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View Full Version : What's with the shattered bats???


soxinem1
08-28-2006, 10:55 AM
Hawkeroo's comments notwithstanding, what's up with these bats? Are they made of toothpicks, balsa wood, or that crap that Ikea uses to make their furniture?

I can understand when guys face a pitcher like Webb or Garland that bats get BROKEN, as in you can hear it crack when hit and it might fly about 10-20 feet if it totally severs.

But this whole season, these bats are shredding all over the diamond. Guys are hitting the ball and the fielders are getting pieces of bat flying at them 60 feet away. Not to mention the fans. I never saw so many pieces of bat shrapnel fly in the seats until this year.

Every night on ESPN they show highlights from games, and splinters of bats are flying everywhere.

Does anyone know if what Harrelson says is true, that they switched the type of wood normally used to a harder, yet more brittle type?

Have any of you gals/ guys noticed this?

nedlug
08-28-2006, 11:10 AM
If bats are indeed shattering a whole lot more than in other years (and pitchers are not sawing batters off more than in the past), then it would logically follow that the bats are more brittle. Makes sense to me.

CaptainBallz
08-28-2006, 11:15 AM
My guess is that it was a conscious decision made by MLB to add to the "excitement" of baseball by having shards of wood flying everywhere. It is happening way too often, isn't safe, and isn't really that exciting. Quality control anyone?

Nellie_Fox
08-28-2006, 11:16 AM
More players are using bats made of maple now, which shatters when it breaks, instead of the old standard, white ash, which would crack but generally not fly apart when it broke.

Also, for years now, the trend has been to lighter and lighter bats (30-32 ounces, compared to 35-40 ounces that used to be standard, with some guys using bats of over 40 ounces) with thinner handles to distribute what little weight there is to the barrell for a larger sweet spot. Something has to give.

Foulke You
08-28-2006, 12:37 PM
More players are using bats made of maple now, which shatters when it breaks, instead of the old standard, white ash, which would crack but generally not fly apart when it broke.

Also, for years now, the trend has been to lighter and lighter bats (30-32 ounces, compared to 35-40 ounces that used to be standard, with some guys using bats of over 40 ounces) with thinner handles to distribute what little weight there is to the barrell for a larger sweet spot. Something has to give.
In additon to the things you stated, players are also using a lot more bats with double lacquer finish. The extra "double dipping" of lacquer makes the bat more likely to shatter but players believe it makes the bat harder which is why so many players like using them. However, a Sporting News article on bats interviewed a bat manufacturer who swears that double lacquering the bats has absolutley no effect on the performance or hardness of it.

My opinion is that if you have double lacquer combined with the points Nellie Fox made (i.e. a maple bat that is lighter and thinner at the handle than the older bats), you are going to have a recipe for a lot of exploding wood as we've see frequently the past couple years.

itsnotrequired
08-28-2006, 12:45 PM
:farmer

"Its all about the money, Chris Singleton."

beebee richards
08-28-2006, 02:48 PM
Also, for years now, the trend has been to lighter and lighter bats (30-32 ounces, compared to 35-40 ounces that used to be standard, with some guys using bats of over 40 ounces with thinner handles to distribute what little weight there is to the barrell for a larger sweet spot. Something has to give.

I agree whole heartedly!!

NoShoesJoe
08-28-2006, 03:47 PM
My understanding is current bats are made Maple vs. Ash.

Iwritecode
08-28-2006, 04:01 PM
More players are using bats made of maple now, which shatters when it breaks, instead of the old standard, white ash, which would crack but generally not fly apart when it broke.

Also, for years now, the trend has been to lighter and lighter bats (30-32 ounces, compared to 35-40 ounces that used to be standard, with some guys using bats of over 40 ounces) with thinner handles to distribute what little weight there is to the barrell for a larger sweet spot. Something has to give.

So the first poster is right. The bats are basically toothpicks...

Geez I used to use a 34/34 or 32/34 aluminum bat when I played. That was when I was about 16, stood about 5'9" and weighed about 155 lbs.

Now these guys that are 6'2" and 220 are using the same size bat?

ws05champs
08-28-2006, 06:02 PM
Also, for years now, the trend has been to . . . thinner handles to distribute what little weight there is to the barrell for a larger sweet spot. Something has to give.

I think that's the key right there. In an new book titled: " The Last Nine Innings," the author, Charles Euchner point out: "the average circumference of the handle has declined from 1.2 inches to 0.7 inches over the last half century." This means that the cross sectional area of the handle has gone from about 2.3 square inches to 0.8 square inches, a decrease of 290%. This should roughly correspond to a similar decrease in the strength of the bat's handle. Also add the increased torque from moving more mass away from the handle and it makes you wonder why even more bats aren't breaking. Keep in mind that the batter exerts a force of about 8,000 lbs. on the ball.

TornLabrum
08-28-2006, 08:41 PM
One other thing I've noticed. I don't think anybody ever told these guys to hold the trademark up.

Nellie_Fox
08-28-2006, 11:53 PM
One other thing I've noticed. I don't think anybody ever told these guys to hold the trademark up.I'm glad you said that, because I've been thinking I must be seeing things with all the guys that seem to have the flat of the grain, instead of the narrow part of the grain, facing the pitcher. I knew that when I was ten years old; I thought certainly major league ballplayers know that.

Norberto7
08-29-2006, 08:39 AM
This means that the cross sectional area of the handle has gone from about 2.3 square inches to 0.8 square inches, a decrease of 290%.

I would like to see a batsmen try and grab a handle that has been reduced by 290%! :o: I'd believe a 65% reduction...

Nellie_Fox
08-29-2006, 10:20 AM
I would like to see a batsmen try and grab a handle that has been reduced by 290%! :o: I'd believe a 65% reduction...A batsman would be grabbing a bat that had been reduced by 65%, but if he went the other way, he'd be grabbing one that had been increased by 290%.

Norberto7
08-29-2006, 11:55 PM
A batsman would be grabbing a bat that had been reduced by 65%, but if he went the other way, he'd be grabbing one that had been increased by 290%.
Nah, it'd only be increased by 188%, if you like the particulars.

Chicken Dinner
08-30-2006, 12:15 AM
Don't forget that the ends are hollowed out. That's not a strength feature.

Nellie_Fox
08-30-2006, 11:47 AM
Nah, it'd only be increased by 188%, if you like the particulars.You're correct, sloppy math on my part. I multiplied the .8 by 2.9, and forgot that would already account for the original 100%, leaving only a 190% increase. Mea Culpa.

The Racehorse
08-31-2006, 08:04 AM
I wonder how many bats the Babe shattered? ... considering he used a 54 oz bat.

Nellie_Fox
08-31-2006, 10:28 AM
I wonder how many bats the Babe shattered? ... considering he used a 54 oz bat.And, IIRC, it was made out of hickory. I'm sure you could have used it to drive railroad spikes without damaging it.

soxinem1
08-31-2006, 09:39 PM
And, IIRC, it was made out of hickory. I'm sure you could have used it to drive railroad spikes without damaging it.

Well, let's bring back the hickory. Most guys might not even need to change bats all year.

And it sure beats someone getting gashed by a cheap bat, on the field or in the stands.

viagracat
09-01-2006, 10:40 AM
My favorite Harrelson story comes from the days he was the color guy for Don Drysdale. There was apparently a rash of broken bats, upon the shattering of the most recent one during a telecast, Hawk said "Do you know how hard it is to find a good piece of ash these days?"

Supposedly DD had to leave the booth, whereupon he fell on the floor laughing. :smile:

soxinem1
09-01-2006, 11:23 AM
My favorite Harrelson story comes from the days he was the color guy for Don Drysdale. There was apparently a rash of broken bats, upon the shattering of the most recent one during a telecast, Hawk said "Do you know how hard it is to find a good piece of ash these days?"

Supposedly DD had to leave the booth, whereupon he fell on the floor laughing. :smile:

That and many others were classics. Back then, even if the Sox were losing 10-0 in the 2nd Inning, they made watching the game fun.