The broken bat thing gets sort-of scientific

Pax Arcana

Last week I complained that the mass hysteria surrounding the satanic killing machines called maple bats lacked certain corroborating characteristics, such as evidence or evidence.

Today my prayers have been answered. The New York Times says Major League Baseball has asked every team in the bigs to collect every cracked or broken bat so they can be studied.

By nerds. Lots and lots of nerds:

The bats are being collected by the authenticators who work for Major League Baseball and who usually focus on validating instant memorabilia — like bats and balls — from that day’s games. Now those authenticators are noting the details of each broken-bat incident — the player, the type of bat and the manufacturer. Videotapes of broken bats are also being logged by MLB.com.

After the information is placed in a database, the bats are being sent to baseball’s newly appointed experts. Major League Baseball has now worked out a consulting agreement with Forest Products Laboratory, an institute at the University of Wisconsin that was established nearly a century ago by the United States Department of Agriculture.

In addition, Dr. Carl Morris, a statistician at Harvard, has been hired to assist baseball’s safety and health advisory committee in determining the significance of the data that is compiled.

And what happens when the stats have been compiled and they discover that there is no maple bat death cudgel crisis?

We’ll never know. Because the end of this story was written long before the beginning:

It is expected that M.L.B.’s investigation will lead to stricter qualifications for companies to be approved to make bats.

Under Scrutiny, 257 Broken Bats . . . And Counting [New York Times]

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