Thursday, March 15, 2007

NYC bans metal baseball bats

This is just plain dumb. New York City must be running on all cylinders if banning metal baseball bats is what the city council has as a priority.
The New York City Council passed a bill yesterday to ban the use of metal bats in high school baseball games, securing enough votes to override a potential veto by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. The vote set up a possible legal challenge from the metal-bat industry.

Industry officials, who opposed the bill, said they believed that the Council was the first legislative body in the nation to pass such a measure.

I'm not going to lie to anybody; some metal baseball bats have been so well engineered that they can send a batted ball into the field at very dangerous speeds. For most of the players on the field, this isn't a problem, but it is for pitchers who are less than 60 feet away from the hitters and finishing their follow through when the ball is hit. Still, there are better ways to handle this than with a city law. First, any league or conference can set their own rules on bats, outlawing the use of those bats that have an excessive trampoline effect. Softball leagues all across the nation do it every year, and the umps do bat checks prior to games. Secondly, I'm sure the state of New York has a regulating body for high school athletics. This would be an even better place to address it since it would be able to set bat standards across the state that would eliminate confusion during non-conference games. Those are the proper venues for the regulation of the bats, not the city council. Had the city addressed their concerns by working with the leagues/conferences/regulatory bodies, the regulations would have been smarter than the city's across the board ban, and they'd have avoided the legal expenses the city will incure when this law gets challenged.

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