Baseball bats

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So many people (players, umpires, fans) get hit with parts of broken bats that it seems like a simple solution exists. I am not a woodworker so I can not judge the problems with drilling a very small hole in the center of the bat (or the piece of wood that would be turned into the bat) down the lenght of the bat. If this could be done, a polymer fiber (nylon, polycarbonate, etc.) placed in this hole would hold all the pieces of a broken bat together and prevent most of the injuries.
Any technical woodworking problems in doing this?
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It is difficult to drill a deep hole into long stock, since there is nothing to keep it on-center as it drills. An off-center hole would make an unbalanced bat. Similar to a hole for a lamp, I'd cut the stock in half, make a groove, glue the halves back together, then turn the piece.
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The rules explicitly prohibit "composite" bats of any kind. They must be made out of one piece of solid wood.
Although, I did see one company known for making hard maple bats offering composite bamboo bats. Still, not legal in the Bigs.
-Zz
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Oddly enough, the rules for USSSA softball used to allow "three-sided" bats, not that I've ever seen one.
scott
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I can't say for sure but it seem like the MLB would frown on this practice. Sounds an awful lot like corking a bat.
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If the bat's not one piece all the way down, how can you know what's inside it without taking it apart? You can X-ray it, but that would only show there's something in the bat... but not if there's anything illegal.
One suggestion I have would be to put a small band (made of a plastic or vinyl?) around the bat near its midpoint, at the place where there's usually a band drawn on the bat anyway. Should the bat split, the band would slow or stop the transfer of force and perhaps the bat would stay together better.
Anyone want to give me $500,000 to do some research?
Puckdropper
--
If you're quiet, your teeth never touch your ankles.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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I believe you are right!
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p4o2 wrote:

I'm sure it can be done, but I wouldn't want to be the guy holding the bat when it breaks.
Take few sections of 2x2 and join them end to end with 1/4" rope. Now swing it. (Don't forget to wear your helmet and pads -- you'll need them.)
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That sounds ok to me. The batter should be the one in danger not some kid in the stands. I do not think a strand of something like fishing line would be much of a "cork" (but I do not know, it would be easy to test for an effect)
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Heard the announcers on a radio game discussing this issue the other day. They were of the opinion that it was because of the type of wood now being used. Hickory is in short supply, Ash is discouraged because of the danger of spreading the Ash Borer with the transport of the Ash from source to manufacturer. I believe they said that many of the bats are now being made of Maple, which is breaking easier.
Tom G
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I can drive a golf ball over 300 yds. Who can't right. So I went into a golf shop that had a net and speed/distance radar device. I thought if I could get a a titanium head on a stiff shaft it might be even lighter and further better. I took one swing with their $600 driver....and left the store in one piece with all my money.

-
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The simple solution is already used by little leagues and colleges. Aluminum. I've seen them dented but I've never seen one break.
Besides if they get all of the steroids and HGH out of baseball (not likely), MLB is going to need to find a way to get all the scrawny 180 pound ball players to hit the ball out of the park.
That loud PING is not quite the same though.
Mike O.
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wrote:

The problem with Al is that of line drives. Since more energy is transfered, a line drive may well break bones or kill someone. That's one reason why they're not allowed in MLB.
Puckdropper
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If you're quiet, your teeth never touch your ankles.

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Puckdropper wrote:

So a twenty percent difference in energy is going to make the difference between no injury and broken bones or death? Might interest you to know that in the past ten years 2/3 of the people who have died from being struck by a batted ball were struck by balls hit from a _wooden_ bat.
NCAA changed the rules a long time ago to limit the ball speed coming out of an aluminum bat.
This whole aluminum bat controversy is something that grandstanding politicians use to appear to be Doing Something and has no real relation to safety. Of course there's a "ban aluminum bats" movement, but take _anything_ and there's some bunch of loons who think it should be banned.
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--John
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J. Clarke wrote: ...

...
That's a result of the population from which the statistics are derived as opposed to saying anything about differences between aluminum vis a vis wood bats.
--
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dpb wrote:

And what's the difference between the "populations"? No reputable study has shown a statistically significant difference in injury rates between aluminum and wooden bats, and the studies that show a difference in ball speed (which is at best ten percent) are based on older bat designs before the rules requiring that bats be tested to deliver approximately the same ball speed as wood were implemented.
By the way, since 1982 there have been 15 "catastrophic injuries" among high school and college players, out of 9.5 million participants. That includes both aluminum and wooden bats. You're far more likely to die in an automobile accident on the way to or from the game than to die from being hit with a baseball struck by an aluminum bat.
But twits like you just _have_ to "fix" nonexistent problems by outlawing things.
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J. Clarke wrote:

Not I...I'm all for wooden bats simply for them being tradition but nowhere did I say anything whatsoever that could be construed as saying aluminum bats should be outlawed.
Engineering studies aside, there's no question in my mind there's a significant difference in the game between using wood and metal--all one has to do is watch the summer wood-league bats and how the college players who are using them for the first time in competitive play cope.
Many of the recent incidents I can recall aren't actually players/coaches but fans in stands.
The "population difference" in my thinking has to do w/ several things--
1. Age of players (professional vs college/high school/youth) 2. Skill of players (highly segregated by time get past high school) 3. Relative numbers in various categories 4. Numbers of individuals in spectator categories of the various other categories which changes at-risk population in biased manner.
--
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dpb wrote: ...

...
In interests of full disclosure... :)
I actually do think metal bats should be illegal at the college and higher levels, not owing to the safety issue but because I'm a traditionalist(*). The action, of course, should be taken as part of the rules of the game, not as any legislative action.
(*) There should be no such abomination as a "designated hitter", either, of course... :)
--
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With out a ratio of aluminum to wooden bats involved in the 2 out of 3 deaths being caused by wooden bats, one cannot draw any kind of conclusion. It could mean that aluminum bats are way more dangerous if 1/10 of the bats being used in the study were aluminum. Or it could mean that wooden bats are more dangerous if 1/10 of the bats were wooden.
IF the amount of wooden bats were exactly double that of aluminum they would both be equally dangerous. If the number of aluminum bats being used were more than half the number of wooden bats bats then the aluminum bats would be more dangerous.
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says...

Yes. It's not just the energy but the pitcher's reaction time. A fastball off the bat would hit the pitcher before he could possibly defend himself. Pitchers are expensive.

The 55MPH speed limit was abolished years ago. ;-)

You're nutz. Politicians have nothing to do (drugs being the obvious exception) with MLB rules.
--
Keith

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