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Fleischer Opposes Metal Bat Ban At Little League Press Conference

Fleischer Speaks Out
On Metal Bat Ban
Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said proposed legislation in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey that would ban the use of medal bats in youth baseball  is "troubling" and "threatens baseball,” according to Chuck Finder of the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE.  Fleischer appeared at a Little League World Series press conference representing the Don’t Take My Bat Away Coalition, a "very grassroots group of parents, coaches, and players” that opposes banning metal bats.  Little League President & CEO Stephen Keener, who also attended the press conference, indicated that passage of the ban in Pennsylvania could prompt the Little League World Series, an event played in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, since '47, to move. Keener: “I would think a ban of the use of non-wood bats in the state of Pennsylvania would make it difficult to hold the World Series here.” Both Keener and Fleischer “insisted this isn’t a financial issue,” citing the fact that the bat companies manufacture all varieties and that bat-sale royalties amount to about $360,000, or 2% of the Little League’s $18M operating budget. Keener said that a "switch to the more costly wood would inflate their coffers.”  Fleischer's company, Ari Fleischer Communications, has been retained by clients that include bat manufacturers and "various sporting-good companies,” though he refused to elaborate on the companies and their fees (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 8/21).

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