When the bat breaks … Colvin takes one for the game

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AP Photos/Alan Diaz
The Chicago Cubs’ Tyler Colvin, right, grimmaces as he scores after he was hit in the chest by a broken bat from teammate Welington Castillos’ double, above, in the second inning of a game Sunday in Miami. Colvin was a runner at third base who came home on the hit. MLB Media has tried to prevent all websites from posting video of the incident.

All it takes is one person — player, ump or fan — to get impailed by a broken maple bat, and possibly die. Or worse.

Darn, we almost had one Sunday.

It was decided today that the Chicago Cubs’ Tyler Colvin, who was hitting .254 with 20 homers and 56 RBIs, would sit out the rest of the season after a shattered maple bat punctured his chest as he scored a run in a game against Florida.

He remains in stable condition at a Miami hospital today and is likely to stay there for a few more days, MLB.com reports.

A Cubs trainer said Colvin was hit in his upper chest, allowing air into his chest well and potentially into his lungs. He was being treated with a chest tube to prevent a collapsed lung, according to The Associated Press.

What’s it going to take for baseball to kill maple bats before it kills someone else?

== More on the Colvin story:

== The New York Times (linked here) reports that the number of broken bats declined about 15 percent this season after falling 35 percent last season, according to Major League Baseball. In 2008, about one bat per game was broken compared to about 0.55 bats broken per game this year. (By comparison, 0.57 bases have been stolen per game in the N.L. this year.)

== Bob Nightengale at USA Today (linked here) reported that Oakland Athletics reliever Brad Ziegler, who was hit in the back with a broken bat this month, wrote on Twitter: “Hope it won’t take the death of a player/fan to get maple bats banned.”

== Time magazine (linked here) refers to Arizona Diamondbacks analyst Mark Grace endorsing a transparent safety film placed over bats.

== The Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rogers (linked here) quotes Ron Manfred, MLB’s executive vice president of labor relations: “People say ban maple bats. We couldn’t play if we banned maple bats. There’s not enough ash available. If you banned maple, you’d find there’s not enough high-quality ash available. We’re dealing with an ash blight in the United States.”

He sounds more worried about a blight of ash bats, knowing there’ll always be another player to replace someone like Colvin if he’s ever killed.

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Steve Mitchell/US Presswire
Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija checks on the condition of Tyler Colvin as Colvin walks back to the dugout on Sunday.

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