The more things change, the more they stay the same. Major League Baseball is very slow to react to a problem, preferring to ignore it or explain it away (e.g. performance enhancing drugs) until it has no other choice but to address it. The latest issue I am referring to it is the use of maple bats and the way they shatter into lethal projectiles.
It’s inconceivable to me that the ultimate union also turns a blind eye as well. I am dumbfounded that the world’s most powerful union is more concerned about money than it is about health and safety (re: steroids, maple bats, etc). Does anyone care about the safety of players (or in this case, fans as well)? It’s going to take a real tragedy before the Baseball gods wake up and outlaw maple bats.
That tragedy was nearly realized this past weekend when Chicago Cubs’ rookie Tyler Colvin was impaled with a shard from Wellington Castillo’s shattered bat as Colvin was coming home from third base. The shard punctured his chest, hospitalizing him and ending his season. The results could have been catastrophic had the shard struck Colvin in a slightly different position.
For sure, when thetragedy does occur, it is going to cost baseball A LOT OF $$$. Yes, they spend a significant amount of money on insurance protection. However, insurance does not protect you from negligence, and this is clearly a case of negligence. No insurance or disclaimer on a ticket will stand up to this blatant ignorance of an obvious safety issue.
It is true that all wooden bats break. However, it is also true that maple bats break in a extremely different manner than ash bats. They explode into sharp shards that fly at dangerously high velocity. That is a rare occurrence with an ash bat. There have been many close calls with both players and fans since the advent of the maple bats and tragedy has been narrowly avoided on several occasions.
I hope that Major League Baseball and/or the Players Union wakes up and does something before it’s too late.