So Tyler Colvin could have died yesterday. As Jeff Passan said: I guess someone is going to have to actually die before Major League Baseball and the MLBPA decide to do something.
One possible thing, which IIATMS has been writing about for months, is some sort of device that can keep maple bat pieces from flying out like projectiles. One such device is the Batglove, which is a thin safety film that goes over a bat like tape. According to its makers, Major League Baseball has tested it and has been poised to approve it for some time. IIATMS and the Batglove people say, however, that there has been resistance by bat manufacturers, specifically Rawlings.
As I noted this morning with the Steve Yeager story, it’s not as if maple bats are the only bats that can, if things break just wrong, pose a serious danger to players and fans. But it certainly seems like we’ve had far more close calls and/or incidents in which people have been hurt involving maple bats than we ever saw with ash.
In light of this baseball and the union’s silence on this is simply not acceptable. If we’re all being hysterical and maple bats truly are no more of a risk than ash, please, point us crazy folk in the direction of the data which proves us wrong. If, however, the anecdotal — and in some cases empirical — evidence which has a great many of people in and around the game worried that someone is going to get killed by a shattering maple bat is valid, something has to be done.
While we wait for that, why don’t we all take a look at the fantastic yet scary video of some of the more notable broken bat incidents in recent years, complied by lar from Wezen-Ball:
Angels sign Kole Calhoun to three-year, $26 million extension
Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun had three more years of arbitration eligibility left, but he and the Angels decided to settle that future business at once on Wednesday, agreeing to a three-year extension worth $26 million, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. The contract also includes a $14 million club option for the 2020 season.
Calhoun, 29, has been a dependable right fielder for the Angels over the last three seasons, batting an aggregate .266/.327/.436 with 61 home runs and 216 RBI in 1,895 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, Calhoun has been the ninth-most valuable right fielder in baseball since the start of the 2014 season with 11.4 Wins Above Replacement. He ranks slightly behind Giancarlo Stanton (11.9) and just ahead of J.D. Martinez (10.9).
Nothing is happening as the baseball world waits four more hours for the Hall of Fame announcement. Question: why do it at 6pm? For MLB Network ratings? Let’s be real, there are “Golden Girls” reruns on third-tier basic cable that are gonna draw a bigger audience. Why not announce it now so people can get on with their lives? Oh well.
As we wait, let’s take a look in at Twitter, where Jim Bowden of ESPN passes along the rumor that the Washington Nationals are still interested in signing Matt Wieters and Greg Holland:
#Nationals still have interest in both Wieters & Holland..but they are way over budget on Spring Training Complex making decision difficult
I take that to mean that he’d take the money used to construct the team store and give to Wieters and Holland. I haven’t seen the budget breakdown for the new spring training facility, but that would probably mean a major pay cut for Wieters and Holland. And where would we buy our “Make Baseball Great Again” caps? Think ahead, Bryce. Play the long game here.