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Everything posted by MadMax

  1. A reduction in quality??!! 😲 Here's the essential difference... Wilson protective equipment uses this: inside a skin of the most basic of nylon. The kind that's used on Coleman camping tents and chairs. By contrast, All-Star, Champion, Schutt/Adams, heck, even Champro are using much more advanced foam laminates. The darling of the dance is Force3, which is infusing a layer of Kevlar into the foam laminate to achieve substantial energy absorption on the minimum of thickness. The problem that plagues Force3, though, has to do with the carapace (or lack thereof). Here, the plastic plates are segmented and within the foam matrix. Umpires are very Thomas-esque, and don't put much faith in something they can't see or blatantly feel. The first version of the UnEqual CP lacked "blast" plates entirely, and set the fear that any subsequent embedded inclusions (other than putting an external carapace on) weren't adequate enough. But, this "out in left field" thinking results in a very conforming, low-profile design that really thumbs its nose at the bloated sofa cushion CPs. Schutt made their headway in football. The bitter wars between the manufacturers force development to advance; if you settle and stagnate, you get left behind. At one time, Riddell, Schutt, All-American, Douglas, Wilson, and Rawlings all shared the lucrative football landscape. As football athletes demanded sleeker and lighter football pad sets, the manufacturers all adjusted and modified their designs to suit. Carapaces got lighter and more conformed, while the padding – the foam – began to diversify. After the CTE investigation and reports came to light, the manufacturers really kicked their development into gear and began employing new, highly advanced foams into the helmets, where weight, heat-shedding, and volume is at a premium. The foams began to be engineered to behave in dynamic ways when impact forces were applied, all with the goal of mitigating / isolating the physical movement of the brain within the skull. One of these "magical" foams was put forth by a British company under the trademarked name 3DO. Not only is it hydrophobic (sheds water), but it also performs "dynamic resistance" – when an impacting force loads upon it, its resistance curve is non-linear (am I saying that right?). This behavior is not dependent upon volume, which common open-cell upholstery foam relies upon so badly. So this is the stuff here: MTS = "Moisture Transfer System", another hydrophobic material that is optimized to diffuse water away from one surface to another. Schutt had originally obtained 3DO under license to implement it into their football helmets. One of their designers tried 3DO in certain models of football pads (expressly for receivers and quarterbacks), and the XV Chest Protector for baseball. Subsequently, they've had to copy 3DO so as to implement it into further shoulder pads, CPs (for catchers and umpires) and shinguards, but this "unbranded" version is for all intents and purposes the same. Furthermore, Schutt is limited (by trade regulations) on how many units they can ship over from their Asian sources, and so to optimize their football quotas, they moved their umpire gear to their subsidiary Adams brand. Additionally, 3DO is only licensed to Schutt, so the Adams models cannot advertise the 3DO name. This whole nonsense that "the West Vest (Gold) is the only CP that can handle MLB speeds!" is a load of rubbish. I can say, with complete confidence, that I have worn my Schutt XV on 95+ MPH, and it is completely up to the task (yes, I've even been PU on 101 MPH).
  2. When performed and appealed in the sequence you give, R3 scores (a run). As soon as the call upon BR is made of Out on appeal of not touching 1B, then the “force is off” for the other runners. Thus, R1 proceeding to 2B and 3B is non-forced, and everything becomes time-plays. Had the sequence been switched around, and BR is the “last” appeal performed, then no other runs would have been scored. Or, let’s say there had been 2 outs, and instead of appealing on BR’s failure to touch 1B (or let’s say he did, was appealed upon, and BU verified he did touch), then the appeal upon R1 for his failure to touch 2B is performed, and he’s called Out on that appeal. Then R3’s run would be invalidated because of the force still being On upon R1 at 2B.
  3. I’m really diggin’ Mark Carlson (in AL WC) and Dan Bellino (Game 1, ALDS) actually vocalizing pitch locations, in addition to calling “Ball”s. “Out”, “Low”, “In”… “No, that’s up”… at one point, Carlson clearly says “down and out”. Huh! So that means those evaluators and feedback “dishers” saying “Don’t say pitch location. Big League guys don’t give pitch location, why should you?” are full of 💩. And I was especially keen on Bellino whippin’ a new ball out there on a ball exchange. No bellowing of “Time!”, no needless mechanics. Zunino is flippin’ the potentially scuffed ball to the dugout, and Bellino’s got a new one already enroute to the F1. Three cheers for situational awareness.
  4. They’re softer than the first renditions, with more Lycra (spandex) in the blend. The first swath of material was stiffer, coarser than Majestic’s beloved CoolBase. This latest Smitty offering is more akin to the CoolBase, and as such, is cut a bit trimmer and sleeker. Honig’s still has everyone beat on softness, and the Honig’s arms / sleeves are less baggy. Torso length is also slightly shorter, matched size to matched size. Honig’s collars are smaller, but not as structured.
  5. MadMax

    WSJ tweet

    More important than just this, the Force3 Defender has become the Official Mask of Major League Baseball (catchers). What does this mean? The Defender can proudly be emblazoned with the cherished MLB logo. Ya hear that Wilson?!?! This is what progress looks like! Now, why don’t more MLB Umpires use it? Because, the unpublished protocol for Major League umpires receiving a head impact is they are coming out of the game, regardless of how they “feel” at that time. Why? Because the players (and by extension, the pitching & hitting coaches of the clubs) now have the perception that that Plate Umpire’s discernment of balls & strikes may – not is, may – be compromised. So, it’s more agreeable to exchange in another plate umpire than for the existing umpire to “battle through it”. Thus, if you are coming out of the game anyway, you are much more likely to favor a mask that’s either inexpensive, but serviceable (hence why the Dynalite still makes its appearance), or is extremely light and strong (All-Star FM4K-Mag, Nike Ti Icon, Wilson DynaTitanium, et.al.), strong enough to survive one helluva whallop. The Force3 Defender, by contrast, is designed to take multiple impacts, at the cost of unit weight. It excels at taking you to the next impact. Honestly, we don’t need a Force3 / All-Star hybrid; we need Wilson to pi$$ or get off the pot. #MoveAsideForProgress
  6. What is this, softball? You said “JC ball”… Typo? J_V_ ball? A Junior College game, even “fall ball” stuff, is relegated to a poor, pathetic skinned infield? Ugh. Obviously, level / intensity of play influences a lot of this positional decision; however, there is a recent Ex-MLB Umpire here in Phoenix who is encouraging us to “get out of our comfort zone” on these situations and we’ll find the following positioning to be to our benefit – in terms of being in, seeing, and selling calls – than to our hazard or peril. What he’s advising, with the infield in, is a position I’ve called the C-Hatch-Cover. Typically (for here), there is a sprinkler head or hatch access cover to the hose outlet about 3 feet behind the mound. The BU takes up a position, hands-on-knees (ie. Ready) with his left foot behind this hatch cover (maybe another 3-5 feet), shaded to C. The F6 should be off to his right and behind. This is not a position for the cowardly lion, nor for the sluggish-of-shoe. This does, however, put you in a much more engaged position, able to turn and see a lined ball enter the glove of all 4 infielders, especially of F4 and F6. You are also able to maintain a much better angle for a backpick (from F2) to F5 upon R3, you are more responsive to a hotshot being cutoff and a throw or tag attempt made upon R3, stuck between 3B and HP, and if R3 is either frozen to 3B or he’s to the HP such that the defense abandons a play on him and then throws on to 1B, you’re already in a better position than at C Deep. Consider it.
  7. Hey! Ease up on me! I'm one of the Gen-X'ers that built the bloody thing! I know it's a rotten cesspool! Besides, he (BrainFreeze) is new here... I'm used to seeing our handy sarcastic emoji warning
  8. Adding to @tpatience's excellent advice, request an extra-strong stitch, and/or eliminate as much extra material from the tucked-up hem as possible. This prevents it from snagging on the shin guard plates when you crouch and extend, crouch and extend.
  9. What is this? /s = Sarcasm? Smile? Sarcastic smile? Both fists are not "full count". Two fists can be interpreted as "no count". 3 balls & 2 strikes, 3–2 – or a "full count" in the parlance of the players and public – is given with 3 fingers on the left, and 2 on the right. Show one (modern) Professional umpire that gives a "full count" with two fists. ... ... It was a good, beneficial post until that last bit. Pay me no mind if you were being sarcastic.
  10. From the way the OP reads, and the way he's stating "Delayed Dead Ball", he knows this was Interference... what he is/was uncertain about was how it immediately changes the status of the baseball (from Live to Dead, with the killing word being "Time!"). It reads that R2 "made contact" and was guilty of Interference. Because the umpire didn't call "Time!" (which he should have), F6 reacted in a panic and still tried to throw out BR at 1B... which he didn't have to, because any action after that type of Interference is null, void, and moot. Yes, you are correct that if the fielder isn't hindered, then there's no Interference; however, in this play, it reads as if hinderance / interference did indeed happen. So after re-reading what I typed, and reading a few of the other replies, I myself am confused as to who would be out on the second Out. Here's why: If we have R2 only, then we obviously don't have a DP possible. Thus, if R2 commits INT against F6 on a ground ball, R2 is Out and BR is placed at 1B, regardless of F6 throwing to 1B in time to beat BR (for an apparent second out). Right? Right. If we have R1 and R2, we have a DP possible. Thus, if R2 commits INT against F6 on a ground ball, and it is judged to be hindering or impeding that Double Play, then we've got R2 with the first Out (on INT) and we call BR out(?). Yes? BR? If that's the case, then where does R1 go? Back to 1B then? I'm not disputing with that, if that's the case. There are situations, albeit very rare ones, that a DP is possible, and that second Out isn't called on BR... because the BR is the one who is guilty of the Interference. Please correct me if I'm wrong (any/all of you), but if we've got bases loaded, less than 2 outs, and Batter bunts or gets sawn off to bat a Fair ball out in front of the plate, impedes the F2 (who is the protected fielder) from getting to the ball so as to make a play upon R3 (who is Forced), that R3 can be called Out? Señor Azul just cited the OBR ruling that it is, for a DP, correct: On my 3rd point (triple play?), yeah, I'm incorrect.
  11. There is no Delayed Dead Ball... Interference here is an immediate dead ball. An umpire's call should be "That's Interference! Time!" (thereby killing the live baseball). Yes, R2 is Out for the (his) Interference. Here's where this breaks down further: If there were 2 Outs at TOP, then this is the 3rd Out, inning is over. If there was 1 Out at TOP, then you/an umpire have to judge the batted ball and impending play. Routine grounder? Then we've got an Out on the Interference, and we can call R1 or BR Out because R2's act of INT was to break up a DP. 3 Outs, inning is over. Otherwise, if this was a smash into the gap, and the F6 would have otherwise had to make a play and throw on in the attempt to get 1 Out, then we've got R2 Out on his INT, and BR is placed (we use the term "placed", not "awarded") on 1B, while R1 because he is forced, is placed at 2B. The crux is that the umpire must judge whether a DP attempt was possible or not. [!! -- THIS IS NOT VALID -- !!] Here's where it gets a little tricky – If there was 0 Outs at TOP, then you/an umpire have to judge the batted ball and impending play. Routine grounder that a "normal" set of infielders turns into a 6-4-3 Double Play? We could conceivably get 3 outs here; 1 for R2's INT, and 2 more from the prevented DP. This last one I'm uncertain about (I've never been in this situation before), so someone else may have a more applicable answer. Otherwise, if this wasn't a routine grounder, then we've got an interpretation just like the previous one.
  12. As an umpire, I'd rather you did deal with it, however you choose to (other than to celebrate it). I bristle at partners who project their own "moral and ethical code" upon a game, and I especially get annoyed at evaluators / upper-level-umpires who decree "you (as an umpire) have to get that, you have to address that, you have to warn/restrict/eject for that!" I once was doing a varsity High School game between two Catholic schools (shame, I'm Non-Denom Christian... or maybe that's more advantageous?) and after striking out, the batter drops a big "F*#k me!" as he heads towards the dugout. It wasn't directed at yours truly, but it sure was loud enough for the fans to hear, among them the very nice nun sitting in "summer uniform" in the stands between the plate and the dugout. I didn't bother to try and chase the kid down, or yell at him with his back turned, or warn him, or eject him... I simply locked eyes with his bench coach, pointed at the retired batter, and said, "He can't be doin' that." Bench coach replies, "I got it!" Guess who was removed from the ball game by his own coach?
  13. It’s entirely possible they’re de-logo’d Majestic’s (sleeve) or they’re Smitty’s or Honig’s with the center-yoke logo obscured. It’s that contract with Nike compelling that action. Sheesh, all this kerfuffle over a logo, the size of a dime, on an umpire. Now do you see why I hold Wilson in such contempt? 🤨
  14. Majestic simply isn’t making them anymore. They’re under no contractual obligation to anymore, due to Nike rolling in and scooping up the MLB contract. Someone had to, after Majestic’s parent company made it be known they had no interest in renewing the contract, and UnderArmour subsequently signed on and then crapped out. Turns out paying (already overpaid) professional athletes is expensive! Nike taking over the MLB clothier contract is neither good nor bad, save two things it reveals for us as umpires, either: 1) Nike doesn’t care about MLB Umpires in its plans, or B) Someone within MLBU has the clout to reject anything Nike is designing and/or suggesting.
  15. The last fabricator to make them in flat front charcoals was Boombah (and yes, they were a men’s cut). There are some flat fronts in heather grey still on the market, but that’s due to most flat fronts being favored by women, and women predominantly in softball 🥎 and of course, some softball leagues still delineating heather grey… you know… only because charcoal is baseball ⚾️.
  16. BG55, please understand who is asking this, and also understand that I’m not asking specifically _you_, but asking a broad swath of umpires & coaches – baseball participants – alike who seem to ask the same question you just did: Why so quick to eject?
  17. You are, unfortunately, never going to find it. The reason you will never find it lies in the purpose of NOCSAE's existence. Sure, on paper, NOCSAE can state they are striving to improve safety and protection of amateur athletes, but their purpose is to alleviate liability of the manufacturers, especially in regards to a class-action lawsuit. NOCSAE is comprised of representatives of several professional medical review boards, experts therein, certified equipment managers, certified equipment reconditioners, coaches, and a representative of each of the (acknowledged / licensed) manufacturers, as well as an NCAA and NFHS rep. The primary focus of NOCSAE is to mitigate or eliminate head injuries in sports requiring helmets and/or involving head trauma; as to this goal, this usually involves football, baseball, and lacrosse. Do note – none of the professional sports leagues are represented within NOCSAE, nor do any of the manufacturers necessarily want them to be included. The reason for this is that professional (ie. adult) customers can make their own research and decisions when purchasing their equipment. However, amateur athletes – especially those at public-funded schools – cannot afford that luxury, and are often using institution-issued gear. Thus, the institutions must perform due diligence with the manufacturers to assure (or certify) that the produced gear meets safety criteria that a governing body – in this case, NOCSAE – ratifies. Why am I explaining all this? Because, if the ulterior motive of NOCSAE's certification is remove litigious liability in the instance of an injury, you – the parent and/or legal guardian – might be able to have a lawyer draft you up an exemption letter. Think this out with me... A traditional "two-piece" mask and hard hat (AKA skull cap, AKA earflap-less batting helmet) is and has been just as protective as HSMs regarding frontal concussive impacts. However, to achieve NOCSAE certification, the piece of gear must impede or reduce impact forces that has been determined by physicians to a number (I can't remember it off-hand) that breaks cranial bones and produces hemorrhaging, and prevents visible head injuries (bruises and lacerations). It's on this second point where traditional "two-piece" masks fail because they don't cover the ears, and the ears are definitely considered part of the head. As such, side impacts (such as when a catcher turns his head, or a ball ricochets to find its way there, or a batter has a "loose" follow through, or lets go of the bat) bring with them a much higher risk. So, as callous as it sounds, accept (officially, legally) the risk. Perhaps a lawyer can draft for you a legally-binding document that waives liability for your son (specifically; no-one else on the team could use this) to use a conventional two-piece. Again, the reason for the NOCSAE certification is to limit (remove) the liability for a player to sue a school and/or manufacturer for issuing them gear that "would have prevented this injury" (or failure therein). This document would have to be presented to the school, retained by the coach, and also presented to the UIC (in Fed, it's the PU) prior to that game (the reason we umpires get conjoined in this liability crap is because we are the Fed's "enforcers"). This isn't unprecedented. Many amateur leagues and tournament series utilizing NFHS rules waive or ignore the NOCSAE requirements because they themselves are not issuing the gear. Instead, the participants are bringing their own gear and are (purportedly) making their own purchasing decisions. There's a whole bunch of other legalese in this, but that's the gist of it. Now, from the other perspective or approach... Have you (more so, your son) truly tried keeping the HSM on as much as possible? I was a catcher for 16 years (and have been an umpire for 13 years), and while I never used a HSM during that time (as a catcher, they became prominent after my high school days), it never ceases to amaze me that coaches / fans think and project that a catcher must take that mask off every time a pitch gets away from the mitt, or becomes a batted ball. I've lost count the piles upon piles of HSMs (and, to be fair, TMs) that have been catapulted off the catcher in front of me to land at my feet... on a ball that is already over the backstop, or rolling just over ~there~ while no runners are on base! It just becomes engrained habit! Well, stop engraining it! How often do we see MLB catchers catapult off their HSMs? Relatively few times, actually. They certainly don't fling them off so as to throw during a steal attempt (no time!), they typically don't fling them off on a pitch in the dirt (again, no time!), and even on most pop-ups, they leave the HSM on so as to pursue the pop-up as rapidly as possible. Most pro-grade HSMs (think All-Star and Easton) have minimal cages on them to maximize visibility. Why's that? Not only because visibility is an utmost premium in the pro game, but also because these HSMs aren't being dumped on the ground on a repetitive basis like shared, issued amateur HSMs are!!!! I spent several years as a hockey goalie, several years as a Wide Receiver, Punt & Kick Returner in football, and even tried my hand at lacrosse. In each of those, you're looking for a (moving) ball (puck) through a wire cage anyway... right??!! So why this obsession with dumping off the mask for baseball??!! So, another option, as @ousafe has mentioned is to get a really, really good HSM and leave it on as much as possible. From my experience and knowledge base, All-Star and Easton have the most minimal of cages so as to promote visibility. Going further, I got my hands on an UnderArmour Converge HSM (not the Victory!) and it is noticeably wider and more accommodating in the eyes area, with less intrusion(?) on the flanks, so maybe your son would be able to flick this HSM up and off without disturbing or unseating his glasses? Wow, I pushed the word count on this one... thanks for keeping up. Got any more questions, drop us a message.
  18. If it's a P220, it's a 13". If it's a P210, it's a 15". If it's a P200, it's a 17". And yes, an All-Star DeltaFlex will work on it... as would a Force3 NewFlex... as would that What-Took-Them-So-Freakin'-Long??!! Wilson replacement harness... as would the Schutt O-Flex... ... but why wouldn't you get an UmpLife "RayFlex" harness??!!
  19. My adjacent opinion is they are sniffing and becoming envious of the aroma of Jomboy's popularity on YouTube. Viewers don't seem to care if your material is analytical or particularly correct (different than generally correct), they want to be entertained. And Jomboy's videos are entertaining. And of course, YouTube compensates for viewings and click-thrus. Who other than fellow umpires want to hear the minutia of a baseball play that no one other than fellow umpires will understand? Who wants chapter and verse of rulebooks quoted and dissected to them? Especially in that voice. *shudder* A very applicable parallel can be drawn between Top Gear / The Grand Tour / Drive Tribe (whichever entity Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May appear on) and MotorTrend. MotorTrend has always produced factual reviews and analysis of hundreds of automobiles over the years. Top Gear made it entertainment, and enjoys viewership in excess of 350 million viewers across 200-some territories. The material they present is outlandish, only marginally factual, and spilling over with biased opinions, but damn!... is it entertaining.
  20. MadMax


    Yes, IFF can be called post-facto, your Humble Opinion notwithstanding. Were the conditions for IFF met? Yes. Did the batted fly ball qualify as an IFF? Yes. Obviously, the ball wasn't caught, and as you said, a "series of runs were scored off several throwing errors". So, chaos ensued, and no outs were recorded on the play as it happened. This would be an entirely different discussion had the defense let the ball drop, and turned a triple play by forcing runners to advance that weren't (by IFF rule) under obligation to do so. Thus, a very appropriate judgement to make on this play, even post-facto, is to call the BR out on the IFF. The ball wasn't caught, so any tag-up responsibility is off the table. Any advancements or runs scored by the offense (other than the BR) are valid. It's not like this ends the inning – there'd only be 1 out or 2 outs, now. Your Humble Opinion or not, there isn't a grounds for a "do over". That was a Fair batted ball. The umpires did not call "Foul" or "Time" during the play (thereby killing it / making it Dead), so the play has to stand. There wasn't an act of nature or of God that disrupted the play. So, you're correct in saying that there is no do-over, but it's not based on your Opinion.
  21. Hmm… 🤔 I’m sensing something. Based on what @johnnyg08 so aptly summarized above, have you considered that those plate partners might be wrong, or overdoing things, or adding complexities that aren’t needed, don’t fit the context, or aren’t used elsewhere?
  22. On who’s part? The PU?? If we’ve got PU making a safe / that’s-nothing signal (either on his own, or taught to) to indicate he’s declining / denying / refusing a check swing appeal… 😵‍ 😬 🤨 Why not just grant the appeal??!!
  23. @johnnyg08, you must be citing an OBR-based ruleset, because if I recall correctly, NFHS still lacks the compulsion / obligation / direction – “must” – for PU to check. I think that’s still a part of a Fed PU’s “god complex”, that he doesn’t have to, or can refuse to… … and one of the reasons why, I’ve heard, is due to this: I’ve attended more than my fair share of umpire / association meetings and classes, and the topic of check swing appeals comes up, and there’s always someone who mentions, or prognosticates, or recalls a game where the PU was so wishy-washy or milquetoast with his pitch calling that a coach (and/or thru his catcher) would invoke a check-swing appeal on every pitch, just to irritate and show up the PU. There have been, of course, no documented cases of that happening… but Nessie t-shirts and plushies are still sold, and the NFHS RC still has not modified that rule. Our own state association merely directs, “If you’re asked to check, just check.” You gotta be a pretty stubborn ol* git of a PU if you refuse a check swing appeal… or working solo. * - relative
  24. It's neither. The first UnderArmour HSM, called the Victory, was nothing more than an All-Star MVP shell with a unique-to-UA cage bolted on (and dare I say, uglier): The second rendition, called the Converge, departed from the All-Star family pretty radically. Not only was the cage updated, but the shell was completely redesigned. UA's project lead for baseball likely had a hand in it, and farmed it out to a different producer in China / Asia: Ready for this? This Douglas is actually the same shell as a Champro Optimus, just with a different cage: I don't know about you, and I will never claim to be a HSM wearer, but I'd be skeptical about a Champro shell and the padding behind it. I don't think Douglas put their own pads in it. I respect Douglas for hangin' in there and staying in the USA (instead of selling out to a Finnish international conglomerate, and watching all your time and resources – which could be spent improving your baseball and softball umpire gear – making golf, tennis, and basketball gear, where the accolades all go to the big-time brands anyway) 🤨... but they, too, haven't improved their foam beyond upholstery foam.
  25. To @Matt’s point, it doesn’t, but further – you’re introducing intention to the argument? That 1BC ain’t intending to confuse a fielder. He’s doing that (hoping) to influence or upstage you.
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