Maple bats are breaking apart at an alarming rate. MLB is trying to patch the problem but there is no easy fix. Banning maple outright is not a solution for a couple reasons: 1) history has already been made with them 2) players like maple 3) and the ash tree population is at risk. Another idea being considered is to change the requirements of the bat such that the handle portion is bigger in diameter. This is a good idea but wood is a very unpredictable material, especially a hardwood like maple. A small crack can propagate quickly through even the thickest handles. Yet another idea is to place more nets around the field to protect fans. This is also a good idea but it does nothing to protect the people on the field or in the dugout. Also, there are a lot of fans who enjoy nothing between them and their field of dreams.
April 19, 2008 Scary moment as young kid barely escapes injury from broken maple bat. This type of bat failure is the most dangerous i.e. a large barrel end with a long, sharp sword-like end. It is only a matter of time before this type of failure causes a serious injury.