Baseball On My Brain

What shall we do with these potentially lethal baseball bats?
June 16, 2008, 11:17 pm
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I’ve had this article from the New York Times in my to-comment-on pile for a couple days, and I figured I might as well just do so. Then I saw another broken bat fly into the stands during a game at Safeco Field tonight and it became even more important to at least further the discussion.

As I see it – there are a couple of options that are out there once the appropriate research is conducted and as it pertains to fan safety:

1) Ban maple bats altogether. Just say they’re too dangerous and that it wouldn’t be possible to effectively monitor manufacturing standards and provide enough quality control.

2) Extend the nets down the lines farther, and possible even higher up behind home plate. Granted this wouldn’t necessarily help the players, coaches and umpires on the field, but hey, someone’s got to take a risk, right?

3) Require some kind of standards for the bats – handle size, weight, etc., as well as holding manufacturers more accountable for the quality of their work.

4) Do nothing.

I’m kind of inclined to go with #4, at least until someone gets seriously injured or killed. I know that sounds harsh, but that’s kind of the way things go. By going to a game, you’re assuming a certain amount of risk and willing to release the league and the clubs from any harm caused. Don’t believe me? Read the back of your ticket stub sometime.

It seems like it will take something tragic happening before the rules are changed. Even then, it will take a bit of work to get the players to agree to the changes, plus the manufacturers will certainly lodge some sort of protest, if nothing less because they have to buy their wood supplies fairly far in advance and don’t want to be left sitting on a bunch of maple that is now declared useless by MLB.

Plus the players — I can almost hear the cries of “you took away our steroids and HGH, now our maple, too?!?”

I am joking about that, at least a little, but there is some truth to it. There will undoubtedly be some griping about players not being able to use the bat of choice for the past decade or so. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this article.

So with that – what do you do with the maple bat issue? Would you extend the nets? Ban the potential death sticks? Or sit on your hands and do nothing? Speak up!


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