So far this season, we at the Respect Jeter's Gangster blog have remained mum on the ever pressing topic of maple bats. If you've watched any game this season, you've probably seen a bat explode. That bat was more than likely maple. Players have been using more maple bats now because they are said to be harder and drive the ball more than ash bats do, but the one defect it has is that it blows the crap up. A lot. Damon said he's gone through 40 bats already this season. Despite this, many players don't want to switch from maple to ash, because they believe in maples magical powers. In fact, Barry Bonds was one of the first players to use it, and he hit over 70 homeruns. If all Barry needed was a maple bat to hit 70 homeruns than even Julio Lugo can expect 40 this season.
Despite the explosive nature of maple bats, a surprisingly small number of people have actually been injured. With the increased production maple bats are known for, many players seem hesitant to give them up. Consider these numbers: In 2006, David Eckstein hit 2 homeruns using an ash bat. Vowing to never hit such paltry numbers, he switched to maple. As a result Eckstein had a torrid 2007 campaign ending the season with 3 homeruns. That's a 50% increase in homeruns! Consider that production for a moment. That means that if A-Rod had switched to maple this season, he could be on pace to hit over 80 homeruns.
So what's the solution? According to Peter Abraham, Bud Selig can't simply ban maple bats, and as was already mentioned, players are hesitant to give up maple bats. Its well within the players rights to choose whatever bat they want. After all, how could anyone decline Lugo the chance to have his first 40 homerun season? The Respect Jeter's Gangster blog's solution is to step into the 21st century and use science to solve the problem. How about a half maple half ash hybrid? Scientists could mess with the genes of both kinds of trees and make a super wood, genetically modified for baseball bats. By my calculation, all it would take is an ash seed, a maple seed, a scientist with a clipboard, some Barry White music, and a bottle of red wine. Then you just let nature take its course. Why not? They already figured out how to clone people, is a hybrid tree really that out of the question?
All I know is that something needs to change. Maple bats, combined with Joba Chamberlain's fist pump, the Florida Marlins franchise, the Mets farm system, and the decline of HGH, is destroying baseball.