Monday, June 2, 2008

Selig to Address Maple Bats With Union on June 24

Last week, Commissioner Bud Selig expressed his concern about the potential danger of shattering maple bats. On June 24, Selig will meet with the players association and several teams to address the issue.

Banning the use of maple bats completely is one option. However, the idea was contentious during the last labor negotiations; the players wanted no part of parting with their bats.

Selig is said to be looking into several other solutions if an outright ban falls through.

For starters, Major League Baseball could restrict the width of bat handles. The way things are now, players seek bats with a thin handle and a large barrel; often times, they will thin the handle to make it even thinner. This, supposedly, gives the hitter more snap in his swing. It also makes the bat more susceptible to shattering.

Taking a page out of Japanese baseball's book, Selig would extend the netting from behind the plate down the first and third baselines. This, of course, would protect the fans who may be paying just partial attention to the game.

What about those people who are paying attention to the game? Pirates hitting coach Don Long, who lost feeling in his upper lip after being sliced by a shattered bat, compares them to spears or thrown javelins. White Sox third baseman Joe Crede says they lodge into the field like lawn darts (interesting that the metal lawn darts are banned because of fatal injuries). Some fielders acknowledged that their main concern when a bat breaks is to avoid the bat instead of playing the ball.

Unless Selig and the Union address the breakage itself by either banning or restricting the bats, the fielders will still be placed in a bad position defensively. That being said, protecting the fans would be a good start.


About the Undrafted Free Agent

Ron Crimson was the only player on the high school roster to not get in a game. He couldn't argue with the decision, because he sucked. Needless to say, yet stated anyway, when he entered the NBA draft following his sophomore season in college, he went undrafted. Now, Ron Crimson is the Undrafted Free Agent.

Contact the Undrafted Free Agent

Interested in informing the Undrafted Free Agent of his mistakes, advertisement opportunities, or a scoop on the latest sports scandal? (You can guess which is more likely.) Well, email him at undraftedfreeagent [at]

Look at This!

There's nothing here; I just needed to fill some space. Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! I also needed to balance it out a bit.

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