Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Enough already: Ban the maple!

What on Earth is MLB waiting for, a serious injury? Death? We narrowly escaped it last night when Kerwin Danley got knocked on the noggin with a shattered bat.

With one out in the sixth, Rangers designated hitter Hank Blalock's bat broke on an infield pop. A large piece flew back and hit Danley on the side of the head, knocking him to the ground.

It was a high and inside fastball, a cutter that broke my bat," Blalock said. "I heard something happen behind the plate and I figured the barrel hit somebody. As soon as the out was made I turned around and Kerwin was lying down. I felt bad, it was an accident."
If nothing else, ban the maple until a solution is found.

EDIT/UPDATE: Thanks to reader Dre and further looking on my part, Blalock was indeed using an ash bat. I unfortunately assumed that given the way the bat shattered, it HAD to be maple. Thanks for keeping me honest!

Blalock uses an ash bat, which shatter differently than maple bats and are generally considered to be less risky. Ash bats tend to crack lengthwise while maple bats usually explode into several fragments and travel further.
It still doesn't change my ever-repetitive refrain about banning maple until a solution is found. In case you haven't been paying attention, my thoughts on the maple bat "situation":


Dre said...

Blalock was using an ash bat

"Over the past few years, there has been growing concern about the use of maple bats, which have seemed to shatter more often and easier than other types of wood. The bat used by Blalock against the Blue Jays was made of ash, avoiding any more fuel to that controversy. "

Jason @ IIATMS said...

Thanks Dre! I made the edit.

I simply assumed, given the way the bat exploded and helicoptored into Danley that it HAD to be maple.

I appreciate you keeping me honest!

Dre said...

No problem... I think many of us jumped to the same conclusion. I was surprised to see that it was ash as well.

Ron Rollins said...

As a 30-year umpire, this is, unfortanutely, an occupational hazard.

I did a game on Sunday and got hit 3 times. The left bicep, the left foot, and the right ear.

They do need to get rid of maple bats, but things like this will happen. Until they replace the umpires with robots.