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Posts posted by BrianC14

  1. 1 hour ago, maven said:

    If you're asking when it is time to stop officiating a particular sport, no one answer will apply to each official's situation. Sometimes health, age, fitness, interest, or other priorities make stopping the right option.

    Health:  good to excellent overall, though more recently, it takes longer to recuperate from what used to be aches and pains that I could ignore.  This past season I was finding myself reaching for the ibuprofen before AND after games.     I incurred an injury to my toe that I got during a clinic, and it still hasn't healed after two weeks. :o


    Age:  Not getting any younger; next one is the big 6-Oh.  (But I hear some folks saying that 60 is the new 40... or was that the other way around)? ;)

    Interest:  I don't think I'd ever not be interested.  The problem is the political atmosphere where I am.   :(

    Other priorities:  Family and job, which will always have to come first.   College in looming for the only child in about 4.5 years.   :o

    I see your point though;  of course it is up to the wants and needs of the individual, just wondering about input from others in a similar point in life, etc.  

    • Like 1
  2. On 9/2/2017 at 9:51 PM, MadMax said:

    I was tempted to put my location in an African or SE Asian country, just so I could claim to have the market cornered on "Third World Plays". But, I think a more appropriate location is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darvaza_gas_crater ... the embodiment of the Doorway to Hell.

    Good grief it's hot here in Phoenix.

    I was looking for a decent-sized crater on Mars.    Not on this map.   :(


  3. On 8/28/2017 at 0:11 PM, MadMax said:

    This past year, Wilson ended production of the Shock FX line of Hockey Style masks. While technically progressive, the unit represented a customer service headache for Wilson and a marketing dud when put up against the more sculpted, more rugged, and yet less expensive All-Star System7 series and Easton M series. With cages being bent by impacts, or the shocks becoming fouled up by constant frequent tossings or hurlings to the ground by catchers, more than a few were being sent back to be replaced by all-new units. At one time, Wilson did offer a replacement cage alone, but that option was quickly exhausted. Then, with a substantial portion of their production run going to replace returned units, the Shock FX wasn't generating a sufficient profit margin. Thus, last year, Wilson debuted the Pro Stock HSM, which is a great catchers HSM, as it is very sleek and looks like an even more sculpted and tapered All-Star System7.

    But where does that leave Shock FX users? As far as umpires were concerned, the Shock FX was a rather well-designed and accommodating HSM, offering very good viewing space and the critical stand-off distance – supplemented by the shock suspension – necessary for good forward protection. It wasn't too heavy of a unit either, all things considered, but did have some shortcomings that could have been addressed and remedied in subsequent versions. The leather pads would unfortunately retain oils and grime, and made laundering and cleaning a challenge; to their credit, Wilson did offer a replacement pad set (still may, but supplies are likely limited). Then, of course, no cage is impervious to the tremendous energy that a ball potentially carries, and the cages would get bent. Compounding this was Wilson's dalliance into titanium which, while lighter and thinner than steel, cost a substantial amount more and were "impossible" for Wilson and the average user to repair. So while Wilson was closing the line down, and supplies of replacement parts dwindled, the response back to users became, "Sorry, you'll have to purchase another one".

    Frustrating, to say the least. Especially when a retail Shock FX was $150 - $200 and a retail All-Star System7 was $115 - $150.

    Well good folks, that bent-up Shock FX can get a new lease on life. Mask-It can make repairs on the cages of the Shock FX, as the cage does remove rather easily. Two screws – one at the forehead, one at the chin – hold the cage in place, then the cage merely slides forward and free of its shock-&-spring suspension. Take note of how the parts are arranged, put them in a zip-lock bag or a jar, and then send the cage alone to Tony and his crew at Mask-It. The one they just did for @KenBAZ had a fairly large dent in the eyebrow region, and the paint was long gone to corrosion. Mask-It not only trued the mask back up, but filed the bar ends smooth (before, they were blunt and sharp) and gave it a powdercoat job in Liquid Gunmetal – one of the sexiest colors in their palette.


    Looks good as new, doesn't it? It came to $40, but it sure does beat trying to find and purchase a new one!

    Oh, I do recommend wrapping the four mounting posts in masking tape. I forgot to, and suddenly remembered an episode of American Chopper wherein powdercoat was applied to the sleeve mountings of the front fork, and they had to file and grind it off to get the fork struts in. Same thing here, I had to file the powdercoat off the four mounting posts so the springs and bushings would fit.

    The original Shock in titanium was $250.   :o

    Re:  the bend in @KenBAZ's cage:   interesting....  exactly where the cage on mine bent, some years ago.   Wilson sent a replacement (first steel, which I questioned them about, and they followed with the titanium, and let me keep the steel).  This was circa 2008.   


    Nice look on the repair / refinish job.    Is that titanium or steel ?


  4. 17 hours ago, MadMax said:

    Yeeaaahhh, eeeeehhhh (grimacing sigh), that's the new vaunted All-Star FM4000Mag magnesium alloy mask. A couple of observations:

    • Hunter set up POP, directly behind catcher, and that pitch hit him, unaltered, center of the mask.
    • We have no way of knowing from the video what pads Hunter is using on the FM4000, because I can tell you from experience, if using Team Wendy's, they don't have as much loft as the native All-Star LUC's. The Wilson MemFoams have even less loft, and might be what he's using, considering this obsession commitment the MLBU has to showing the W on all gear.
    • I have a hunch that perhaps Hunter's pain is due to the cap bill hammering against his skull. The FM4000 is a superbly designed mask... for a catcher. Catchers wear their helmets (aka "skullcaps") backwards, and the hard shell takes some of the force while a mere fabric cap isn't going to do anything to aid. Due to the FM4000's curved design, there isn't a lot of standoff distance from mask to forehead within which to fit anything more than a 2", 4-stitch brim... and even then, the mask bars are touching the brim of the cap. The bars first carry that force, and transfer it to the next thing touching them... in this case, the hat brim.
    • I think regardless of the mask, Hunter was coming out of the game. They are top-tier, tenured professionals – no sense in risking anything, no shame in taking a game off just to be safe.

    Again, the FM4000 is an exceptionally well-designed mask, centerpoint to a protective system. This system, though, is designed primarily for a catcher. When are we going to have a company step forward and committ to designs for an umpire?

    Re: boldface highlight:  agreed, though he stayed in and finished the inning (one more batter, I believe), but that may also be due to the fact that concussion symptoms are often a bit delayed.   He may have felt good to go after the trainer made his check on him, and then within a few more minutes,.... not so much.   But yes, no sense hanging around and adding to the risk.

    And just my $0.02 on this, describing the warm up pitch as "errant"....   I didn't think it was all that far off the mark (that's why they get warm-up pitches, right?) but check out how late F2 gets his mitt up there.   Lazy.  

  5. On 8/4/2017 at 8:34 AM, stl_ump said:

    I go the gum route as well and have actually found it unintentionally useful in a couple of instances.

    After an inning where there had been a bit of a "discussion" about a safe and out call, I took up my usual spot about 10 ft up the 1st base line and watched the warm up pitches proceed. (I had the plate)

    Coach comes out of the 3rd base dugout and starts going on about that "play"  He's yaking at me from the 3rd base side and with my arms folded, I just look at him as he is going on and proceed to blow bubbles with my gum.  After about a minute, without a word from me, he stops and looks at me sort of quizzically and turns around and walks back to the dugout.

    I'm hoping my bubble blowing gave him the message.  (go away, I don't care what you are saying.) :P

    "With all due respect sir, you're beginning to bore the hell out of me."

    - Clint Eastwood as Gunny Tom Highway in "Heartbreak Ridge"

    • Like 1
  6. 5 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

    When the throw crosses the foul line we normally wouldn't call RLI when the runner was out of the running  lane but also out of the actual throwing lane: 

    2004 Interps

    SITUATION 19: B1 bunts and F2 fields the ball in fair territory in front of home plate. B1 is running in foul territory when F2, in fair territory, throws errantly and hits B1 in the back. B1 continues running and touches first base. RULING: The play stands. F2 made an errant throw. Although B1 was not in the running lane, his position did not interfere with F2’s throw. (8-4-1g Exception)

    But the OP has the runner so close to 1B so you would have to judge whether it was an errant throw that hit the runner or a catchable throw.

    And the emphasis I made in red makes the OP a wholly different situation from the Sit. 19 here.

  7. 29 minutes ago, udbrky said:

    If we said something like that in the local paper, you don't think there'd be repercussions?


    Players and coaches get fined for criticizing officials to the press.


    I'm going to be the sacrificial puffin guy - I think he should've been penalized for saying that.

    I agree.  That's the kind of statement that a guy like Joe West can put in chapter four of his memoirs after he retires.  

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