Monday, September 20, 2010

Enough is Enough

Hey, Major League Baseball. What are you waiting for? Does someone have to die before you ban those infernal maple bats? The Cub's Tyler Colvin came pretty damned close:
Colvin was immediately hospitalized with a hole in his chest and a potential collapsed lung. He's going to be OK, but if that bat shard had caught him in the carotid artery...well, you do the math.

Enough's enough. Maple bats like the one Wellington Castillo swung have already been banned in the minor leagues because it's obvious to anyone who watches baseball that they're dangerous. They shatter in ways that the more-common ash bats don't, usually producing a heavy broken end, often with a sharp spearpoint.

And they shatter on "good" swings. Don't forget, Castillo doubled into the corner on the swing that impaled Colvin. A few days ago, Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez beat the Giants with a scorching triple into the gap--off a shattered maple bat.

Almost two years ago, Major League Baseball and the players' union agreed on some stopgap "safety" measures regarding maple bats. Guess what? They don't work. The bats are still breaking. Watch a few games and you're likely to see a scary near-miss, to say nothing of what really did happen in Miami.

It's time for the ballplayers (who've dragged their heels on this because so many hitters think the maple bats give them an edge) to step up and demand that MLB ban the bats. Perhaps players like the Cubs' Jeff Baker will take the lead. “It’s just not worth it to me to use that kind of bat,” Baker told reporters after watching Colvin become a human dartboard. “I don’t want that on my conscience.”

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