RealStoriesMN: That Time Bud Selig Wanted to Ban Maple Bats
Posted by mdewolf18 , 07 April 2016 · 1,240 views
Play-by-play guys and color commentators have an important job. For many, they are the trusted source of information when watching a baseball game on TV, or listening on the radio.
It's only natural that you'd expect the things they say to be true. But occasionally they get it wrong. And sometimes, they get it really wrong.
When Jim Anderson, founder of MAX Bats, heard Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven opine against the use of maple bats during one of the Twins games he was watching in 2008, he decided he had to let them know they had it wrong.
During a Michael Cuddyer at bat, Cuddyer took a big hack at an inside pitch and his barrel went flying over the third base dugout. Commentators Bremer and Blyleven immediately attacked maple bats, saying they needed to ban them immediately.
Anderson was shocked. "You've got to be kidding me ... Michael Cuddyer only swings ash and I can't believe you don't know this," said Anderson. "These guys don't all swing maple. Just because a bat breaks that way doesn't mean it's a maple."
According to Anderson, the bat breaking issues had nothing to do with the species of wood in the bats, but everything to do with the shape of the bat and the weight. "If a guy's swinging a big barrel ash bat that's a minus 3.5, you're going to have problems," he said.
Anderson immediately went up to his home office and wrote a letter explaining the issues, and listing what everybody in the Twins clubhouse swings. "A lot of media was saying a lot of things about maple bats that just weren't true," said Anderson.
The MAX Bats founder went on to expand on the letter and eventually he was able to get the letter to the MLBPA and was asked to create a more in-depth report on maple bats. "So I pounded out my manifesto on maple bats," said Anderson. "I got a lot of people to understand why bats break ... it's not a maple bat issue, it's how bats are made."
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