I know it’s been about one month ago since Pirates hitting coach Don Long was injured when a piece of a shattered bat hit him in the face while he was sitting in the dugout, but the situation of exploding bats has gotten out of control. Check out the full story of Long getting hit, here.

Even though the White Sox are out of town and I will not go to the Unfriendly Confines on the Northside of Chicago, I’ve been watching alot of MLB on Direct-TV’s MLB package. It seems as though three or four times per game, at least, bats are shattering. They are exploding! The barrel end is flying onto the field, causing fielders and pitchers to have to avoid the flying projectile while attempting to field the ball. In many cases the barrel end has a sharp, jagged end, that is seriously dangerous. It’s only fun until somebody gets impaled, or in the case of Don Long, loses an eye, which almost happened.

Last night Brian Roberts was left with only the knob of his bat, after his bat exploded, and the dangerous part flew into the stands, where it almost hit several shocked fans. We all know, when attending a game in person, to be on the lookout for foul balls screaming into the stands, but this is even more dangerous. It used to be that every once in awhile, especially on a rainy day, a player would lose his grip on his bat and it would fly into the stands. In those rare instances, fans would be allowed to keep the bat, or negotiate with the batter for a replacement bat. But who wants to be skewered?

MLB needs to wake up to the fact that somebody is going to be seriously injured or killed and do something fast. What to do, you might ask? Well the problem seems to be in the bats that are used today, in particular maple bats. Before Barry Bonds went on his home run tear, or tearoid as the case may be, nobody except Barry used maple bats. Now everybody uses them. There’s even a bat company called Old Hickory, you guessed it, they make maple bats.

I’m not saying we need to go back to the days of hickory bats. But we need to wake up to the reality that maple bats are lethal weapons and outlaw them, before it’s too late.


  1. Good points all but what to do about it. I don’t think the net option, ala the NHL, would be a tidy solution but would solve most of the problem off the field. Personally, I would be totally against that happening. I think the problem does lie in the maple bats. They used to use ash bats but apparently that wood has become scarce. Another factor is the graining of the bats. I think, but am not positive, but the closer that a bat is to having 23 grains that the better it is alledgedly. It is said that the colder weather they have been playing in is a contributing factor. The cause of that is anybody’s guess but rumor has it that the increased pollution in China is changing the upper atmosphere air flow. Can’t prove it myself but it sounds believable doesn’t it? All that aside, someone is going to get seriously injured eventually. Until then, maybe the batters should just try to get the meat of the bat on the ball and concentrate on solid contact instead of trying to drive every ball to China!

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