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Baseball’s problem with bats

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Jun 25, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

ESPN.com’s Buster Olney wrote about this today and Tom Verducci has, too, for Sports Illustrated. At this point, it’s dereliction of duty not to write about it.

Baseball needs to do something about the crisis with maple bats.

There was a meeting in New York yesterday of the player-management safety committee to discuss the situation and they did what all committees seem to do: nothing. There will be tests and studies and then further discussion.

As with all things baseball, it’s a bargaining point. Players have the right in the collective bargaining agreement to use whatever bats are approved. Bud Selig can’t simply ban them.

A few hours after the meeting, umpire Brian O’Nora was hit in the head by a shattered piece of Miguel Olivo’s broken maple bat, sending blood streaming down his face and forcing him out of the game between Colorado and Kansas City. Several players in the game immediately put down their maple bats and started using ash.

Know this about the players: They all want an edge. Now that PEDs are banned, the players are turning to technology. If you told them apple trees made the best bats, they’d all line up in an orchard.

Maple bats are supposedly harder and drive the ball better. Barry Bonds was among the first to use them. The problem is they tend to break more often and when they do, the pieces fly out like blades of a helicopter.

I have no idea what the statistics are. But I’ve never seen more broken bats than I have this season. Johnny Damon estimates he broke 40 maple bats before giving them up last week.

O’Nora escaped with a cut on his head. But eventually somebody won’t be so lucky. A coach, umpire or fan will be seriously injured or killed. At this point, it would be borderline irresponsible to bring a child to a game and sit in the first 20 rows between the dugouts.

Think about watching baseball. What do you watch? The ball, of course. The pitcher throws it, the batter hits it. As pieces of jagged wood fly around, it’s a disaster waiting to happen because we’re not trained to follow the bat.

Baseball went to sleep on steroids and the game paid a price. That was on everybody, players, management, the union and the media. But this is something that can be fixed in five minutes.

Selig needs to talk to MLBPA executive director Don Fehr and some prominent players and announce that maple bats are banned until they can be made safe.

The alternative is the commissioner sending a nice letter to a family who buries somebody.

Comments

comments

 

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342 Responses to “Baseball’s problem with bats”

  1. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    I might be in the minority, but IMO no player should have a right to decide to make the game more dangerous for everyone else.

    It’s dangerous enough as is.

  2. al arodien June 25th, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    well so what iy so hard to ban them?! they ban every thing it comes to there mind so do it!!

  3. saucY June 25th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    “Players have the right in the collective bargaining agreement to use whatever bats are approved. Bud Selig can’t simply ban them.”

    so who’s responsible for approving bats? and what’s stopping them from disapproving maple ones?

  4. jon June 25th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    I suspect there is some heavy lobbying on the part of the maple bat manufacturers too. Or do all the companies make both bats? In that case, on the part of the lumber companies that cut down the maple trees.

    Didn’t Easton threaten a lawsuit against the NCAA when they were considering banning aluminum bats?

    There’s always another side, I think money is a bigger issue than the players’ need for an advantage. If everyone is using them, it’s not an advantage anyway.

  5. Brandon (Jose Tabata stays) (Johan Santana HR count: 13 and a SP) June 25th, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    This really should be addressed, and MLB for not banning it they are doing a disservice to whoever is on that field. Literally someone is going to get killed out there.

  6. BoogieDown June 25th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    If it’s a matter of players being allowed to use any approved bats, why can’t the league just officially disapprove maple bats?

  7. tonyb June 25th, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    jon,

    I agree, politics will once again make the right decision very difficult. Such is life.

  8. Pete V June 25th, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Why don’t they just use aluminum bats… I mean they won’t break, right? (j/k)

  9. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    It just seems that there are far more broken bats this year than ever before. Bonds used that maple bat back when he hit the HR in a season record. Thats a decent amount of time ago for this to be showing up now.

    I can understand that the maple is harder and will therefore shatter more, but when Damon made the switch (which was due to his concern that they would be banning maple) his ash bat shattered.

    I think some of this is due to the shape of the bat, the thickness of the handle, shape of the barrel, weighting of the various parts of the bat. It could also be the drying process.

    There are 30 some – odd manufacturers of bats being used in the Majors. This might be more a quality control issue, where manufacturers are cutting time by drying at too high a temperature, or over drying the wood.

    A simple fix would be to laminate the bat with a plastic so it doesn’t burst out of control, but that could change the characteristics of the bats. Changing the thickness of the handle portion would result in major problems with the players.

    One thing is sure though, some people have already been hurt by these exploding bats. One woman had her jaw broken at a game from a flying piece of bat. The players, sooner or later, will get injured as well. This might be something that the players themselves might just elect to do.

  10. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    It took a coach getting killed before they made the base coaches wear helmets.

    And still they haven’t learned.

  11. Don Vito A. Bellamo June 25th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Amen, Peter.. Fantastic Post, friend.

  12. Mark Alan June 25th, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Well, this country is going through an oil price crisis, and it can be said that there is a crisis of confidence, for whichever reasons, in our federal government. The floods in Iowa are a crisis. The media tells us that some aspects of our economy are in crisis.

    What about this maple bat crisis, though? Something must be done before one of those things shatters and breaks Joe Morgan’s jaw, preventing him from speaking for the rest of the season. Where will baseball go from there?

  13. al arodien June 25th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    wait a few years and they will use soft balls in the majors!!!! Professional sports could get you killed no matter where football, hockey, nascar , even basketball , so why is baseball making such a big deal!

  14. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    al, because it’s not just the players that are putting themselves at risk.

    It’s the fans that are at risk, as well.

    A few years ago, there was a girl that got killed by a puck that few into the stands at a columbus hockey game. It took that event to get all NHL teams to put up netting, a la the screens behind home plate today.

    Fans assume a risk when they go into a game. Freak things happen. But that doesn’t mean that everything shouldn’t be done to keep them as safe as possible.

  15. DMan June 25th, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Well, public outcry might force the players hands.

    MLB moves slowly with these things. It might be awhule before the bats are actually banned.

    But, players will start getting grief from the media and the fans if they continue to use these bats. That might be enough to make some of them put them down.

  16. DMan June 25th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    I also apprently don’t understand the physcis of wood.

    How does a harder wood break more?

    Is it the way they dry it?

  17. Rich June 25th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    al arodien – The difference is that in football, hockey, nascar, and basketball, the only people who get hurt are those who participate. They know the risk they’re taking, and they do it willingly. In baseball, maple bats endanger the fans in addition to the players. That’s unacceptable.

  18. al arodien June 25th, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    rebecca, good point cant disagree.

  19. chris June 25th, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    they should just put a sleeve over the skinny part of the bat—should help a little

  20. al arodien June 25th, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    rich ,cant disagree. you are right here this is a danger for fans too.

  21. John C June 25th, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    I 100% agree with this post! I read an article a couple of weeks ago about a woman who was hit in the face with a broken Maple bat at the Dodgers game! Her injuries were pretty bad.

    Read the article below:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/ne.....;type=lgns

  22. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    A harder wood tends to split and crack. When you dry the wood it removes the latent moisture in the wood fibers, which leads to less bending and more cracking.

    If the manufacturers are drying the wood too quickly it can cause it to become more brittle. If they dry it too long it becomes less flexible and susceptible to breaking.

    Think about old wood furniture. As it ages it warps and cracks. The reason for this is because moisture still in the wood fibers is evaporating. Oiling the old furniture keeps the moisture in.

    Kiln drying the wood removes the moisture, it does it at a faster rate than natural aging does. This leads to making the wood more brittle if it is done too fast or too long or too hot.

  23. cj June 25th, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Maybe pitchers are at fault for “jamming” hitters? Maybe hitters crowding the plate are at fault?

  24. Jay T June 25th, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    It’s ironic all the talk recently about MLB bats. What about the colleges? One of these days, a pitcher is going to get killed with ball coming back at him.

  25. cj June 25th, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    I agree it is a problem though

  26. CB June 25th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    “How does a harder wood break more? ”

    A substance can be hard but not necessarily “strong.” It depends on what that hard substance is used for and what kind of impact it takes.

    For instance, diamonds are extraordinarily hard but like many other hard substances they are brittle. Diamonds do shatter. Glass is similar. It can be very hard but its also obviously very brittle and cracks very easily.

    With the hole issue of maple bats its tough to say how much of it is the maple alone and how much is it related to what the players are doing with the maple.

    Hitters keep trying to change the distribution of weight in the bats – get less weight at the handle by shaving them down and more weight spread to the bat head.

    I think that part of the reason they started using maple was because they figured with a harder wood they could get the handles even thinner.

    I think they’ve probably thinned out the handles past what the properties of wood allows for safe use.

  27. Herb June 25th, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    An engineer or physicist would call what you are describing “stiffness”. Hardness is usually defined by how easily scratched something is, but I can understand why the word hard would be used in colloqial everyday speech.

  28. TKinDC June 25th, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    I think the other trend that Barry Bonds set off was shaving down the barrel of the bat between the hands and the sweet spot to reduce weight and increase bat speed.

    The tapered handles make the broken bat even more of a projectile according to what I read.

    (basically Barry is responsible for everything bad imho)

  29. DMan June 25th, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    munchabuncha-

    Ah that makes sense. Thanks.

    Sort of seems to me that any bat manufacturer should know those things too? Oh well.

  30. Hobs June 25th, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    DMan-

    A harder bat will often times be more brittle in the sense that it can’t absorb much energy from the ball before it fails. These ash bats must be a bit more pliable acting a little bit more like a spring. They’ll absorb more of the impact energy from the ball which will deter the total amount transfered back into the ball for flight.

    I’m not the best at explaining things, so I hope that makes some sense.

  31. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    I also wonder about how the cut of the wood affects this. The grain of maple is different from ash. The handles are cut fairly thin. It could be that the wood grain of maple just can’t sustain the force applied to the barrel. The grain is a weakness of the wood.

  32. pat June 25th, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Question?
    I know bats come in different weights and different lengths but do they come in different tapers?

    When bats used to break, they cracked on the bigger part of the bat. Now it seems like more shatter near the taper.

  33. TKinDC June 25th, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    LOL – Good point CB –

    Great minds . . . .

  34. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    DMan, I am sure they understand the woods they use, but like any business, if they can shorten the time and energy used and get a similar result, there are some companies that will do so, even if it means higher failure rates. All these broken bats mean extra money to them.

    I tend to doubt they are regulated for their processes.

  35. gayle June 25th, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    As bad as Mike and the Dog are it really is unlistenable when Dog is there alone. Now I dont expect every radio host to be a homer when it comes to all the teams but this is a guy that HATES all of the New York teams.

  36. Global Warming June 25th, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    This is not that big of a deal.

    A baseball could just as easily come back and strike a pitcher in the head. A bat can be let go and strike somebody sitting in the stands not paying attention. Theres always going to be a risk and unless you plan on putting these players and umpires in bubbles, your not going to be able to protect them 100% of the time.

    There are more important things to worry about in life.

  37. gayle June 25th, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    There was a guy on MLB XM 175 yesterday who is a bat manufacturer of maple bats and he was very interesting and talked alot about the thickness of the bat handle and how he would change that and make it uniform to cut down on some of these shattering issues.

  38. mel June 25th, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    I still remember the sad story of the girl getting killed by the hockey puck. Odds were against it, but it happened.

    Seems like the best thing to do, short of a ban, is the recommendation to discontinue the use of maple bats.

    For whatever reason, Damon chose to forego the maple bat before the umpire got hit.

    Peer pressure and awareness will force the players to do the right thing.

  39. MikeEff June 25th, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Gayle–Aint it the truth- the only thing worse would be hearing him sing in the shower…

  40. CB June 25th, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    “Hardness is usually defined by how easily scratched something is, but I can understand why the word hard would be used in colloqial everyday speech.”

    I was only using diamonds and glass as an example. That’s an example of hardness for materials.

    But scratch resistance is only one kind material hardness. There are other ways materials can exhibit the property of hardness.

    How much a material indents on impact or is permanently deformed after impact are other ways a material can exhibit properties of hardness. These are probably the most relevant to wood bats and their performance.

    Hardness is a technical, scientific term used in physics and engineering. There are stringent ways of measuring how hard a material is. It’s not simply a colloquial term.

  41. Russell NY June 25th, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    From River Ave. Blues – “Brett Gardner: 1 for 3, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K – on base (ready for this?) 17 times in his last 5 games”

  42. TKinDC June 25th, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Was there any report on Humberto Sanchez poor start? (not as bad as Bronson Arroyo, but pretty bad)

    Just curious if there was a health concern or if it was just rust.

  43. MoBoy June 25th, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Funny how Barry Bonds was the first to use Male bats.

  44. MoBoy June 25th, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    “Maple Bats”

  45. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    CB, there are also qualities of brittleness. In this case it isn’t only the hardness of the bat, but the brittle characteristics along with how they are made – taper, thickness of the handle, ratio and proportions of grain.

    Pat, there are many different styles of bats. Players have their own specs on taper, handle thickness. Some of these things are dictated by minimum or maximum standards, but there is still a lot of leeway to the design of the bats.

  46. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    MoBoy, he might have used male bats too! :lol:

  47. mel June 25th, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    MoBoy,

    Apparently, he’s the first and only person to use steroids as well. Still can’t believe they’re still dogging him. I’m not a Barry fan, but it’s still ridiculous.

  48. gayle June 25th, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Munch that is exactly what this manufacturer was saying yesterday that I mentioned he used brian Roberts as an example of someone who uses something like 1 5/8 inches handle and Sheff who uses 2 inch something and how this really does play into the brittleness as well.

    Mike – Why doesnt he go host a sports talk show in San francisco or something it just is unlistenable to hear him rant against all the teams in the city where he hosts his show.

  49. MikeEff June 25th, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    mad dog has gone off the deep end at thos point–

    “I wouldn’t give you jonathan sanchez even if you gave me joba and cano”

    really?

  50. CB June 25th, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    “I know bats come in different weights and different lengths but do they come in different tapers? ”

    They do. Players ask the bat manufacturers to cut their bats a certain way.

    And more and more players try to get the thinnest handles possible. There’s just not a lot of wood down by the handle in a lot of players bats.

    Even after some players get their bats, some will hand shave the handles down even further to make it even thinner. They do this on their own after getting the bats from the factories.

    If they want they want to address this problem they may need to mandate some minimum thickness for the handles.

    It’s some combination of the properties of the specific wood used, how its manufactured and the thickness of the handle.

    munchabuncha made a number of really good comments above about how kiln drying will affect the properties of the wood to make it harder but also more brittle.

    Baseball needs to consider all of these points.

    Quite honestly, if they really wanted to solve this problem they could. They could get some engineers and material scientists together and they could figure out what combinations of specific wood types, treatment processes, and thickness will produce different rates of bats cracking.

    Engineers design skyscrapers and can tell what materials and building methods are needed to ensure buildings planned to be a certain height don’t fall down.

    Cracked bats isn’t a difficult technical problem to solve. It’s getting the players and owners on the same page that’s going to be the issue. They have to see it as a real problem before they’re going to be willing to change what they do to solve it. It’s not a real mystery as a technical problem.

  51. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    GW, the thing with the bats shattering like that is they are far less predictable on where the various pieces will go. With a ball being hit it has a fairly reliable trajectory. It still happens that pitchers get hit with balls, but it isn’t as frequent and doesn’t create shrapnel that spreads to a wider area.

  52. Drew June 25th, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    To go along with Rebecca’s point, I think that baseball needs to put nets up between the dugouts to protect the fans from screaming line drive foul balls, as well as flying bats. Having sat behind the plate, the net does not obscure the view at all. It seems like a common sense move to me for the safety of all.

  53. Drew June 25th, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    To go along with Rebecca’s point, I think that baseball needs to put nets up between the dugouts to protect the fans from screaming line drive foul balls, as well as flying bats. Having sat behind the plate, the net does not obscure the view at all. It seems like a common sense move to me for the safety of all.

  54. pat June 25th, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    TK

    You always see them say that command is the last thing to come back after TJ surgery. As long as he has no pain and starts building arm strength, no worries.

  55. DMan June 25th, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    This is a pretty cool websites about the types of wood used in bats:

    http://www.baseballtips.com/howto/wood.html

  56. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    CB, there is a minimum thickness for the handle of the bats. It 16/19″, there is also a ratio of weight to length.

    Trouble is, I doubt that the handle thickness is checked that closely.

    By having a thin handle, it allows more flex and then a spring back motion to the bat. For maple this could be allowing just too much flex for the grain of the wood to handle.

    Certain woods split quite easily along grains. Maple has that tendency. It also depends on how the wood is cut to the grain. How the grain runs along the whole bat, how the grain is damaged by the particular design.

    I tend to doubt that the manufacturers of bats work that hard to match up grain cuts to the bats in a manner that makes them less likely to break. Being a natural product, there are too many variations to the grain thickness, layout and so on to do this cost effectively.

  57. TKinDC June 25th, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    “Apparently, he’s the first and only person to use steroids as well. Still can’t believe they’re still dogging him. I’m not a Barry fan, but it’s still ridiculous.”

    mel –

    funny thing about lying under oath to a federal judge, they don’t seem to appreciate it too much. Ask Scooter Libby!

  58. ANSKY June 25th, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    I really like the idea of laminating the bats.

    If it’s tightly adhered to the surface of the wood, maybe a tissue paper-thin stretchy soft plastic membrane could conceivably be all that’s needed to keep chunks of splintered wood from flying off when a bat breaks.

    Such a thing could be made transparent so the wood shows through and traditionalists wouldn’t whine as much.

    Whatever they would use, the surface should be something the players can get a good grip on.

    If such a thing were successful, maple could still be used. If it was required for all bats, nobody could complain about performance because it’d be a level playing field.

    Someone would have to take a look at what happens when a bat gets sawn off at the hands though. (ala a Mariano cutter to a lefty hitter) Just saying so because I could imagine a hitter or catcher getting hurt by the barrel of a broken bat if it’s still attached to the handle by what amounts to an elasticy skin.

    Who knows exactly what to use though. Vaccuum-sealed Hefty Ultra Flex garbage bags? We’d have to leave that to the engineers & manufacturers to figure out, but its a good idea in principle.

  59. RutyJohn June 25th, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    To quote Justice Cardozo, “The timorous may stay at home.”

  60. CB June 25th, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    “there is a minimum thickness for the handle of the bats. It 16/19″, there is also a ratio of weight to length.

    Trouble is, I doubt that the handle thickness is checked that closely.”

    munchabuncha,

    What I meant to say was that there needs to be a minimum thickness used at game time – not from the factory.

    I knew there was some manufacturers minimum thickness but that’s the exact reason why the players will hand shave their own bats after receiving them. That’s their way of getting around that manufactured minimum.

    And in hand shaving the bat they are probably adding a lot of vulnerability to the bat – it’s not like players hand shaving a bat can do it systematically to make sure the bat still stays in some kind of proportion to the bat head like the manufacturer can do. They probably don’t shave each bat handle the same way either.

    It just adds a lot of variation into what bats actually get used.

    But as you point out – that really gets down to MLB checking on the bats as they are actually used – not only as they come from the manufacturers.

    They should ban hand shaving of bats and may need to start doing random checking of player bats before games.

  61. TKinDC June 25th, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Ding Ding – we have the word of the day-

    Adjective

    timorous (comparative more timorous, superlative most timorous)

    Positive
    timorous

    Comparative
    more timorous

    Superlative
    most timorous

    1. fearful, afraid, timid

    Wee sleekit, cowrin’, tim’rous beastie,
    Oh, what a panic’s in thy breastie! (Robert Burns)

  62. CB June 25th, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    “If it’s tightly adhered to the surface of the wood, maybe a tissue paper-thin stretchy soft plastic membrane could conceivably be all that’s needed to keep chunks of splintered wood from flying off when a bat breaks.”

    Great idea. I guess it’s not really the bat cracking that is the issue. It’s the fragments flying wildly.

    How about something like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQcv3ETEQdM

  63. Francis The Praying Mantis June 25th, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Last year I was playing in an amateur mens wooden bat league. I broke 18 bats in 22 games, some maple, some ash and even a bamboo. I must have spent $1500 on bats last year. SOme of them shattered, some of them didnt. But the maple bats broke much easier. I could see how it could be a problem.

  64. mel June 25th, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    No offense to Mark Newman if you’re reading. But I am not Happy with your overuse of the “Am I Happy?” in this article about ASG voting. And the teeny tiny jab at Jeter. :)

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/articl.....;fext=.jsp

  65. S.A.- No pain..no gain! Cut the crap and win games. June 25th, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Russo needs to stop saying tossing a salad..
    I almost spit out my diet coke

  66. Yazman (David) June 25th, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Are there stats on injuries-per-at-bat from:

    -maple bats
    -ash bats
    -foul balls in general
    -balls in play
    -balls hit from aluminum bats?

    It’s good to make decisions based on real data (which can sometimes be had by hiring a slew of college kids to compile).

  67. Nick in SF June 25th, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    I think more people were harmed by yesterday’s bread puns than by shattered maple bats.

    Only you can stop cyber-puns.

  68. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    DMan, that was a great site. Reading through the one part, it causes me to wonder if the players are actually paying attention to how they hold the bat which is causing some of these to shatter as well.

    In the site you gave, it mentions that the lable is stamped at the weakest part of the bat. The bat should be held so the lable is up, in other words perpendicular to the impact. Its something I will watch for. If they are hitting it cross grain, it might be causing some of these problems.

  69. Brandon (Jose Tabata stays) (Johan Santana HR count: 13 and a SP) June 25th, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Was there any report on Humberto Sanchez poor start?

    It wasn’t poor it’s basically getting back the feel the first month

  70. C-ROD June 25th, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    I think Pete is over exaggerating a bit here. This is like not going outside because our national terrorism color is “orange.” There are risks when you go to an MLB game, and shattered bats is one of them. The ball flies into the stands much more than a bat and flies in there at a much higher rate as well. I think they should look into the problem of the increased shattering, but to shelter yourself and your child from going and enjoying a game is ridiculous.

  71. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Yazman, I am sure that data can be compiled. In an article I read, it talked about two incidents in the last couple of weeks of injuries due to breaking bats. A woman fan had her jaw broken, a coach got a cut under his eye that required 10 stitches, he was in the dugout.

    I would think that even without it we all realize that this is happening far more often that it used to. Mo’s cutter would mow down bats, but you didn’t see it from as many pitchers as you see it now.

    Swisher even had that one at bat where the bat just fell apart when he swung it. It didn’t hit anything, just fell apart. (hillarious to see, but still points to a problem.)

  72. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    C-Rod, I think its more because of how many are breaking that this is an issue.

  73. Manfredo June 25th, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Pete’s post is about bats, but hints at a larger problem–that the baseball owners have allowed collective bargaining to get out of hand. It is their own fault, of course. In the early days of union negotiations the owners were more than willing to trade power for money; the result of which is that the union now expects to be able to bargain the most minute details of the game. If the owners had any foresight, they would have agreed to negotiate money and safety issues only and insisted that what happens from first pitch to final out would remain the responsibility of the league. (I realize that this bat question is a safety issue to some extent, but it doesn’t fit the typical negotiating position between management and union–in this instance it is the workers who are demanding less safe conditions).

  74. mel June 25th, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Just finished voting. Tedious.

    If you guys don’t have an interest in the NL ballot, could you click on Shane Victorino for NL outfielder? Thanks, he’s one of the good guys.

  75. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    The problems with wooden bats are that all of the best of the old hardwood tree stands have been over harvested or burned out. That leaves the newer, greener trees. Batters want bat mass, but, want lighter bats. what’s happening is the the bat companies are making bats completely devoid of moisture, and when they hit the baseball, they simply explode.

    I think that within 15-20 years, if not sooner, the bats will be made of composites or graphite. The bats are already being made and they sound and react like wooden bats. The only real issue is that they don’t break, which would pitchers at a distict disadvantage. Once they are designed to break like wooden bats when they hit a ball in the wrong spots, they won’t be used. Overall, because they wouldn’t explode and splinter, and they could be recycled, they’d be much cheaper.

  76. gayle June 25th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Mel Love the Flying Hawaiin. Voted for him on all my ballots along with Griffey for outfield

  77. mark June 25th, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Yankees–Cano for Oswalt Rumor — Reported By Mark Chernoff

  78. Francis The Praying Mantis June 25th, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    This would be my ideal baseball team, nothing but brothers

    C- Russell “The Love Mussel” Martin
    1B- James Loney
    2B- Brandon Phillips
    SS- Jimmy Rollins
    3B- Derek Jeter
    OF- Uncle Milty
    OF- BJ Uptown
    OF- Curtis Granderson
    DH- Ryan Howard

  79. YankeeFanInVermont June 25th, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    munchabuncha said: “In the site you gave, it mentions that the lable is stamped at the weakest part of the bat. The bat should be held so the lable is up, in other words perpendicular to the impact. Its something I will watch for. If they are hitting it cross grain, it might be causing some of these problems.”

    I sure hope the players know not to hit the ball on the label of the bat. I was told to not do that in the Little Leagues 50 years ago!!

  80. murphydog June 25th, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Ban the Maple Bat – don’t hold your breath.

    Selig is a consensus guy (read: small cojones). Above all else that’s why there was no decisive action regarding PEDs by the Commissioner’s Office until Congress left Bud no choice. Bud was waiting for the Union and the owners to get together on it and they did not. Based on the strong likelihood that Bud will continue being Bud, you wouldn’t expect the bats issue to be resolved anytime soon.

    Selig’s beating at the hands of Congress over PEDs should have made him a little pushier with the MLBPA and owners. Yet, so far it looks like Bud’s going from the usual play book and trying to – slowly – build consensus.

    Does Bud have any leverage to put the “hurry up” on the owners and MLBPA?

    Bud could manipulate the parties with the fear of fresh Congressional intervention or the possibility that some bureaucrat at OSHA might get involved since it is arguably a workplace safety issue.

    The Commissioner’s Office also has the power to investigate and take action with regard to anything “not in the best interests of baseball.” That’s how Selig pulled off the Mitchell Report without the prior approval of the Union. Could the Commissioner change “work conditions” unilaterally under that clause? Maybe not. They all say that the evidence they have so far is less than clear about why the bats are breaking. Yet, regardless of why, there’s no denying that the number of breaks is getting out of hand and creating a danger to field personnel and fans alike. Maybe Bud should be bold and do something “Leaderish.”

    What about injured fan lawsuits? Considering the usual foul ball or occasional flying or broken bat, they are not a huge motivator for change because the back of your ticket contains essentially an assumption of the risk for you and a waiver of liability for the team in the event of any fan-ball or even fan-bat contact occurring as a regular part of the game. However, since the increase in the number of broken bats seems to be a recent and dangerous aberration which the teams are aware of, a broken-bat inured fan might persuade a court that the standard waiver/assumption of the risk defenses should not apply to broken bat-fan injuries. (MLB’s history of deceit in the collusion cases and the PED scandal might not help them in court. Just a guess).

    Jeez. Clearly I have some time to kill :)

    Oh well, at least it’s a break from worrying about the price of oil or waiting for my IRS rebate check to arrive.

  81. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    You would think, YF in Vermont, but as time goes on you people get lazy or forget some fundamentals.

  82. retire #51 June 25th, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    no nets by the dugouts. that would be ridiculous. The bats need to be changed. however putting up nets be miserable

  83. gayle June 25th, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Oswalt-allegedly has a no trade to NY clause in his contract unless he waives that (maybe he is talking to Andy about NYC) then it isnt happening.

  84. raymagnetic ®™ June 25th, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Francis,

    I guess CC Sabathia is your number one on that team but then who?

  85. DMan June 25th, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Hmm..

    If that trades more than a rumor, who plays second?

  86. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    I guess the fact that Oswalt has already said he doesn’t have a desire to pitch in NY and after one year could demand a trade means nothing. At the end of the year, Cano and Cano’s hitting .300, and the suggestion to trade him, and the same people will be screaming about the stupidity of such actions. How many 25 year old Gold Glove calibre, .300 hitting second basemen are on the market for free, anyway?

  87. a-rod this year manning June 25th, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    is russul martin a brother?

  88. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Oswalt has a full no trade clause. That only means he won’t go if its not to his liking. He can waive that but can’t be forced to go. Its not just to NY.

    I would think that Pettitte could talk to him, his being with the team could be a draw to Oswalt. You never know.

  89. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    DMan, maybe they could put Gardner at second base. He’s ready.

  90. BUZZ June 25th, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    The home plate umpire yesterday mets game was a disgrace

  91. sunny615 June 25th, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    munchabuncha
    June 25th, 2008 at 2:36 pm
    Oswalt has a full no trade clause. That only means he won’t go if its not to his liking. He can waive that but can’t be forced to go. Its not just to NY.

    I would think that Pettitte could talk to him, his being with the team could be a draw to Oswalt. You never know.

    That or 5 million dollars.

  92. raymagnetic ®™ June 25th, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    “is russul martin a brother?”

    Sure is. Very light skinned but he’s a brother.

  93. BUZZ June 25th, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    “DMan, maybe they could put Gardner at second base. He’s ready.”

    there is no chance gardner is playing 2B, if any1 it will be alberto

  94. a-rod this year manning June 25th, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    who cares about the muts or mess! they are not worth a bit to anybody overhere!

  95. Francis The Praying Mantis June 25th, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Raymag…after CC, I guess Edwin Jackson would be my number 2 by default, then I really have to get creative.

  96. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Buzz, that was a joke.

  97. Pete V June 25th, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Buzz – sarcasm radar not working properly?

  98. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    The home plate umpire at the Mets game yesterday was the same one that called the Volquez game.

    Good to know he doesn’t just call a bad strike zone for Yankee games.

  99. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    I could see them going with Alberto at 2nd, not Gardner.

  100. BUZZ June 25th, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    i wont trade cano for oswalt or CC

  101. TurnTwo June 25th, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    “I guess the fact that Oswalt has already said he doesn’t have a desire to pitch in NY and after one year could demand a trade means nothing.”

    if he has a full no-trade, which he does, why would he waive it to pitch in NY to then opt out of the contract after a year? that doesnt make any sense.

    i have no problem using Cano as a trading chip if it he nets a big fish, just not sure if Roy Oswalt is that any more. He’s had a pretty subpar year for him, although his numbers the last month havent been awful.

    but that would the type of pitcher to target with Cano… not Sabathia, who is a FA after the year, but someone whos a front of the rotation guy, but is signed to a reasonable contract for the next couple years.

  102. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Let’s bring in the Greinke Brothers, Marx Brothers, Mario Brothers, or, lets bring in the Wayans Brothers.

  103. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Let’s bring in the Greinke Brothers, Marx Brothers, Mario Brothers, or, lets bring in the Wayans Brothers.

  104. TurnTwo June 25th, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    where is this Oswalt thing coming from anyway? seems out of nowhere, considering everything we’ve heard previously about Oswalt’s desires.

  105. raymagnetic ®™ June 25th, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Francis,

    The lineup would rake. Your pitching staff would have about 3 people on it though.

    Really not a lot of black pitchers who pitch well out there.

  106. BUZZ June 25th, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    “The home plate umpire at the Mets game yesterday was the same one that called the Volquez game.

    Good to know he doesn’t just call a bad strike zone for Yankee games.”

    i think hes is the umpire that call the Strikeout of giambi a week ago. This guy got issues

  107. DMan June 25th, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    I guess Alberto could fill in..

    I dont think Cano should be traded. Watching Cano last night reminded me of the Cano of the last couple years.

    He was torching the ball all over the field.

  108. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    raymagnetic: But CC would be on the team.

  109. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Isn’t Oswalt signed with club options till 2011? That would make him more attractive in a trade. If this does come about, I bet a lot had to do with Pettitte which could mean another year of Pettitte as well.

  110. DMan June 25th, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Actually, just looking at the stats, Cano has raised his BA from .217 to .235 in just 10 games…

    He did go hitless in 4 of those 10 though.

  111. BUZZ June 25th, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    im not giving cano for oswalt maybe kennedy and Melky

  112. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Kruk was saying that he should be suspended as he caused the problems at the Mets game. I tend to agree. It has to work both ways.

  113. TurnTwo June 25th, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    does anyone have a link to whereever this Oswalt thing came from? or is this just fan speculation?

  114. raymagnetic ®™ June 25th, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    “raymagnetic: But CC would be on the team.”

    He’s good and then I guess David Price in a couple of years. Not much after that however.

  115. Nick in SF June 25th, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    murphydog, my Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 check came a couple days ago.

    I’m trying to decide if I should spend it on more Moose Bars or Friends of Eliot Spitzer.

    Or maybe send a NY Giants Road to Super Bowl XLII dvd’s to my Patriots fan cousin.

    So many choices!

  116. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    So who’s watching the Euro?

  117. gayle June 25th, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Turntwo-

    Someone posted that they heard it on the FAN via Mark Chernoff or something like that

  118. TurnTwo June 25th, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    “So who’s watching the Euro?”

    which i was, but stuck at work… and its never the same on the tivo.

    i will be locked in for the final on Sunday afternoon, whoever is in it (go Germany and Spain!)

  119. DMan June 25th, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    “So who’s watching the Euro?”

    I watched when Italy was playing. I’ve stopped now that they got the boot.

  120. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    “They [maple bats] are very, very dangerous. I’m surprised that this is the first incident we’ve seen…It could have been worse, a lot worse. It looked a lot worse than it was. There was a lot of blood. My understanding is that he is OK.” – Royals manager Trey Hillman

    Plate umpire Brian O’Nora didn’t return to the game, but he is OK. Miguel Olivo, the Royal at bat when O’Nora was injured, switched to an ash bat for the remainder of the game.

  121. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    TurnTwo: I’m finding it hard not to pull for Turkey right now.

    Go Turkey, Go Spain!

  122. Francis The Praying Mantis June 25th, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Ray, I dont think I could fill a pitching staff of all brothers even if I went back in time

    CC
    Gibson
    Doc
    Oil Can
    Edwin Jackson
    Fernando Rodney
    Darryl Thompson???

  123. Brandon (Jose Tabata stays) (Johan Santana HR count: 13 and a SP) June 25th, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Yankees–Cano for Oswalt Rumor — Reported By Mark Chernoff

    Another wannabe GM columnist, And w/ a deal that isn’t even a good one. Oswalt has underperformed this year, even w/o the no trade to NY I wouldn’t trade Cano for him.

  124. a-rod this year manning June 25th, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    next years line up!
    damon lf
    jeter ss
    abreu rf
    a-rod 3b
    teixeira 1b
    giambi dh (sign him for 1 year deal plus incentives)
    possada c
    cano 2b
    cebrera cf
    bench.
    1-matzuie
    2-gardner
    3-molina
    rotaition.
    1 joba
    2 c c
    3 wang
    4 joba
    5 petitte / moose (i belive one of them will retire)

  125. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Watching the Euro is boring. I’ll wait until the end of the business day and check out the value of the Euro, then.

  126. Francis The Praying Mantis June 25th, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I know rodney isnt a brother, but he’s close

  127. Pete V June 25th, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    don’t forget Dave Stewart

  128. saucY June 25th, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    satchel paige

  129. Drive 4-5 June 25th, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Here’s a problem with bats:

    When runners are in scoring position Yankee player’s bat don’t hit the ball,regardless of what kind of wood the bat is made of.

  130. Russell NY June 25th, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Go Germany!

  131. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    How about Don Newcombe, Al Downing and Satchel Page?

  132. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Drive 4-5 :lol:

    Yes that is a big problem.

  133. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Go USA…
    Oh… never mind.

  134. TurnTwo June 25th, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Turkey would be a great story on the heels of Greece 4 years ago, but i cant root against my ancestry.

    Germany in a rout!

  135. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Drive:

    post of the night. Easy.

  136. BUZZ June 25th, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    “rotaition.
    1 joba
    2 c c
    3 wang
    4 joba
    5 petitte / moose (i belive one of them will retire)”

    why is joba there 2 times? i put hughes in there

  137. murphydog June 25th, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Nick in SF:

    “I’m trying to decide if I should spend it on more Moose Bars or Friends of Eliot Spitzer.”

    Moose Bars ;)

  138. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    My ancestry doesn’t have a soccer team. Not that you’d necessarily want to watch an All Jewish team anyway.

    Though you’ have a killer all Jewish baseball team–Koufax, Greenberg, Ryan Braun ffor starters…

  139. a-rod this year manning June 25th, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    you are right i ment to write hughes!
    next years line up!
    damon lf
    jeter ss
    abreu rf
    a-rod 3b
    teixeira 1b
    giambi dh (sign him for 1 year deal plus incentives)
    possada c
    cano 2b
    cebrera cf
    bench.
    1-matzuie
    2-gardner
    3-molina
    rotaition.
    1 joba
    2 c c
    3 wang
    4 hughes
    5 petitte / moose (i belive one of them will retire)

  140. DMan June 25th, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    “Germany in a rout!”

    Well.. Rout by Soccer terms right? So 3-0?

    =]

  141. murphydog June 25th, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Drive 4-5:

    Bats don’t hit balls. Players hit balls. That is, players on other teams hit balls.

  142. Drive 4-5 June 25th, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Francis The Praying Mantis and Raymagnetic,

    A rotation of Ferguson Jenkins, Vida Blue, JR Richard, Al Downing and Rudy May would be pretty tough to beat.

  143. DFox June 25th, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    I’m not really sure that I see the valid argument here. I agree that it will be terrible if someone gets seriously injured from broken bat pieces, but I don’t think banning maple bats is the right thing to do. I’m sorry to say it, but if you’re a 65 year old women, you might want to think twice before sitting in the danger zones for broken bats. Because let’s be honest, no one is getting hit with broken bat pieces in the outfield seats, or simply a little higher up.

    The question here is how much do we want to tamper with baseball in order to make the stadium “child proof”. The game is played with a hardball… if that hits a fan hard enough they can die. Should they use a softball instead? Most of you have to respond yes to that question because the opinion here seems to be “do anything you can to make the stadium as safe as possible”. But then why not put the fans in a bubble? Then it would be impossible for them to be harmed…

    The bottom line deciding how much you want to tamper with the sport in order to stop incidents like these. And the reason I don’t like the idea of banning maple bats is because what happens when someone gets killed by a foul ball? A lose bat? Shards of an ash bat?

  144. saucY June 25th, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    go turkey! go swiss! go rye!

  145. Francis The Praying Mantis June 25th, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    I guess tom gordon would be my closer by default.

    Isnt it crazy how that there are so few brothers that can pitch? This needs to change.

  146. Drive 4-5 June 25th, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Green Beret,

    How did I forget Newcombe and Satchel? But I think we’re showing our age lol

  147. raymagnetic ®™ June 25th, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    “Ray, I dont think I could fill a pitching staff of all brothers even if I went back in time

    CC
    Gibson
    Doc
    Oil Can
    Edwin Jackson
    Fernando Rodney
    Darryl Thompson???”

    You can add Satchel Paige to that list as well. Off the top of my head I can’t think of too many others though.

  148. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Rebecca, add Moe Berg as the catcher (he can spy on the Red Sox during the off season) and Ron Blomberg as the DH.

  149. murphydog June 25th, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    “Though you’ have a killer all Jewish baseball team–Koufax, Greenberg, Ryan Braun ffor starters…”

    Don’t forget Youkilis.

  150. mel June 25th, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Thanks, Gayle.

    Speaking of playing out of position. What was eyechart doing in right field?

    Re: Cano. As upset as I am about his regression from patience he showed last year, no to trading him. I know that CC or Roy or whoever are those generational pitchers. But Cano is a good 2B. Just not in the first half of the season. You don’t forget how to hit. It’ll come around.

    There’s a reason why Oswalt does not want to pitch here. Don’t force him to. Could end up being another RJ situation.

    C what happens with CC. He might just fall in our lap (brace yourselves), if Cleveland sticks to their no-window stance.

    There’s an article on espn.com about how the Angels built their starting staff from within. The win now sentiment makes it tempting to abondon Cashman’s plan, but it’s worth pursuing.

    Whether we like it or not, IP be damned, Joba’s our ace.

  151. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Drive, I was only showing your age. I just read about them in my 3rd grade reader.

  152. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    GB: Very true!

    Murphydog: doesn’t Hank Greenberg play first?

  153. raymagnetic ®™ June 25th, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    “A rotation of Ferguson Jenkins, Vida Blue, JR Richard, Al Downing and Rudy May would be pretty tough to beat.”

    “How did I forget Newcombe and Satchel?”

    I guess historically you could fill out a rotation. A great rotation at that. Couldn’t do it in the present time however.

  154. TKinDC June 25th, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    “Nick in SF:

    “I’m trying to decide if I should spend it on more Moose Bars or Friends of Eliot Spitzer.””

    By friends of ES, do you mean his supporters or those nice ladies in lots of make-up and very uncomfortable shoes who always wave as I drive by?

  155. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Its the law of averages at work with this one, DFox. Players used to go through 4 -5 bats a season. A SEASON! Now Damon goes through that many and more in a week. When it happens that frequently then there is a substantial problem.

    Its like driving a car with no brake pads. Sure it might stop, but is it worth the chance?

  156. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Other pitchers would be Earl Wilson, a 20 game winner and a great hitter – 35 career homers. JR Richard, Don Wilson of Houston.

  157. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Other pitchers would be Earl Wilson, a 20 game winner and a great hitter – 35 career homers. JR Richard, Don Wilson of Houston.

  158. The other Todd June 25th, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    DFox – There’s a difference – switching to a soft ball changes the game. Switching to all ash bats doesn’t. I agree that banning maple bats might not be the answer … but anytime you can make the game safer without changing the game itself, why not do it?

  159. a-rod this year manning June 25th, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    wasnt doc goodin a brother?

  160. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Rebecca, Greenberg did play 1st, but also left field.

  161. murphydog June 25th, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Rebecca–Optimist Prime–Mission 2708:

    Hank Greenberg is a 1st baseman, true. But can anyone really compare with the Grit! and Fire! that is Youkils ;)

  162. 86w183 June 25th, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Hey Bro—-

    How about Dave Stewart? Ferguson Jenkins? Lee Smith?

  163. murphydog June 25th, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    wasnt doc goodin a brother?

    Still is I believe.

  164. RER - 98 June 25th, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    How many fans really pay attention to what is said on the back side of a ticket stub ?
    A quick look will show that baseball teams cover themselves by printing that the holder of the ticket voluntarily assumes all risk and danger incidental to the game of Baseball, or other event for which the ticket is issued, whether occuring prior to, during, or subsequent to the actual playing of the game including specifically (but not exclusively) the danger of being injured by thrown bats, fragments thereof, and thrown or batted balls or other objects.

    Broken bats can end up as shattered missiles so any fan sitting in lower sections and not paying attention to the goings on are most vulnerable.
    I saw a fan last week gabbing on his cellphone and the barrel part of the bat came at him and fortunately just grazed him and what does he do ? He must have made 6 calls to people asking if they caught him getting whacked with a bat on their TV. Real brilliant. If it caught him squarely, he might have called them from the back of an ambulance.

  165. Francis The Praying Mantis June 25th, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    rebecca, my all brothers team would destroy your all jewsih team….but if it was a competition of financial responsibility, youd win in a landslide.

  166. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Turkey up 1-0

  167. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Rebecca, a great book to read is the biography of Moe Berg (The Catcher Is a spy). He was an old time catcher, and quite a character. He also worked for wild Bill Donovam and former Yankees president, Michael Burke in the OSS during WWII.

  168. Joe June 25th, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    “Speaking of playing out of position. What was eyechart doing in right field?”

    mel, he played 3b last week, and I remember seeing him at 2b in a game, maybe it was an emergency/blow out situation.

  169. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    ***Wild Bill Donovan***

  170. Drive 4-5 June 25th, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Earl Wilson in ’66 he had 7 homers and 22 rbi.I’m sorry Green Beret, but if you remember Earl Wilson you be ollllld like me! hahahahahahah

  171. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Francis: There is probably some truth to that. But we’re pretty good at baseball and make one mean army.

    You don’t want to watch us play basketball, though.

    Really, no.

  172. Nick in SF June 25th, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Eliot Spitzer still has supporters?

  173. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Rob, chill.

    It’s a joke. (well, I hope, anyway.)

  174. TurnTwo June 25th, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    “Turkey up 1-0″

    dammit.

  175. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    “Nick in SF
    June 25th, 2008 at 3:12 pm
    Eliot Spitzer still has supporters?”
    Yeah, in the red light districts!

  176. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    1-1 now.

  177. TurnTwo June 25th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    goal, Germany!

  178. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Alright Drive…you don’t mention me and I won’t mention anything about when you used to tip little George Ruth a nickel for delivering your weekly newspapers.

  179. DFox June 25th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    But whose to say that eliminating maple bats doesn’t change the game? You’re making players who are paid to PERFORM use their SECOND choice of bat. To me, that’s changing the game. It’s saying to a player use the bat that gives you the second best chance to do well.

    And another poster brought up a great point when they said something I wasn’t aware of. They said that Barry Bonds broke the home run record using maple bats. So maple bats have been around a long time. We have unbelievable technology now, let’s use it to find out why the bats are breaking and fix it. Just “eliminating” anything that isn’t as good as it should be is counter-productive. Pete makes fun of the committee for saying they want to study and research the bats, but isn’t that the way to go? If ash bats start breaking at an alarming rate, should they ban those also?

  180. DMan June 25th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    For all the other soccer fans, this is a pretty amusing article.

    http://www.dw-world.de/dw/arti.....65,00.html

  181. murphydog June 25th, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Nick in SF:

    “Eliot Spitzer still has supporters?”

    Look at Marv Albert. He’s big time again. It could happen for Eliot.

    http://www.courttv.com/archive.....lbert.html

  182. saucY June 25th, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    i thought Youkilis was greek?

  183. Guiseppe Franco June 25th, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Jon Heyman often talks out of his arse. There’s no truth to the rumor that the Yanks would trade Cano for Oswalt. Never mind that Oswalt doesn’t want any part of NY.

    This is the same Jon Heyman who has also reported that the Yanks, Rays, and Red Sox have all expressed interest in Sabathia when all indications show that none of these teams are likely destinations.

    Theo isn’t going to trade for Sabathia. That’s not how he runs that team.

    The Rays sure as hell aren’t going to trade for Sabathia when they have a very good rotation as it stands and they have David Price lurking around the corner. No way are they are going trade for Sabathia.

    Cashman has shown that he’s not going to make the big splash like the Steinbrenner-controlled Yankees did.

    Heyman also speculates today that Ichiro could he shipped out of Seattle and King Felix could also be had.

    C’mon, that’s moronic.

    Ichiro is going nowhere. If Seattle traded 23 of its 25 players on the roster – the two players remaining would be Ichiro and King Felix.

    Heyman likes to talk out of his arse, but I guess this is the time of year for unsubstantiated rumors that lead to nothing but killing brain cells.

  184. saucY June 25th, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    “But whose to say that eliminating maple bats doesn’t change the game? You’re making players who are paid to PERFORM use their SECOND choice of bat. To me, that’s changing the game. It’s saying to a player use the bat that gives you the second best chance to do well.”

    but introducing them in the first place also changed the game, no?

  185. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    Saucy: Youk is a Greek jew :)

  186. wsr June 25th, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    rebecca,

    Don’t forget ron blomberg. he is, after all, the designated hebrew

  187. Nick in SF June 25th, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Maybe I’m just misunderstanding the “stimulus” part.

  188. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    As was stated earlier a few times. The only way to keep bats from splintering and exploding is to leave moisture in the bats.

  189. Rob June 25th, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Rebecca–Optimist Prime–Mission 2708
    said” June 25th, 2008 at 3:13 pm
    Rob, chill.

    It’s a joke. (well, I hope, anyway.)”

    Honestly, if he is joking it’s not very funny at all. How many people would be laughing if someone came in here saying how we need a team full of all white guys like Paul O’Neil. People would be screaming racism like there was no tommorow. It’s a huge double standard. My point is there use to be “all brother” teams back in the day. It was called the Negro League and existed during very racist times. Is that what Francis wants to go back to, separate leagues for each race? Poeople faught very hard for equal rights and i’m very glad my Yankee team contains a splash of every color and race.

  190. murphydog June 25th, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    saucY:

    “i thought Youkilis was greek?” Oooooh. Sorry.

    There is a verrrrrry funny Dennis Leary NESN clip out there, on Youtube I think. Leary stopped into the Sox booth during a game to talk about some show or charity racket he was doing and he was either hammered or just in a funny mood. Before too long Youkilis’ name comes up and Leary was unaware that he was Jewish until one of the game announcers told him. Leary then went off on a tirade about Youkilis being Jewish and I remember it being pretty outrageous, I just can’t find the darned clip….

  191. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    http://www.baseball-almanac.co.....yers.shtml

    I have to say, one of those names is not like the others…

  192. Blargh June 25th, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Well, there is Dolph Schayes…and….I dunno who else for Jewish basketball players

  193. TurnTwo June 25th, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    “Honestly, if he is joking it’s not very funny at all.”

    idk, i find it mildly amusing.

  194. murphydog June 25th, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    Leary, Youkilis and the rant…

    http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/40420/

  195. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Rob: I don’t think I’m overstepping my bounds when I say that most (and hopefully all) of us here don’t care who’s on the team as long as they can play (and, again, aren’t murdering babies).

    Baseball is, in fact, usually ahead of the curve when it comes to race relations–think of Jackie Robinson integrating the league eight years before King and Parks started to make a splash.

  196. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Would that be Jose Bautista, Rebecca?

    Add Rod Carew to your list for 2nd base.

  197. Rishi June 25th, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Jason (Baltimore, MD): 5 years…Chamberlain/Hughes/Kennedy or Arrieta/Tillman/Matusz?

    Jim Callis: You know what, I’m going to give a slight edge to the Orioles trio.

    Sal (Connecticut): With your slight edge to the Orioles trio, should I a Yankees fan take that as a knock on our trio or in my opinion really Chamberlain and Hughes or is the Orioles trio that good?

    Jim Callis: Of those six pitchers, I think Kennedy is well behind the others in terms of stuff. That was the tiebreaker for me.

  198. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Blargh, how about Larry Berg at forward?

  199. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    There is some talk of Hickory being used as a wood for bats in MLB.

    Bonds broke the one season HR record using a maple bat. That is what made others start using it.

    Banning the wood for a period of time would be prudent though. Till they find out what is wrong, which could be the manufacturing process, the drying process, the size of the taper, the handle size, then it makes sense to stop using them.

    After that bat hit the umpire, Miguel Olivo, the batter whose bat broke, stopped using maple and switched to ash. So did other players during that game.

    Damon switched from maple to ash because of his concern over them.

  200. Rob June 25th, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    “Francis The Praying Mantis
    June 25th, 2008 at 3:27 pm
    its a damn shame when a half caucasian, half hispanic guy like myself is called racist for being be pro black”

    Ahhhh, but there is a difference between being pro black players in sports and wanting only black players. If you can’t see that than, yes, you are racist.

  201. Bob(the original) June 25th, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    What century are we in?

  202. raymagnetic ®™ June 25th, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Francis,

    You could also have Grady Sizemore in your outfield as well.

  203. TurnTwo June 25th, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    according to this GameCast on espn.com, seems like Turkey is getting an awful lot of opportunities in the Germany end, and piling on the shots on goal.

  204. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    GB: Yes, indeed.

  205. Rob June 25th, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Thats like saying black people are the best at sports so i want my team to be all black. It sounds like a comment but it’s a racist stereotype. Like someone sayin i want my entire spelling bee team to be all Asians. It’s racist. maybe you were kidding with your “brothers” comments, but they sounded plenty of racism.

  206. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 June 25th, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    TurnTwo: That’s about right. And the team they have would basically be like the Yankees playing in the ALCS without Rivera, Posada and Damon.

  207. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Munch, hickory is too heavy for today’s players. Makes you wonder how Babe Ruth swung that 36 inch, 52 ounce hickory wagon tongue

  208. Francis The Praying Mantis June 25th, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    I like Granderson better, but Grady could definitely ride the bench on my squad. He’s not playing over Uncle Milty or Upton.

  209. Blargh June 25th, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Oh yea, Farmar’s Jewish, so there’s two forwards and a point guard
    Mmm, maybe throw in Dolph’s son as well; Danny Schayes played center, right?

    Oh, and according to wikipedia, both Reds (Auerbach and Holzman), the brothers Gundy, Larry Brown, and Lawrence Frank are Jewish, or at least part. If so, that covers the coaching side.

  210. Patrick â„¢ June 25th, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Grady Sizemore is black? I was thinking about an all white team and he was my center fielder. Oh well

  211. Rev Al June 25th, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    It seems I have to come here more often. Screw Imus. Who is in charge here David Dukes

  212. a-rod this year manning June 25th, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    geuss how is jewish?

    Bud Selig!

  213. munchabuncha June 25th, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    The hickory is heavy because of the moisture in it. The drying techniques they use now make them lighter. Which is the point of the possible problem with maple.

    Ruth was an animal though.

  214. a-rod this year manning June 25th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    *who

  215. CUYanks June 25th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Just wondering, but why don’t home plate umpires have helmets that protect their entire heads, not leaving the back vulnerable?

  216. Blargh June 25th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Oh, and the Commish, David Stern, is also Jewish, so says the wiki
    …didn’t know Stern was also a Jersey guy too, but that makes sense given that he’s a Rutgers grad

  217. GreenBeret7 June 25th, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Rebecca, there are large Jewish enclaves in the Caribbean. Many because in the early thirties, it was easy to get passports and visas to the DR, Puerto Rico and Cuba. That ended with the SS St. Louis fiasco.

  218. TurnTwo June 25th, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    “blargh, if he’s jewish he could only be from 1 of 3 states…NY, NJ or Fla. =)”

    ooo, Rob’s not gonna like this one, either.

  219. a-rod this year manning June 25th, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    francis- i dont know what your talking anywhere you go you will find jewish people!

  220. Anthony June 25th, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    What’s with all the racial talk in here? It’s really inappropriate for a baseball site. I agree with Rob, I have noticed Francis always making a big deal about it before and it’s offensive. You can’t just make racist jokes and say “oh they’re just jokes, don’t be offended.” It’s racist and couching it in terms of a joke doesn’t make it better or less inappropriate for this site. That may fly at a nightclub somewhere, but it has no place here.

  221. a-rod this year manning June 25th, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    i think the racist in the US comes todays day from black people against white!

  222. CUYanks June 25th, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Does anyone think the Yankees would pick up Richie Sexson if the M’s cut him?

  223. a-rod this year manning June 25th, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    never pick up sexon!

  224. Rob Thompson June 25th, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Maybe they could give everyone who has field seats a helmet with a facemask. Not only would it help shield you from bat fragments but you could also leave it on if a fight breaks out like a certain PUNK catcher did.

  225. Anthony June 25th, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    I think they’d give him a look, he could be useful as a right handed bat. He’s got good numbers against lefties.

  226. CUYanks June 25th, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    He can’t hit for average at all anymore, but he still does have some power from the right side and has to be no worse than Betemit playing first and batting righty.

  227. Rob Thompson June 25th, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Wasn’t Racist that utility infielder who used to play for Toledo back in the early ’80′s.

  228. Anthony June 25th, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Richie Sexson this year against LHP:
    .360 .421 .580 1.001

    Yeah, no good at all.

    Oh and Betemit:
    .263 .263 .421 .684

  229. CUYanks June 25th, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    How does it work again if the M’s DFA him? Who gets priority?

  230. Anthony June 25th, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    I think their only option is to release him if they want the roster spot and to shake things up. I think any team that traded for him or claimed him off waivers would have to pay his salary, which no one would agree to do.

  231. Rob June 25th, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Anthony said
    “June 25th, 2008 at 3:51 pm
    What’s with all the racial talk in here? It’s really inappropriate for a baseball site. I agree with Rob, I have noticed Francis always making a big deal about it before and it’s offensive. You can’t just make racist jokes and say “oh they’re just jokes, don’t be offended.” It’s racist and couching it in terms of a joke doesn’t make it better or less inappropriate for this site. That may fly at a nightclub somewhere, but it has no place here.”

    Thanks Anthony,

    That was very well said and the point that I was trying to make.

    - Rob

  232. Brandon (Jose Tabata stays) (Johan Santana HR count: 13 and a SP) June 25th, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Richie Sexson this year against LHP:
    .360 .421 .580 1.001

    Yeah, no good at all.

    Oh and Betemit:
    .263 .263 .421 .684

    Richie Sexson is playing full time how about the numbers of game in contrast to those numbers why don’t you bother to post that ?

    Since we’re going to get technical here, lets go w/ LD % and K %

    Richie Sexson overall has a 32.7 K % and a 19.5 LD % rate

    Wilson Betemit overall has a 27.7 K % and a 29.2 LD % rate

    What does that tell you ? It tells you contact and per AB wise Wilson Betemit not only strikes out less but he also hit the ball harder, nearly 30 % which at one point he had a 34 % LD rate this season of the balls hit he hits are hard outs.

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