IIATMS exclusive: A chat with BatGlove founders, Phil and Steve Rauso

IIATMS: What avenues have you traveled down with respect to getting this product tested, approved and accepted within MLB (and/or MiLB, NCAA, etc.)? How did the BatGlove fair in testing?

BatGlove: Contacted VP of Licensing for MLB, Howard Smith. Sent a prototype bat with the Polymeric Safety Film installed to his office in New York City. In October 2008 we obtained a testing protocol for the product and to speak with Roy Krasik, MLB’s senior vice president of operations. Tests were conducted on our product using Rawlings ash bats passed with a 100% success rate when the bat failed in the region where the tape is applied. The report was given to the MLB Commissioner’s Office/Health and Safety Committee. We were listed as a composite bat for this test but it was verified by USDA afterwards that it was in fact a solid wood bat and not a composite.

In April / May, 2009 the BatGlove was approved by Roy Krasik for the Minor League Short-Season A, Rookie-Advanced and Rookie League games, practices and exhibitions (“Professional Play”) during calendar year 2009.…

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The BatGlove Story

East-valley (AZ) residents, Stephen Rauso and Philip Rauso, Jr.* invented a device that everyone within MLB, including bat manufacturers, have been searching for. Everyone within Major League Baseball has been working continuously to find a fix for this potentially deadly problem without success. That’s where the Rauso brothers fit into this whole scenario. While driving home to Gilbert, Arizona through the California desert in July 2008, Stephen was inspired after hearing a news report about a woman that was severely injured while attending a baseball game. The broken barrel of the bat flew into the stands and struck her in the head shattering her jaw. She was required to have titanium plates surgically inserted to reconstruct portions of her face. That’s when Stephen realized there is a special type of polymeric tape that is used to protect RV’s and automobiles from road chips and damage that might be able to help fix this safety problem with solid-wood bats.

Stephen has over 17 years experience selling RV’s and travels to and from California every week to support his wife and three young children.…

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A bit more about the new rule regarding maple bats

Wendy Thurm: Can you tell me how the rule came about (i.e., was it a compromise between owners and players, what other changes were considered)?

Jason@IIATMS: Nearly everything in the CBA represents a compromise of some sort. Heck, if one side wanted to mandate that the sun rises in the East, the other side would try to negotiate that away. I am sure it was the only compromise the MLB, MLBPA, USDA, and equipment manufacturers could come up with to show due diligence in an attempt to improve or search for a solution.

As for the exact circumstances of the genesis of the rule change, I am not sure, but certainly this is an issue of importance for MLB. Unfortunately, in my opinion, this is mostly cosmetic to show us that they are trying to do something about the problem. However, I don’t believe it is enough. The Tyler Colvin incident could have been worse, far worse, and it just might take that worst case scenario to occur (to a fan or a player) to really get this problem fixed.…

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A bit about the new CBA rule about maple bats

Jason: What’s your official, on-the-record stance on the new CBA rules about maple bats and your thoughts if the new limits on low-density wood have a material impact on the # of instances?

Phil: I do not feel that outlawing “low-density” maple will solve the problem of injuries on and off the field. It’s obvious that bats are still breaking at an alarming rate as cited by numerous players, yet upper management says it’s reduced breakage by fifty percent. Where are the statistics and numbers? Are we supposed to “blindly” believe that everything is under control? I believe my own eyes and see just as many broken bats fly into the stands and on the field as they have in the past. The only thing that has changed is that they have muzzled the announcers from talking about it and do not show the bats going in the stands after they break during game-play. This propaganda tactic can only last for so long until there is a death on the field or in the stands.

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