Friday, August 24, 2007

Don't Worry, They Won't Leave

Two more articles detailing a press conference of sorts given by the Little League and Don't Take My Bat Away spokesperson, Ari Fleischer.

Little League Hit By Wood Bat Debate (

Wood vs. Metal Debate Making Some Batty (Staten Island

also, I just found this one as well:

Ex-Whitehouse Spokesman Joins Debate Over Metal Bats (NY Times)

The contention from Little League's point of view is that returning to wood bats means that kids will leave baseball for lacrosse, soccer, and video games. They offer no evidence.

They also don't seem to understand how dumb they sound. Baseball's hey-day, especially Little League's, was in the '50s and '60s where everyone played with wood bats. Little League baseball's membership rolls have been dwindling since at least the '90s.

There's no question there is an adjustment period for kids when they move to wood, but I'd say in less than a year the weight differential wouldn't mean a thing. In fact, it's pretty clear to me that the wood bat movement is growing and that Legion, Little League, and other organizations are going to lose out to independent summer and fall wood bat leagues. Imagine how much stronger kids might get swinging bats that weigh almost two pounds instead of ones that weigh barely one pound three ounces.

One last thing: on the issue of whether or not Little League can play with metal at Williamsport next year: I would suggest a waiver from PA's rules if LL were willing the following year to try an all-wood tournament. I guarantee more excitement and press coverage!

Click here to go to the Fleischer press conference.

Thanks to Joe Domalewski for keeping me up to date on things and sending article references.

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