Breaking Up

By Brendan O'Reilly

July 22, 2010 Updated Jun 24, 2008 at 11:58 PM EDT

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."

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.