According to Major League Baseball, 2,232 baseball bats were shattered by batters from July to the end of the regular season. 756 of those bats broke into multiple pieces. An MLB research team was introduced after several high profile accidents seriously injured spectators, a base coach, and, finally, a plate umpire. Additionally, a number of close calls were reported including one with a team president and one with Bobby Cox, manager with the Atlanta Braves. The researchers found that maple bats were 3 times as prone to shatter into multiple pieces than more conventional ash bats.
The researchers’ recommendations were presented to MLB in December. While you will find very likely numerous factors behind the dramatic ruptures fans witness with maple, researchers are focusing on the structure of wood grain for maple bats. Most notably, maple grains need to be as straight as you can. Unlike ash, straight grains for maple are not as easy to locate. No matter the kind of wood, researchers feel bats are much more likely to fail when the so-called “slope of grain” is more than one inch spanning a 20-inch length of the bat (just under 3-degrees). In addition, the facial area in the bat that strikes the ball needs to be reconfigured by moving the trademark a quarter of a turn for maple.
It’s been about nearly 9 years since Barry Bonds broke the single season home run record while using the a Maple Baseball Bat through the entire season. That magical season in baseball was the showcase year for Maple Bats. Although players like Joe Carter used Maple even dating back to in the late 1980’s, maple never really took off up until the 2001 season when Bonds crushed 73 home runs to interrupt the one season homerun record in baseball. From that point on, maple surged into more and more hands in baseball…and maple hasn’t looked back since.
A lot of things in our society come to be fads, and not survive the trying times. Maple baseball bats are beginning to silence the critics who may have been loud advocates against maple. There have been multiple instances where maple has become the culprit of major injuries in baseball. A leading example was during the 2008 season when Pittsburgh Pirates hitting coach Don Long was hit inside the face just below your eyes by a huge chunk of Nate McLouth’s maple bat during the eighth inning of any game at Dodgers Stadium. Witnesses say that chunk seemed to be about 50 % of the bat. Just 10 days later, another maple bat chunk flew out of the hands of the Colorado Rockies Todd Helton and flew into the stands and broke the jaw of a Dodgers fan.
A lot of players worried about the security of the teammates, coaches and fans have even switched from Maple to Ash or Birch. Together with a few seasons back, when Frank Thomas and Eric Chavez switched from Maple to Birch, and Jason Bay switched to Ash from Birch.
A 2005 study commissioned through the MLB learned that there is no difference in how quickly the ball comes off a maple or ash bat. But still maple generally seems to give hitters a confidence that ash does not. Even though exact number of players who swing maple inside the MLB is unknown, it is actually certain that it is a majority; with many reports estimating the quantity at 60 to 70 percent.
There is also undoubtedly a longer lifespan with Maple. Various research has found that the average life-span of the Maple Bat in the MLB is about monthly, versus in regards to a week longevity span for Ash. So while there are concerns among MLB officials regarding the safety risks associated with cheap maple bats, Bat Manufactures are working hard alongside MLB officials to make a solution to the safety risks; besides prohibiting maple bats from baseball.
Throughout all of the issues and controversy and worries surrounding Maple Baseball Bats, the demand continues to be there, and also the popularity is still growing. Maple bats may see some troubling times, but it seems like the brand new bptdbt bat king is here now to stay.
In addition, Major League Baseball has doubled its bat certification fee from $5,000 per company to $ten thousand. They’ve also doubled the insurance requirement from $5 million to $10 million.
Ultimately, it really is hoped these measures will reduce the quantity of dangerous broken bat episodes for everybody enjoying America’s pastime. However, these may be merely the first steps which will be taken. Only time will inform.