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How to stop those maple bats from shattering

Mar 3, 2010, 11:10 AM EDT

Baseball has announced that they’re going to ban maple bats in the minors due to the danger they pose from the way they shatter.  While I’m on board with things that make life safer, there are some benefits to maple bats — the players really like them; ash trees are in trouble — and it’s probably worth asking whether there is anything short of a ban that would effectively address the considerable safety concerns.

Our Jason at IIATMS points out a new product that may accomplish that very thing. It’s called the BatGlove, and, according to Jason “it’s a virtually
invisible “sheath” that adheres to the handle of the bat and eliminates
the parts of the bat from separating.”  Apparently it doesn’t stop the bat from
breaking or cracking; it only stops it from flying off in potentially
dangerous directions.

Jason spoke with one of the makers of the BatGlove. Pretty interesting stuff, so by all means, spend a click and some time on it.

  1. IdahoMariner - Mar 3, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    so….why doesn’t MLB try this? It IS worth asking if there is anything short of a ban that would address the safety concerns.

  2. PalookaJoe - Mar 3, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    I think the Reno Aces (Diamondbacks AAA team) tried them last year. Mark Grace, our color commentator, discussed them on several occasions. It sounds like the goal is to work them into AAA, build player confidence, and bring them in with a new generation of players.

  3. madhatters - Mar 3, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    Unfortunately Ash bats just aren’t practical
    If these sheathed Maples work then they need to install them immediately in the Major’s. There have been no significant injury due to the Maple bats but it’s just a matter of time and inches.

  4. TopSlugger - Mar 3, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    The bats used by the Arizona DBacks in 2009 were the Missoula Osprey minor league team. Over 200 bats with the BatGlove were used and not one occurance was reported of a bat that went on the field when it broke according to a pregame show I saw in Sept 2009. Derek Hall, owner of the DBacks even said that it was working great and that this invention should be spread throughout MLB to keep the fans, players and umpire safe. Mark Grace even said that if he was still playing he would use this invention on his bat for the rest of his career. The next injury that will eventually happen in 2010 could be prevented but MLB passed over the very thing they say they were looking for.

  5. Old Gator - Mar 3, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    Wouldn’t filling the core of the bat with cork and a little epoxy make it more shatter resistant?
    .
    Failing that, I hear Dutch Elm makes a pretty solid bat too.

  6. willmose - Mar 3, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    Interesting idea but is against the rules, of course.

  7. Old Gator - Mar 3, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    So change the rules. I can remember when the pitcher had to hit, too.

  8. TopSlugger - Mar 3, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    Corking a bat makes the bat more prone to shattering, more dangerous…. and besides, it violates MLB rule 1.10. They need to use the thing that has already passed MLB tests 100% and meets their rules…. The Bat Glove. It’s the only thing that makes sense that can keep the bats in the players hands and keep everyone safe.

  9. Old Gator - Mar 3, 2010 at 11:58 PM

    Awwww, not really! Sammy Sosa used corked bats all the time and they never flew apart on him. I would definitely stay away from whatever aftershave he used, though – unless you really want a complexion like Michael Jackson’s.

  10. OddManOut - Mar 4, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    This supposed “ban” on Maple is nothing more than a ploy to make the public think MLB is actually doing something for safety, but it’s not. The real concerns are in the Major Leagues where more than 60% of bats are made from maple and the most serious injuries occur. In the minor leagues, ash bats comprise more than 90% of bats used because they are cheaper than maple and don’t break as often. 2010 is going to be a wakeup call for bat manufacturers and MLB when the next injury occurs because it could have been avoided and they passed over the very thing that can solve this problem accross the board. What excuse will they have in 2010?

  11. OddManOut - Mar 4, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    This supposed “ban” on Maple is nothing more than a ploy to make the public think MLB is actually doing something for safety, but it’s not. The real concerns are in the Major Leagues where more than 60% of bats are made from maple and the most serious injuries occur. In the minor leagues, ash bats comprise more than 90% of bats used because they are cheaper than maple and don’t break as often. 2010 is going to be a wakeup call for bat manufacturers and MLB when the next injury occurs because it could have been avoided and they passed over the very thing that can solve this problem accross the board. What excuse will they have in 2010?

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