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 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 three times as prone to shatter into multiple pieces than classical ash bats.
The researchers’ recommendations were shown to MLB in December. While you will find very 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 must be as straight as you can. Unlike ash, straight grains for maple are not as easy to discover. Whatever the type of wood, researchers feel bats are more inclined to fail if the so-called “slope of grain” is in excess of one inch more than a 20-inch length of the bat (just below 3-degrees). Furthermore, the face 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 one season home run record while using a Maple Baseball Bat throughout the 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 single season homerun record in baseball. From that time on, maple surged into a lot more hands in baseball…and maple hasn’t looked back since.
A lot of things inside our society turn out to be fads, and never survive the trying times. Maple baseball bats are starting to silence the critics who may have been loud advocates against maple. There has been multiple instances where maple has been at fault of major injuries in baseball. A prime example was through the 2008 season when Pittsburgh Pirates hitting coach Don Long was hit within the face just below your eyes by a huge slice of Nate McLouth’s maple bat throughout the eighth inning of any game at Dodgers Stadium. Witnesses claim that chunk appeared to be about 50 % of the bat. Just 10 days later, another maple bat chunk flew out from the hands of the Colorado Rockies Todd Helton and flew to the stands and broke the jaw of any Dodgers fan.
A lot of players concerned with the protection with 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 learned that there was no difference in how quickly the ball comes off a maple or ash bat. But nonetheless maple appears 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 must be a majority; with many reports estimating the amount at 60 to 70 percent.
There is also undoubtedly an extended life-span with Maple. Various research has learned that the normal life span of any Maple Bat within the MLB is about a month, versus about a week extended life span for Ash. So while there are concerns among MLB officials about the safety risks related to cheap maple wood bats, Bat Manufactures work hard alongside MLB officials to create a answer to the security risks; besides prohibiting maple bats from baseball.
Throughout each of the issues and controversy and worries surrounding Maple Baseball Bats, the demand continues to be there, as well as the popularity is still growing. Maple bats may see some troubling times, but it seems like the new bptdbt bat king has arrived to stay.
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 $10 million.
In the long run, it really is hoped that these measures will reduce the amount of dangerous broken bat episodes for everybody enjoying America’s pastime. However, these may be just the first steps which will be taken. Only time will tell.