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 Recommendations MADE on maple bats

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PostSubject: Recommendations MADE on maple bats   Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:42 am

11/22/08 1:00 AM EST
Recommendations made on maple bats
MLB to make announcement after reviewing group's analysis

By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com

Several groups that were retained by Major League Baseball to analyze data regarding the problem of shattering maple bats made their recommendations to baseball's Safety and Health Advisory Committee on Friday.

The committee, which was a collectively bargained entity as part of the current Basic Agreement, is taking those unspecified recommendations under advisement.

"We'll be announcing something soon," baseball spokesman Pat Courtney said.

The committee was charged by Commissioner Bud Selig back in May with defining a reason for the problem and determining some remedy up to and including the banning of maple bats from league play.

The issue was discussed at a committee meeting on June 24 in New York, and since then various entities have been studying the bats for cause and effect.

"They're analyzing all the bats," Selig said at the time. "There's a lot of work going on right now. My concerns are the same. Every game I watch there's bats splintering. I'm sensitive about it."

The Committee said nearly 1,700 shattered bats were collected from July 2 to early September for physical analysis. Video tape of each of the incidents also was reviewed.

Two Wisconsin-based entities reviewed the wood-quality issues: The USDA Forest Service's Products Laboratory -- the federal government's primary research facility for wood products -- and Timberco, Inc., an independent accredited certification and testing agency for structural and nonstructural wood products.

Dr. Carl N. Morris, a professor of statistics at Harvard University, and Dr. James A. Sherwood, director of the Baseball Research Center and a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, were retained to assist in analyzing the data.

Members of the committee, which include officials from the Commissioner's Office and the Players Association, also met with MLB's approved bat suppliers to determine possible glitches in the manufacturing process and the level of quality control.

Maple has replaced ash as the wood bat of choice in the Major Leagues. A 2005 study commissioned by MLB and the union revealed that ash bats do not typically shatter into many pieces, while maple bats have a tendency to shatter.

There are a number of solutions to be taken into consideration, from extending netting from behind the plate down the first- and third-base lines, as they do in Japanese ballparks, to placing restrictions on the width of bat handles to banning the use of maple bats completely.

Selig has said he is not in favor of extending the netting, primarily because it would not address the source of the problem.

Players now have a penchant of seeking bats with a thinner handle and a larger barrel, which gives the hitter more snap in his swing but creates an imbalance. Some players even shave that thin handle to make it slimmer.


About 60 percent of Major League players use maple bats instead of ash because some say those bats can withstand the rigors of use in batting practice and games.

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


Last edited by GoGetEmTigers on Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Recommendations MADE on maple bats   Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:28 pm

Wish I had a dollar for every time I saw one break in a game this season!
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PostSubject: Re: Recommendations MADE on maple bats   Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:31 pm

laprimamirala wrote:
Wish I had a dollar for every time I saw one break in a game this season!

I'd settle for a dime...I'd still be rich!


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PostSubject: Re: Recommendations MADE on maple bats   Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:49 pm

Those things are lethal weapons, broken or unbroken.
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PostSubject: Re: Recommendations MADE on maple bats   Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:11 pm

Quote :
Players now have a
penchant of seeking bats with a thinner handle and a larger barrel,
which gives the hitter more snap in his swing but creates an imbalance.
Some players even shave that thin handle to make it slimmer.

I blame the players for a big part of the breaking bats.... shaving handles too thin is stupid!


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PostSubject: Re: Recommendations MADE on maple bats   Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:08 pm

GoGetEmTigers wrote:
Quote :
Players now have a
penchant of seeking bats with a thinner handle and a larger barrel,
which gives the hitter more snap in his swing but creates an imbalance.
Some players even shave that thin handle to make it slimmer.

I blame the players for a big part of the breaking bats.... shaving handles too thin is stupid!

What do the players care though? Broken bats can be very dangerous...for everyone except the batter. The broken bat always flies towards the infielder. One of these days some poor infielder/pitcher is going to get seriously hurt by one of those bats.


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PostSubject: Re: Recommendations MADE on maple bats   Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:26 pm

Impaled!
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PostSubject: Re: Recommendations MADE on maple bats   Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:21 am

catbox_9 wrote:
GoGetEmTigers wrote:
Quote :
Players now have a
penchant of seeking bats with a thinner handle and a larger barrel,
which gives the hitter more snap in his swing but creates an imbalance.
Some players even shave that thin handle to make it slimmer.

I blame the players for a big part of the breaking bats.... shaving handles too thin is stupid!

What do the players care though? Broken bats can be very dangerous...for everyone except the batter. The broken bat always flies towards the infielder. One of these days some poor infielder/pitcher is going to get seriously hurt by one of those bats.

And remember, those batters are also infielders... and pitchers in the NL....
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PostSubject: Re: Recommendations MADE on maple bats   Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:23 am

They need to have set rules as to handle and barrel diameters and total acceptable weight.


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PostSubject: Re: Recommendations MADE on maple bats   Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:10 pm

GoGetEmTigers wrote:
catbox_9 wrote:
GoGetEmTigers wrote:
Quote :
Players now have a
penchant of seeking bats with a thinner handle and a larger barrel,
which gives the hitter more snap in his swing but creates an imbalance.
Some players even shave that thin handle to make it slimmer.

I blame the players for a big part of the breaking bats.... shaving handles too thin is stupid!

What do the players care though? Broken bats can be very dangerous...for everyone except the batter. The broken bat always flies towards the infielder. One of these days some poor infielder/pitcher is going to get seriously hurt by one of those bats.

And remember, those batters are also infielders... and pitchers in the NL....

Yes, but they can't control what others use while they're batting. If they can use those explosive bats while they're batting, they figure why not?


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PostSubject: Re: Recommendations MADE on maple bats   Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:32 am

Bottom line, I would be safe. If I get to that stage, I would straight be using Ash.
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PostSubject: Re: Recommendations MADE on maple bats   Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:41 am

Ash worked for 100 years.... players used to even bone them themselves! (use a bone to compress the wood cells, by rubbing the bone against the wood).

They thought hard rock maple would be better, but subtle (unseen) imperfections in the wood seems to cause the explosions and shattering...


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PostSubject: Re: Recommendations MADE on maple bats   Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:20 pm

....don't like the Maple bats. Maple belongs in Syrup!!
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PostSubject: Re: Recommendations MADE on maple bats   Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:46 pm

And Maple Syrup belongs on............Big Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Recommendations MADE on maple bats   Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:30 pm

tigersaint wrote:
....don't like the Maple bats. Maple belongs in Syrup!!

And on donuts
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PostSubject: Re: Recommendations MADE on maple bats   Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:35 pm

12/09/08 3:00 PM EST
Safety tests for maple bats mandated
Wood grade must be approved before distribution to players

By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com

LAS VEGAS -- Major League Baseball and the Players Association have determined that the manufacturers of maple, sugar maple and yellow birch bats will be held more accountable for the grade of wood used to make the bats and the way they are distributed and tracked.

Beginning this season, there will be a system in place at the 30 Major League ballparks to examine and certify each new bat before it is distributed to any player.

The changes adopted are among nine recommendations presented last month to baseball's Safety and Health Advisory Committee by several groups hired to analyze data regarding the problem of shattering bats.

All the recommendations were accepted by the panel and will be implemented immediately, baseball officials said on Tuesday during a press conference at the annual Winter Meetings.


"I am hopeful that the implementation of these recommendations will do much to resolve the issues posed by the broken-bat episodes we saw this season, most importantly to assure the safety of our on-field personnel and our fans," said Commissioner Bud Selig in a statement. "I thank the Safety and Health Advisory Committee and their experts for their extensive work on this essential task."

The committee, a collectively bargained entity as part of the current Basic Agreement, was charged by Selig in May to find the reason for the problem with maple bats and to recommend a remedy -- up to and including the banning of maple bats from league play.

After studying thousands of broken bats and hundreds that shattered into multiple pieces, experts concluded the cause was the poor-quality "slope of grain" and ruptures caused by excessive bending.

"Slope of grain" is a wood-industry term that defines how straight the grain is along the edge and flat faces of a piece of wood. As the straightness of the grain decreases, the durability of the bat decreases, the experts said.

The nine recommendations are as follows:

1. All bats must conform to specific slope of grain wood-grading requirements which apply to the two-thirds length of the bat that constitutes the handle and taper regions of it. All manufacturers must identify and grade the handle end prior to production of the bat to ensure that its slope of grain satisfies the grading requirement.

2. All manufacturers must place an ink dot on the face of the handle of sugar maple and yellow birch bats before finishing. Placing an ink dot enables a person to easily view the slope of grain of the wood.

3. The orientation of the hitting surface on sugar maple and maple bats should be rotated 90 degrees (one-quarter turn of the bat). The edge grain in maple that is currently used as the hitting surface is the weaker of the two choices. To facilitate such a change in the hitting surface, manufacturers must rotate the logos they place on these bats by 90 degrees.

4. Handles of sugar maple and yellow birch bats must be natural or clear finish to allow for inspection of the slope of grain in the handles.

5. Manufacturers must implement a method of tracking each bat they supply -- like a serial number -- so that each can be linked back to the manufacturer's production records.

6. Representatives of each authorized manufacturer should be required to participate in an MLB-sponsored workshop on the engineering properties and grading practices of wood as they relate to the manufacture of solid-wood baseball bats.

7. Manufacturers should be visited on a regular basis by MLB or its designated representatives to audit each company's manufacturing processes and recordkeeping with respect to bat traceability.

8. Audits should be randomly conducted of bats by MLB or its designated representatives at the ballparks to ensure that the new bat requirements are being followed.

9. A formalized third-party bat certification and quality control program should be established to certify new suppliers, approve new species of wood, provide training and education to bat manufactures and address issues of non-compliance.

The weighty issue was originally discussed at a committee meeting on June 24 in New York, and since then, various entities have been studying the bats for cause and effect.

From July to September 2008, 2,232 bats broke during Major League games -- including both cracked bats that stayed in one piece and bats that broke into multiple pieces -- and were subsequently collected and submitted to the experts for analysis. Of the 2,232 broken bats, 756 shattered into multiple pieces.

The Wisconsin-based USDA Forest Service's Products Laboratory -- the federal government's primary research facility for wood products -- examined wood quality issues.

Dr. Carl N. Morris, a professor of statistics at Harvard University, and Dr. James A. Sherwood, director of the Baseball Research Center and a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, were retained to assist in analyzing the data.

Members of the committee, which include officials from the Commissioner's office and the union, also met with MLB's approved bat suppliers to determine glitches in the manufacturing process and the level of quality control.

The matter began getting national attention early this past season as bats continued to splinter regularly, causing injuries to uniformed personnel and fans seated in the stands.

On April 25 at Dodger Stadium, a bat used by Colorado's Todd Helton shattered. The barrel spun into the stands behind the Rockies' first-base side dugout and struck a fan in the face, breaking her jaw. About 10 days earlier in the same dugout, Pirates coach Don Long was struck below the left eye by a bat splinter, leaving a bloody gash in his cheek that needed 10 stitches to close.

MLB has made equipment changes for safety reasons as recently as this past season.

Last year, Mike Coolbaugh, coaching first base in the Rockies' Minor League system, was killed when he was hit in the head by a line drive. This year, MLB mandated that all base coaches at the Major and Minor League levels wear protective helmets when they were in their positions on the field.

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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