Give it time.
  49. 5 points
    I have taken a hit wearing the All Star fm4000mag with and without the con cushion. Without it stings when getting hit. With it greatly reduces the blow to your head. Don't feel it near as much and it doesn't sting.
  50. 5 points
    So, ... at camp over the weekend doing field drills in a field house. The instructor putting the ball in play throws the ball down the first base line and it hits one of the basketball nets that has been raised up out of the way. He says, sorry, do over, but the instructor that's with the umpires in line to work the field says " ok guys, let's say that batted ball hits a bird " fair our foul? I step up right away and say "HANG ON .......the ball hits a bird, ....doesn't it have to be FOWL??!!" LMAO I know, boo hiss, boo hiss !!!
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