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Everything posted by MadMax

  1. As the resident... resident?... I don’t really reside anywhere, so... infamous Road Umpire, I have relied on the Fūl 30” Workhorse: It has been nothing short of bombproof. It is based around a cast ABS tub, so it won’t deform under typical loads. The wheels are externally mounted, so if they need to be replaced, it’s rather simple. Extendable handle is robust (lacking on Wilson’s), the zipper pulls don’t break under finger pressure (like Wilson’s do), (paused to edit later)
  2. Well willya lookit that… no hard-attached tarsal plates. Wilson’s finally figured it out, that those plates are useless! Although, “supply chain issues” might have something to do with it. 🙄
  3. Enthusiastically concur. In the thousands of amateur games I've officiated, both as PU or BU, we haven't called an adjustment of the cap, with or without the ball in hand, as a Balk. Doesn't quack like a duck.
  4. Especially when they still haven’t gotten any endorsement or acknowledgment from MLB, and the great Gold W Slug has yet, 20 years on, to do anything noteworthy on behalf of umpires. And no, an aluminum DynaLite ain’t a unique introduction. Diamond was having Wilson’s lunch in the amateur umpire ranks with their iX3.
  5. I’m posting this quick, and will discuss more details later… This second photo is the true magic of D3O. Schutt sandwiched it in a laminate with a Moisture Transport membrane and some open lattice foam. And when they shoot a pattern of 10mm holes in it, that not only decreases weight (marginal, but still), but increases surface area to allow moisture to evaporate! The problem that befalls +POS, Champion, and Champro is that in order to reduce thickness of the foam (stand-off distance), they have to increase density. At some point, the primary foam switches from open cell to closed cell, and when not a dynamic foam (such as D3O), it just becomes a moisture wall. By contrast, Douglas and Wilson haven’t budged off open-cell upholstery foam, which may allow for a lighter dry weight, but in-use, just becomes sodden with moisture and traps heat! Your approach of segmenting the foam jacket – alá All-Star – is ideal; however, I’m going to advocate for going one step better… tracking down and/or constructing your/our own laminate foam.
  6. Order of events is called / administered wrong. It should be: R2; F1 (pitcher) begins delivery Balk is called Pitch is fouled off (“Foul” is called or signaled) Balk is addressed and enforced; R2 is awarded 3B, Batter returns to/remains in box, and PU states the previous count (no pitch) F1 engages to rubber (with ball), Batter in box, catcher in position, and PU calls/signals “Play” It’s not that the ball wasn’t in play, it’s that it wasn’t a valid pitch.
  7. Easy to do. Don’t feel like poop 💩, and don’t apologize. You’re working solo. Yup. Instead of rapidly calling an Out (with either vocal or mechanic), do this: Point at and call “Tag!” when it happens… Steal glance towards Home Plate; if Runner short of HP, you now know he won’t be scored; if Runner is beyond plate, he is to be scored… Promptly turn focus back to Fielder, Ball, and Runner; if Fielder has maintained possession, mechanic Out, and score/deny accordingly; if Fielder has lost the ball, don’t mechanic an Out, mechanic “bobble” or “ball on ground”, and then signal/call Safe or Out when appropriate. It is far, far easier to recover/correct a call of “Tag” than a call of “Out”, if the ball comes free by bobble or drop.
  8. “Pre-faded” and color matched for those… aged… HS association shirts. You know the ones, where your partner still won’t buy a new shirt since entering the association back when soda cost 25¢. Except Ohio… where TPTB will once again compel the umpire staff to buy “new” navy shirts, complete with “current, approved” logo. 🙄
  9. And what is “the problem”? On my post, I did express that there was the recommended way; I tried it and didn’t like it. So, as I’m apt to do, I fiddled around and changed it, and what you see in the photos is what I came up with. It works for me, both feel and function. Sure, I’ve got several bits of feedback for Ray regarding them. We talk often enough, and we’re constantly bouncing ideas off each other. But does he adopt every request or bit of design insight I give him? Not at all! The guy’s got his own company to run, and he’s got way more experience than I do, or could ever hope to have.
  10. PM Sent. I’m acting as a broker. 😎
  11. And you wonder (and mock) why I loathe Wilson so much. 🙄
  12. Has this guy ever, I don’t know, actually read a/the rule book?? I’m not talking a cursory skimming, I’m talking an actual in-depth read, analysis and reflection. One thing that is missing from this entire situation – play and call – is who was where and called what? If this was 2-man, how would a BU ever have any perspective or input on whether this batted ball was Fair or Foul? This batted ball is entirely within the judgement of the PU; thus, if he (your persnickety partner) was PU, on this judgement call, I’d let him sink or swim on his own; as you’ve pointed out, no amount of rule citation now is gonna change him. If he made that call, and then audibly justified it, even if he justified it completely wrong, you have to realize, you/we can’t rectify it, because it was in front of the base (not beyond). Conversely, if you were PU – which it reads like you were – you have to know you need not (audibly) justify this Fair/Foul call. Sure, you have to know how this determination is justified, but you surely never have to explain it – let alone cite it – to another participant. Call Foul / Signal Fair, answer “I had it Foul (or Fair)” if questioned, and move on.
  13. MadMax

    Dropped strike 3

    Does he make contact with the ball? No? Then he can certainly (attempt to) advance to 1B on the U3K. The offering to bunt is the same as a full, clean swing thru the pitch.
  14. As my gear block reads, I now use Nike Air Zoom Vomeros, which are a tech-fabric running shoe, and I’m soon to add Nike Wildhorse Trail-running shoes. NB Vaadu’s when the conditions are “beyond usual baseball”. Ventilation helps.
  15. MadMax


    No, we’re not heartless nor inhumane. There is. Even professional baseball has an unwritten provision, established by Harry Wendelstedt – “Common Sense and Fair Play”. Even in a professional game, if a play imperils the life or health of a player, the umpires are given the latitude to call Time and immediately get the player attended to. Think: come-backer to a pitcher’s face. If they have this provision and latitude in the professional game, it goes without saying they’ll have it in the amateur game.
  16. But hey, the association leads / guy-who-makes-the-decision is getting their / his kickback on every shirt sold. Fastest way to make money as an umpire? Host an umpire camp / clinic, baited with a who’s-who list of notable umpires who will be “evaluating”, or arrange and impose a uniform code on your association. #WearWhateverWorks If you allow patches, you allow choice, and if you allow choice… then your association doesn’t need you, or need to follow your directives.
  17. The sledgehammer should be frightening. This is DEFCON 1, the nuclear option. The sledgehammer does, and has to, exist, though, so as to have an escalating scale of resolution. It has to exist so as to say, “You know, we shouldn’t be yelling at each other over this.” But, even as nation-states get pigheaded and refuse to listen to reason while negotiating, that “last measure to resort to” has to be there, known to both parties. And no, a protest is not the last measure available to an umpire crew. Why? Because an umpire crew (is supposed to) succeeds as a crew, and fails as a crew. Again, I’m not talking judgement. I’m talking rules application. Of course, the most poignant example of this was that Mexican Pro League crew that, on a full swinging strike that everyone in the park and on TV witnessed, refused to rectify once the Plate Umpire declined to call it as a swinging strike. Once beseeched, the U1 further compounded the problem by calling “no swing”, likely because he didn’t want to overturn / refute his PU and save the PU’s pride or embarrassment. Well, the League fired the PU and U1, and suspended U2 and U3, because they declined to step in and rectify the situation. I’ll tell you this much – I do not want to lose my job (of umpiring) because my partner wants to be obstinate a$$, misapply a rule, and it goes to protest review. No way. FWIW, I take mostly a scalpel, or at worst a steak knife, approach. 🙂
  18. In the thousands of games I’ve worked, all over this great land, I have never had game conditions wherein I remarked, “You know, I’m thankful I have these polished leather (or syn-leather) shoes to keep my feet warm / dry / looking shiny & spiffy!” Never. If it’s to be a particularly wet, soggy, or messy (muddy, dirty) game, I use my New Balance Vaadu’s, which use a nifty vinyl “dragonskin” upper to repel water, be flexible, and ventilate. Otherwise, the only thing that determines which of other mesh shoes I’ll be wearing is: Turf or natural? I want a particular tread. How much direct sunlight? I don’t want my newest, blackest shoes to start fading (which happens to mesh shoes in the desert here). Otherwise, as far as keeping them shiny and spiffy, that impression is gone after the plate meeting, and to clean ‘em, I just hit ‘em with my trusty air compressor and then scrub the soles with shoe cleaner and a brush. Done! Actual, bonafide “umpire” base shoes are overrated.
  19. Oh! If you do this, @concertman1971, we’re going to have to develop a D-ring loop solution for you to install on the trailing edge of the shoulder-arch plates. +POS may have had the foresight to use 1.5” side-release buckles, but he (it was a guy at +POS, I know him) unfortunately hard-attached the 1” yoke straps with rivets. Those gotta go.
  20. If you wear this, you must bellow “Saaaaaaaaiiiiiiiii!!!” for a strike, like a real samurai would! Holy crap, @wolfe_man and @The Short Umpire, lookit all the rivets!!! I don’t think there’s enough Chicago Screws in the free market to replace ‘em all! That’s the reason why this thing was so heavy, @BT_Blue, it’s all the fastener hardware! Concert, if each of those shiny rivets (not the black ones holding the scales together) represent a fastening of the carapace (hard plastic) to the padding jacket (vinyl-skinned torso), please let us (gear geeks) know, and we’ll devise a solution involving a better system. You’ll want to (almost have to, actually) kill rivets holding the pad to the carapace, so that not only can you re-skin the pad freely and completely, but you can also remove it later to launder the pad. I’d also recommend separating the pectoral wings and using Velcro to reattach, so you can reposition them... or maybe use a thinner one from a different CP such as a Schutt-Adams or Wilson...
  21. It’s important to note, that several travel / tournament series (such as PG, TripleCrown, NCS, WP, UA, PW) will use NFHS Rules as their core ruleset, then modify several to suit their format. This charged conferences rule is often the first one to go, substituted for the OBR one, or a simplified “1 free, next you pull him” per-inning rule. It’s entirely possible that NFHS may adopt the same rule NCAA uses (6: 3 for coaches, 3 for all else). We gotta get that F6 to stop requesting time to pat his F1 on the a$$.
  22. It’s replaced for the moment, but that ball might be used again. The ballboy at a Major League game, positioned by the home dugout and on-deck circle, has a supply of new (rubbed) baseballs in a tote; on the other side, he has a fairly large tub / bucket. Most balls taken out of play are relayed to this ballboy; he is given the discretion to put them right back into the tote, discard them into the bucket, or to occasionally give one to a fan. Ever so often, a MLB Authenticator will appear in the dugout and will retrieve a ball from the game or from the ballboy for the purposes of archiving or selling in the Team Store. Now, those discard balls in the bucket do not get sent down to the Minor Leagues. Instead, they are either shuttled down to the bullpens, relayed to the dugouts to be used as warmup balls (note that the typical practice now is for the fielders to toss the warmups in the stands), or kept for live batting practice the next few days. They’ve got plenty.
  23. Ahhhh… Michigan baseball. Trapped in the 1990s. I know it’s you, Jeff ( @Thunderheads ) on plate in the HOK photo because you’re wearing 450’s. Still. And Jeff! I know it’s you on bases in the other photo, but I’m concerned… … I think your plate partner is wearing his CP like a leaden X-Ray apron. 🫣
  24. Credentials don’t matter $h!t in a game. Even if a member of the crew is the Crew Chief, that title holds largely administrative and ambassadorial responsibilities. Unfortunately, NFHS still deifies the PU as some kind of overriding, final-say, word-is-law overlord. Now, at the amateur level, can your call of INT be rectified? Sure. It’ll be messy, and it prompts the discussion that you shouldn’t have made that call from the start, and should not / will not going forward. But it certainly doesn’t require that dude to start proclaiming his (perception of his own) virtues. 🙄 This call of “Balk” is your anchor point, the fulcrum that everything else you two are about to discuss works upon and around. So… Rules knowledge is sorely lacking, with all participants… the umpires included. If this had been OBR, which it wasn’t, but let’s say it was, this play result would have nullified the Balk. It must be said, tho, there is no option – no declining or accepting. However, this was NFHS Rules… surely somebody knew this, right? The Balk call immediately kills the baseball (thus, no pitch), and it must be enforced. R1 is advanced 1 base and is awarded 2B, and the batter resumes his at-bat with, again, no pitch added to the count. But then, your BU partner – who called the Balk in the first place – returns R1 to 1B??!! He, in essence, “cancelled” the Balk. So (in essence), if he’s not going to enforce the penalty, then why call it??!! Yes, I’m feigning histrionics here. What you’re admitting to, and I do acknowledge and respect that you are admitting to it, is that you let him get away with this idiocy!!! Listen, there’s something to be said about “getting a call wrong” (a mistake), or “poor/rushed judgement” on another, but when one umpire misapplies a rule or makes-$h!t-up-as-a-rule, and then another umpire or the crew is complicit in it, and doesn’t correct it, then the game is damaged. Professionally and personally, I don’t care my partner’s credentials or experience, I’m going to correct the rule, right then and there on the field, before we proceed. While I certainly can control how I go about it (scalpel vs sledgehammer), I cannot control how resistant the guy becomes or how embarrassed he may feel as a result of it. The plain simple truth is – the correction must happen.
  25. They were conducting some extremely wishful thinking. The entire reason a Force3 UnEqual CP costs as much as it does is the Kevlar-infused foam laminate (sandwich) inside. The primary disadvantage to Kevlar is that it (rapidly) decays in UV light, so it has to be jacketed in a non-UV-permeable fabric, in this case, neoprene. Thus, the plates are internal… which doesn’t convince the Doubting Thomas -crowd. Also, where the Force3 underperforms is when an on-body fit isn’t achieved. If it’s worn loose, an impact just propels the CP against the body in a big ol’ SLAP! and you’re left wondering, “I thought I wasn’t going to feel anything?” So the vaunted Force3 has some flaws, but it has that low profile, non-bulky aspect that makes it so desirable. However, so do the Champion P2xx’s, the Schutt-Adams XV’s, and the All-Star Cobalts. What Wilson just refuses to grasp is that all these low-profile units are employing multi-layer, advanced foam laminates. Using a chunk of upholstery foam ain’t the answer… and neither will be one continuous sheet of memory foam. And that “air management system”? It’s a marketing term… which amounts to a lie… … unless I’m proven otherwise. Get my carpet knife.
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