The "bat spat," as The New York Times has dubbed it, is over a Staten Island, NY, city councilman's effort to ban aluminum bats because he (and many others) feel they are unsafe. The New York Sun has written that aluminum bats may go the way of trans fats -- banned by cities nationwide. CodBall has tried to surface all of the big issues this off-season, and so with just 50 or so days until opening day on the Cape, why not allow readers to blow of any pent up steam about the growing debate over wood v. aluminum. Should local governments ban aluminum bats for safety reasons?
The Times reports that Mike Mussina (Yankees) is for the ban. John Franco (Mets) is against the ban.
The argument goes something like this: aluminum bats in the hands of high school players and older have caused serious injuries. Critics say a ball flies off of an aluminum bat at speeds much greater than off of a wood bad. Several recent youth injuries have added urgency to these calls for a ban.
A spokesperson for the Louisville Slugger manufacturer says his firm believes in player choice, not bans (of course!).
The Cape Cod Baseball League introduced aluminum bats in 1975 and then banned aluminum bats in 1984, according to Steve Weissman's timeline in Beach Chairs and Baseball Bats. This was primarily due to the league's intent to better simulate professional baseball conditions.
I've never heard anyone say, "Ah, summertime. The smell of grass and the clink of an aluminum bat."