Like all red-blooded Americans, I believe everything I read.
That’s why I’m convinced that maple bats are a deadly threat to the lives of all professional baseball players and the millions of fans that pay to watch them play. If something isn’t done, these maple bats are gonna make Antietam look like the Care Bears movie.
Scientific American (via Deadspin) cites a number of examples of people getting whacked with flying broken barrels, and hypothesizes that maple bats break differently than the more conventional ash bats.
Other publications are less afraid to just tell it like it is:
Every game, maple bats are shattering, sending shrapnel-like shards of wood in indiscriminate directions, thus placing players, coaches, managers, umpires and fans in grave danger.
Baseball has a full-blown safety threat on its hands and the commissioner, who needs the cooperation of the players association to address it, is confronted with an historically important decision.
What’s next? A fan or player dying?
I know what you’re saying, you crocs-wearing jackass. You’re saying those assessments are heavy on hyperbole and light on statistics. You say you’ve read every news story you can find on the subject and haven’t come across a single piece of non-anecdotal or so-called “hard” evidence that maple bats are breaking in record numbers or are any more dangerous to fans than ash bats?
Well put away your graphics calculator and suck on this numbers popsicle, Poindexter:
There’s no indication that the overall number of broken bats is increasing, but nobody questions that maple breaks break more violently. In some data the Braves, like all teams, were asked to keep by MLB last season, the Braves broke 111 bats at home; 88 were maple. That number is a function of how many regulars use maple bats. But then again, for every maple bat broken, risks are greater.
BOOM! That paragraph is just pure science right there.
First there’s the statement that seems to indicate that maybe the convention wisdom is wrong, followed by the clause reminding us that the CONVENTIONAL WISDOM IS ALWAYS ALWAYS RIGHT. Then further evidence that the Braves broke maple bats at a much higher rate than ash, followed by the probable disproof of same. Then the conclusion — dramatic, inarguable, and based solely on what data either show or don’t show.
Any way you look at it, these bats have got to go.
Batter Up: Shattering Sticks Create Peril in MLB Ballparks [Scientific American]