SweetSpot: maple bats

Thursday Throneberries

April, 9, 2009
4/09/09
2:35
AM ET
Today's links are delivered in the spirit of friendship and karate ...

• Home Run Derby reviews the 21st century's World Series rings. And if you're still curious about the difference between the Yankees and the Red Sox, look no farther.

• From Tom Boswell's column, this wonderful bit from Adam Dunn about why he switched from maple bats to ash:

    Why switch? "Maple is too dangerous ... I switched last June," Dunn said. "Those bats shatter. One of them is going to end up sticking out of somebody's neck. Maybe [a fan] in the stands. I'm not being that guy that did it."

    With those words, Dunn may be the first player in baseball who has rejected the lethal maple bats that are a tragedy waiting to happen. The whole sport knows it. It's being "studied."

    "Using the ash probably does take away some homers, probably. If you don't quite get it, miss it a little, it doesn't go as far," said Dunn. "I'll take one, two, three less homers and not have my name on the barrel of the bat sticking in somebody. I saw a [shattered] bat go around an umpire's head last year."

• So often when reading ShysterBall, I get the distinct feeling that Craig is merely -- and somewhat infuriatingly -- a younger, better version of me. Case in point ...

• What's the difference between the Josh Beckett of last October and the Josh Beckett of Monday night? As Marc Normandin demonstrates, the answer is elementary.

• Keith Olbermann says goodbye to his mom (from whom he inherited his baseball nerdiness).

• Jeff Wilson interviews Nolan Ryan ... and unless I'm reading too much between the lines, Ryan is predicting that his conditioning program will lead to better pitching. We'll see!

• I saw it twice yesterday, and I'll see it dozens more times over the next six months, and every time it'll drive me just a little nuttier ... the more egregious example was in this game. Bottom of the fifth, Padres down 2-1, and David Eckstein lifts a fly to medium center fielder. It's obvious that the runner on third will score easily, and he does.

But wait! The runner on first base -- Jody Gerut in this case, but it could be just about anyone -- gets nabbed between first and second, apparently after trying to get caught in a rundown. Yes, the runner scored from third. But he was going to score anyway. Isn't it even better to have two outs and a runner on first base than three outs?

Runners of every stripe just keep doing this, and I keep wondering why no one tells them to just stop with the foolishness, already.

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