According to Major League Baseball, 2,232 baseball bats were broken by batters from July to the end of the regular season. 756 of such 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, several close calls were reported including one having a team president and one with Bobby Cox, manager with the Atlanta Braves. The researchers found that maple bats were three times as very likely to shatter into multiple pieces than classical ash bats.
The researchers’ recommendations were presented to MLB in December. While you can find most likely numerous reasons behind the dramatic ruptures fans witness with maple, researchers are currently focusing on the structure of wood grain for maple bats. Most notably, maple grains have to be as straight as you can. Unlike ash, straight grains for maple are not as easy to locate. Whatever the form of wood, researchers feel bats are more inclined to fail once the so-called “slope of grain” is in excess of one inch over a 20-inch length of the bat (just under 3-degrees). Furthermore, the face area from the bat that strikes the ball needs to be reconfigured by moving the trademark a quarter of any turn for maple.
It’s been about nearly 9 years since Barry Bonds broke the only 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 as far back as in the late 1980’s, maple never really took off till the 2001 season when Bonds crushed 73 home runs to break 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.
Several things within our society come to be fads, and do not survive the trying times. Maple baseball bats are beginning to silence the critics that have been loud advocates against maple. There were multiple instances where maple has become to blame of major injuries in baseball. A leading example was during the 2008 season when Pittsburgh Pirates hitting coach Don Long was hit in the face just below the eyes by a huge slice of Nate McLouth’s maple bat through the eighth inning of the game at Dodgers Stadium. Witnesses claim that chunk appeared to be about half in the bat. Just ten 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.
Plenty of players concerned about the safety of their teammates, coaches and fans have even switched from Maple to Ash or Birch. Such as a few seasons back, when Frank Thomas and Eric Chavez switched from Maple to Birch, and Jason Bay switched returning to Ash from Birch.
A 2005 study commissioned through the MLB discovered that there is no difference in how fast the ball comes off a maple or ash bat. But nonetheless maple generally seems to give hitters a confidence that ash fails to. Although the exact variety of players who swing maple inside the MLB is unknown, it is certain that it is a majority; with some reports estimating the number at 60 to 70 %.
There is also undoubtedly a longer life-span with Maple. Various reports have found that the average life-span of a Maple Bat in the MLB is approximately monthly, versus regarding a week long life span for Ash. So while there are concerns among MLB officials concerning the safety risks connected with best maple bats, Bat Manufactures are working hard alongside MLB officials to create a means to fix the security risks; apart from prohibiting maple bats from baseball.
Throughout all the issues and controversy and worries surrounding Maple Baseball Bats, the demand is still there, and also the popularity is still growing. Maple bats may see some troubling times, but it seems like the new bptdbt bat king is here to remain.
In addition, Major League Baseball has doubled its bat certification fee from $5,000 per company to $10,000. They’ve also doubled the liability insurance requirement from $5 million to $10 million.
In the end, it is hoped these measures will reduce the amount of dangerous broken bat episodes for anyone enjoying America’s pastime. However, these might be only the first steps that might be taken. Only time will tell.