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Changes in store for maple bats in 2009?
2008-11-19 20:15
by Bob Timmermann

According to a USA Today report by Ray Glier, Major League Baseball is likely to take steps to modify the dimensions of maple bats, but not ban them.

Major League Baseball's Safety and Health Advisory Committee is scheduled meet in New York on Friday to discuss the routine shattering and exploding of bats during the 2008 season. For those who have condemned the use of maple wood and blamed it for the epidemic of broken bats, it might be time to rethink their position.

Brian Hillerich, the great-grandson of Bud Hillerich, the founder of the company Hillerich & Bradsby, which makes the Louisville Slugger, said Major League Baseball is not likely to issue a ban of maple bats but it is going to explore specification changes to the models of bats being used.

"We've been told that they probably won't ban maple, that they will come up with some recommendations for changing what we do now," said Hillerich, professional bat production manager for the company, which has a 60% share of the MLB market.

One of the remedies to reduce the number of broken bats is to change the difference between the length and weight of a bat. According to MLB rules, bats can be no more than minus-3.5, which means the difference between the length in inches and weight in ounces cannot be greater than 3.5.

"A 34-inch, 30.5-ounce bat is waiting to be broken in half," Hillerich said.


2008-11-20 05:30:47
1.   monkeypants
Interesting. It always made sense to me that the league should regulate more closely the shape and dimensions of bats--for example, limiting the skinny handles that are so ubiquitous on today's bats.

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