"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Friday, October 28, 2005

The Crack Of In The Bat

Fourth Pew Center recently dropped me a line to ask:

So, how come so many broken bats these days? Did they outsource the manufacturing to China?

(Seriously. There really are more than I remember from The Good Ol' Days)

My knee-jerk answer is: Well, yeah, probably they did outsource or otherwise cheapen the bat-making process. Is anything made the way it used to be? Why put out a quality product when people will buy more of a cheap product AND have to replace it more often because of the higher breakage rate?

And I've been told, though I can't recall by whom, that bats break more because hitters and pitchers are stronger--something to do with opposing shockwaves and the relative stregth of each vs. the grain of the wood. A stronger swing against a harder pitch = more stress on the bat = more breaks. Makes sense, I suppose.

So. Anyone out there know the scoop?

Still on deck:
2005 - what went right?

5 rejoinders:

TBird41 sounded off...

The players use bats with thinner handles, so that the bats are lighter. Back in the day they used thicker bats and wanted heavier bats (I'm not sure as to the reason), whereas now, the hitters want lighter bats for more bat speed.

Thinner handles combined with steroids increased strength means more broken bats.

frightwig sounded off...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
frightwig sounded off...

Also, more players are using maple bats, which last longer than ash but are prone to shattering when they break because the wood doesn't have a grain running all through the bat. Seeing more bats explode across the infield could give fans the impression that bats are breaking more than ever before, whereas in years past fans may not have noticed an ash bat breaking when it was just partially split or cracked.

Anonymous sounded off...

Well this is what I remember hearing from watching a twins broadcast and they actually talked about it on it. That the players in effort to make the bate lighter have asked for thinner necks on the bat their thinking is lighter bat faster swing result in balls going further however the down side to this is that the bats are more prone to breaking also why you see the top of the bat bored out.


Fourth pew, center sounded off...

Thanks very much, all. I've never been one to keep up with the 'technical' details like this, and the quantity of broken bats in the playoffs and WS had me (and Mr. FPC) quite puzzled. But I knew TBL and/or her readership would come through!