Louisville Slugger is such an iconic part of baseball that it’s easy to think of them as some behemoth of a company, but they really aren’t. It’s just a concern down in Louisville that, while it happens to have big market share and brand identity among baseball fans, is just an independent company. One division of the relatively small Hillerich & Bradsby company, named after the founders of the bat business.
At least it was until today. Here’s the press release:
Which probably won’t affect all that much for us fans.
It does create a good opportunity for competitors though. Like, say, Phoenix Bats, which is located here in Columbus. They can now market themselves to hipster ballplayers as an “indie bat company.” They can use the word “artesianal” too. Maybe “farm to table” assuming bats are grown on farms and used on tables. We’ll let the marketing people figure it out.
In other news, are there any hipster ballplayers? I mean aside from Paul Reuschel?
Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.
The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.
“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.
He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.
“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”
Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.
“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.
“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”
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