Breaking Up

By Brendan O'Reilly

July 22, 2010 Updated Jun 24, 2008 at 10:58 PM EST

It's happening in the Big Leagues...
And at NYSEG Stadium...
"It's like a flying object."
"It's like a knife."
Infielder Jon Malo says, "I've seen a lot of bats shatter and explode in any direction. They go up in the stands. They're pretty dangerous."
And soon they could be outlawed. Nearly 60-percent of major leaguers use maple bats. Supporters like the lighter, harder wood that was made popular in the past decade when Barry Bonds clubbed 73 homers in a season using it.
Nick Evans says, "I've been using the same bat, the same model for a few years now and I like the way it feels in my hand and I like the way the ball feels off the bat."
Experts say maple has a more dense cell structure than traditional ash bats. Rather than crack or flake like ash, maple tends to explode and project razor-sharp pieces up to 100 feet in any direction.
"You don't think about it but you just see the bats that fly like that are all maples, like today I was at third base and I think it was Ambeorix, he hit a ball and that bat flew right by my head."
Already this season, a big league coach, a minor league pitcher and even a fan have been seriously injured from a shattered maple bat.
B-Mets manager Mako Oliveras, "I think something's got to be, you know, you got to do something about it because I hope they don't wait until somebody got hurt."

"A maple bat goes for about 65 dollars, which is a pretty steep price if you're going to keep breaking them. But here at NYSEG Stadium, the team's turning that into a pretty good business deal. You can get your own broken bat here at the gift shop for 12 dollars. In Binghamton, Justin Horowitz, Action Sports."

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