Friday, April 24, 2009

Finally, the cry to ban maple bats is getting louder

I've been ranting about this for some time now, insisting that MLB ban the use of maple bats until they have a reasonable solution. Good to read that there are others in the MSM who are joining the charge:

It’s no mystery why so many bats are splintering on contact: Some 55 percent of players prefer maple bats popularized by Barry Bonds. Maple bats tend to snap when broken. A broken bat made of ash, on the other hand, usually cracks.

The distinction is important. A snapped maple bat can deposit debris that travels as far as 100 feet, in any direction. A cracked ash bat almost always remains in one piece.

Although research at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell has proven that maple provides no extra power, old habits – unlike maple bats – are hard to break. So those players who prefer maple will continue to use maple. It’s legal, isn’t it?
The author, John McGrath proposes an interesting alternative to a flat-out ban on maple:
Here’s a better idea: Allow hitters the freedom to swing a maple bat, with handles as thin as they want. But if the bat snaps and any piece of it lands on the field, the hitter is ruled out on batter’s interference.
Creative. Not sure how I feel about it, but I sure like hearing some alternatives.

Other related posts on this bat issue:

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