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Man_In_Black

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Man_In_Black last won the day on March 2 2016

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    Software Engineer / Graphic Designer
  • Types/Levels of Baseball called
    College, Men's Semi-Pro
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  1. What grayhawk said. In OBR, unless the batter puts the ball in play and all baserunners as well as the BR advance at least one base, the balk is enforced. Time is called as soon as the pitch crosses the plate, whether handled by F2 or not. The bases are then awarded. If the pitch is fouled off, the balk is also enforced and bases awarded.
  2. Back in my youth, I worked on reading the pitcher's release of the ball as well as the spin. It helped me immensely as a player (made it to the minors...but alas, I didn't last very long). Now as an umpire, I'm used to "reading" pitches this way (old habits are hard to break) so I pretty much know what's coming as soon as the ball leaves the pitcher's hand. Whether or not it gives me an advantage over other umpires is hard to say. I think the fact that, with my contact lenses in, I have 20/10 vision is probably more helpful. But then, having above average eyesight is probably what allowed me to pick up the spin of the ball so easily in the first place, so 'round and 'round we go. I don't know if I'd be a worse umpire if I didn't recognize what kind of pitch was coming. I might be. But the majority of the guys I work with just call the pitch and say they can't even see how the ball spins, they just concern themselves with where it crosses the plate. And there are some really great umps among them. So these gentlemen are proof that it's not necessary. I, personally, would feel a bit lost if I couldn't read the spin. So speaking for myself, I'd say it gives me an advantage. But what applies to me doesn't necessarily apply to anyone else.
  3. I own two Nike Ti masks, and I like them a lot. They forced my Wilson Ti's into retirement. One of the Nikes I purchased from a forum member here, the other I got for free from a college catcher. Seems he'd had it for about a week and while playing a pre-season game, he tossed it to the ground chasing a pop-up. It landed funny and cracked at the weld point on the ear-guard. His school got him another one and he gave the broken one to me. I had it re-welded by a guy I know who works for an aircraft engine manufacturer (where welding titanium is an everyday thing). He charged me 20 bucks for the weld job and said the new weld is as strong or stronger than the original. So, I got a pretty much brand new Nike Ti for total investment of $20. It may be of interest to some folks on here that both the Nike and Wilson Ti masks are made of pure titanium...no alloys. The guy who did the welding analyzed the metal in order to select the right welding material for optimum strength. He said 100% Ti. I don't really have any "brand loyalty" when it comes to equipment. "Cool factor" plays absolutely no role in my gear choices. But I like the Nike very much due to its great vision, its weight, its nearly vertical throat protector (my old Wilson Ti's throat area is angled too far forward...see my avatar), and its generous ear-guards. Overall, it's my favorite mask frame...not because it's fashionable or exotic...but because it's what works best for me. YMMV. Having said that, I don't know if I'd spend $500 for one. $300-$350 would be the max I would consider should I need to replace one.
  4. Add me to the list of Prizm fans. I've been using a pair of Flak 2.0s with Baseball Infield lenses (got them before they consolidated the two types into just "Baseball") since the beginning of the season and they really are great. Great for behind the dish on bright days and they aren't so dark that you need to take them off if the sun ducks behind some clouds. Contrast enhancement of the white ball against the green grass is quite noticeable. I also occasionally still use my trusty Fast Jackets with Blue Iridium lenses. They're also a contrast lens aimed at golfers (same principle, white ball on green grass) but are a touch darker than the Prizm Baseball Infield. Great for behind the plate or on the bases. IMO, Blue Iridium is the best kept secret for baseball umpires. I wonder which of the two Oakley kept as the new unified "Prizm Baseball" lens. The difference between the two was that the Infield lens had a VLT value of 20% and the Outfield a value of 15%, meaning the Outfield lens was slightly darker than the Infield. But the Prizm lenses do indeed work as advertised. Highly recommended.
  5. Heh, I sure as hell minded...ditched that anvil after two plates and sold it at a loss. One of the worst investments in plate gear I've ever made. Went back to Wilson and Nike Titaniums with Team Wendy and am none the worse for wear facing 90+ stuff regularly. Don't buy into the hype
  6. The easiest thing to do is to have it sandblasted. It's a 10 minute job for most shops and won't affect the metal beneath. It's usually pretty cheap, too. After that, I'd suggest powder coating it in the color of your choice although you could leave the bare metal if the mask is of titanium or aluminum, as their oxides will coat and protect the metal.
  7. This hasn't happened to me in quite a while, but the last time it did I just chuckled and said with a smile, "No really, skip...what is it you wanted to come out here and ask me about?" He looked at me funny for a few seconds and then, upon getting the hint, just turned around and walked back to the dugout.
  8. 'Twas a good catch on your part, noumpere. Nice to see someone understood the humor. I should of figured you'd be the one to pick up on it.
  9. Wow...you wrote "piquing" and not "peaking". Good on you, Max. Gotta respect a man with a command of the language. (Sorry for the off-topic comment, but correct grammar on the internet is such a rarity nowadays...t'was refreshing )
  10. Man_In_Black

    pitchers plate

    Close...my Cap'n Crunch. Left an awful aftertaste as well. Still tryin' to find who's responsible.
  11. LOL. That's exactly what I was thinking while reading.
  12. Man_In_Black

    Appeals play

    Do you subscribe to this thought? I sure don't. I've lost count of the number of times I've seen situations like this unfold: 1) R2 and R3 with less than two outs. Defense wants to issue an IBB to set up a force at any base. Pitcher airmails one of his "balls" too far outside or over the catchers head. R3 scores. And a lot of times that run is a game changer. Or: 2) Same situation, but F1 doesn't put the intentional "ball" far enough off the plate and the batter reaches out and punches a base hit into right field. Run scores for the offense. So my question is: If the defense wants to employ the IBB as a strategy, why not force them execute it properly. Why give 'em a freebie? You're cheating the offense out of an opportunity to capitalize on a potential mistake. Intentional walks aren't something that happen all that often, so I don't buy the whole "well, it slows down the game" argument. You can put a guy on first with four pitches in well under a minute. If you want to put the guy on 1B, the battery should have to execute. Pointlessly complex? Not if you understand how it works. I don't do FED games anymore (thank God), but I often ask myself what the whole point is of making exceptions to certain rules of baseball for high school players. Do people really believe that 16-18 year old guys are too stupid to play baseball the way it was meant to be played? Appealing a missed base isn't rocket science. Besides, If they didn't have the dead-ball appeal in FED, then it's most likely that coaches would coach the players on how to properly make one. It ain't that hard, people. This, along with stuff like immediate dead ball on a balk, etc. doesn't benefit the kids at all. A decent ballplayer is going to, at some point in the future, have to play by the "real" rules anyhow, so why not start exposing him to it in HS? They're old enough. "Wussifying" the rules just promotes bad baseball habits which have to be un-learned when they move on to higher levels of ball. Now, I'm not talking about rules that involve player safety (like FPSR, OBS etc.). I understand why these types of rule deviations are necessary. But an automatic IBB or a dead-ball appeal is not a safety issue...it's being different just for the sake of being different. I agree with @FleasOf1000Camels...I see it as dumbing down the game. Or could it be that the NFHS powers-that-be don't think it's the kids that are too dumb to play real baseball, but maybe that their umpires are too dumb to call real baseball?
  13. I would imagine that the diameter of a baseball (~2.9") is added to either side of the plate. That result was then rounded down slightly to 22.5". Not exactly sure, but that would be my educated guess.
  14. That looks really sharp. It's kind of a shame that Wilson didn't do the Velcro fasteners on those pads in gray (at least on the chin pads). But even with the black ones, the mask still looks great.
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