Tuesday, March 23, 2010

There Is No Argument: Lose the Metal Bats

As pointed out by Keith Law on twitter, here, as forwarded on through an ABC news affiliate in San Francisco, a 16 year old boy remains in a coma after being struck in the head with a ball hit by an aluminum bat.  In the article the author, Wayne Freedman, talks about both the safety and financial reasons why aluminum bats should be banned.  Although Freedman does a great job in this article, he's off on one point.  We don't need financial reasons to ban aluminum bats, safety should be enough on it's own...

I've played baseball most of my life with aluminum baseball bats, up until college, when I began playing (pitching) in a semi-pro league which uses only wood bats, and actually goes as far as to ban composite wood bats.  Through this experience I've learned one thing, using aluminum bats are crazy.  They are crazy for the pitcher, first baseman, third basemen, fane, etc...at any level.  I personally have been hit with my share of come backers off of both aluminum and wooden bats, and it's scary and dangerous.  Aluminum bats cause serious damage, like they have to this boy in San Francisco, and there is no good reason for this to continue...

So, why use them?

I think we as a baseball culture, should be willing to lose some home runs and lucrative sponsorship money (collegiate bat deals etc), for the sake of the safety of the players. And this should be true at all levels of ball players, even little leaguers.  If we start kids playing with wood at a young age, not only will it help keep players safe, but if will also allow for them develop more as players. 

We are in an age when athletes are bigger and stronger than they have ever been.  It's for that reason, along with common sense, that we need to do what's right and protect our athletes, and most importantly our children.  Because at the end of the day, I think everyone would prefer less homers on the high school and collegiate level, if it meant keeping student athletes on the field and in the classroom.

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