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Killer Bats? The debate over wood vs. aluminum
OpinionJournal.com ^ | July 31, 2007 | SKIP ROZIN

Posted on 07/30/2007 9:06:00 PM PDT by gpapa

The first-base coach for the minor league Tulsa Drillers died last week after being struck in the head by a foul ball hit off a wood bat during a game in North Little Rock, Ark. The coach, 35-year-old Mike Coolbaugh, had played briefly in the majors in 2002 and 2003; he leaves a wife and two children.

His death adds to the debate about dangers in baseball, which usually focuses on young players struck by balls hit off aluminum bats. Supporters of metal bats insist that debate is skewed.

"Why is it when there's an injury from a ball hit from a non-wood bat, people blame the bat?" asks Jim Darby of Easton Sports, a leading bat manufacturer. "When there's an injury from a ball off a wood bat, people say that's part of the game."

(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: aluminum; baseball; bats; crack; ping; wood

1 posted on 07/30/2007 9:06:03 PM PDT by gpapa
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To: gpapa

If the bats were made from rubber or plastic, no one would get hurt.


2 posted on 07/30/2007 9:08:23 PM PDT by Andy from Beaverton (I'm so anti-pc, I use a Mac)
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To: gpapa
"Why is it when there's an injury from a ball hit from a non-wood bat, people blame the bat?" asks Jim Darby of Easton Sports, a leading bat manufacturer. "When there's an injury from a ball off a wood bat, people say that's part of the game."

Either way it is part of the game. Most of life has inherent risks. A life without risks would not be worth living.

3 posted on 07/30/2007 9:10:01 PM PDT by RobinOfKingston (Man, that's stupid...even by congressional standards.)
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To: gpapa
Think about it.... These coaches, without gloves, are closer to the hitter than anyone, other than the pitcher.. They should be wearing batting helmets.
4 posted on 07/30/2007 9:10:27 PM PDT by b4its2late (If you can remain calm, you just don't have all the facts.)
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To: b4its2late

He was hit in the neck, not the head.


5 posted on 07/30/2007 9:13:32 PM PDT by razorback-bert (Posted by Time's Man of the Year)
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To: razorback-bert

I think it ruptured a blood vessel in his neck.


6 posted on 07/30/2007 9:18:32 PM PDT by liege
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To: gpapa
"Why is it when there's an injury from a ball hit from a non-wood bat, people blame the bat?" asks Jim Darby of Easton Sports, a leading bat manufacturer. "When there's an injury from a ball off a wood bat, people say that's part of the game."

Because there are moonbat liberals everywhere. If fields were covered with foam matting, bats ere made of stiff foam, and the balls were NERF balls, nobody would get hurt, and everyone would have fun, IF nobody kept score and every one went home a winner. /s

7 posted on 07/30/2007 9:19:42 PM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: gpapa

Some people just like to friggin’ ban things.


8 posted on 07/30/2007 9:20:45 PM PDT by SIDENET ("IT'S A COOKBOOK!!!")
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To: gpapa

shoot, aluminum... I just think kids should get baseball guns and shoot them where ever they want the ball to go...

Losers.


9 posted on 07/30/2007 9:23:48 PM PDT by Porterville (I'm an American. If you hate Americans, I hope our enemies destroy you. I will pray for my soul.)
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To: gpapa

There are risks involved no matter the composition of the bat.

The topic of risk and injuries aside, I far prefer both the sound and feel of wooden bats. In fact I’m still using actual wooden (persimmon) woods on the golf course for the same reason. Just makes playing both games more enjoyable for me.


10 posted on 07/30/2007 9:25:34 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo (There are four types of homicide: felonious, accidental, justifiable, and praiseworthy)
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To: gpapa

The real issue isn’t the bat, it’s the game.

If the field was a rectangle , and if there were eleven players on the field from each team, and if the players could *tackle* each other, then baseball wouldn’t be as dull as dishwater.

Getting killed by a foul ball almost seems preferrable to having to sit through the entire game.


11 posted on 07/30/2007 9:27:00 PM PDT by Triggerhippie (Always use a silencer in a crowd. Loud noises offend people.)
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To: Porterville
shoot, aluminum... I just think kids should get baseball guns and shoot them where ever they want the ball to go...

I like where you're going with that! Especially if you could "tag" a player out by just hitting him (or her) with a launched ball.

I could watch baseball (and *not* fall asleep) with new and improved rules like that!

12 posted on 07/30/2007 9:29:54 PM PDT by Triggerhippie (Always use a silencer in a crowd. Loud noises offend people.)
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To: Triggerhippie

I could watch baseball (and *not* fall asleep) with new and improved rules like that!


Then you would love my idea for hockey. Edged Weapons!


13 posted on 07/30/2007 9:36:22 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Mr. Mojo
The topic of risk and injuries aside, I far prefer both the sound and feel of wooden bats. In fact I’m still using actual wooden (persimmon) woods on the golf course for the same reason. Just makes playing both games more enjoyable for me.

I agree that there's something 'real' about a wooden bat, but on the other hand aluminum bats are less likely to break. I wonder whether it would be possible to make a composite bat that would handle (and maybe even sound) like a wood bat, but be less prone to breakage.

14 posted on 07/30/2007 9:45:02 PM PDT by supercat (Sony delenda est.)
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To: Mr. Mojo
The topic of risk and injuries aside, I far prefer both the sound and feel of wooden bats. In fact I’m still using actual wooden (persimmon) woods on the golf course for the same reason. Just makes playing both games more enjoyable for me.

I agree that there's something 'real' about a wooden bat, but on the other hand aluminum bats are less likely to break. I wonder whether it would be possible to make a composite bat that would handle (and maybe even sound) like a wood bat, but be less prone to breakage.

15 posted on 07/30/2007 9:45:10 PM PDT by supercat (Sony delenda est.)
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To: supercat

Some of the new fancy composite metal (golf) woods sound/feel fairly close to real wood. ....although not quite. Expensive though. So I suspect similarly composed metal baseball bats wouldn’t be cheap either. And that would kind of defeat the purpose of going metal — saving money.


16 posted on 07/30/2007 9:53:32 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo (There are four types of homicide: felonious, accidental, justifiable, and praiseworthy)
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To: gpapa
All my arrows stick in the bales of excelsior!

Easton wraps my "Protour X-10's" with carbon. Same, that is, almost arrow used in the olympics.

Protours are compound only.........not barrelled, just tapered.

In other words, if a fast moving object hits your head, hope for the best and tell your kin not to whine!

<------<<<

17 posted on 07/30/2007 9:53:42 PM PDT by shadowcat
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To: RobinOfKingston
The argument is that a line drive struck off of an aluminum bat travels much faster than one from a wooden bat, with the result that some balls will head toward the pitcher at a speed impossible for him to avoid. Human reaction time, even to the degree possessed by an athlete, is not quick enough to allow the pitcher to duck or turn out of the way. Thus, if you use aluminum bats, pitchers will be hit by balls, and hit hard. Some will be injured; some will die. It’s okay with me if baseball allows aluminum bats — I’m a boxing fan and I favor lightweight gloves — it's just that you need to be clear about the trade off: it’s the certainty of an occasional injury and, or on some occasions, death.
18 posted on 07/30/2007 9:54:43 PM PDT by PUGACHEV
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To: Nathan Zachary; All
Funny you suggest they use NERF. The move to Aluminum bats comes from the same attitude of elevating kids who couldn't hit a real homer to be just like those who could.

Aluminum bats are more likely to cause an injury than a wooden bat because they transfer so much more force to the ball. It's also a pretty cheap way to give childen a false sense of self-esteem.

The state and cities that are passing laws to change the bat type is the appropriate level of government to be making those decisions. These are government/public school leagues. What is the 'conservative' position on who would decide what is appropriate or not? This is a Democracy.

If you want to start your own private league of babies who play with aluminum bats (try making them out of TI instead - then your little angel will be an even BETTER slugger!) go ahead. But if there is a liberal/conservative line here, your with Mayor Bloomberg and the rest of the lefties.

19 posted on 07/30/2007 9:55:03 PM PDT by mbraynard (FDT: Less Leadership Experience than any president in US history)
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To: supercat

But what’s cooler than breaking a bat off of a fastball? Really.


20 posted on 07/30/2007 9:56:32 PM PDT by mbraynard (FDT: Less Leadership Experience than any president in US history)
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To: mbraynard
But what’s cooler than breaking a bat off of a fastball? Really.

Especially a cutter. It's where Mariano Rivera makes his living.

21 posted on 07/30/2007 9:57:34 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo (There are four types of homicide: felonious, accidental, justifiable, and praiseworthy)
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To: gpapa

not much is better than the sound of a wooden bat, except maybe a chaingun, helicopter or a light bulb breaking, but nothing is worse than an aluminium bat “ping,” except for an alarm clock in the morning.


22 posted on 07/30/2007 9:58:47 PM PDT by Disciplinemisanthropy (...and that, friends, is what grinds my gears.)
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To: Grizzled Bear
Then you would love my idea for hockey. Edged Weapons!

You mean *other* than my "kicking-with-the-skate-blades" rule?

23 posted on 07/30/2007 10:10:55 PM PDT by Triggerhippie (Always use a silencer in a crowd. Loud noises offend people.)
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To: Nathan Zachary
If fields were covered with foam matting, bats ere made of stiff foam, and the balls were NERF balls, nobody would get hurt, and everyone would have fun, IF nobody kept score and every one went home a winner.

To paraphrase Jocelyn Elders, "We need safer balls."

24 posted on 07/30/2007 10:15:25 PM PDT by dfwgator (The University of Florida - Still Championship U)
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To: Triggerhippie

Baseball is boring when you don’t know anything about it.


25 posted on 07/30/2007 10:33:32 PM PDT by jwh_Denver (Ok, it's time for the Republicans to start ripping themselves apart.)
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To: dfwgator
To paraphrase Jocelyn Elders, "We need safer balls."

Using a lower-bounce-coefficient ball would offset a higher-bounce-coefficient bat; if the ball and bat were well matched, I would think the combination might be playable. While it should be possible to bat a ball about as far as with a normal ball and bat, the reduced bounce coefficient of the ball should reduce the likelihood of injury should it hit someone.

26 posted on 07/30/2007 10:33:57 PM PDT by supercat (Sony delenda est.)
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To: dfwgator
To paraphrase Jocelyn Elders, "We need safer balls."

That's easy. Get married, they'll never be used again...

27 posted on 07/31/2007 12:44:52 AM PDT by PugetSoundSoldier (Tagline: Kinda like a chorus line but without the legs)
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To: PugetSoundSoldier

...except for scratchin’...ain’t that the truth...


28 posted on 07/31/2007 2:54:12 AM PDT by Tainan (Talk is cheap. Silence is golden. All I got is brass...lotsa brass.)
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To: Tainan

their usually kept in my wife’s purse till game time.


29 posted on 07/31/2007 3:08:26 AM PDT by philo
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To: gpapa; PUGACHEV; supercat
Yea Aluminum bats are more dangerous but my experience shows that it is because of the weight advantage they have over the wood counterparts. The ability to catch up to a 90 mile and hour fastball is much more likely with a 25 oz bat than a 34 oz one.

Changing the bat weights is the real solution rather than the composition itself.

30 posted on 07/31/2007 5:13:29 AM PDT by #1CTYankee (That's right, I have no proof. So what of it??)
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To: gpapa

Aluminum bats are part of the islamofascist/communist plot to undermine the American culture. They should be banned.

As proof, it says in the Koran or Quran or whatever the current spelling is that “The infidel shall be spared the mild willow to endure the avenging metal.”


31 posted on 07/31/2007 5:42:58 AM PDT by oldbill
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To: gpapa

BATS GOT RIGHTS! - Peta.

Couldn’t resist.


32 posted on 07/31/2007 7:57:04 AM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is essential to examine principle)
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To: Mr. Mojo

(And that would kind of defeat the purpose of going metal — saving money.)

Have you looked at the price of an aluminum bat lately?


33 posted on 07/31/2007 8:08:46 AM PDT by Ed Condon (Wanted, newer tag line in good condition.)
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To: jwh_Denver
I second that opinion.

Col Sanders

34 posted on 07/31/2007 8:16:51 AM PDT by Col Sanders (I ought to tear your no-good Goddang preambulatory bone frame, and nail it to your government walls)
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To: gpapa

Organized baseball has existed since before the Civil War, and I’ll bet there’ve been less than 10 people killed as a result of on-field happenings. I can only think of three myself. What a bunch of wussies there are in this country.


35 posted on 07/31/2007 8:24:51 AM PDT by ravensandricks (Jesus rides beside me. He never buys any smokes.)
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To: gpapa

Forget the dangers, it’s a hard projectile game and there’s no way to eliminate. The reality is the poing of a hit with an aluminum bat simply has no place in the game, the only real bats are wooden, a hit needs to smack not poing.


36 posted on 07/31/2007 8:33:30 AM PDT by discostu (indecision may or may not be my biggest problem)
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To: razorback-bert

Ah yes, that is correct. Did something to an artery, crushed or some such thing... Awful.


37 posted on 07/31/2007 11:24:12 AM PDT by b4its2late (If you can remain calm, you just don't have all the facts.)
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To: jwh_Denver
Baseball is boring when you don’t know anything about it.

Don't get me wrong, baseball is not as boring as golf (old men wandering in a field), NASCAR (driving in circles), or curling (the odd combination of shuffleboard and housework *on ICE*!!!).

Baseball was boring to play as a kid (Especially here in FL where Football is king.) and as an adult I've found it to be the cure for insomnia.

38 posted on 07/31/2007 6:05:21 PM PDT by Triggerhippie (Always use a silencer in a crowd. Loud noises offend people.)
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