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Everything posted by MadMax

  1. 17U Fall Classic Academic All-Star “Game”. 13 innings in length. MBO, with separate fielder/hitter “pool” and pitching “pool”. Runs in and of themselves didn’t matter. 6-batter threshold (I can’t remember if 3 Outs ended the inning as well). HBP could be counted as a Ball (Dead), instead of an award of 1B. Drawing a walk was not a desired outcome. As the night and innings wore on, the pitch quality faltered, and there were a lot of 3-0 counts. The (my) zone would stretch – without complaint – so as to get a (next) better pitch (hopefully). Late in the game (10+?), a particular batter said to me as he entered the box, “Call everything a strike”. I replied, “I won’t go gross.” “Works for me”, he said. This “fudging” became a trend, as the pitch quality started to really wane. Several batters started to take “token” swings at “stupid” pitches, just to keep from taking a walk. I picked up on – these kids didn’t want to necessarily take bad swings, because they wanted to maintain form – since there were (supposedly) scouts and coaches watching. One such batter, a really confident, gregarious kid, had the count go to 3-0. On the fourth pitch – well off target – he looked back at me with a sly grin after I called “ball out”, and asked, “Did I go?” I met his eyes, and relayed to my BU partner (in A), “Did… he… go?” (spaced out for effect)… My fellow Vulture and BU partner figured out exactly what was going on, and responded, “Yes he did!” Next pitch… repeat. “Did he go?” “Yup!” I don’t remember how this resolved, but the “game” completed, without incident, gripe, or complaint. This was about the performance of baseball players, not about the score. This is the kind of attitude that should be in (most of) the amateur game(s), outside of actual sanctioned contests or leagues. Context matters.
  2. @dumbdumb, you’re on to something… but, in fairness, what the League does is the League’s business. If the participants want to act like clowns, and WWE “wrestlers”, and throw at each other, and “brawl”, then what say do we – outside the fence, despite being amateur umpires – have? Where this behavior and stance affects us is when amateurs carry it into their/our games, and are “shocked!” and “outraged!” when we “shut them down” – as we’re directed to do so by TPTB. Then you’ve got those noodle-spined PTBs that cave, and don’t support us when we do what they direct us to do. However, to be fair, in the absence of direction – published, enforced direction – we’ve gotta stop with this “not on my field, not on my game!” pedantry.
  3. So… you’re saying that 1.37017% of your games are 3-man, and 1% are solo? The bulk of the challenge on teaching U1-in-3MC positioning isn’t so much a play (attempt) at 2B, it’s more about the play at 1B and/or who has BR’s touch and potential back-pick into 1B on a hit. The propensity of a U1 to IP right on the 2B-1B baseline, or even just past that towards the outfield (thus called B-beyond) is understandable, but even with that (good) intention, amateur U1s often handicap themselves on plays at 1B, fly balls to RF (are you out? or in?), and fly balls down the left field line that take U3 out, especially far enough that R2 is tagging to advance on, and/or R3 tags and feints an advance… and, invariably, there’s a play upon R3 (diving back in) at 3B. Why is this an issue? Because amateur umpires tend to default to “staying put” and ball watching. Ya just can’t, and hope to be (consistently) successful in 3-man. Pre-pitch preparedness is essential; you have to assess and prepare for plays, and then alertly and adroitly react to them. Ya can’t just stand there, next to 2B, watch a play unfold around you, take a few hastened steps towards that base (3B or 1B) and then, once the play is over, tap your chest a few times in the quasi-universal apology of “sorry, guys, my bad”. So, I say all this to say – where exactly you position yourself isn’t important so long as you are aware of where you need to be to react effectively to a play. Me? My IP is on the grass/dirt line (infield side)… so B-deep, in the strictest sense.
  4. Not a scam website. I – and several others here – know Marvin Hudson personally. It needs to be said, that not only is Marvin Hudson occupied during the MLB season (he’s #51, after all), but his vending site is not a conventional stock-and-sell site. It’s a reseller, with hardgoods (masks, CPs, other equipment) often drop-shipped direct to the customer from a manufacturer’s distro or warehouse. Marvin (and/or the very few persons assisting him) likely haven’t been notified that the Pink DynaLite is no longer available, or hasn’t been able to update the website.
  5. Yup. Don’t. It’s a fool’s errand to put all that effort and resources into something that not only isn’t all that protective anyway, but if painted, isn’t going to last in that condition very long. Your best bet is either: Find pink pads on Amazon, eBay, or a holdout online retailer, or… Obtain some standard pads, and encase them in pink microfiber fabric.
  6. MadMax

    Draw the Line?

    As with everything, context matters big time. I’m not certain as to what “State” implies, but I know 14U doesn’t fetch a NCAA or MiLB zone. Even with a (slightly) generous zone for teenagers, if yer gettin’ beat, then an expectation emerges that that zone should expand to “get it over with”. Now, should you expand your zone? Not necessarily, especially if you’re a developing umpire, and are working on consistency & integrity. Could you expand your zone? Yes, you could… especially within this context. There’s no records to set, no one’s paycheck is improved… only frustration and injury risk are increased. Most coaches know when they’re beat, and if the zone expands a bit for their pitcher, then the unspoken implication is that it will be expanded against their hitters in the following inning(s). So, how would implement, or go about this “adjustment” or discreet expansion? I would focus more on the first 2-3 pitches of an at-bat, provided the pitches aren’t grossly missing. Get the batter to an X-2 count, influencing him to swing and put the ball in play. If the fielders further butcher it, and can’t get outs, that’s not on you (as umpire).
  7. Allow me to guess… you’re conflicted on what should have been called, because you have other adjacent umpires (whether in your regional group, or online 🙄) telling you that there should be Outs called for this… eh? Hint: @noumpere, @The Man in Blue, and @zoops are all correct. No (potential) play = No INT. There’s an inherent danger in finding resolution for amateur contests in MLB cases. Simply due to the tremendous speed and skill of the professional game, the potential of a play is much, much more readily immediate. In the amateur game, we have to factor in a degree of naïvety.
  8. MadMax

    stand off

    This jacka$$, bulls#!t move just set us (in the sports officiating community) back by five years, at least. Just when ya think you’ve stamped out all the pests, the 🤬 cockroaches 🪳 come out of the cracks, fueled by the “look at me! I’m trending!” decrepit, selfish rot our culture has become.
  9. You’re reading too far into my question / statement. In this thread, I’m simply clarifying the sport and the possible event that caused the problem. Why? Because when we read “blunt force trauma” or “partially collapsed lung”, we immediately project “95+ MPH fastball” as the culprit, and the knee-jerk reaction is “I gotta go out and buy a $200 1” thick Wilson Gold with the MLB logo on it! Those are Big League speeds!” And that’s how they get you/us. Besides that, Wilson marketed the Gold, Platinum, and Charcoal as – and I quote – “fast pitch protectors” on their own website!! Those weasels didn’t refer to them, or categorize them as “baseball” protectors; oh no no, they called them “fast pitch” protectors. And then we come to find out that it wasn’t a ball afterall, but potentially a bat!!! Flung by a youth player!! Make no mistake, I’m not, in any way, minimizing or dismissing Eddie’s injury, or what type / level of ball he was calling. Instead, this just reinforces my own push, as a gear tinkerer / developer to implement my “riot shield” coverall for youth baseball ⚾️ and softball 🥎 umpires, and emphasize that we, more than ever, need to focus on fit, function, and features rather than bulk & logos. This happened in softball. Know what the number one challenge to getting more female umpires involved? Lack of well- or properly-fitted gear. So why aren’t we looking at producing better gear that can fit and adjust-to-fit a variety of body types? No, TMIB, I was not emphasizing “softball?!?” to be snide or show contempt or disdain for it; instead, it was to punctuate that in softball, too, BFT can and does occur…
  10. “In Bay weather news, a monsoon is reportedly rolling into the region… “ I can fix it. Either… They’re new enough that if you order a new set on Amazon and then return those damaged ones, in the same packaging, you can claim defect / damage in shipping. Or, I can locate a replacement SR buckle for you on Amazon, and send you the link. It requires no tools, other than some heavy scissors or shears. You completely remove the damaged buckle, so all that’s left is the webbing loop, and then the replacement SR buckle has an internally-threaded pin to allow you to mount it.
  11. “Fast pitch”??? As in, softball? And, “backswing”? You mean on the follow-thru? Let go of the bat??
  12. We should hear what @eddieq was or has been using. Not to shame him, or deride him, but this is an important data point. I absolutely appreciate the awareness & advice, and it’s vitally important, to be sure, but more $$$ ≠ “better protection”. Neither does bulk, volume, or “thickness”. Neither does MLB endorsement. Neither does any umpire, at any level, telling you, “Huhr, this is the one you need, huhr.” Instead, it’s about fit, coverage, and construction (method). I’m known for my seething contempt for Wilson. This isn’t because the Gold, or Platinum, or the Charcoal are “bad” CPs… if they fit you, cover you, and their protection method doesn’t affect you (dexterity, heat management, etc.), then I’m all for any brand or model you use… I’m just completely against (over)paying full retail (inflated, propped-up) prices for something that categorically does not warrant or deserve them. Impacts suck; I now have indeterminate nerve damage (as in, no prognosis as to when it ends) above my right knee as the residual effects of taking several (2 in particular) deep-tissue traumas via baseballs hitting me… pre-ThighPro ( @concertman1971 ). What I want to encourage you all with, there isn’t a single piece of protective equipment you should ever be shamed or dissuaded from wearing because “it’s a bad look” or “amateur”. Too damned bad! Wear it! These assigners, coordinators, and “evaluators” 🙄 aren’t the ones paying your medical bills or health insurance!
  13. Less adhering to diagrammed, method-of-the-manual routes, and more to being an alert, aware, engaged participant in the game. Camps & clinics will preach “chest to ball”; School teaches the “Umpire Tiers of Responsibility” – Fair/Foul, Catch/No-Catch, Safe/Out, Tags & Touches… Well, there’s another tier, even before Fair/Foul that I proclaim to every nascent umpire I work with, talk with, and mentor. It is – Status & Location of the Ball. “If the ball is Live, then where is it?” If you stay chest to ball, as much as possible, then you are acknowledging where the ball is. For this reason, I personally abhor the buttonhook pivot, and think that any direction to do so should be buried in the sands of time well forgotten. Burn the diagram.
  14. Balks as/kept Live is something on the table; we (AZ) were the lab rat 🐀 for its potential employment, since most of our umpire members call OBR and/or NCAA. … worked just fine for us. And, you’ve never seen a betting / wager line before?
  15. Ticket office, paging @concertman1971!
  16. Fellow umpires and gear-nuts – I’ve been researching the history of masks, and I noticed that the venerable, iconic Nike Titanium (hence the nickname “Icon”) which first hit the field in 2005/6 via Jorge Posada, is on the verge of turning 20! However, it has evolved during that time. The first batch had three different gauges of titanium wire, since reduced to two gauges. There have been slight variations during that time, too, as there have been variations as to which contracted manufacturer in Asia was producing a particular batch. Well, those first batches, at least until ca. 2016, had an elongated Extended Chin Guard (XCG) so as to function as an in-line throat guard. Sometime between 2016 & 2019, they got (a bit, but noticeably) shorter, likely based on feedback from pro & collegiate catchers who were conditioned to drop their chin to their chest when blocking pitches in the dirt. Pre-2016 Nike Ti masks See how slightly longer the XCG is, distinguished by that elegant necking in of the main wireframe? This one is a 2022 Nike Ti. And this is MLB-Authenticated JT Realmuto -used Nike Ti. Besides how flattened it is (geez, take a few off that pretty face of yours, JT?), do you see how noticeably shorter the XCG is? So, what I’ve been researching, and need to know, what is the measurement (length) of that pre-2016 XCG, the longer one? If you’ve got (access to, maybe a colleague owns) a Nike “Icon” Ti, could you please measure that XCG? Either PM or post here, please. Metric or Freedom Fractions works! Thanks, guys!
  17. These are two entirely different plays, and entirely different situations. If this was a double tag(-up), then you are perfectly justified in awarding R2 to 3B, and placing R1 (still) on 1B.
  18. I swear, it’s because the NFHS Rules are printed via lithography (ie. etched in stone), or the press plates were set by Gutenberg himself, FCOL!! Heaven forbid you actually update the language, terminology, and phrasing! #GetWithTheTimes #WeUseElectricityNow!
  19. So why are you being that guy that absolves poor play? Look, I was a catcher for awhile before becoming an umpire, and I knew – full well – that if I let a ball get away from me (or, if my 🤬 pitcher threw one outside my reach), any impedance by the umpire was off the table. I cannot count on him to move or pivot out of the way; similarly, I couldn’t expect him not to move, further propelling the loose ball away from me, or tangoing with me as I was trying to reach the ball just… past… him! Besides, you even pointed out… Oh, so we’re supposed to dismiss lodged ball in a backstop – on this backstop, with netting that curls just by speaking to it, and chock full of holes – just because most other backstops have good integrity, and far fewer lodged balls, if ever? Common sense and fair play. Common sense… Careful, Icarus… I know this from being a hockey Linesman, that defenders will often aim for us at our position at the blue line, and try to put the puck off us so it clears the zone, but is dampened to not go too far down-ice and become icing. 😬🫣
  20. We can’t say that. Because even if R1 was returned back to 2B devoid of OBS (missed tag, let’s say) safely, despite BR “hard charging” to 2B, who’s to say that he doesn’t throw on the brakes, and try to return to 1B… potentially starting another rundown between 2B and 1B? We can’t spoil the game with an endless buffet of “What if’s?”; we can only call what we see occurring, and what it has the “immediate potential” to become. Now, at that level, so as to place/award “secondary” runners (auxiliary to those directly addressed by a ruling), I would consider what kind of hit it was… was it a simple infield hit? Was it a single to the outfield, in front of an outfielder, and R1 got “caught” rounding 2B? Or was this a potential gap-shot, and R1 aborted going to 3B because the ball was thrown in advance of him at 3B (to F5)? 🤔 I think you could be justified either way. Certainly, BR’s close proximity to 2B doesn’t entitle him to that base, but it doesn’t prevent or prohibit him from the scurrying “to the empty chair when the music ends”. Where was he when you called “Time!”?
  21. According to California, it too causes cancer. 🙄
  22. From what I know, despite the umpires (on that game) wearing PG hats, they are not PG employees. We weren't shown as to if a PG staffer (from outside the fence) approached and/or talked to that MVP HC about his behavior, or not. Schroedinger's Cat, and all that. If the umpires didn't want to tolerate the F-bombs, then they should have warned and/or ejected that HC. What we tolerate, we promote. Even when I've been a supervisor on any lesser-known tournament event, I cannot step in and perform the warning or ejection for the umpire crew. I can only step in if they get a Rule (application) wrong, and someone (coach, scorekeeper, umpire, etc.) requests.
  23. Waitaminute... I watched the entire video, and other than the outburst in the 1st inning, I didn't see anything else that would have warranted the (alarmist) title, and Perfect Game staff interdiction. What relevance does this game (video of it) have to the incident in question? They aren't remotely systemic. They have to be examined individually.
  24. He comes from off-screen after the punch is thrown. I wouldn't be so quick to blame him or shame him on this one... we (umpires) have done this to ourselves by implying that we aren't to inject ourselves into our partners' discussions, or discussions about his call(s), unless asked or invited. It may not be a profit problem at all. It may be a glut-of-games / shortage-of-umpires / lack-of-trained (in 3 man)-umpires issue. In Arizona, of all the (overabundance) of games we've got, Perfect Game is one of the few tournament events that willingly pay (or offer to pay) for 3-man, 4-man, and even 6-man (on 'Chips). Know what hinders that? Enough umpires. Or, worse yet, enough umpires who can show a little bit of humility, flexibility (mental and habitual, not physical), and interest to try > 2-man deployments. IMEO, it's the best way to learn, or at least try it in a low-risk environment. ... In no way whatsoever am I blaming the umpire. I don't think we should lay any blame on Perfect Game, unless they shelter, harbor, or abet this coach in any way. Perfect Game should "cut this guy loose", and allow for proper authorities (including the umpire) to prosecute and press charges to the full extent of the law. If PG wants to stay included in this process, they should file charges (of some kind) on this coach for endangering PG employees and/or contractors.
  25. I'd love to be a chameleon umpire! I'd blend in with the backstop for sure! ... ... ... I'll settle for a "cloaking tech" umpire shirt. Can't hit (or yell at) what you can't see! 🫣
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