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MadMax last won the day on November 24 2021

MadMax had the most liked content!


About MadMax

  • Birthday 06/13/1975

Profile Information

  • Location
    Phoenix, AZ
  • Interests
    Rally racing, Snowboarding (instructor / tech / barnstormer), Soccer (still play it), Hockey (working toward being a linesman), Baseball (umpiring, obviously), Architecture, Restorations

More information about you

  • Your Association Name
    the West Valley Vultures
  • Occupation
    Designer / Fabricator
  • Types/Levels of Baseball called
    U18 – NFHS, mNFHS, mOBR; NCAA / NAIA; MiLB -level; CDP
  • How did you hear about Umpire-Empire?
    ABUA (umpire.org)

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Community Answers

  1. I, too, wanna hear what mask you got that has a “too small” strap / harness to it (my guess is either Wilson or Champro). The primary problem with these two brands of standard stock harnesses is how un-elastic their elastic is. Because they don’t expand and contract as much, people they have to keep them rather tight, and then they get really challenging to take off and put on. I favor Honig’s, All-Star and even Diamond stock harnesses over Wilson’s, despite (and especially because) the presence of the MLB logo on the back. If you want a little (or a lot) more luxury, then either All-Star’s delta-flex for umpires, or the UmpLife cam-buckle harness is the way to go. I use an All-Star on my FM4000, and UmpLife harnesses on my other three masks. Both of these have rather long, accommodating straps with the right amount of grab.
  2. Sure, but Champro still using that upholstery foam for the vest, why bother? That same price point gets you an Adams XV-HDX or a Champion P2xx. If Champro wants to make a real big splash, they should call me or Ray.
  3. Q: How many NFL teams does New York host? A: One. ... The Buffalo Bills.
  4. MadMax

    Ball Modifying

    There’s a few things at “play” here: - Is this defaced (and yes, they’re defaced by what you describe) softball being used for actual sanctioned HS games? They can’t. Balls (both baseballs and softballs) must bear the manufacturer’s logos, the NFHS logo, and whatever NOCSAE certification is appropriate and approved for gameplay. A team (ultimately, a school) is not allowed to add anything to these balls for sanctioned gameplay that isn’t approved by the governing body (in this case, the state). If the team is doing this, is their school aware they are, and risking penalties to the program and school? If the school is doing this, is the state aware? Likely not. - Is this ball being used for non-sanctioned tournaments, invites, or some sort of scrimmaging (ie. “Fall ball”) structure? In this case, as the hosting team, it’s in poor taste to deface the balls like this, but it is ultimately their decision to do so. If your own team does not like this practice, then it is your prerogative to withdraw (and certainly file for a refund), but there isn’t, nor will you get any support from the NFHS governing body, since these are non-sanctioned games. Private leagues and associations have latitude (albeit limited, but still) to use equipment of their choosing and approval. I have two examples of this: 1) Plenty of amateur tournament series use NFHS Rules set for their own rules, then put their own enhancements upon it. They’ll bat the entire roster in the lineup, only allow one free conference per inning, and also allow the catcher to wear a two-piece mask & helmet (ie. skullcap). 2) These same series will supply baseballs that lack any NFHS or NOCSAE logos. One tournament series I know of, near and dear to my heart, uses Wilson A1030 Blemish baseballs… because they’re just like the HS-approved baseballs, but far cheaper in bulk. We’ll start a game day with 4 of these A1030 Blems, and by the end of the day, on the 4th (or 5th… or if our assigner is being particularly insensitive, 6th) game, I’ll have a few Wilsons, a few Diamonds, and some Badens. We’d need some clarification here… is this a team / school doing this to their NFHS -sanctioned games, or is this a team / club hosting their own “unaffiliated” events?
  5. If I may interject, it's absolutely imperative that a PU "actively processes" this situation instead of reflexively reacts. Both of the above perspectives have merit. The trouble is, amateur umpires either get delinquent or lazy in situations like this; the lazy ones get yelled at, demerited, chastised, or (worse) chalked-up / written-off as lazy. The delinquent ones (good intentions, slow in recognition, reaction, and movement) unfortunately compensate either by over-communicating (again, good intentions) or by... "over-reacting" to the point of heading off to 3B as soon as the ball leaves the bat! You just can't. Say it's a sawn-off drubber at the plate, or a bunt. Not only does PU have Fair/Foul responsibility, but he's the only guy in the entire ballpark that can (properly) judge RLI. If he starts bounding down towards 3B, you can fuhgetaboutit on selling yes/no on potential RLI. Similar can be said about a bounding ball towards F3 and 1B. PU must stay on the line to judge Fair/Foul, and if there's a potential swipe tag coming, or pulled/missed foot by a F1 covering... Point is, that move to 3B may be advised, but it's not automatic.
  6. MadMax


    And, True-In-All-Codes (TIAC), not just OBR.
  7. Adamantly not. They do not collaborate, they do not cooperate... in short, they do not like each other. Curiously, as much as they dislike each other, neither of them are beloved of the Cooperstown Village Board. CDP has to be located 7 miles south in Hartwig, and CASV is a further 7-10 miles south of that just to the west of Oneonta. In and around Cooperstown? No, not really. There is something similar that is conducted for (6? 8?) weeks during the summer for high-school age kids, hosted at SUNY-Oneonta. But for 12U's, it's only those two in the Cooperstown region. You'd have to go elsewhere, such as South Carolina (Myrtle Beach) to find other 12U baseball invites / experiences.
  8. There's three things potentially at play here: We have to realize truly how much force a 5 oz. baseball is carrying when it hits you (and your mask) at 95 - 105 MPH. Those springs are designed to engage at these sort of forces and only "bottom out" when that overwhelming force is smackin' it. Impacts on the outer cage – the floater – may have slightly flattened it, forcing it outward and setting the travel bolts (and the springs and shocks encasing them) at the improper angle. If you loosen the three connecting screws between the floating cage and the foundation cage (don't lose them! they're specifically threaded metric machine screws), the floating cage may contort into a shape that'll surprise you, reflective of the impacts that it's taken. The shocks may have dried out and stiffened, preventing the springs from fully compressing and the travel bolts from allowing the floating cage to depress. Some mineral oil will likely lubricate and soften them. If you'd like to really give them some TLC, then loosen and remove the travel bolts and disassemble the spring brackets, taking the shocks out and placing them in a jar of mineral oil for a few days. Now, Force3 may have made it difficult to loosen up those travel bolts by using ThreadLock on them when they assembled the mask, so be careful, and don't strip them trying to take them out.
  9. Kevin, on this one lone note, I gotta disagree with ya (it pains me to!). Here, instead of the capital expense of another plate coat, Velcro can be your friend! There are different grades of Velcro, so instead of just buying the first “cheap” Velcro from a Walmart or Ben Franklin, I’d go online or a JoAnn Fabrics or seek out a specialized source to get that super-thin Velcro (technically called “hook and loop closures”) that is used on high-end shoes and athletic wear. Put a section of Velcro on the sleeve of the plate coat, and the other on the back of the numbers.
  10. I’ve done the last 4 years of independent summer league baseball, with “my” number on all my uniforms… except one article – my WakeWear Plate Coat. I’ve worn that plate coat for each of the opening nights and each of the last plates (whether they be quarters, semis, or champs) I’ve done, and never have had numbers. It’s not needed. Everyone knows it’s me. I’ve used the plate coat on (early in season) HS night games, NAIA games, and even some adult and PG games… each without my number on it, but they wouldn’t give me crap if I did. I have a patch of each entity I work (extensively) for, and I magnet 🧲-attach that patch to my plate coat – and also a long sleeve shirt (on Plate) or my Majestic Coach’s ThermaBase jacket (on Bases) – when necessary, but I don’t need the number. Everyone knows it’s me.
  11. VU, are you directing this advice towards us (fellow umpires), or to coaches and/or parents? If the latter, good advice! If the former… uhm, it’s not really our duty / role / place to do all this cat wrangling. This is predominately within our control, especially when we realize how much / often we (potentially) talk to the fence, the coaches, or even to our partner without any grasp of how much time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’… into the fuuuutuuuure.
  12. I at some point will contact All American to see if I can get a decal to stick on my AA so it shows up better Might be a bit challenging… All-American folded as an equipment manufacturer back in the late-90s / 2000. Any assets or IP that are alive today are within reconditioning services or resale. IIRC, All-American, the manufacturer, was different than the All-American, the sports equipment reconditioner that was located in Illinois… but I could be wrong… … since somebody might do a whole bunch of desk-chair research and cite the historical particulars of All-American, just cuz…
  13. Bu-bu-but how will you ever let the world and thousands of impressionable umpires know you’ve got – and, by associative encouragement and messaging, they must go and purchase – a Wilson Gold CP??!!
  14. MadMax

    Where in AZ

    “It is fascinating to know your work schedule… “ Huh! Did I give too much information? Too much that wasn’t relevant or practical or germane to the Original Question? Chandler is a suburb of Phoenix. Southeast side. If you like, I could quote (let’s face it – copy & paste) the entire Wikipedia article about Chandler’s history, demographics, and even the parks & recreation information. In there, it might mention something about Espee and Pima parks, but considering that there are hundreds upon hundreds of parks in the Phoenix metro area, likely not. Annual rainfall amounts could likely be cited from some National Weather Service source, too. They’ve got a website. Or, someone who actually lives and works here – you know, in an experiential sense – will rightly say that the metroplex is vast. Storm cells will randomly roll through and dump rain on only one or two suburbs at a go. When that happens, only certain select fields and parks have maintenance crews and tools equipped to handle it; most simply give up, go home, and let it sit and dry out until the next day. Even the Major League facilities don’t fight it, and pack up and purge everyone from fields in use if it starts raining, for fear of damaging the fields further. In the entirety of the Phoenix metroplex, there is only one FieldTurf baseball field. And it’s owned by a private high school. Someone who officiates here will also share – there are more games than umpires (or other officials). On any given weekend, there are numerous baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball and basketball tournaments underway. How and why entry fees are charged and then distributed is above my pay grade. It’s not my place to speculate. Assigners who know me and use me know my skill, ability and preference is more effective in 60’-90’ “full” baseball. Now, multiply that amongst some 400-600 other “umpires” throughout the metroplex… and that’s not counting the dozens that venture in and out from Tucson (2 hours south) or upstate (Payson, Prescott, Flagstaff) or even from out of state. We need more umpires, period. Don’t care which sex, or which level of baseball or softball they prefer or show aptitude towards. “Apparently, this was an all-girl tournament. Is girls’ baseball a big thing in Arizona or is it just getting started?” If we look at that photo, we’ll see two things: 1) the Tournament’s own title / name is “Baseball for All”. That would be implied to be inclusive of all girls and boys, no? and 2) I could be mistaken, but I think there are both boys and girls in that team photo. And for what it’s worth, I do know Espee and Pima parks very, very well. Espee’s 60-90 field is one of the worst in the entire metroplex, and that’s a hard feat to accomplish. And that storm front that dumped rain on “us”? Hit and soaked Mesa, which is home to Red Mountain and Gene Autry baseball complexes… which have 3 60-90’s each, and if Mesa’s Parks & Rec admin cancel something, they cancel all (outdoor) activity in Mesa.
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