Friday, August 31, 2007

Metal bats still a no-no in NYC

And this is still one of the dumbest things I've ever heard of.

A federal judge this week upheld a New York City Council-sponsored ban on metal baseball bats in high school games – even after admitting that zero empirical evidence exists to show that such bats are dangerous. The coalition of manufacturers that has gotten rich off the high-end aluminum bat market fought the ban, set to start Saturday, with a full public relations assault, hiring President Bush's former spokesman, Ari Fleischer, as its lead flack.

And less than 200 miles up Interstate 95, in Providence, R.I., a man wondered why politicians have wasted hundreds of hours and businessmen hundreds of thousands of dollars on an issue he says he could settle definitively for only $50,000.

Metal bats in and of themselves are not hazards. The New York baseball leagues could very easily have regulated metal bats in the same way that ASA regulates softball bats to ensure that potentially dangerous bats are not used. But this does beg a question: If a wood batter shatters and ends up severely injuring or killing a kid, will it be the New York City council's fault?

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