We wrote a couple weeks ago about the case of the exploding bat, and the concerns of various people inside the game that maple bats and their tendency to shatter represent a hazard in the baseball workplace.
Just had a transcript of a Bud Selig interview forwarded to me. In it, he addresses the issue. This is from an interview with Charley Steiner on XM Radio.
Steiner: Okay. The next question, and again we’ll use this in a generic sense, quote unquote maple bats.
Steiner: Yes, there are all sorts of bats. Different bat companies and so on. One thing that we have all noticed over the last few years are these projectiles. I mean there are times when a given batter goes through three bats in one at-bat. And these are not just broken bats, but there are javelins that impale the ground. Actually, one got a piece of Don Long the hitting instructor of the Pirates when he was here at Dodger Stadium. How serious is that an issue for you? Let’s just begin with that. Where are you on that?
Selig: Well, we had our May meetings in Milwaukee last week as you know and we had very significant and serious conversations about ‘em. I’m concerned about ‘em and therefore we are meeting with the union. Rob Manfred and Michael Weiner have scheduled a meeting. I watch a lot of games Charley, as you know, and I’ve seen bats shattering in a way… And there’s been a couple instances, the one in Pittsburgh where their coach really suffered a significant injury but it could’ve been a lot worse. They are not only breaking, but they are shattering. We need to get to heart of that and we need to do it quickly.
Steiner: Back when we were watching a million years ago you had a broken bat and just to finish it off you broke it over your knee. Now of course they are literally exploding.
Selig: That’s a fact. Yes, I do have deep and abiding concerns about that.
Steiner: How do you go about… Because obviously the players want as much torque as they can possibly get out of their swing. The handles are shaved down to just pretty near nothing. The composition of the bat itself, the wood itself. Where do you even begin on a journey like that?
Selig: That’s why their meeting. Our people are also reviewing it. I let all the club’s speak about. The club’s got up and talked about some of the things they had seen. I have asked them to meet really expeditiously and come back to met with recommendations. I’ve also talked with some bat people. I have already recommendation on what we should do.
Steiner: Do you now see that as a legitimate safety in the workplace issue?
Selig: Yes, I do.