The other day David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox showed up for batting practice with a metal bat. Of course, these are banned in major league baseball, but he wanted to put on a show for the fans during batting practice. He supposedly hit several balls completely out of Fenway Park–even some over the scoreboard. Now you know why they are banned in pro baseball. However, that is only part of what I wanted to discuss today. In the early days of baseball, players literally brought lumber to the plate. The bats were huge from one end to the other. Babe Ruth supposedly used a bat so large that some major leaguers couldn’t even swing it. As the years have gone by, the bats keep getting smaller, lighter, and more slender. Couple this with the fact that ash is not readily available any more you constantly see bats being shattered. Ash wood has been affected by a beetle and no other wood has proven to be as good as ash was. Players say they prefer the new slender bats because they get the same effect with the narrow handle as a golfer gets when he uses a driver. You literally get a whiplash effect which carries the ball farther from the plate. With all of the technology in baseball today, you can see this in some of the slow motion camera shots. I have already discussed the controversy of metal bats and their danger to pitchers in the lowest levels of baseball. I doubt if anybody uses the Jackie Robinson model that was so popular in my high school baseball days.