Are we nearing the end of metal bats?


A California legislative committee advanced a bill Wednesday that would place a two-year moratorium on the use of metal bats in high school baseball, responding to safety concerns that were raised when a Marin County teenager was severely injured earlier this year.

“The hyper-performance of high tech metal baseball bats has gone too far. It’s increasing the risk of serious injury and yes, death, for young people and we have to do something about it.”Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael

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  • Not sure if its a good idea

    In my opinion, if this tragic incident happened anywhere else, this movement would not have been started, but because it happened in an affluent community which is very well off, it has become a major issue. Maybe the solution isn’t to ban metal bats. Maybe the solution is to force these batmaking companies to stop producing these high performing bats.

    I don’t know how many high school teams can afford replacing bats throughout the season. Maybe the wooden bat companies will see this as a way to produce a cheaper product so that all can afford. With cleats, bags, gloves and other items that parents are purchasing, the lower income player may be pushed out.

  • Aaron

    What I find really dumb about this idea is that adults, you know the pros get hurt with balls that are hit by wooden bats. So I think these people aren’t spending their time wisely.

  • COChargerfan

    Not going to happen because the NCAA has already adopted a new performance standard for metal bats starting 1/1/11…they are changing from the current BESR to BBCOR. According to the NCAA, this brings metal bats in line with the EXACT SAME performance as wood bats…so why ban metal bats? Expect high school to adopt the same rules.

    My two cents is that this is just another knee jerk reaction by some liberal lawmakers that are trying to get some political face time out of an unfortunate incident. Come on, there are MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of baseballs hit every year by metal bats and only a few times do pitchers get injured. The odds are that one has a better chance of getting eaten by a shark or hitting the lottery than being seriously injured by a batted ball. Anyone for banning automobiles because 50,000 Americans die EVERY YEAR on the highways? Politician/idiots wasting the taxpayers money trying to make the world idiot proof instead of doing something productive like cleaning up the fiscal mess that they have gotten us into with years of irresponsible and wasteful spending.

  • Witness

    Ive been to a few high school wood bat games and witnessed the ball fly off wood bats as fast as they do metal. Does anyone know how many pro or high school players get injured by wood bats being broken? We’ve all seen how wood bats break and now theirs a sharp wooden stake flying through the air.
    I think pitchers should wear some type of helment or protection. Might look like a dork until we all get use to it, but at least he wouldnt get major head injuries.

  • LA Conq

    I think this is a great idea. We should also make the balls made of rubber since the current hard balls can hurt kids too. Also, those metal spikes can really do some damage. I vote for rubber spikes! What else…hmmmm…how about break-away fences so no kid smashes his face on the chain links!

    I feel so much safer now!

  • Don

    Anyone who has watched one of the current crop of wood bats grenade in a big league game sending spear like shards of lumber all over the infield would think twice before submitting the nations prep ballplayers to a possible fate worthy of a vampire movie. Makes no sense, but again, as pointed out above, why think the problem through, were talking about politicians, right.

    The simple fact is, the bat manufacturers, Easton, DeMarini, Louisville Slugger, and the rest, can engineer a metal bat to have whatever Bat Exit Speed Ratio they want. If the powers that be decree its safer to make the bats less lively, set a BESR and do it. Simulate the BESR of a wood bat or a banana squash, it makes no difference as long as everyone is held to the same standard by the NFHS.

  • whitey

    Don, you’re right on the button……but the composites are easily altered via “rolling” or “shaving” or both…. dramatically increasing performance this occurs in baseball and fastpitch, these cheaters seldom get caught as umpires have a very difficult time making a determination on whether or not a bat has been altered, don’t kid yourself, there are places locally where you can buy a bat and they’ll “roll” it for you while you wait, gratis! this is the real issue in my mind, not whether or not non-wood bats can be used ,it’s how to keep them from being altered so easily obviously going to -3 awhile back didn’t get the desired results

  • Old Chinese Saying…I Just Made Up, lol

    Confucius say, “Whitey..you very smart! Very smart man indeed!”

  • pe@da.com

    Whitey,

    Interesting about the bats.

    Just curious, how do they roll or shave aluminum bats and how does it increase performance?

    This is the first I’ve ever heard of that.

    Thanks…

  • Zig Zag Love

    Whitey’s right. It’s the worst kept secret going, but you have to have the $$$$ and the “hook ups”.

    The irony is The Tribune put a Glendora player using a “green” bat.

    Well it’s no wonder Glendora is having a great season, it’s common knowledge the Tartans “roll their own”.

    BOOOOO YAAAAAAAAAAH !

  • socalbaseball fan

    I agree that pitchers should wear some type of helmut at all levels. Watching Dodger pitcher Kuroda get hit several years ago was scary. He could have easily died if the ball would have fractured his temporal bone where the middle meningeal artery lies. Recently an former Damien pitcher was hit by a line drive and now is on the DL.
    I saw P Marc Jecman of Diamond Bar get hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of one of the West Covina batters and he had to go to the ER. Yesterday a Yucaipa batter came close to hitting REV pitcher Griffin Murphy near the head.
    I remember when hockey players did not wear helmuts and football players played w/o masks. Time for pitchers to use helmuts.

  • Even BIKERS wear helmets…and they’re tough !

    Couldn’t agree more socalbaseballfan.

    Part of baseball is the fear of getting hit in the face with the ball. Addressing that issue might open up the game a bit more for more kids. I know that sounds silly but I hated that about baseball. I mean if it’s not an issue why does the catcher wear a mask and yet throws it off for a play at the plate? No one is going to use the helmet as a weapon? It’s a macho thing I’m sure as Softball runner use it all the time, I’m talking face protection here is all.

    My wife’s uncle was a third base coach in a company sponsored team when a batter lose control of the bat. Hit him flush across his forehead, one inch down and it kills him instantly. It was a ghastly cut and blood was everywhere.

    I know some one is going to say, why not force the fans to wear helmets but I guess when your loved one is bleeding to death or on the way to the ER it’ll be a different tune you’ll be singing.

  • Don

    The guys who talked about the doctoring of composite bats to increase the pop are absolutely right. This is something the softball guys have known since the comp bats first came out. The problem is that the end cap on the big end is removable allowing some entrepreneurial types access to the barrel where they use mechanical devices, (usually a thing that looks like the inside of a pasta machine), to roll the barrel thus increasing the amount of bounce a struck ball receives from the bat. This is one reason the NCAA no longer looks favorably on comp bats.

    Aluminum bats on the other hand do not lend themselves to tampering because you cant take them apart and hot em up. Taking the end cap off releases the presssure inside and actually reduces the trampoline effect bat engineers are trying to achieve. To the ongoing delight of the folks who make these bats, this happens naturally after a certain number of balls are struck (somewhere between two and several hundred). The process is actually accelerated by striking the bat against other things like home plate, fence poles or your little brother and is heartily encouraged by the folks making the bats as it negates the warranty.

  • Need to know

    What school refers to themselves as The Family?

  • Common sense

    Wrong end of the horse guys. It’s not the speed of the ball off the bat it’s the protection or lack thereof of the person being hit! Isn’t that why they have fences in front of dug outs?

    Why not protect the heads of the players….yes I know it’s hot but any sport where players keep sunflower seeds in the pocket to keep from being bored can make this allowance for a pitcher.

  • Lancer Land

    I totally agree with COChargerfan. Once again these liberal whack job politicos have to stick their nose where it doesn’t belong. Believe me, it never ends. If it were up to them we’d all be living like the Amish. Ban this ban that, this isn’t healthy for for, this is. Is it any wonder this state is in the mess it is in as we speak? They can’t pass any meaningful laws but let something get under their skin and here comes a new regulation. Who ever said these poeple were smart?

  • Don

    Im not all that sure we have a real safety problem here or not. My point was the argument about throwing out metal bats in favor of wood isnt really valid.

    Helmets for pitchers? Masks? Hey, how about the guy at third or first charging a fake bunt and swing play? They end up a lot closer than the F1. And is head protection enough? Ever hear of commotio cordis? It kills 10 or 15 kids every year, most playing baseball, hockey, or lacrosse. And how about the umpires working the C-Slot? Some of those guys are OLD; and we know their vision aint so red hot.

    Point here is baseball can be dangerous and it always has been. The game is played with a hard, five ounce ball that can be hurled at high speed and hit with a bat even faster yet we have relatively few life threatening impact injuries considering how many balls are put into play every day. If making bats less lively would make the game safer, Im for it. Easy to do, easy to monitor; remember the change in bat drop from -5 to -3? This would be just as simple to phase in over a year or two.

  • Tell the truth

    Let’s just face the truth. These up to $500.00 a piece metal bats that get replace by a newer model ever year make money where a good wood bat could cost $40.00. I’ve coach wood bat teams for the last 15 years ages 13 to 25 and seen a total of 30 bats break I love it that it makes a batter a better hitter and a pitcher can make a mistake and scores are low and the adjustment to switch can be diffrent. If you want a excuse to spend money thats fine, but remember at the end if they ever make it to the minors not majors what will they use.

  • Vote Wood

    The bottom line here is safety for all players at all levels!

    The bottom line for learning how to become a better hitter.. is with WOOD!

    Ask guys who have played at the pro level!

  • Head Shot Right ?

    Don you’re in favor of slowing down the balls that are being propelled by ever better bats but you’re not willing to address the issue of where that ball hits.

    How cares if a ball hits a shoulder, a leg or a wrist…heck even the chest, for that matter. We’re all talking about face and head shots right, so why not address the issue “head” on.

  • COChargerfan

    Tell the Truth…how many of those “wood” bats are composites? Because composite wood is not wood and, in fact, are banned by the NCAA. I played my entire youth through my junior year in high school with wood bats (my senior year in 1975 was the first year that metal was approved) and including batting practice we broke dozens of bats every year. All it took was hitting the ball off the end on a defensive swing like at a two strike low and away curve ball and CRACK went the handle. Heck, wed take the cracked bats that could be salvaged and glue, screw and tape the handle back together and use the bats for batting practice or, otherwise, we wouldnt have had any good bats for the games. Anyone remember the old fiberglass handled bats? We used to break those too.

    Yesterday in the Palm Desert Sun, the Palm Desert HS coach while commenting on this legislation said that they went through 18 bats in the 4 games that they played in a wooden bat tourney (I think hes talking about the National Classic) so at $50 minimum each, they burnt through $900 bucks in a couple of days. Multiply that by all the teams and there is no comparison to the dramatic difference in wood costs vs. a $300 metal bat (which is the average cost of most metal bats) that will last for several years.

    I disagree that using wood makes hitters better and instead, the truth is that using metal makes average hitters competitive because the really good hitters could pretty much square up the ball with a broomstick.

    Dons right about there being a certain risk to all sports that just cant be regulated out without affecting the essence of the game. Anyone for watching high school kids playing with a RIF ball on a field with little league dimensions? Why not go even further and well just play with a half and half whiffle ball at the park. Ill say it again50,000 people die in the USA every year in auto accidents, a high percentage of which are young adults, and this could be reduced to a few thousand if the politicians mandated that the top speed of every vehicle is limited to 25 mph. Auto deaths is a much, much bigger problem than a few kids being hit by baseballs so how many out there are willing to drive around at 25 mph to save perhaps 45,000 lives per year?

    The idiot proofing of the world requires perspective that is lost on all too many people, including far too many politicians.

  • It’s just a game

    Let’s go “retro” then…

    Give them all the same “green” Easton aluminum bat that lots of us played with as kids. There were usually one or two per team back then. Maybe if things go OK we can even mix in some “Black Magic’s”.

    I agree that something has to be done but I’m not sure wood is the answer, though I do think it would help. I’ve seen several players at the varsity level over the last 3 years hit baseballs well over 400 ft and every time it was with a “comp” bat. There will always be the rare players that will be able to hit a ball that far with wood but not nearly as many.

    I don’t care if the ball comes off the bat at 80 or 90 mph, if the pitcher gets hit in the head it’s likely to cause damage.

    I don’t know how many readers here have seen a Little League game recently but baseballs are flying out of the yard just about EVERY game now. There were 5 HR’s hit in one game last night by 4 different players. It was pretty rare to see more than two or three kids who were able to hit it out 10 years ago before these “high performance” metal and “comp” bats came around.

    Let’s face it, these bats have changed the game at the amateur level. What changes, if any, need to be made to keep it safe?

    It’s just a game.

  • It’s just a game

    Let’s go “retro” then…

    Give them all the same “green” Easton aluminum bat that lots of us played with as kids. There were usually one or two per team back then. Maybe if things go OK we can even mix in some “Black Magic’s”.

    I agree that something has to be done but I’m not sure wood is the answer, though I do think it would help. I’ve seen several players at the varsity level over the last 3 years hit baseballs well over 400 ft and every time it was with a “comp” bat. There will always be the rare players that will be able to hit a ball that far with wood but not nearly as many.

    I don’t care if the ball comes off the bat at 80 or 90 mph, if the pitcher gets hit in the head it’s likely to cause damage.

    I don’t know how many readers here have seen a Little League game recently but baseballs are flying out of the yard just about EVERY game now. There were 5 HR’s hit in one game last night by 4 different players. It was pretty rare to see more than two or three kids who were able to hit it out 10 years ago before these “high performance” metal and “comp” bats came around.

    Let’s face it, these bats have changed the game at the amateur level. What changes, if any, need to be made to keep it safe?

    It’s just a game.

  • Head Games

    Maybe baseball players are dense, isn’t the issue “head shots”? f Hockey players can “man up” and not lose any ability to hit a smaller moving target while being hit and traveling at high speeds why can’t baseball players play with protective head gear?

  • Revamp

    Vote Wood is exactly right! When youve play at the pro level you’ll understand. Can you even imagine metal in the bigs?

    If you miss with wood, you don’t get those little dinks like you do with metal.

    Learn how to use a wood bat early, it will make a difference. To many companies and special interests groups putting the buck first before saftey!

  • Head Shots

    Okay I’ll try this again, How about face guards for batters?

    Maybe all that sun makes baseball guys slooooooooooooow !

  • COChargerfan

    Head Shots…maybe you’re on the wrong thread because this one is about BASEBALL and not SOFTBALL. Men are not interested in full-face gear and besides, this bulky contraption has it’s own problems as I’ve seen young kids suffer neck injuries when sliding while wearing full-face helmets. Girls dont really slide (they kind of just fall with their feet out) and certainly dont ever go head first.

    Besides, hockey and baseball are too entirely different sports that are played with different skill sets. Baseball requires unimpaired vision to make the necessary adjustments to both hit and catch the ball so face masks and hockey visors are not practical.

    And, where does this stop? Why not protective gear for everyone that is on the field? Should we cover the batters from head to toe in bubble wrap and make all the fielders wear helmets with full-face shields? Because, while playing 3rd base as a junior in high school I was hit in the face by an extremely hard hit ball that bounced once and as I tried to take it off the chest it exploded up at my face…resulted in a concussion. Guess what…the ball was hit with a wood bat and I suppose that it was traveling at around 100 mph.

    Let’s look at the facts. For a baseball to travel 350 feet, the ball speed off the bat must be roughly 100 mph. At 95 mph, the ball goes 325 feet which is roughly the distance to the foul pole on most high school fields. My guess is that only a few kids on each high school team hit home runs during a season so for the most part the exit speed for the average hitter is probably 90 mph or less. This is only 5-10 mph less than the average speed of a pitched ball and obviously slower than the 92-94 mph that elite pitchers throw. The point is that it is more dangerous to stand in the box with a metal bat in hand than to throw the ball and be injured by it returning.

  • Wow

    Ken meet COCF…he’s apparently your long lost brother. You take the simplest arguments and make them into things that befuddle the mind. You must be quite entertaining at parties after a few. Talk about stupid!

    We’re talking pitchers and batters. Try keeping up.

  • so it ain’t so

    “Girls dont really slide (they kind of just fall with their feet out) and certainly dont ever go head first.”

    Did you really just write that?

  • tell the truth

    COChargerfan You sound like you sell bats or should for these companys. 18 bats in four days. These guys must be pretty bad hitters. Go to local minor league game and anyone who really knows baseball will know the truth. and by the way the bats that am talking about are ash and maple. Since you played 35 years ago in high school the hitter and coaches have build up some knowledge on learning how to hit. Go see a minor league and see how many bats get broken. I’ve been a Head High school coach and college asst for over thiryfive years now so I have ideal what am talking about.

  • COChargerfan

    You said it To Tell the Truth but didn’t understand your own words….yes, the average high school hitter isn’t a great hitter (hence, they don’t get drafted) so you are geatly mistaken to compare them to a professional minor league player (BTW, they get their bats free). And to insinuate that the hitters from the past like Ruth, Williams, Rose, Mays, etc. didn’t know how to hit is absurd. Heck, Ted Williams wrote The Science of Hitting in 1970 and the majority of what he said is still relevant. Besides, what does knowing how to hit have to do with breaking a bat because the pitcher got you on the hands? And for anyone that watches MLB, several bats are broken pretty much every game by the best hitters on the planet.

    And, I know a little about playing with wood bats as I did it so I experienced the fact that the life of the average wood bat which was being used by a couple of kids was only a few games.

    I notice that you ignored the ball exit speed data that I provided maybe because it kinda blows up the argument for banning metal bats. BTW, the BES data for a big league power hitter is like 117-120 mph which far exceeds the 90-95 mph that your average high schooler generates. So, a big league pitcher faces a much more dangerous situation by facing hitters with a wood bat than what occurs at the high school level.

    And, you also ignored the change to BBCOR which also negates the need to ban metal.

    I don’t sell bats but do understand that Palm Desert blowing $900 in a couple of days is excessive.

  • Classic COCF…it starts here…and ends…HERE !!!

    Classic COCF….”to insinuate Babe Ruth, Ted Williams ect ect”…classic!

    COCF you boggle the mind.

    Give me a date you were wrong and I’ll cross reference it online and see what major event took place that day…maybe a hurricane, massive flooding, lighting strikes that set off huge forest fires…something!

    So when were you last mistaken?

    lmao ! Instant CLASSIC !

  • Girls Don’t Slide COCF Sucks at 3rd Base!

    Funny COCF! You talk crap about the skills of female athletes-I think we’ve seen plenty of pictures of girls sliding on this blog. Then you say you got a concussion trying to play a ball off your chest and it “exploded” in your face? Sounds like even in high school you were slow footed and you are still slow minded!

  • BOING !$%$^&

    WAIT!

    He took one off the noggin?

    SO THAT EXPLAINS IT!

  • BOING !$%$^&

    WAIT!

    He took one off the noggin?

    SO THAT EXPLAINS IT!

  • BOING !$%$^&

    WAIT!

    He took one off the noggin?

    SO THAT EXPLAINS IT!

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