Maple, Ash Baseball Bats May Strike Out

Last week, Major League Baseball's safety and health advisory committee met to discuss the safety and future of maple baseball bats. The problem is that when maple bats break, they shatter dangerously, sending shards of wood flying.

Brian Boltz, general manager of Larimer & Norton Inc., the timber division of Hillerich & Bradsby — also known as the maker of Louisville Slugger bats — and Lloyd Smith, associate professor of mechanical and materials engineering at Washington State University, talk about how bats are made and why different wood bats behave differently at the plate.

The ash bat industry, meanwhile, has a problem too. Sven-Erik Spichiger, an entomologist for the plant protection division at the Plant Industry Bureau, discusses the emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle that could threaten the ash bat industry.

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