There is a problem in Baseball and instead of solving the problem, Baseball is using stupidity under the guise of scientific study to try the solve the problem. Baseball, the sport that eschews technology wherever it possibily can, is attempting to turn the corner and use technology to solve a problem that could most logically be solved without the use of technology.
Before you go on, keep in mind that these are the people who didn't want to have night games because you'd have to use lights and lights make it harder to see in the dark.
The problem that I'm talking about is The Maple Bat Problem. As Axion points out in the FanShots, MLB has first reports from their continuing investigation into the Case of the Breaking Bats.
As a reminder, from the very first paragraph:
The Safety and Health Advisory Committee that is charged by Major League Baseball and the Players Association to determine the reason why so many maple bats are shattering in big league games said on Tuesday that it is nearing the point where it can soon make "short-term and long-term recommendations to address the issue."
This is Baseball's biggest issue. They're given a problem, and instead of solving the problem, they're pretending to work on it by redefining it. The way in which they define the problem is screwed up. They're trying to solve the problem of why maple bats break, but that's not actually the problem.
The actual problem they're trying to solve is the assumption that somebody's going to eventually get killed by one of these broken bats. Baseball isn't in the business of woodworking. Baseball is in the business of managing a game.
When Baseball figured that there was a steroid problem, they didn't investigate as to whether or not scientists could come up with a serum to cure baseball players of steroids. They implemented a rule change. If you're caught with steroids, then you're kicked out of the game you undergo a series of warnings and red tape.
So... if the problem is that we don't want people getting hurt by broken bats, then why can't we just make it against the rules to hurt people with broken bats?
If, during the course of an at-bat, any piece of equipment being used by a batter leaves his person in such a way as to interfere or potentially cause injury to anyone around him, the batter is immediately called out. This includes pieces of broken bat.
If we're figuring that some teams manage to break 3 or 4 bats over the course of the game and this rule were put into place, don't you think teams and players would really quickly find their own solutions? Some players may moan and continue to use the bats because they aren't explicitly banned, but let them shatter a bat in a key situation and catch hell from his team and he'll fall into line.
I've suggested this solution for years, but have never seen anything similar anywhere. Is it because I'm crazy? Probably yes.