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Well, it finally happened. Brian O'Nora, the home plate ump in Tuesday's KC-Colorado game, was struck with a chunk of a broken bat. The bat opened a cut on his head, and caused much blood.

 

Game story

 

The game included a frightening moment in the bottom of the second inning when plate umpire Brian O'Nora was hit in the head by a shattered piece of Miguel Olivo's broken maple bat.

 

With blood streaming down his face, O'Nora rushed to Kansas City's dugout, where Jose Guillen quickly covered the umpire's head with a towel.

 

"I turned around and saw him running off the field and then I saw he was bleeding -- blood everywhere," Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba said. "Once I saw the blood, it almost made me sick. He's a really nice guy and hopefully he's doing well."

 

O'Nora came out of the game and was treated by Kansas City trainer Nick Swartz. The Royals later announced that O'Nora had a small cut on his forehead and was taken to St. Luke's Hospital for further evaluation.

 

Earlier in the day, Major League Baseball said it will start testing bats following Tuesday's meeting of a player-management safety committee, but the sport made no decision on the contentious issue of banning maple models.

 

"They are very, very dangerous. I'm surprised that this is the first incident we've seen," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "It could have been worse, a lot worse. It looked a lot worse than it was. My understanding is that he is OK."

 

After O'Nora was hurt, both teams left the field and the game was delayed for 13 minutes before resuming with three umpires. Paul Nauert, who began the night as the first base umpire, moved behind the plate.

 

"I feel so bad for the umpire," Olivo said. "I saw the blood come out and they came out and put a towel on his head. I just worried a little bit."

 

See, the AP writer screwed up when he said the bat "shattered." Maple bats don't "shatter" the way ash bats do (did?). They break off into two sharp chunks, and I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility to see head chunk of a bat fly off into the stands and kill someone in the most gruesome possible way.

 

Get rid of them. Now.

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Yeah, I constantly hear announcers talk about how horrible maple bats are. I have noticed that there are a lot more bats breaking in two this season than there was last season. They really need to get rid of these.
Maple bats have a tendency, to snap and break, rather than splinter. A lot of professional hitters, also shave the handle down, to eliminate weight and also creates a more defined flex point, which contributes to breaking. I also wonder, if these bats are delaminating over time or the stain/dipping process, is softening the wood grain. If the moisture content of Maple bats, are higher the bat speed is slower and can keep the barrel/sweet spot, soft over time.

 

Ash bats tend to offer a spring/trampoline effect, better than Maple but the grain can widen and separate over time.

 

Birch bats are gaining popularity but are very expensive to have made.

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Maple bats have a tendency, to snap and break, rather than splinter. A lot of professional hitters, also shave the handle down, to eliminate weight and also creates a more defined flex point, which contributes to breaking. I also wonder, if these bats are delaminating over time or the stain/dipping process, is softening the wood grain. If the moisture content of Maple bats, are higher the bat speed is slower and can keep the barrel/sweet spot, soft over time.

 

Ash bats tend to offer a spring/trampoline effect, better than Maple but the grain can widen and separate over time.

 

Birch bats are gaining popularity but are very expensive to have made.

 

Hmm, that moisture with the maple bats is interesting.

 

Why did baseball switch in the first place?

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I wonder if players have changed their tune? I'm sure infielders don't like having to play the field with the offense using these bats. It's a safety risk that shouldn't be there.
Truthfully, probably most have not. Players are going to keep shaving the handle and look for ways, to take ounces of weight out and create a higher swing velocity, thus increasing the ball exit speed.

 

MLB may need to opt, for standard minimum proposal, which includes handle thickness diameters and barrel/sweet spot length, to the players.

 

Position players, have some reaction times, if they can visually see a broken piece of bat, traveling in their direction. To me, the most vulnerable are the Catcher, Umpire and any on deck batters, than the Pitcher. Unfortunately, it is going to take a catastrophic event, to create change.

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Players didn't like the sound, from Ash. Here is a good article....

 

http://www.statesman.com/sports/content/sports/stories/other/06/22/0622bohls.html

 

I read that more to mean that they liked the sound of ash and maple as opposed to beech.

 

"The word we got, though, was the players didn't like the sound of the ball coming off the bat of the beech," says Rick Redman, a vice president for Hillerich & Bradsby, the parent company of Louisville Slugger. "With maple and ash, you don't get the same sound. We all know what the classic crack of an ash bat sounds like. Maple's a little deader."
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I read that more to mean that they liked the sound of ash and maple as opposed to beech.
You are correct and I should have put Beech, per this article. I've also read, where several like the sound and feel of Maple, over differing woods while others like the sound of Ash.

 

Cost is a factor and the ability, to shave down the wood is done. Many MLB players, also rub the barrel to tighten up the grain in Maple bats.

Edited by STRIKE3
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