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HokieUmp last won the day on June 8

HokieUmp had the most liked content!

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About HokieUmp

  • Birthday July 20

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    San Antonio, TX

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  • Your Association Name
    SA TASO/STUMP/SASA/whoever'll have me
  • Occupation
    Computer-type guy
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  1. HokieUmp


    Baby, you haven't LIVED until you see me work those shoes.
  2. HokieUmp


    I've gone back to dancing. Still working my way back to the main stage.
  3. HokieUmp

    First One

    He got to say too much before you launched him, but at least you launched him.
  4. And *I'm* trying to defend against the other direction: the combination of John Birchers, or some damn thing, screeching about rights and somesuch, AND people - who are no more scientists than me - yet who go "welp, them Poindexters missed their projections by a percentage point or two! So they're CLEARLY and UTTERLY wrong about it *all*! See you at the Lake Of The Ozarks Mask-Burning Party, y'all!!" Facts still have meaning, even if the what-to-do changes over time. And some of those facts include: yeah, it IS everywhere; and, some ARE gonna die and/or be seriously, permanently, affected.
  5. Well, you do you on the whole fingers-up-the-nose deal. But one area where I could see that you, or anyone else, could get the virus, would be calling pitches. No, it's becoming apparent that the virus doesn't transmit as much via touching people or surfaces. But you are well within 6' of every participant in the game, via the batter's box (and the two catchers, of course). LOT of breathin' goin' on there, man. And are you trying to tell me you haven't ever had a batter spit while in the box? C'mon, man. (Given all that breathing/spitting going on, and not all of it is dainty through-the-nose breathing, there are a lot of droplets in that plate circle, I'd bet. And there's been plenty of evidence provided, talking about how long/far those droplets last.) WILL you get the 'Rona from this? Dunno - not a scientist. But I really don't believe you can truthfully say there's a zero chance of transmission playing the game as we do. You may feel the risk is worth it, and that's your call. We just have different thresholds for "acceptable risk."
  6. I'm learning a LOT about my fellow umpires these last couple months. For one, the fact the "it's just a bad flu" is STILL being sold simply astounds me. The lack of trust in the "mainstream media" - you know, what we older people call "the media" - and basic science facts and data is discouraging, at best. And there's a certain air of "aaaahh, F*#K those 3% people! They'll be *fine*!" being broadcast here. Just to remind you - that 3% figure cuts across the umpire community, too, fellas. I'm one of those high-risk people, and I feel like if I get it, there's a really, REALLY solid chance that it'll kill me, at least based on what we've seen so far. So, the cavalier attitude about the "mere" 3%, or the railing against the "tyranny" of mask-wearing and/or closing businesses (tyranny? really? with thousands of years of human ugliness to other humans to which to compare?) is ...... irritating. And I'm saying that last bit mildly. Now, you may counter: "Sure, Hokie. But that just means we lose an older, useless person like you - and it probably means you were either morally weak, or just a pussy." And that's fair. But here's the thing: even the weak-ass 3% - whether they have underlying risk, or are older, or just a pussy - we'd all like to live, too. If that's all the same to you. I'm well aware that my situation is a decently comfortable one, so I'm not desperate to re-start my business or get to work for my employer to pay bills. But if we F*#K up this "re-starting," we're gonna be out of pocket for even longer and even more people are gonna die. And, oh yeah - we've already lost 90,000+. Here in Texas, there are worrying signs about even a slower restart: we'd been fortunate to have, for our size, decently low death/sickness rates. And then we restarted, slowly, on 1 May. Guess what? We started getting 800-1000 or more new cases per day. The governor is trying to play the angle that "we're testing more, so of COURSE there'll be more positives." Maybe. But it could ALSO have something to do with people interacting again - especially in a state where, it seems to me, a lot of people are still buying the "it's a hoax" line. And the US death toll is still hitting 1,000/day more often than not. What's my point? There are many. I just started typing, and kept going. And look - I'm not getting back on the field this year. For one, the machinations of mechanics all ....... suck, as far as I'm concerned. If I'm going out, I want to umpire, not jury-rig some nonsense, or do some two-man calling of balls and strikes. And we're too close to each other for me to feel comfortable, since people won't wear masks and/or won't admit they're sick, or something. Having said that: if you want to go out and work games, there's really nothing I can do to stop you. I hope that you'll be as safe as possible, and I hope that you'll do as much as you can to protect others as much as yourself. But just know that not every one of us here is some strapping, healthy God Of Officiating who is somehow immune. (Yeah, that idea cracks me up, too, but I had to say it.) And our safety/life is tied into you taking the disease, and your responsibility, somewhat seriously. And if someone wants to end up taking this down, that's cool, too. I mean, sure, we're an umpire site, but we're 17 pages into a thread that's meandered all over the place.
  7. Sorry to step in the middle, but I got a lot of time on my hands. When I was in Virginia, I stayed out of HS postseason for most of my time, primarily for this sort of reason - we never use 3/4 man mechanics during the regular season, then the schools want it for The Big Games. And I'd made the philosophic/realistic decision that I was not going out on the field, to suck in the middle of important games for people, using a mechanic with which I'm unfamiliar. (Yes, I'll stipulate that's a coward's play. It is what it is.) Last year, I was in a different chapter here in Texas, and since I had some of the bigger schools - playoff-level - teams in SA, and didn't see anything I couldn't handle, I felt this weird stirring. I'm told it's called "ambition" - I'm not familiar with the term. And even though I was new to the group, I think some of the leaders wanted me to give playoffs a try, so I went to the clinic they scheduled. It ..... did not go well. It was alarmingly like what you described - minus the white-board. We gathered around the infield, and got talked through the mechanics. There was literally not one time we ran through anything, or drilled. I think we were out there 90 or so minutes, and did *jack* as far as muscle-memory. We were about halfway through when I said to myself "there's no [redacted] way I'm taking a playoff gig here, no matter how interesting it might be, or lucrative it is." And although the committee member I told at the next meeting was pretty unhappy about it, I stood by that decision. I mean, when I went to Evans in 2008, it wasn't like the guys there were noobs. And we drilled and drilled and drilled. Why? 'Cause talking' and book-larnin' ain't gonna get it done. So the least these local groups can do is devote some time to actually moving around on a field.
  8. Here's mine. I'm an IT guy, going back far too long, working for a major Defense Department. Where I work is at a form of minimized manning, but those in high-risk categories were to self-identify, notify their supervisor, and GTFO. (Note: they didn't actually SAY that last part, but it was pretty well implied in the email I received.) As a diabetic, with a side-order of "former cancer patient," I ID'd, and got out. (I don't have a solid read on how long after one finishes chemo before one is no longer "immunocompromised," although I've heard it can be as long as two years. No one in our medical office has challenged my self-ID.) I'm still being paid; I am aware of that good fortune. My wife is retired USAF. Our oldest daughter (29) moved with us to Texas in '18, along with her son (8). That's turned my wife into a schoolmarm - that is a mixed bag, at best, considering my grandson's academic record. Our daughter just started going back into work this week - where she (cue the irony) works for Dignity Memorial. Our youngest daughter (27) is back in Virginia with her husband and her daughter, as well as his daughter from a prior marriage (part of the time). She's a caregiver with Visiting Angels, so she hasn't stopped working; her husband is a tattoo artist, so he's been not working for quite a while. My main position on this, as I made clear about eight pages ago in this thread, was that this was NOT the flu, and that it WAS/IS a problem, and we should be taking this SH*# seriously. Even more importantly, I've felt that the occupant of the White House (of whom I'm NOT a fan), and the people in his employ, should be and should have been from the jump, taking this SH*# even more seriously. They have not, and it has been disappointing. My position is derived likely from being an IT person, reasonably well-educated, and also just being a big fan of science and facts, and a big believer is expertise. (I WILL say that, while a fan of science, I don't always understand it all, which is why I'm a believer in relying on people who are trained and knowledgeable in a subject, when you're trying to figure something out IN that subject.) One of my minors in college was political science, because I'm a big fan of that AND history. (I went the computer science route in college, as I'm also a big fan of eating regularly.) From that, I'm a believer that there is a role for government in many aspects of life. I'm not saying "nanny state," but I certainly think fighting a global pandemic when it arrives in your country is EXACTLY something the federal government is supposed to be doing. And despite being a part OF that government, my opinion of how we've done is, in academic terms, "F*#King brutal." Were it not for some of the governors of this country, we'd probably all be doomed. I realize our economy can't be shut down forever, and that most people haven't been as lucky as I. But we stack enough bodies up in our attempt to get back to Walmart, there won't be anyone AROUND to open the economy. Think that's hyperbolic? We started opening up stuff, and when you take out the NY numbers, the cases and body count has gotten WORSE already, and that's just after a week. Wait until places like here in Texas start their phase 2 - which I think is tomorrow, if I remember. I personally still don't believe we're taking this seriously enough, and I can't help but think that's because people aren't good at science, nor do they trust those who ARE. <steps down from soapbox, returns to bunker>
  9. As of Friday, Texas is now done - not just school, but all championships and spring sports.
  10. As entertaining as this has been, imma try to bring it back to baseball, and our collective deal here. Regardless of when we "come back online" from this, the unpopular opinion I will proffer is: in our role as umpires, we don't have to worry about it. Because ball won't be part of the comeback, likely for the rest of this year. Why? There is NO way to play the game in a social distancing way. You work the plate, you are now well within the transmission range of every player that bats - so, minimum of 18 players. And really, any of their teammates/coaches, thanks to the transitive property. To me, THAT'S what keeps us from coming back, at our collective amateur level. That people will look at that risk/reward and nope the [redacted] out of it. If decision makers just blow that off, well, you guys have a good 2020 season. THIS guy won't be with you, other than in spirit and/or the internet. I love this gig, but not enough to shave off what years I have left. The reality is, I'm not all that many years away from being the kindly older umpire doing just the little dudes - and I don't think I plan to be THAT guy, either. So, yeah, while it's killing me to take the rest of the year off, that's likely what I'm doing.
  11. I hate to break it to you, but that's kinda a pipe dream. Today, the WH gave a new, more optimistic model of US-deaths, revising it down to 60,000 from 80,000. Still pretty horrific, but better. Here's the problem: the model that came up with that number assumes that social distancing, etc, be maintained through August. That would preclude normal (or perhaps "post-apocalyptic" would be better) life in June or July. New York *might* be on a plateau, but it's not on a downward cycle at all. And Michigan, Georgia, the DC/MD/VA area, etc, are all just getting started. We're pushing 2K dead/day right now. Let's not get too far over our skis.
  12. They've closed Texas schools through at least 4 May, but for the life of me, I can't imagine why they'd bother trying after that (can't remember how deep into the year they usually go). So I'm trying to just reconcile myself with losing the rest of the year. At least I got a dozen or so in before the hammer dropped, and I seemed to be making a name for myself - a good one, I mean! - with my new group, so maybe something to build on, post-dystopia.
  13. Counterpoint? "They give you that stick for a reason, son"
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