Baseball bats - Ash vs. Maple?

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What do you guys make of this new-found love for maple bats instead of traditional ash? It seems there's a huge problem with the maple bats exploding and becoming dangerous projectiles:
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Cubs-Tyler-Colvin-hospitalized-after-broken-bat?urn=mlb-270755
This isn't completely different than my experience with maple drum sticks; unless the sticks are made from absolutely STRAIGHT grain that runs from one end of the stick to the other, you can almost bet the sucker is going to pop in half. I don't use 'em; strictly hickory for me.
From the pictures in that article it appears to me that the bat in question was NOT constructed from straight grain lumber. Don't you think somebody in the bat making industry would have noticed this by now and made it a selling point and part of their quality control? Or do you think those suckers would explode regardless of grain direction?
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Steve Turner wrote:

Don't think there's any "love" associated w/ it at all--suitable ash has become hard to find (thereby read "expensive") is what I've heard. Don't think there's anything more to it than that.
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I take it you don't play baseball. Maple bats have different hitting characteristics, preferred by many players.
Most major league bats are custom made for the player.
scott
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snipped-for-privacy@slp53.sl.home says...

Although hickory was used at the beginning of the 20th century, hitters today prefer lighter bats. The maple bats came into vogue because hitters like Barry Bonds put up good numbers with them, but they often break in dangerous ways. I do not think cost is a factor at all for major league hitters.
s
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Well, cricket bats have always been made out of willow so why not that.
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On 9/22/10 2:47 PM, Stuart wrote:

97 mph fastballs, that's why not. :-)
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Jeff Thomson recorded at 99.8 mph
http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283875.html
Cricket bowling machines used in practice are rated up to 95mph
http://www.clicksports.co.uk/products/crickettraining/bola-professional-cricket-bowling-machines /
The only reports I have heard of a cricket bat breaking were in more recent times when they were trying out different materials and laminates.
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On 09/23/2010 01:11 AM, Stuart wrote:

http://www.clicksports.co.uk/products/crickettraining/bola-professional-cricket-bowling-machines /
Try this:
<http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/38965699/ns/sports-baseball/
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That's very good but one must remember that a cricket ball is heavier.
A Cricket ball must weigh between 155.9 and 163g. The mean of which is 159.45
A Baseball ball weighs between 142 and 149g. The mean of which is 145.5g
The damage caused by any projectile depends on its energy which is given by the simple formula E=1/2mass x Velocity squared.
A cricket ball travelling at 99.8mph (4461 cm/s)
has an energy of 1586569037 erg
On the other hand, a baseball ball travelling at 103mph (4604 cm/s)
has an energy of 1542068364 erg.
There may not be a lot in it but the cricket ball is therfore capable of doing more damage.
I would therefore assert that willow is just as viable for Baseball bats as your traditional ash.
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105.
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On 9/23/10 3:11 AM, Stuart wrote:

http://www.clicksports.co.uk/products/crickettraining/bola-professional-cricket-bowling-machines /
Well, there ya go.
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Youp, stick to willow.
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On 9/23/10 4:17 PM, Stuart wrote:

I'm agreeing with that. I'm just agreeing with the mph thing.
In any case, isn't a cricket bat flat? That has to play into the equation. I'm also curious about the density of willow compared to ash/maple. Also, how much wood is there in each bat? Like how much volume?
What I'm getting to is would willow be too heavy for a baseball bat... or too light, for that matter. There's an equation for baseball that goes something along the lines of each ounce added to the weight of the bat at the same speed of swing adds X distance to the ball's travel. Each mph of bat speed for the same weight bat adds X distance to the ball's travel. So the quandary left to the baseball batter is whether he can swing a heavier bat fast enough to make up the difference in speed lost to the lighter bat.
The trend has seemed to go to the favor of lighter bats to get faster bat speed. Babe Ruth and other prolific hitters of his time used very heavy bats, well over 40oz. If you see old footage of Babe Ruth's swing, you can see that bat speed wasn't of much concern to him. :-) He sort of flicked the bat out and caught the ball at the apex of his swing, allowing the trampoline effect of the wood's flex to transfer all that mass to the ball.
Home run hitter of today are only concerned with bat speed. They will us a 32 oz bat and let bat speed do the work.
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On 9/23/10 4:34 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

Oops, *NOT* agreeing. :-)
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It's about 50 years since I last had a cricket bat in my hands.
The face of the bat is sort of flat but has a slight curve to it in section. It's also basically triangular in section. It thickens towards the end away from the handle.
Any pro cricketer will have a bat made to his own requirements, its length will depend on his height for a start, so it's impossible to say how much wood might be used.
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wrote:

And they are also putting that weight out in the barrel by making the handles thinner, and voila they break more often. There's no minimum diameters specified, only the maximum.
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On 9/23/10 10:32 PM, Kevin wrote:

Thinner handles contribute to more flex, too, adding to the trampoline effect.
I hit another homerun tonight and it was all bat. :-)
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That musta really left that rubber tee flapping, eh? . . . . g, d & r
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On 9/24/10 12:19 AM, Robatoy wrote:

:-) Reminds me of those tees at the driving range. Golf is not my forte'. My golf and bowling scores are usually about the same.
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Personally, I'd rather spend my time in the shop. ;-)
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