I've been playing with a new idea, wonder what you think.
If a batter has his bat break and a piece of bat larger than, say, a pencil enters into fair territory, the batter is automatically out.
I like this idea for two reasons. First, if a bat shatters, the guys in the field should not have to worry about fielding the ball. All they'd need to do is duck. Second, the rule would place the responsibility on the batter to use a bat that's less likely to break. All those thin handled maple bats would disappear in a hurry. Or, alternatively, batters could employ a device like the BatGlove.
What do you think?
I would like this idea, but this shifts the manufacturing risk to the players. They don't make the bats. An out is too harsh a penalty. However, I'd take your idea and take a step back:
Any batted ball where the bat shatters into two pieces is automatically a dead ball
This way, it will allow the players to defend themselves adequately but doesn't overly penalize the hitters.
Of course, the Batglove could alleviate 99.9% of shattered bats, if not 100%. I've seen the tests. You've seen them. And if you haven't, search batglove on this site or on youtube.
While at first glance I like the idea above, accidents do happen, and I'm not sure I'd like the element it would add to the game. It reminds me a bit like the rule in high school indoor kickball where anybody who hit the ceiling would get an automatic three outs; a somewhat arbitrary construct tossed into the game.
In over 100 years of major league baseball, there has only been one fatality, and that one fatality likely wouldn't have happened today (a tobacco-darkened ball and poor lighting). Price had a close call today, but he did manage to ward off the bat.
But then; thin-handled maple bats that breaks in this dangerous manner haven't been around for all of baseball's history.
of course, they now require the base coaches and batboys/girls to all wear helmets, all as a result of one fatality. Just because no one's been killed by a sheared off bat doesn't mean that we need to wait until some IS killed.
This is insane. I cannot believe MLB has been so slow to deal with such a dangerous issue. Radial Bat makes a wood bat that is shatter proof. In the case of what they call a failure, the largest piece that falls off the bat is roughly the size of a toothpick. It is constructed of wedges of wood that are compressed together. The bats have been tested and are the same as traditional wood bats in terms of performance. The problem is that MLB rules dictate that a bat be made of 1 solid piece of wood making the Radial Bat illegal in MLB.
Radial bats are a good alternative but the rules state that a bat must be made from one single piece of wood. I don't see that rule changing anytime soon.
Whoa! David Price knows Kung Fu!