Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

2 Neutral

About Matt_A_B

  • Birthday 05/12/1984

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
  • Interests
    Baseball, Hockey, History, Politics, Current Events, Education

More information about you

  • Your Association Name
    South Dakota Baseball Umpires Association
  • How did you hear about Umpire-Empire?
    Search Engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing, ...)

Recent Profile Visitors

1,523 profile views
  1. Has anyone seen or used the new Plus POS Zero Gravity hard shell chest protector? I saw it on Ump Attire, and I was wondering a few things about it. How does the padding compare to a Gold or Platinum? How does the plastic shell compare to a Gold or Platinum? What is the harness like? Does the 15 inch length include the neck roll, or is the plastic itself 15 inches long? How does it overall compare to other chest protectors? Is it more Wilson and All Star, or more Champion and Champro?
  2. I had a funny one about a month ago, in the championship game of what more or less amounts to our high school fresh/soph state tournament. Ball hit to shortstop, R1 going to second is thrown out by several feet. The head coach of the offensive team, who was coaching third, immediately starts yelling to his player to "stay on second, stay on second." He then points to the plate ump, and announces with a full sense of indignant authority "we're appealing the play at second." He then stood there waiting for the plate ump to do something. I simply stepped in and told him it was not an appealable play, and that the runner was out. He seemed a little confused as to why we would not grant his "appeal", but he moved on without any complaining. It was an interesting mix of kind of funny and kind of ridicules.
  3. I referee hockey. I've tried wearing my girdle behind the plate, but agree that padded compression shorts work a lot better.
  4. OK, let me start off by saying that I know this topic has come up in other threads, and that I probably should have taken the advice of other people on this forum and not even messed with the idea of ordering from Plus POS, but I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas or suggestions to help me out. Long story short, I bought a really inexpensive mask from Plus POS a couple of weeks ago. I figured it would be a good back-up, something I could toss in the bag, in case of emergency. I placed my order, got my confirmation e-mail, the money came out of my account, and then nothing. No follow up e-mails, no package, nada. I have tried e-mailing Plus POS multiple times, with no luck getting any response. I have also called them several times, only to be told that their voice mail box is full. Does anyone have any thoughts, or know of any way to actually get in touch with someone around there, or should I just begin the process of disputing the charges? Thanks, and yes, I will consider this a 'lesson learned.'
  5. I may have the most ridicules customization on here. The chest protector I use and love is, wait for it, an old, heavily modified Bauer 3000 hockey goalie chest protector. It's a little bulky in the collar bone and shoulder area, but I just think it give it character. When I wear it under my uniform it actually looks very similiar in its contours to the chest protector Dale Scott wears. Also, it's really light weight, rock solid, and it was really cheap to do. OK, let the sneering and jeering begin.
  6. Matt_A_B


    Perhaps someday, but it hasn't occured yet. I can't ever imagine that it will either.
  7. Matt_A_B


    I have four large tattoos below my elbows, two on each arm, and it has never been an issue with my association. They are all appropriate, as two are military, and the other two my kids' footprints and names. I would really like to get into college ball in the near future, so we shall see if that becomes an issue. I was in e-mail contact with Jim Evans about five years ago, back when I was considering pro-school, and I asked if visible tattoos were a disqualifier. He told me absolutely not, that he knew of MiLB guys with visible ink, and that some had graduated from his school. He said that as long as they were appropriate they had no bearing on your ability to get a job and be promoted. I got my tattoos on my arms because I wanted to show them off. They're all things that mean a lot to me, and they were expensive and hurt to get, so why hide them? I do, however, agree that face and neck tattoos are a bit too much, even for me.
  8. A simple look inside a typical HSM will tell you something. Look at the forehead padding, and report back. Many times, it's just a flimsey piece of foam rubber. Here's where I have to disagree though. I wear a Shock FX 2.0, and the forehead pad is one inch thick, with multiple layers of padding, each varying in density. It starts off with a very soft, squishy layer up against the forehead, and then gets progressively denser as the layers move out towards the plastic shell. So, clearly some element of design has been used here, rather than a simple flimsy piece of foam. This is comparable to anything you would find in a high end hockey goalie helmet. Again, I would pose the question, do you think a hockey goalie, when talking strictly about frontal impacts, would be better off with an updated version of the old school "Jason" mask, as opposed to a modern goalie helmet? On a final side note, I took a really weird, freak foul ball off the side of the head last summer, and I was very grateful that I had on my HSM. It was a Legion baseball game, so very high caliber, hard throwing pitchers. The pitcher had a fastball run high and tight on the batter, and the batter reacted by leaning way back, and taking a very slight, defensive check swing. The ball skipped off the bat, and fouled hard into my left ear area. Again, luckily I had the HSM, because, due to the odd angle that the ball came in at, I absolutely do not think a traditional mask would have gotten any piece of the ball, even with the ear extensions. I was a little woozy, I will admit, and I went into the ER that night, as a precaution. I got a CT scan, and everything came back 100% OK. So, in other words, the HSM did exactly what it was supposed to, which was save my skull on a really freakish incident. I don't expect to convert anyone over on this subject, but, for me, I don't think I would ever want to take the field without my head fully covered.
  9. Here's my totally unscientific opinion. Given that HSM shell and pad set-ups are based on a design made to take a hockey puck, which is totally comparable to a baseball in size, weight, and speed, how could they not be at least comparable to a traditional style mask in their ability to take an impact? I mean, saying that a HSM is less safe would mean that hockey goalies would be better off using an updated version of the old "Jason" mask, right? I would be interested to see this article, and to see if it's the old one floating around the net that seemed to have some serious flaws in methodology. I don't argue that HSMs are superior in protection, but I have a hard time seeing how they could be drastically inferior either.
  10. OK, so here's the follow up question: Doesn't warning on something not said to me make me look like the agressor?
  11. I know I've read on here several times that you "don't regret the ejections you get", but I've always wondered if this one from a couple of years ago was a little quick. I thought it was a no-brainer at the time, but guys I've told the story to act like I shouldn't have ejected. So, I thought I'd seek the group perspective. It was the end of the year state tournement for 15/16 VFW ball. I was base umpire, in B position, with a runner on first, no outs. Slow ground ball hit to second baseman, with the only play being at first. I hustle into good position, and call the kid safe on a banger. The defensive team' parents in the stands register their displeasure a bit, but nothing too terrible. As I'm getting back into position I hear the second baseman say "wow, that was terrible." I ignore this, as I figure at that point acknowledging would cause more trouble than anything. Was that a mistake? Then the next play is a lazy fly ball to shallow right. The right fielder catches it for out number one, and and tosses it back into the second baseman, the same guy from the previous play. When he catches it he very loudly annouces "one out, should be two!" I turn to him, tell him he's done and give the sign. I always feel like anytime a kid is ejected it works best to immediately fill the coach in on what I had and why I did it, as this usually cuts off any argument. I jogged over to the head coach, who was coming out of the dugout, told him what was said, and why I ejected. He just nodded in agreement, and then went to the plate ump to give him the substitution. Like I said, I thought it seemed like a pretty fair ejection, but not everyone that has heard about it agreed. So, what's the group consensus?
  12. I had a bunch of padding get knocked out of my Shock FX earlier this year on an extremely wicked foul to the head in a Legion game.
  13. “I called strike one and he began to argue balls and strikes,†Fairchild said. “I warned him to stop, but after the second pitch, he began to argue balls and strikes again, and was removed from the game.†I love it. Too bad most fans, writers, and commentators don't realize that Fairchild is 100% correct in this situation.
  14. Word is Ed suffered a concussion last Friday in L.A. I guess it just goes to show that no matter how much you try to cover everything there is always that off chance of injury. Hopefully he recovers quickly. He is certainly starting to rack up the head injuries.
  15. Well, this is really long, but a lot happened. Hopefully you’ll find this story so comical that you’ll want to read the whole thing. So, I had that partner on Saturday that we hope we never have to deal with. He was by far the worst umpire I have ever worked with. I can handle a little rule ignorance, as long as it doesn’t blow up on us on the field, and as long as a person is willing to listen when you discreetly try to talk over a situation with them. He had so many horrible moments in one game that I think I will just list them in bullet point style, in the order that they occurred. It was a 10am game. I showed up a little before 9:30, and went to the shed were we meet up and get game balls before the game. At 9:58 there is still no sign of the guy, and the assignor is starting to get irritated. Then exactly at 10 I look at the field and he is already standing out there, BSing with the players and coaches. I rush out on the field, now looking like I am the one who is running late, because he never came to the meeting shed. I go up to him, and of course he doesn’t have games balls, because he never went to the shed to get any. Luckily I always bring extra balls out, even when I’m base ump, so we had some to start the game with. I was annoyed, but willing to overlook this and give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Next we have runners on first and third, and of course what does the pitcher do? He fakes to third and spins to first. I immediately yell “That’s a balk!â€, to which my partner says, “No, these are 12 year olds.†I don’t think there is any rule exception for twelve year olds, because I usually don’t do much younger than 16, but there could be. However, in this situation, even if there is some special exemption for 12 year olds it wouldn’t matter, because the kids were 14. So, we get it straightened out, and send the runners up a base. This would, unfortunately, only be the beginning of his attempts to second guess my calls publicly during the game. Next we have runners on first and second. The pitcher comes set, starts moving his shoulders, and then turns attempts to pick off the runner at second. Plate ump yells “Balk†as the pitcher airmails the ball into center field. Both runners are off and running and the kid on second was going to score, while the kid on first would have easily made it to third, except my partner starts screaming “Dead ball, dead ball! I called a balk. You have to stop at third.†I cringe a little but don’t react. I then went to him, as discreetly as possible between innings and simply said “Don’t kill the balk right away. If the runners want to advance at their own risk they are allowed to do that.†Well, you would have thought I had just insulted his mom. He came absolutely unglued and started shouting, very loudly, at me that I don’t know the rules, I need to understand what a balk is, read the rule book, etc… To top all of this off one of the coaches had walked up to us to report a change at this point, so he did most of this yelling at me with a coach watching a few feet away. Next he makes a “Foul! Foul! Fair! Fair! Fair!†call. That should be pretty self explanatory. Next we have a bases loaded situation, with two out, so I am in B. There is a little grounder hit to second, who throws to first. The first baseman catches the ball, and then comes off the bag. I rule he had procession before the pull and bang the kid out. The first base coach mildly disagrees, but doesn’t really argue or put up a fuss. As I get to shallow right and turn around I see my partner walk up to the first base coach and stop him on his way to the dugout. I wonder if he is actually going to tell the coach he disagreed with my call, but then I think “nah, this guy can’t be THAT stupid, can he?†Well, sure enough, the next inning the first coach comes up to me and says “you’re partner said you got that one wrong, and that the first baseman was off the bag.†I’m pretty well fuming on the inside at this point, but I keep it all inside. The last incident didn’t directly involve me, but was still embarrassingly bad. In the seventh inning a kid was running from second to home on a hit to shallow right field. The throw beat the kid there by several steps, and was probably 15 feet up the line. The runner slows down to a light trot, and basically walks into the catcher’s tag. All of a sudden there’s a big “You are OUT OF THE GAME!!!†emanating from the plate umpire as he makes an ejection mechanic. He tossed the runner, for malicious contact, for not sliding, even though he was at least 15 feet away from the plate, simply walked into the tag. Nobody seemed quite sure what to make of that one. All around it was a pretty miserable game. I won’t even get into the issues we had in the second game, when he was the base ump.
  • Create New...