SBD/Issue 165/Leagues & Governing Bodies

MLB To Study Safety Of Shatter-Prone But Popular Maple Bats

MLB Looking Into Safety Issues
Caused By Shatter-Prone Maple Bats
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig at the league’s MLB Owners meetings in Milwaukee Thursday said the league has begun a formal inquiry into the safety of maple bats, which have soared in popularity in recent years among players but also raised serious concerns about their safety due to the frequency and nature of their shattering. Selig said, "It's very premature, and I don't want to characterize where this is going. But there're definite concerns." Selig, however, refused to speculate where corrective moves such as an outright ban of maple bats or regulations governing handle thickness would be sought. He said MLB Exec VP/Labor Relations Rob Manfred “is talking with the players about this, our rules committee is looking into this." Selig also addressed economic matters, with his prior projection of $6.5B industry revenues for '08 standing pat, with "another quantum leap" targeted for '09 due primarily to the introduction of the MLB Network. Also, as expected, MLB owners Thursday unanimously approved amendments to the sport's drug testing program that were negotiated with the MLBPA last month. The move marks the third reopening of a standing labor deal to amend the program since '05 (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).

TV TALKS POSTPONED: In Raleigh, Roger Van Der Horst reports MLB owners also brought up the issue of getting "more games on television in outlying areas," including getting MASN in North Carolina, but they postponed a "more detailed discussion until their next meetings in September." MLB President & COO Bob DuPuy was expected to participate in the discussions, but he missed the meeting after leg surgery (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 5/16).

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