Monday, May 18, 2009

Heated debate on Easton composite bat

by Barca Blog - Should composite bats (pictured above) be illegal in collegiate baseball? Do they provide a competitive advantage? The topic has been fiercely debated throughout the season, and came to the forefront in Vanderbilt's series against Tennessee over the weekend.

The boiling point came when UT's Cody Hawn blasted a two-run homer to the opposite field in the top of the tenth Saturday -- the final dagger in the Vols' three-game sweep of the 'Dores -- prompting head coach Tim Corbin to have the umpires look at his composite bat.

Some may see Corbin's reaction as "sour grapes" ... but having attended press conferences all year long, it's been an issue he's had a strong stance on from the beginning. Without getting into too many specifics, I'll let you listen to Corbin talk more in depth about it with the 104.5 Wake Up Zone... and you can decide for yourself.

Click Here for Audio


  1. I listened to the interview this morning and thought Coach Corbin was terrific. His calling the composite bats the "steroids of college baseball" was right on target, and that theme needs more airtime. In addition to the obvious safety issues, Coach Corbin also puts a very interesting perspective on the matter when he makes a point about how this illegal technology is costing players like Mike Minor bargaining power, when they eventually sign that first pro contract. I also appreciate his being pretty transparent when it comes to our NCAA chances; here's to our making that a mute point by winning the whole thing in Hoover.

    Commodore Cabot.

  2. Coach Corbin is right on target. Studies from Kettering University show that composite bats that are "artificialy broken in" will produce a batted ball speed increase of up to 9 mph. That is enough to turn a normal fly out to a home run. I'm glad that we have a coach with enough integrity to stand up for the game of baseball.

    Commodore Fan

  3. The two previous comments are right on!

    But what is also right is Vanderbilt finding a way in the here and now to balance the playing field. If there is a loophole that is acknowleged but yet one that will not be closed in the near future, then Vanderbilt needs to find a way to neutralize the advantages provided to other teams using these "corked" bats.

    I think Corbin's stance is commendable and in the long run earning him and Vanderbilt some good PR. If what he says about the widespread usage of these bats is true, and given our hot/cold play this season, I'm fearful of our chances to make a meaningful run at Hoover and a regional.

    Just to play Devil's Advocate: How much a violation of principle would it be to use these bats?

  4. The technology associated with aluminum bats has long surpassed the need to use them at the collegiate level. This discourse over composite bats is just a precursor to excluding them completely in favor of some real lumber. I don’t see how aluminum bats do anything but hurt the game. I’m tired of seeing college, and even high school games, where infielders and pitchers are utterly defenseless against otherwise routine groundballs. Having a bigger sweet spot on the bat does not make games more exciting or interesting, for me at least, but it does make fielding exceedingly difficult and its puts a bigger bullseye on the pitcher. Go 'Dores

  5. i totally agree...i played at vandy 70--73 and have been a baseball guy for over 50 yrs...i cant stand metal bats ..they dont belong in baseball....softball ? sure....whatever...the game of baseball was ment to have a balence between pitching , deffence and baseball is becoming nothing more than "mens softball " ..that is just not right...bring back wood bats and get rid of the designated hitter rule as should a derivitive......VandyPitcher

  6. I watched a friday night game of an S.E.C. series and saw a player on one of the teams using a composite bat that was a new bat 3 years ago.Why would a player use that 3 year old bat unless it had been rolled

  7. Rolling a bat greatly reduces the lifespan of the bat. So I'm not 100% sure the 3 yr old bat was rolled. A bat that age with the amount of hits it has should have the same effect as a rolled bat becuse it has been broken in. So I don't think a bat that old would be still around if it was rolled. I would be more suspecious about a brand new bat hitting lasers being rolled then a 3 yr old bat. But I completly agree that something needs to be done though.