Maple Syrup, Yes! Maple Bats, No!
- Updated: July 24, 2008
Maple bats have got to go! Sure they may not splinter and may last longer, but when they do break, they are by far more dangerous. This year alone we have seen an umpire get impaled in the neck, a base coach get hit in the head and needed stitches, spectator incur a broken jaw and a player who got hit in the shoulder after a swing by the broken off barrel of his own bat. The overlapping theme here is that all of these injuries were due to the manner in which these maple bats break.
Maple trees are great sources of maple syrup, but cutting them down to make baseball bats out of them is becoming dangerous and robbing us of much needed maple syrup. Now don’t get me wrong, I am in no way an environmentalist who works to protect our national forests or even maple trees for that matter. I wouldn’t think of either chaining or tying myself to a tree in an attempt to save it or its forest. I’m just a concerned fan of the wonderful game of baseball and a man who likes maple syrup on his pancakes.
Part of the problem is that MLB doesn’t want to hurt the majority of the paying customer by installing more netting in the possible danger zones around the infield seats to protect the few fans that “might” get injured from one of the flying shards.
The other problem is that the players are used to these bats and for the most part, might see it as interfering with their livelihood if the commissioners office declares that either maple bats will be banned or that maple bats (or even bats in general) need to have smaller barrels and thicker handles for security reasons.
In my opinion, both arguments are weak! Hopefully, this will get resolved before MLB has a death on their hands like the NHL had in 2002 (of a 13 year old fan). But don’t take my side without reading up on the subject a bit more. Check out a few of these articles and maybe even some others, if you can find them, that states the other side of the story. If you do find any, please send them to me in the comments. I’d love to read a few myself!