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DurbBird

A dumb question about aluminum bats

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Michele and I have been watching the College World Series, and Michele asked why the players don't use wooden bats. Why do colleges and high schools use aluminum bats instead of wooden ones? Why aren't they allowed in MLB?

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Colleges down to youth leagues generally use aluminum because they don't break, therefore making them a one time long term investment, where as wood breaks more often, so while they might be marginally cheaper, you're constantly buying them.

They aren't allowed in MLB mainly because of tradition, as I understand, but there's also a very strong safety sentiment that purports that balls come off aluminum much harder and that more people could be hurt with the major league talent swinging aluminum.

Though, with the players constantly trying to get the wood to the weight of aluminum they're getting really weak, and causing safety issues with barrels and splinters flying all over. So, who knows.

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I hate to say this but I think someone on the college level is going to get seriously hurt very soon b/c of an aluminum bat. Then we'll see them switch pretty soon to wooden, IMO once you get to the college level you should be using wooden bats.

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None of this makes any sense to me.

In softball, there is a constant push and pull between the players who want hotter bats, and the leagues, which--at the rec level, anyway--want deader bats. It's clear that the technology exists to go either way.

I don't see why colleges and high schools can't request metal or composite bats be made to mimic the velocity obtained when using a wood bat. Once enough demand was there, manufacturers would move to meet it.

The other thing that could be done is to deaden the balls in aluminum bat leagues.

We've seen a lot of that over the last several years in our league.

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None of this makes any sense to me.

In softball, there is a constant push and pull between the players who want hotter bats, and the leagues, which--at the rec level, anyway--want deader bats. It's clear that the technology exists to go either way.

I don't see why colleges and high schools can't request metal or composite bats be made to mimic the velocity obtained when using a wood bat. Once enough demand was there, manufacturers would move to meet it.

The other thing that could be done is to deaden the balls in aluminum bat leagues.

We've seen a lot of that over the last several years in our league.

IMO its more than just velocity off of a metal bat. Aluminum bats have a much bigger sweet spot which enables batters to have more success. Hit it on the handle or off the end of the bat with wood and it goes nowhere. Same thing with aluminum and its a base hit.

If you gave MLB hitters aluminum bats, pitchers would just get killed because contact near the handle and near the end of the bat would still result in line drives.

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The NCAA did institute regulations about aluminum bats to make them perform more like wood, but they weren't strict enough because Easton sued NCAA and NCAA didn't really feel like fighting. So instead of a 93 mph exit speed rule they wound up with 97. They later issued a rule on weight and diameter. They probably just haven't gone far enough. From what I've read they also need to regulate the center of gravity.

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None of this makes any sense to me.

In softball, there is a constant push and pull between the players who want hotter bats, and the leagues, which--at the rec level, anyway--want deader bats. It's clear that the technology exists to go either way.

I don't see why colleges and high schools can't request metal or composite bats be made to mimic the velocity obtained when using a wood bat. Once enough demand was there, manufacturers would move to meet it.

With the shortage of quality ash and the apparent hazard of maple bats, MLB should get together with the NCAA to define a standard for composite bats which is within +/- 1% of the performance of ash bats. Composite bats also might be able to mimic the sound of a wooden bat -- certainly they wouldn't have the metallic ping of aluminum bats that is such a turn off to baseball old timers.

Bats used in professional play would be required to be lab certified to meet this standard. Occasional random spot testing could deter cheating.

In addition to eliminating the hazard from splintering wooden bats in pro ball and reducing the hazard of high performance aluminum bats in college, it would also have the benefit of minimizing the transition of college ball players into the pros and allow MLB teams to project college hitters more accurately. It's a win-win situation for everyone except Eaton.

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With the shortage of quality ash and the apparent hazard of maple bats, MLB should get together with the NCAA to define a standard for composite bats which is within +/- 1% of the performance of ash bats. Composite bats also might be able to mimic the sound of a wooden bat -- certainly they wouldn't have the metallic ping of aluminum bats that is such a turn off to baseball old timers.

Bats used in professional play would be required to be lab certified to meet this standard. Occasional random spot testing could deter cheating.

In addition to eliminating the hazard from splintering wooden bats in pro ball and reducing the hazard of high performance aluminum bats in college, it would also have the benefit of minimizing the transition of college ball players into the pros and allow MLB teams to project college hitters more accurately. It's a win-win situation for everyone except Eaton.

i don't have any numbers to support this but i bet easton makes triple the money they make in the ncaa in little league and softball bats.

i bet they just don't want to lose the advertising in the college world series.

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With the shortage of quality ash and the apparent hazard of maple bats, MLB should get together with the NCAA to define a standard for composite bats which is within +/- 1% of the performance of ash bats. Composite bats also might be able to mimic the sound of a wooden bat -- certainly they wouldn't have the metallic ping of aluminum bats that is such a turn off to baseball old timers.

Bats used in professional play would be required to be lab certified to meet this standard. Occasional random spot testing could deter cheating.

In addition to eliminating the hazard from splintering wooden bats in pro ball and reducing the hazard of high performance aluminum bats in college, it would also have the benefit of minimizing the transition of college ball players into the pros and allow MLB teams to project college hitters more accurately. It's a win-win situation for everyone except Eaton.

Again, I'm playing softball rather than baseball, but I haven't had a bat go "ping" in years. Composite bats, or deader balls? I have no idea. Likely a combination of both.

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Again, I'm playing softball rather than baseball, but I haven't had a bat go "ping" in years. Composite bats, or deader balls? I have no idea. Likely a combination of both.

Probably more of the latter. I've watched both college baseball and softball, and there's definitely more of a ping during baseball games.

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