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MLB, MLBPA Announce Update on Bat Safety Investigation PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 09 September 2008 15:41

Broken BatMajor League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association jointly announced today the following update from the Safety and Health Advisory Committee. The Committee is charged with considering issues of player and fan safety, including those associated with broken bats.

Since its initial meeting in New York on June 24th, the Safety and Health Advisory Committee has carried out a number of measures in the data collection process. Since July 2nd, MLB Authenticators have collected every bat that has broken during Major League games. To date, more than 1,700 broken bats have been collected for analysis. The Committee has compiled relevant information for each broken bat, including its manufacturer, the model, its dimensions, the situation of the game when it was broken, the area in which the bat fragments landed, and video footage from MLB.com of each broken bat incident. The bat collection concluded on September 7th, based on the experts’ determination that a sufficient number of bats were collected, but the Committee will continue to review video footage daily of each broken bat incident.

The Committee hired an interdisciplinary team of experts to advise on the issues associated with broken bats. Wood quality issues are being examined by two Wisconsin-based organizations: the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), the United States government’s primary research facility for wood products, from which research engineer David Kretschmann is the Committee’s primary contact; and Timberco, Inc. (“TECO”), an independent, accredited certification and testing agency for structural and nonstructural wood products. Dr. Carl N. Morris, Professor of Statistics at Harvard University, and Dr. James A. Sherwood, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and Director of the Baseball Research Center, also have been retained to assist the Committee’s data analysis and to design additional bat tests. The team of experts is analyzing the collection data, testing collected bats, and consulting with bat manufacturers and Club equipment managers.

The Committee is also conducting a comprehensive quality control survey among all of Major League Baseball’s approved bat suppliers to obtain information regarding the manufacturing process and the suppliers’ quality control processes. Representatives of the Committee have begun a series of meetings with bat suppliers. Additional manufacturers will be visited in the next few weeks. The Committee intends to make both short-term and long-term recommendations to address the issues within its jurisdiction.

Major League Baseball and Club representatives on the committee are Sandy Alderson (San Diego Padres); Paul Dolan (Cleveland Indians); Joe Garagiola, Jr. (MLB); Dan Halem (MLB); Gerry Hunsicker (Tampa Bay Rays); Walt Jocketty (Cincinnati Reds); Howard Smith (MLB); and Dean Taylor (Kansas City Royals). The Major League Baseball Players Association representatives on the committee are Phil Bradley (MLBPA); John Buck (Kansas City Royals); Aaron Heilman (New York Mets); Bob Lenaghan (MLBPA); Gene Orza (MLBPA); Steve Rogers (MLBPA); Michael Weiner (MLBPA); and Richard White (MLBPA).

Source: MLB, MLBPA


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer.

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