Tagged: baseball public relations

Maple Bats Proven Dangerous

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After years of shattered bats and a recent injury as a result of maple wood bats being used in MLB, Commissioner Selig is stepping up to the plate to raise concern and address the situation. The maple bats issue came into the limelight only days ago when Yahoo! Sports published a story about a fan being hit in the jaw by a shattered maple bat, and brought extra attention when it made the front page of social news site Digg.com (Passan, Jeff. “Fan’s injury should force bat policy change” May 30, 2008. Yahoo! Sports.). On June first, the Commissioner made a comment in an MLB.com article specifically about maple bats, saying, “It’s a source of concern. It has been for me. I watch a lot of games and I am concerned. So I expressed that concern with the executive
council and they agreed.” (Bloom, Barry M. “MLB, union to meet about maple bats.” MLB.com. June 1, 2008).

To Commissioner’s Selig’s credit, he had expressed concern about maple bats even before the recent public relations black eye, like when he highlighted the issue at the owner’s meeting earlier this year (Yahoo!).

I agree with the Commissioner that the use of maple bats is a great concern. His very prompt efforts to begin discussions about how to remedy this is exactly the kind of action that is called for. However, the real work lies in taking tangible action to address the problem within a reasonable timeframe, which I would consider to be within three months. I’ll keep tabs on this, and make a future blog post when any significant action is taken.

(Photo Credit: Susan Rhodes)

Discussion Question:

1.) Do you think the use of maple bats would have been reviewed this year without the spectator injury receiving recent press?