Tuesday, September 21, 2010

WHAT KIND OF WOOD WOULD A BALLPLAYER USE IF A BALLPLAYER COULD CHOOSE HIS WOOD?

The fun doesn't only stop when someone loses an eye.
A wooden shard embedded in your torso can also take the festive edge off the proceedings, as it did this past weekend when a splinter from a broken maple wood baseball bat punctured the chest of Chicago Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin. Colvin is listed in stable condition and recovering in hospital, where doctors reportedly inserted a tube in his chest to prevent a collapsed lung.
It was the most frightening illustration to date of the dangers posed by maple bats, which ballplayers like because they can hit the ball harder and farther than they can with more traditional ash wood bats. The trade off is that while lighter, softer ash tends to shatter into smaller pieces when it breaks, the heavier and harder maple bats snap into larger and potentially more lethal fragments.
Major League Baseball already has standards in place for maple bats, but when a player leaves the field with an injury that befits the Battle of Hastings more than it does a baseball game, it's time to revisit those standards. Performance-enhancing bats are no more acceptable than performance enhancing drugs if they have the potential to kill someone.
Ash wood bats were good enough for Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams. That makes them good enough for today's baseball players.

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