According to Major League Baseball, 2,232 baseball bats were shattered by batters from July to the end of the regular season. 756 of such bats broke into multiple pieces. An MLB research team was brought in 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. They discovered that maple bats were 3 x as prone to shatter into multiple pieces than more traditional ash bats.
The researchers’ recommendations were presented to MLB in December. While you can find most likely numerous factors behind the dramatic ruptures fans witness with maple, researchers are presently 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 harder to find. No matter the type of wood, researchers feel bats are more inclined to fail once the so-called “slope of grain” is more than one inch over a 20-inch entire bat (just below 3-degrees). Additionally, the face area of the bat that strikes the ball needs to be reconfigured by moving the trademark a quarter of the turn for maple.
It’s been about nearly 9 years since Barry Bonds broke the one season home run record while using 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 as far back as inside the late 1980’s, maple never really took off up until the 2001 season when Bonds crushed 73 home runs to break the only season homerun record in baseball. From that time on, maple surged into increasingly more hands in baseball…and maple hasn’t looked back ever since.
Several things in our society grow to be fads, and do 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 prime example was during the 2008 season when Pittsburgh Pirates hitting coach Don Long was hit inside the face just below your eye area with a huge slice of Nate McLouth’s maple bat through the eighth inning of the game at Dodgers Stadium. Witnesses claim that chunk seemed to be about 50 % in the bat. Just 10 days later, another maple bat chunk flew out from the hands in the Colorado Rockies Todd Helton and flew into the stands and broke the jaw of a Dodgers fan.
A lot of players concerned with the protection of their 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 by the MLB found that there is no difference in how fast 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 the exact number of players who swing maple inside the MLB is unknown, it really is certain that it must be a majority; with a few reports estimating the number at 60 to 70 %.
There also is undoubtedly a longer life span with Maple. Various reports have found that the normal life-span of any Maple Bat inside the MLB is approximately monthly, versus regarding a week longevity span for Ash. So while there are concerns among MLB officials about the safety risks related to baseball bat maple, Bat Manufactures will work hard alongside MLB officials to produce a answer to the security risks; apart from 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 appears as though the brand new bptdbt bat king is here to keep.
Furthermore, Major League Baseball has doubled its bat certification fee from $5,000 per company to $10,000. They’ve also doubled the insurance requirement from $5 million to $ten million.
In the end, it is actually hoped that these particular measures will reduce the quantity of dangerous broken bat episodes for everybody enjoying America’s pastime. However, these could be merely the first steps that will be taken. Only time will inform.