So what is this report that Mr. Rauso is referencing? You can read it here: Lowell Report 12_15_09
I’ll give you the pieces of bread below, but the sandwich is best made with the details and bat-breaking pictures contained in the report:
A baseball bat durability study was performed at the UMass Lowell Baseball Research Center for The Bat Glove, Inc. The Bat Glove, Inc. developed a baseball bat reinforcement system that consists of a thin polymeric film applied around the taper region of the bat and promotes its system as a potential remedy to the reduce the number of bat pieces that separate and fly from the batter’s box. The purpose of this study was to examine a selection of nearly identical bats, half as produced (no bat reinforcement) and half with the polymeric-film reinforcement applied. The bats were tested in matched pairs, one with and one without the film using the same procedure. High-speed video was utilized to make visual comparisons regarding the break severity between maple bats with and without the application of the polymeric film.
Overall, each of the eleven bats that was wrapped with the polymeric film remained intact during failure, while seven of the 10 natural bats tested at the 14-in. location resulted in multi-piece failures. The Bat Glove System’s 100% containment of the failures during this study for impacts at a location that shows a high potential for multipiece failure demonstrates that its use could significantly reduce the number of multipiece bat failures when applied to maple bats.
The Bat Glove System was studied at the Baseball Research Center. The study investigated the durability of marched pairs of bats with and without the polymeric film applied. Ten bats of each configuration were tested at the location 14 in. from the barrel end to determine the containment of failures at this impact location. All 10 of the bats with the Bat Glove System had all of the pieces contained as the bat broke, while seven of the 10 natural bats without the film applied resulted in multi-piece failures.
If you haven’t read the entire document, please take the time to do so. It’s technical without being confusing. There are plenty of handy with/without slow-mo images of bat/ball contact. At the very least, it’s interesting… well, it was to me.
The point is, baseball has a problem and there seems to be a cheap ($15/wrap) solution that won’t impact the feel of the bats or their performance. It will only keep the bat’s integrity intact.
I’m aware that we get visitors from several pro clubs in addition to MLB, MLBPA, agents, etc. I’m asking you to email me to discuss this, either on or off the record. Has your team, your players, your clients considered this? What was your reaction, their reaction?