After steroids, shattering maple bats may be baseball's top-priority issue right now, one that promises to be a sticky problem, writes the New York Times. But Sam Holman, the founder of the first company to supply maple bats to the majors, thinks the answer may be a simple one: crack down on makers who cut corners.
Some of the 30 companies licensed to make MLB-approved bats may simply be using inferior wood, Holman explains. His company rejects thousands of pieces it deems not dry enough to become a safe bat. “If you leave any moisture content in maple, you leave stress in the maple,” Holman says. “If you have stress in the bat, it will break.”