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Maple bats are breaking apart at an alarming rate. MLB is trying to patch the problem but there is no easy fix. Banning maple outright is not a solution for a couple reasons: 1) history has already been made with them 2) players like maple 3) and the ash tree population is at risk. Another idea being considered is to change the requirements of the bat such that the handle portion is bigger in diameter. This is a good idea but wood is a very unpredictable material, especially a hardwood like maple. A small crack can propagate quickly through even the thickest handles. Yet another idea is to place more nets around the field to protect fans. This is also a good idea but it does nothing to protect the people on the field or in the dugout. Also, there are a lot of fans who enjoy nothing between them and their field of dreams.

The best solution is to place the net around the bat. WebWrap has been developed for this very purpose. It is extremely lightweight and nearly invisible. Formula One cars have adobted tire tethers after three spectors were killed when parts of a race car hurtled into the stands. "The more we can keep attached to the car, the better off the driver as well as the fan's gonna be"

 

April 19, 2008 Scary moment as young kid barely escapes injury from broken maple bat. This type of bat failure is the most dangerous i.e. a large barrel end with a long, sharp sword-like end. It is only a matter of time before this type of failure causes a serious injury.

 

May 6, 2005 Clay Hensley gets hit in the head by broken bat

Interesting Articles on Danger of Maple Bats and Other Related Topics:

Colvin in hospital after bat punctures chest  9/19/2010

Ash bats are dangerous too! Umpire injured by broken ash bat 4/23/2009

Beetles are putting Ash Trees are at Risk 4/16/2009

Wood Grain Standards Will Dramatically Reduce Baseball Bat Shattering 12/16/2008

The danger of maple bats is a major problem for MLB, by Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated 6/19/2008

Maple-bat backlash bothers Sam Bat pioneer by Jeff Passan, Yahoo 6/12/2008

Maple bat banter by Jeff Passan, Yahoo 6/9/2008

Violent Ruptures of Maple Bats by Shi Davidi, The Canadian Press 6/1/2008

Fan’s injury should force bat policy change, by Jeff Passan, Yahoo 5/30/2008

Baseball at breaking point over maple bats by Jeff Passan, Yahoo 5/9/2008

http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/braves/stories/2008/06/26/bravesmaplebats_0627.html

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hN_XdlDh6koXc_jcrGHdPfWpYphQD91GSKCO0

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080622&content_id=2989456&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080629&content_id=3027105&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3459397&name=granderson_curtis

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-sp.bb.notes25jun25,0,1247735.story

http://www.wbng.com/sports/21003594.html

http://www.saukherald.com/main.asp?SectionID=8&SubSectionID=251&ArticleID=9112&TM=38702.3

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-9973182-52.html

http://www.newsday.com/services/newspaper/printedition/sunday/news/ny-spbats155727933jun15,0,5790046.story

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2008-06-02-maple-bats_N.htm

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article_perspectives.jsp?ymd=20080613&content_id=2904594&vkey=perspectives&fext=.jsp

http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3459981

 

Article on the Threat to the Ash Species

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/11/us/11ashbat.html (click here for a neat audio slide show)

 

 
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