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MadMax last won the day on June 2

MadMax had the most liked content!

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About MadMax

  • Rank
    The Road Umpire
  • Birthday 06/13/1975

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  • Gender
  • 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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  1. MadMax

    First One

    Tsk, tsk, tsk, Cats... We're living in the COVID-19 Pandemic Age. According to ~some~ on here, we're all infected and infectious, and we shouldn't even be doing baseball yet. And if we are doing baseball, we should be at least thirty feet away from each other, wearing antiseptic gloves and double masks. Oh! And don't forget, the balls need to be sanitized after every pitch because they carry the virus, and it's deadly contagious! Do you really want that coach in your face? You're asking to contract the virus!
  2. Give me a few days to draw the plan and post it, but the way I see this going, the aim is to not involve elastic at all, but to run the 1" flat webbing from the shoulder arch plate to the ailette (gap protector) separate from the 2" flat webbing that will run to the bicep guard, which we will invert and reposition so it now becomes the shoulder pauldron (cap). On the shoulder arch plate, we'll be killing the two rivets that were being used to connect the elastic tendons before the guy cut 'em. This is best accomplished by turning the plate over and drilling out the rivet's shaft until it pops back out. Do the same to the ailettes. Once you've got those rivets out and the parts ready, I'll have the drawing ready for ya. We can post it here... maybe it will inspire someone else.
  3. You got a few squirts of gasoline and a match? Oh come onnnnnn, itsa DaviShield! Joking aside, a DaviShield is still a ... uhm... ~serviceable~ CP. And, with that previous hack carving it up, he actually did you a favor. It now gives you the opportunity to rebuild it right, so it fits and protects better. I have a plan in mind. You'll need: 1" flat webbing (strap) 1-1/2" or 2" seatbelt webbing (strap) Chicago screws (at least 1/2" long, no longer than 3/4"), I count 16 of them. A butane torch, nothing elaborate; a lighter will work, but not ideal A cheap scratch awl 3/8", 5/16" drill bits Good utility scissors
  4. Supervisor of ___________ ? What's his credentials, or background? In 2-man, with R1, BU is in B. We all know this, practice it, and preach it. In 2-man, with R3 Only, BU is in C, even with 2-outs. The expectation is we read the ball as it's put in play, and react accordingly. If there isn't a play immediately upon R3, and it isn't a fly ball to the big wedge of the outfield, we get across the midline (as in move, people) and either set up for a play at 1B, or watch the touch by BR at 1B and take him into 2B. In 2-man, with R1 and R3, BU is in B. Why? This is for the next most likely play out of these possibilities: 1) pickoff attempt at 1B, 2) steal attempt of 2B by R1, 3) ground ball with put-out attempt at 2B (and front-half of DP attempt if less than 2 outs), 4) ground ball with only put-out attempt at 1B, 5) fly ball to outfield with a catch & double tag attempt (albeit the other kind of double tag than R1&R2), 6)... I could keep writing more potential plays. There are several more standing between "Pickoff attempt at 3B" and "Back-pick at 3B". All the benefits of being in B outnumber / outweigh the two at being in C. In 3-man, it's an entirely different structure. With a BU at 1B (U1), with R1 & R3, U3 will be in C. Pickoff attempts to 1B are not his anyway, he's in an "okay" position for ground balls with the put-out attempt at 2B, since he doesn't have to get across the midline to judge the play at 1B. The only "challenge" he's got is to properly see a steal attempt at 2B by R1. A big deal to who? The supervisor? He's mistaken.
  5. Yeah, he would. I just did my first games of this "new epoch". Adult (akin to MSBL), with 2 hr 30 min time limit (trimmed down by 15 minutes to accommodate sanitizing the dugouts between games). Pitchers chastised to not bring the hands to the mouth. Spitting dissuaded, but if ya didn't see it, there's nothing to enforce. Gobs of hand sanitizers in both dugouts. The umpire (that'd be me) worked solo, with a mask, and was directed to call Bs & Ks from behind... the mound. Ugh. This positioning is supposed to be for this past weekend only; there's talk we go "back to normal" positioning next weekend.
  6. What the hell are you talking about?! From Wikipedia: You, beerguy55, can't gauge "contagiousness". And you sure can't compare it to other pandemics in such loose brushstrokes. And I was just about to launch into a diatribe when this article from the Washington Post appeared in my feed: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/tell-me-what-to-do-please-even-experts-struggle-with-coronavirus-unknowns/2020/05/25/e11f9870-9d08-11ea-ad09-8da7ec214672_story.html I'll pull the applicable quote out of it: That's just one paragraph. There's more. That entire article is rich with both assertions and concessions. The summary paragraph is even better:
  7. Doesn't take a pro to do it. Now, granted, this applies to base-stealing / offensive sign stealing, but I'm sure the same principle applies to pitch-sign stealing. Especially when you've got those jacka$$ coaches* who insist on using 3-4 digit numeric codes and the card sleeves. This episode from Mark Rober is enthralling for me, not only because of the science (I used to code database matrices and machine learning systems), but I have encountered most of the coaches he interviews. *- I was a catcher, and really worked my craft and skills at setting up and signaling a pitch sequence to my pitchers. I did my homework on batters and lineups. Didn't need some code called out from the dugout for everyone to hear.
  8. And I acknowledge and appreciate that. I also appreciate that you stated something that has been profoundly escaping some others here... And neither am I. That being said, a great deal of what is being stated is either anecdotal, completely devoid of data-driven specifics, or is a glut of data projections devoid of context. Even science has been changing the message as what they/we know about this virus develops over time. But in our haste to "be on top of things", and "command the ________ (message, situation, etc.)", we start spewing out superlatives and absolutes... "Most contagious contagion in history!", "40 million will contract it tomorrow!", "This virus is everywhere!!... Everyone's going to die!!!" I know! I touch my face constantly. I'm well aware of it. Yes, I will be wearing a mask of my own (as you saw in the photos), and I have made a conscious effort to refrain from touching my face when out and about. You know what cultural idiosyncrasies have to go away? Handshakes and hugs. Especially token, "decorum" handshakes, and the token hugs I've come to call "Hills & Housewives hugs". Inspired from those insipid TV shows The Hills and any of those Real Housewives, where everybody on the show get together for inane, stupid reasons, and start every interaction with the same two things – a hug, and saying, "I'm soo exciiiiiited to... ". I get it. We need contact, we crave contact. Connectedness. But we really have to stop with emphasizing, and measuring our worth on quantity of contacts and connections, and focus – once again – on quality of connection. Handshakes began in society to demonstrate that there were no weapons held or borne between the two parties. Well, in this day and age, we shouldn't be bearing weapons at each other, and then in light of this pandemic, our hands are bearing an invisible weapon.
  9. If we're getting this petty, those are Platinums, not Golds.
  10. They aren't. They're utterly useless. We can question the necessity of an additional segment above the knee; we can quibble about the necessity of the ankle wings being hardcast (like these are) versus shaped (like Force3 Ultimates), but I have yet to find any umpire – an actual, fully-&-properly equipped umpire (who should have actual plate shoes) – who needs these crudely-designed and implemented tarsal guards. Annoyingly, these are marketed as "Official MLB Gear", complete with the MLB logo! We know not a single MLB umpire uses these with the metatarsal guards attached!!
  11. I think Question #8 is a loaded question, and one that many of us get hung up on. And not just this pandemic, but on alot of the details surrounding this game. 8. Do you feel there would should be extra liability on umpires for calling games during the pandemic? I think we all could agree that there shouldn't be any additional pressure or liability put on us, as umpires. I think you see that reflected in the answers of "No", and in Question #7.
  12. As an umpire, how? Think, and keep this solely to our role as an umpire (and then we'll project this to other sports, and officiating of them), where and how am I going to have anyone coughing, spitting, sneezing, or breathing forcibly (ie. talking in close proximity) on me? Then, if that occurs, when, where or how am I going to put my fingers in my mouth or up my nose? Let's analyze a typical game, and I will preface, I shall wear a breath mask, and let's also include that I will wash my hands prior to the game and promptly after (in fact, I'll actually take a shower, but for the sake of argument, we can stick to thorough, proper hand washing): Plate Meeting – Streamline it. We don't need all the handshakes, we don't need all the superfluous talking about sportsmanship, or how to approach an official (lookin' right at you New Jersey). We just need the lineup cards and go over any odd ground rules. That can be done at this magical 6 foot distance, easily. Again, no handshakes necessary. First pitch (for each team) – Do away with introducing yourself to the catcher, and shaking his hand. No pats on the back, no reminding him of his "job" (to protect me!). Pitches in general – Take up your normal plate stance. Don't use a brace hand (you shouldn't anyway). Don't pat either catcher on the back for a "good block", or to chastise him for not "keeping you safe". Worth mentioning, science has been reporting that typical physical contact doesn't necessarily mean transmission will happen, so there's no reason to get into a panic about either catcher brushing up against you while blocking a pitch in the dirt. Rotations – Carry on as normal. Situations – We adopt the saying of things at a distance. We don't need to go talk to coaches, and they shouldn't need to talk with us. Discussions – Stay away from your partner as much as possible. There's no reason you need to get together with him on calls, or even between innings. In fact, this is what we should be doing anyway. Hydration – Bring your own. Keep it by the fence and use it as needed. Don't rely on (or expect) either team to bring it to you. Post-game – Get off the field. Don't get in the handshake line (there shouldn't be one anyway), and don't wait around glad-handing with the players, coaches, or your partner. Go back to your car, de-gear, pack up (sanitize your hands at this point, sure), and get home to a shower ASAP. Find it. Find the spot in there where I'm "going to contract the virus". This might be good time for some additional reading: Coronavirus 'does not spread easily' by touching surfaces or objects, CDC says. Now, let's take this to other sports, as an official. Soccer? Football? Hockey? Basketball? Tennis? Volleyball? I'm having trouble identifying anything...
  13. There are several factors in play here. Consider also that the Big Leagues are on the precipice of contracting the Minor Leagues (from 5-6 teams per franchise parent club to, perhaps 2 or 3) and condensing the draft from umpteen rounds to 5. The latter measure is in response to the pandemic crisis, but once implemented, I don’t think it will be rescinded. The need for “organic” evaluation and development has been waning for awhile, at least since the advent of digital video and YouTube. The potential recruits of today have been tracked and had video amassed on them since they were playing on a 46-60 field! And, once most reach high school varsity, they are at a stage which most of the “unknown” qualities (or “intangibles”) have been identified and packaged into a composite that a club will either act on, or pass on. Colleges are now poised to take the role that many lower level minor leagues have performed in in the past. Independent pro leagues are also going to be in a position to replace or supplement the downsized minor leagues. Now, if D-1 goes to a later season schedule, then that means less players available to some of the independent pro leagues.
  14. eBay. Here's a vendor: Neck Gaiter on eBay Here's the one I bought from: Another Neck Gaiter on eBay I really wanted to get one of the camo ones, but they didn't have the pre-sewn ear slots.
  15. My facemask has arrived! It's a very lightweight material, billed as SPF40+ for UV protection, and has ear slots in it. I've been taking my mask-cage off and on repeatedly for the past 15 minutes, and there's been no foul-ups or significant shifting of it. Nothing that would cause me to touch my face. So yeah, I'll be wearing this for this weekend's games. Yes, we just received offers (not assignments, offers. Voluntary) for games this weekend. Men's amateur league stuff. Some of my fellow citizens are absolutely stir-crazy. I will be conducting the game from the exact, "normal" position that a PU or BU would take. We (my umpire partner and I) will be running positions, rotations, mechanics, and responsibilities _with no change from what we typically do_. Except, yeah, I'll be wearing this here facemask. And washing my hands prior to the game, washing my hands after, and will be taking a shower after the last game. I mean, washing the hands... just to get off the ~incredible, innumerable~ amount of viruses I'm going to have on my hands after touching the ball(s). The ball(s) which ~someone~ here still has to prove to me harbors viruses that will cause me to contract the virus and die. Enough of this. Back to baseball.
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