Watching Tyler Colvin of the Chicago Cubs take a splinter to the lung while on third base yesterday was just another reminder that some of the bats Major Leaguers are using these days, those made from maple, are dangerous and need to be eliminated from the game
According to the Associated Press, a Cubs trainer said Colvin was hit in his upper chest, allowing air into his chest well and potentially into his lungs. He was being treated with a chest tube to prevent a collapsed lung. Thank goodness, it wasn't into his heart or eye.
Ash bats, long used by most Major Leaguers, are softer and lighter than maple. When an ash bat splinters, it usually breaks into small pieces. Maple bats appear to snap into larger parts. Major League Baseball has seen the evidence and knows that maple is more dangerous that ash. MLB has banned several types of maple bats in the minors this season. but MLB can't uniformly ban the bats for those players who are members of the players union.
Such was the case with steroids. MLB could test for them, and issue suspensions, among minor leaguers who were not union members. But to do such testing with union members, it had to be OKd by the union and agreed to in the latest contract. This is the same case with wood bats. Bud Selig, the mighty mighty boss of baseball, has no power here. He can ban the maple bats for the players' good at the minor league level, but he'll need the players union to agree for the ban to include union members.
And I'm not just jumping on the bandwagon after seeing what happened to Colvin. I was against maple bats earlier this year. In July, a Mets fan who was hit in the face with a broken maple bat three years ago sued the team, two players, the league and the makers of the bat.
There have been enough incidents with maple bats. Let's not wait for someone to die from being impaled with one of these splintered implements of death. They need to go bye bye. Let's hope MLB and the players union come to the same conclusion soon.