Baseball Primer Newsblog
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Thursday, March 14, 2013
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I would also think the wood bats are much harder than the Louisville slugger bats I used, but not as hard as the aluminum bat from the late 70’s. Would I be correct in that assumption? If so, how much extra distance (% wise) are the newer bats effecting the distance (if at all) , in comparison of the older Louisville slugger bats of in my day,1970’s and 90’s? Also, though it still happens, it seems the broken bat shards, that fly into the stands, or the playing field has lessened somewhat. Have studies showed improvement on that issue? Any and all input will be appreciated.
Fewer questions in one bundle would be appreciated, too, but I’ll try to cope.
1) You are certainly correct that modern bats are harder and have more shellac on them than the bats used back when you and Paul Waner were playing. Also the thin handles create less resistance and can be swung faster, although that may not be the main advantage of the thin handles. The other (and perhaps larger) advantage of the thin handles is that they lead to fewer either popped up or dribbled off of the “handle” end of the bat.
Maybe that’s not clear. Pitches that make contact with the “thin” end of the bat are very rarely hits, since that part of the bat is not moving very fast, and the round surface doesn’t lead to solid contact. When you reduce the diameter of the handle, you proportionately reduce the amount of “accidental contact” with the thin end of the bat, which eliminates a certain number of easy outs for the fielders.
2) 1990 is very different from 1970, so whatever the answer was to that one from 1970 would be very different from the answer in 1990. Also, I don’t know what the percentage increase in distance would be. I would guess it would be 3-4%.
3) I am certain that there has been very significant improvement in the number of shattered bats, and I know the commissioner’s office has worked hard on that issue. However, they’re trying to handle it quietly, without pubblicizing whatever it is that they are doing, so I really don’t know exactly what the differences are. But one can easily see that the number of shattering bats is way down.
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