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View Full Version : Should Maple Bats be Banned?


gobears1987
09-20-2010, 09:28 AM
It's a simple question. In light of the dangers posed by the bats to players, umpires, coaches, and fans, should the maple bats be banned? Tyler Colvin's recent misfortune was just the latest incident.

What does WSI think of maple bats? Personally I say it's time to just stick with ash.

Chez
09-20-2010, 09:30 AM
The evolution from ash to maple bats was inevitable. A good piece of ash is hard to find. :smile:

gobears1987
09-20-2010, 09:34 AM
The evolution from ash to maple bats was inevitable. A good piece of ash is hard to find. :smile:

Is it really worth someone getting killed?

Chez
09-20-2010, 09:54 AM
Is it really worth someone getting killed?

Well that raises an age-old question: Is any piece of ash worth dying for? Men have debated the issue for years. Some would answer that no piece of ash is ever worth dying for. Others would disagree. In my experience, I guess it really depends on the piece of ash.

soxfanatlanta
09-20-2010, 10:05 AM
Well that raises an age-old question: Is any piece of ash worth dying for? Men have debated the issue for years. Some would answer that no piece of ash is ever worth dying for. Others would disagree. In my experience, I guess it really depends on the piece of ash.

Troy fell because of a piece of ash.

I've been to a game where no less than four bats shattered across the infield; they are pretty damn dangerous, IMO.

Nellie_Fox
09-20-2010, 10:21 AM
Let's not get this roadhoused, folks.

Luke
09-20-2010, 11:47 AM
I'd say a qualified no at this point, but clearly the issue needs to be seriously and expediently studied.

It would certainly appear that maple is more prone to fail explosively, rather than splintering like ash. As I understand it, some manufacturers kiln maple billets to reach a really low moisture content, which reduces the ultimate weight of the bat, but makes it overly brittle.

It might be a little more prudent to set a minimum moisture content of maple bats, or force the manufacturers to control their processes a little tighter, rather than outright banning them. This would probably mean that some shapes won't be available in maple or would be unwieldy if they were still available.

I've actually been hearing a lot about birch as a compromise between ash and maple.

g0g0
09-20-2010, 01:08 PM
It's sad we have to go to this type of stuff every time something happens. That's like saying we should get rid of tackling in football after someone gets a concussion. It's a part of the sport and the multitudes of millionaires are willing to take the risk(s). I know I sure would!

Red Barchetta
09-20-2010, 01:09 PM
I'd say a qualified no at this point, but clearly the issue needs to be seriously and expediently studied.

It would certainly appear that maple is more prone to fail explosively, rather than splintering like ash. As I understand it, some manufacturers kiln maple billets to reach a really low moisture content, which reduces the ultimate weight of the bat, but makes it overly brittle.

It might be a little more prudent to set a minimum moisture content of maple bats, or force the manufacturers to control their processes a little tighter, rather than outright banning them. This would probably mean that some shapes won't be available in maple or would be unwieldy if they were still available.

I've actually been hearing a lot about birch as a compromise between ash and maple.

I agree. I still think the situations that would warrent such a move are still relatively rare.

What concerns me more is how close the field seats are now near the lines in many of the new retro ballparks. I'm surprised there are not more injuries to fans, etc.

I was at the SOX-Rays game last year in St. Pete and an elderly woman was hit in the head by a screaming/tailing foul ball into the press seating level (level between the upper deck and lower deck). Scary stuff!

gobears1987
09-20-2010, 01:15 PM
It's sad we have to go to this type of stuff every time something happens. That's like saying we should get rid of tackling in football after someone gets a concussion. It's a part of the sport and the multitudes of millionaires are willing to take the risk(s). I know I sure would!

The problem with your argument is that maple bats don't have to be a part of the sport and weren't for well over a century. Maple bats didn't enter widespread use until about a decade ago. Your argument fails on that account. Baseball was fine in the 1990s and prior when maple bats were rare or non-existent.

However, Bud will continue to hold an opinion similar to yours and a fan will get killed one day because no one will do anything. MLB can't say they haven't been warned.

Luke
09-20-2010, 01:57 PM
It's sad we have to go to this type of stuff every time something happens. That's like saying we should get rid of tackling in football after someone gets a concussion. It's a part of the sport and the multitudes of millionaires are willing to take the risk(s). I know I sure would!

I understand the point completely, there's an assumed risk in any sport. Look at it this way though, if there is a risk that can be mitigated without fundamentally altering the game, doesn't it warrant a look?

pythons007
09-20-2010, 02:06 PM
I've seen wood bats with a protective covering on them. Some kind of clear coated laminate. What's wrong with using that as apposed to just a wood bat? Does anyone know if those covers make the ball travel farther or faster giving the hitter more of an advantage?

g0g0
09-20-2010, 02:25 PM
The problem with your argument is that maple bats don't have to be a part of the sport and weren't for well over a century. Maple bats didn't enter widespread use until about a decade ago. Your argument fails on that account. Baseball was fine in the 1990s and prior when maple bats were rare or non-existent.

However, Bud will continue to hold an opinion similar to yours and a fan will get killed one day because no one will do anything. MLB can't say they haven't been warned.

There were still injuries due to bats splintering before maple bats came into vogue. The maple bats just happen to "shatter" more than ash. Colvin looked like he was 1/2 way home when he got hit. He really didn't have any time to move out of the way. Unfortunate, but just not change worthy IMO. Plus the bat makers are looking into making maple bats more sound. It's a catch-22. If we really want to be safe I would suggest turning to aluminum. But then that opens another whole list of problems!

I understand the point completely, there's an assumed risk in any sport. Look at it this way though, if there is a risk that can be mitigated without fundamentally altering the game, doesn't it warrant a look?

I agree that anything is worth a look. It's when we are asked to outright ban them that I have a problem.

Nellie_Fox
09-20-2010, 02:29 PM
There were still injuries due to bats splintering before maple bats came into vogue.Really? Do you have a source to support this? Because I sure don't remember it.

Luke
09-20-2010, 02:48 PM
I've seen wood bats with a protective covering on them. Some kind of clear coated laminate. What's wrong with using that as apposed to just a wood bat? Does anyone know if those covers make the ball travel farther or faster giving the hitter more of an advantage?

I think those bats are designed to perform similar to a normal wood bat, but the MLB rule says that a bat has to be a single piece of wood.

WhiteSox5187
09-20-2010, 02:52 PM
I don't know an awful lot about it but the way those maple bats shatter it seems like inevitably someone is going to get killed. I know that MLB has tried to address the situation before but the union wouldn't consider it. Tyler Colvin was EXTREMELY lucky and if they keep having them out there, it's only a matter of time before the inevitable occurs. It's kind of like the spitball thing, it was only a matter of time before a player died with the way the ball was used and THEN did MLB react. This time it's the MLBPA that is reluctant to act.

Luke
09-20-2010, 03:36 PM
I don't know an awful lot about it but the way those maple bats shatter it seems like inevitably someone is going to get killed. I know that MLB has tried to address the situation before but the union wouldn't consider it. Tyler Colvin was EXTREMELY lucky and if they keep having them out there, it's only a matter of time before the inevitable occurs. It's kind of like the spitball thing, it was only a matter of time before a player died with the way the ball was used and THEN did MLB react. This time it's the MLBPA that is reluctant to act.

MLB is saying that yes, the banning of maple bats would have to be collectively bargained. Also there's a shortage of ash in the US right now.

Taliesinrk
09-20-2010, 05:49 PM
It's sad we have to go to this type of stuff every time something happens. That's like saying we should get rid of tackling in football after someone gets a concussion. It's a part of the sport and the multitudes of millionaires are willing to take the risk(s). I know I sure would!

This is completely ridiculous. The situation is akin to if football started allowing players to wear metal spikes. You're arguing that although players are getting injured more often and they're far more dangerous, cleats are "part of the sport" and always have been (you chose to ignore that they've only recently been metal). And, just because people are willing to risk it, doesn't mean it's morally justifiable for MLB to ignore the problem.

Taliesinrk
09-20-2010, 05:50 PM
MLB is saying that yes, the banning of maple bats would have to be collectively bargained. Also there's a shortage of ash in the US right now.

I've heard this is the problem... that there is a specific beetle destroying them - I have no idea if this is accurate, so take that for what it's worth.

SoxSpeed22
09-20-2010, 06:11 PM
I've heard this is the problem... that there is a specific beetle destroying them - I have no idea if this is accurate, so take that for what it's worth.It is called the Emerald Ash Borer.
I could go with laminated bats, but I want to see how it affects the ball.

g0g0
09-20-2010, 06:19 PM
This is completely ridiculous. The situation is akin to if football started allowing players to wear metal spikes. You're arguing that although players are getting injured more often and they're far more dangerous, cleats are "part of the sport" and always have been (you chose to ignore that they've only recently been metal). And, just because people are willing to risk it, doesn't mean it's morally justifiable for MLB to ignore the problem.

Why is it so ridiculous? Maple bats are stronger and have the unfortunate side effect of breaking more violently. Players are using these new things because they want to - they aren't forced to use maple bats. I'm not saying that the MLB should completely ignore the problem. I'm against prematurely banning them.

Daver
09-20-2010, 06:49 PM
Do away with the rule that bats have to be made out of a single piece of wood and you can get a non exploding maple bat by making bats in layers.

gobears1987
09-20-2010, 07:02 PM
Why is it so ridiculous? Maple bats are stronger and have the unfortunate side effect of breaking more violently. Players are using these new things because they want to - they aren't forced to use maple bats. I'm not saying that the MLB should completely ignore the problem. I'm against prematurely banning them.
I would agree with your thought that players have a right to choose the bats and take the risk if it was just the players at risk. Unfortunately, the maple bats pose a dangerous risk to the umpires and fans too. They don't have a choice in the matter and stand at great risk thanks to these bats.

I'll also second Daver's idea of MLB allowing bats to be made of multiple pieces of wood and the posts by others to allow laminating. So long as performance is unchanged, MLB should scrap the age old rule that a single piece of wood must be used when it comes to the safety of players, and more importantly, the fans.

kaufsox
09-20-2010, 08:38 PM
I voted no because I think a complete ban at this point is a bit premature, though Colvin's injury was pretty scary no doubt. Also, does anybody remember a story about a kid who started manufacturing bamboo bats? Really interesting concerning strength of the wood, availability and overall cost.

thomas35forever
09-20-2010, 09:32 PM
If they're not bad, then players should be protected from things like this happening again. Then again, anything on the chest could affect how players slide headfirst.

g0g0
09-21-2010, 08:15 AM
I voted no because I think a complete ban at this point is a bit premature, though Colvin's injury was pretty scary no doubt. Also, does anybody remember a story about a kid who started manufacturing bamboo bats? Really interesting concerning strength of the wood, availability and overall cost.

I haven't heard about this. Do you have a link?

I would agree with your thought that players have a right to choose the bats and take the risk if it was just the players at risk. Unfortunately, the maple bats pose a dangerous risk to the umpires and fans too. They don't have a choice in the matter and stand at great risk thanks to these bats.

I'll also second Daver's idea of MLB allowing bats to be made of multiple pieces of wood and the posts by others to allow laminating. So long as performance is unchanged, MLB should scrap the age old rule that a single piece of wood must be used when it comes to the safety of players, and more importantly, the fans.

I keep seeing a Bat Glove being talked about. Seems legit and easy to solve this whole problem without affecting the bats themselves.

http://www.batglove.com/Home.html

g0g0
09-21-2010, 09:05 AM
Really? Do you have a source to support this? Because I sure don't remember it.

Was having trouble finding you one, but read about this on BleedCubbieBlue.com this morning:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Yeager

Luke
09-21-2010, 09:24 AM
Do away with the rule that bats have to be made out of a single piece of wood and you can get a non exploding maple bat by making bats in layers.

This company took it a step further and started making radial composite bats
http://radialbat.com/en/index.html

I voted no because I think a complete ban at this point is a bit premature, though Colvin's injury was pretty scary no doubt. Also, does anybody remember a story about a kid who started manufacturing bamboo bats? Really interesting concerning strength of the wood, availability and overall cost.

Never heard it, but I know Mizuno and possibly Brett Brothers make bamboo bats and I'm sure some of the other big guys do as well.