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Discussion: how to solve the illegal bat problem

Posted Discussion
Oct. 10, 2006
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
how to solve the illegal bat problem
I was talking with Kevin from Anaconda
and he had a interesting and provocative way
to help resolve the illegal bat issue.

In any tournament at any time that a player is struck/injured by a hit ball that is not from a bad hop,
that bat and ball are confiscated
by the tournament operators
pending any investigation and determination of liability.
What if the player is seriously injured?
What if the ball compression was beyond specification?
What if the bat was out of specification by the manufacturer?
Or the bat was altered by the owner, or some bat doctor.
The only way the injured party as any chance
of being compensated for his injury and/or holding accountable the offending agent is if
the bat and ball are held pending investigation.

Use an altered bat hit me with a ball
and your house could be mine.
Deterrent?

What do you think?
Oct. 11, 2006
Lefty
Men's 65
464 posts
einstein. it looks like you've been around softball for a while. About the ball. I don't know about the tourney's you go to but tourney's I've been in don't use the top of the line softball if anything they used the cheapes and softest 375 44cor ball they can find. We're are not using 525 47 cor balls anywhere cause of the Ultra 2. About line drives, stop the TD from putting Major and AAA together in pool play. As you know AAA players aren't suppose to be as good on defense and power hitting as the Major players. That's why they have different levels of play. As for players getting hurt. From what I've seen with most softball fields are not in good condition. The ball hardly ever takes a true bounce. That's why infielders play so deep. I just can't see why some would use an altered when they can use the Ultra. Just my two cents. Hope you guys have a great winter.
Oct. 11, 2006
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Gary, cool, what would be better?
And Lefty,
terrific comments.
What do you think?
Oct. 11, 2006
tattooball
605 posts
This would only affect when a player is injured do to a suspect hit ball, not a bad hop. The question on how this would deter people from using an altered bat.
Well Gary you may not have any possesions, or house, cars etc... but I do and I am pretty confortable in my life do to hard work. I most certainly would not jepordize my life and my families life so I could cheat in a recreation softball game. I like going home to MY house and driving MY cars. However I don't like paying MY childrens bills but do it because they are mine. Maybe when they are moved out of the house I will want to cheat and risk everthing you never know.

Good luck
swing hard in case you hit it.
Oct. 11, 2006
Tater50
336 posts
Thanks to Einstein & Stoneman for pushing this bat altering issue. Last year I STRONGLY pushed the "snowbird issue" with SPA & with the help of many men thru E-mails, we got this issue changed.
I know this sounds corny, maybe old fashion, but this is the way it was with my father & his generation. You made a commitment by shaking hands or made a verbal commitment & you stood by it. How many men are willing to put your name on this National Board that you will not alter bats? Anybody can place their name on the line & then still alter bats, but there are some honorable men that will not change their hearts. We do not need to do the norm & follow the trail of what “some” are doing; we should stand up & say “ I will not cheat”, whether it be false “snowbirds, addresses or illegal bats”. I placed this “honor” quote on the board & I will reiterate it again; this time I will make the starting date as of today, so that no one will feel that they are in a confessional: On my honor: I promise that I will not use an altered bat (specially reloaded; rod removed or shortened, player's model, shaved, etc.) in 2007 & I promise that in the years to follow that as a fellow senior softball player; I will not degrade these fine organizations nor insult my fellow team mates or other players who spend thousands of dollars to play every year & take off time from their jobs & families, by using altered bats. Who will follow suit & attach their name with honor?
I have played in SS since 99 w/some great teams, coached my own team for 2 years; you may find flaws in me (cause I have many), but there is NOBODY that I have played with or against can state that I have talked about, used, knowingly purchased or indicated how, someone can alter a bat.

Tater50
John W. Hayes
Faith Electric
JAH Masters
Oct. 11, 2006
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Tater,
Thanks for taking the lead and being a real man
setting an example of accountability and responsibility
on this huge issue facing us.
Count me in.
Joe Rinaldi
Kelly's Sports
50 Major Plus
Oct. 11, 2006
tattooball
605 posts
You know I have refrained from saying things to you on this and other boards, because I figured you are just some bored guy with no life and this is all you have to keep yourself happy. I am really re-thinking that you may just be a moron I don't know. I will continue to try and figure that one out though.
Oct. 11, 2006
the wood
1075 posts
Einstein & Trumpball:
I have to agree with Gary on this one. But I do believe that you're thinking in the right direction and that it's a very important issue. Your premise does not penalize a guy for an HR or a base hit when using illegal equipment... just if it hits/injures someone. Who is to say if the injury was caused by an altered bat? The catcher or manger that just wants to slow the other team nad/or remove a hot hitter's bat just to 'mess with his head'?
I've been hearing of technology that can distinguish a legal bat from an altered one. Is this reality or BS?
other message board threads:
While this thread deals with how to remove illegal bats, another one discussed how to secure an end cap. Still another talks about 'field testing' end loaded bats. While this is certanly an irony, it does demonstrate how easy and commonplace this practice can be. Recognize that I'm not throwing stones at the writers of the other threads. I believe that they would be reluctant to speak openly about this if they intended to use altered bats in games.
John Hays:
I respect your effort to go on record about this and I,too, am willing to state my name in the form of a commitment.
Bob Woodroof, former mgr, GSF, 55 major +
Rhetorical question: Had I used just my psuedonym would it have the same meaning?
Oct. 11, 2006
batterup0055
13 posts
Horrible idea, Einstein. Especially after the snafu in PS with the Old A's etc etc which has been debated by many to death.....
Who would decided what bat to take? What about HR hitters? What about someone with a base hit? What about a hard hop ball that was caught? Just too many scenarios where a bat/ball could be taken on a whim

The problem needs to be solved by technology, as there are too many human factors at work to be truly subjective.
I heard that Bill Ruth had a ring of sorts that could be slid over the bat and pick up a repainted bat? Also, some bat companies are supposed to be inserting microchips, which in turn could be read with a hand held scanner, and supposedly would show up if the bat had been altered IN ANY WAY.

Perhaps players, managers ought to go to the bat manufacturers themselves and make themselves heard. With your penchant for unending blither, perhaps you, Einstein could drive them nuts.
Oct. 11, 2006
tattooball
605 posts
Knowing the legal ramifications of you injuring someone with an altered bat is enough for most normal people to re-think using one in a game will slow down the use of a bat like this.
Secondly all of the talk about having a bat with closed ends is great but that is not possible with a composite bat. So you would need to go back to single wall bats to acheive this.
Oct. 11, 2006
tattooball
605 posts
Glad you brought that up. A pitcher was hit in florida in the face it caused multiple fractures. The bat and the ball where both taken for testing and you will hear of the lawsuit that will follow. I can't say what the test showed but I do know that somone is liable.
Oct. 11, 2006
tattooball
605 posts
That's the difference between me and you. You speculate andI know the facts, just can't share them here.
Oct. 11, 2006
tattooball
605 posts
Yeah no crediablity when I warned the bat dr's 2 years ago that their was a suit being filed that they could not win. Well 2 years later and they did not win.........
Oct. 11, 2006
E. Ness
122 posts
I was over on SBF and noticed someone tried to share bits and pieces of info but could not share all as TB is here. If I remember right he read them the riot act and basically told them if they can't say anything then they don't know anything. Hmmmmm

TB is right he told the bat dr's two years ago but from what I have heard this suit is far from done. Things are happening tomorrow with the judge that could change the outcome as it sits. That does not mean the dr's will win it just means things can change.

As far as this idea I agree with Gary. It is bad. Who is going to pay for the testing? I say Tater idea is the best and everyone should be policing themselves and their team. I know my coach does not allow it and neither does Einstein's so when are the rest of the coaches going to stand up to the plate? Or has winning become that important? If it has that is a shame on you.
Oct. 11, 2006
Hit the gap
Men's 60
142 posts
2 weeks ago in our ASA league which is mostly youngsters with a few of us old guys playing, I accidently hit a laser back at the pitcher that glanced off the side of his forehead. Should my ASA legal bat have been confiscated for testing? Should the ball have been taken for testing? Should I be sued for hitting the pitcher?

Get real ! This is not the solution to catching users of altered bats. It's just a horrible idea and implementation of something like this would simply overwhelm any testing facilities. Can you imagine the truckloads of bats and balls being delivered every week from all over the country every time someone gets hit with a batted ball?

This would be like saying that anytime someone coughs, they should be put in a TB ward because they "might" be contagious.

I think ASA is handling the situation exactly as it should by going after the bat doctors and getting their list of clients.
Oct. 11, 2006
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2617 posts
Kevin, I was under the impression that Rogers and Waterman were bat painters, not doctors, and that the lawsuit was about trademark infringement. Was I missimformed?

Did all of you see the bat doctors on eBay? I was searching for a bat and 2 or 3 auctions for bat doctor services resulted along with bats.

I thought that making the U2 legal would end the problem of doctored bat. Now the problem is the U1's painted like U2's.

I believe that if you make the penalty a lifetime ban those that are thinking of using an altered bat will think twice.

Bruce Fairchild
Oct. 11, 2006
Tater50
336 posts
Well; Einstein & myself have stepped up to the plate of Honor: there are many of you that want to; go ahead it will make your day & year. There is not a one of you playing that uses a LEGAL bat that knows of others (who might be your friends or acquaintances) that uses a painted whatever into a U2, a new bat that they sent off & paid $80 to have specially reloaded to suit your swing, or a U2 that has been shaved into the power of a U1; that when they swing, it makes you knot up inside. I, have noticed (like BruceinGa), that they are now doctoring U2’s on Ebay. You know friends & acquaintances are cheating, but do not want to expose them. Not trying to get people to rat on someone else, but you may be able to discourage them in polite way. I play in a league with some young guys & I walked up & overheard one showing the other his 2 bats; he indicated of course, this one has been worked on. I looked him dead in the eye & proclaimed: “Son, God has given you a great talent & you do not need any extra to produce the end results”. Whether he changes or not, that is up to him, but I wanted it to weigh on him mind that he was talented enough without any extra help. I had a close friend of mine whom I had played with since 1999(who died last year); was hit in the side of the head while pitching (did not die from a softball injury); I know the guy personally who hit the ball; NO way would he use an altered bat & NO way would he try to hit the pitcher (he is a super guy); but as I rewind that day in my mind; I would hate to know that this incredible man could have lost his life that day by an altered bat (if it had of been an inch or two over). We have got to get our emotions involved with this “altering bat process”. Leaving all of our differences aside: whether we like someone’s personality or whatever; think of how you would feel if you hit one of your teammates in practice & caused irreparable damage; you would never be able to look in the mirror again. We must take personal responsibility & be accountable to the man in the mirror. If we change ourselves then others will follow suit. I guarantee it!!!


Tater50
John W. Hayes
JAH Masters
Oct. 11, 2006
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Gary,
I believe that some process needs to be in place
to "take" a bat and ball for examination
after any swing or else the guy that TB was talking about would have no recourse to hold anyone accountable.
I don't like your position that there's nothing we can do about if because that "turns on" the cheaters
who use 'em because they say everyone else is using 'em.

What Tater has done is a good example of a huge
step in a positive direction.
Much more is needed.

I'd go along with a disclaimer signed as part of the entrance into any association that the member
agrees to submit any equipment that is challenged for
legality and agrees to assume full responsibility
civilly and otherwise for any damage done
by himself using altered or illegal equipment.
Gary,
you seem to be bating TB who has real important info
I know is trying to help all of us
and is on the right side of this arguement.
Are you?
If not, cool.
If so, let it go.
TB is on the side of us who know altered bats are dangerous and should not be tolerated and that a process needs to be in place
to deal with real situations.
I appreciate he has come forth with an idea
that will spring board other ideas in the direction of resolving this HUGE issue for us.
Oct. 12, 2006
tattooball
605 posts
Bruce the judgement does cover bat shaving also. The thing that all of these dr's did not think through is the fact that the certification marks are also trademarked.
In the ruling sec 1. a. form altering or counterfeiting in any manner any softball bat containing any ASA and/or Rawlings mark.
ASA was smart to piggy back this lawsuit because now it has set a precedent to go after the bat dr's for shaving. Read the statement carefully and you will understand that it is in black and white.
Also ASA has all of the information and continues to collect info on bat dr's on ebay and every other message board, they will be included in the next round of lawsuits. This is round three and there will be many more to come. If you remember ASA and ebay were working together to stop the sales of altered bats on ebay. I would not be suprised if they are being leineint to let the dr's surface to collect the evidence they need take them to court. As for them going back into court today, I highly doubt that they still have not even answered the complaint.
Everybody knows you can appeal, but you have to have a reason to appeal. These two DID NOT SHOW UP OR ANSWER THE COMPLAINT. that is not a reason for appeal. Now they can go and try to get the damages knocked down and maybe that will happen, that is between Rawlings and the judge. ASA had no damages awarded except for fees. In the next round ASA will be awarded damages for tradmark infringment for the bat shavers
Oct. 12, 2006
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Thanks TB, keep the information coming and don't let yourself get side tracked from realizing how important your info and feedback is to all of us needing to get
illegal/lethal bats out of the game.
Oct. 12, 2006
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Gary,
Bob Dylan said,
"Get out of the River if you can't lend a hand
cause the times, they are a changin'."
Playing Devil's Advocate is OK to find out and get out
what real information someones else has
but one needs to be able to draw the line
between positive and negative when it counts.
Be careful or you will start sounding and appearing like
one of the characters that has infected our board.


Oct. 12, 2006
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2617 posts
Kevin, I compare drag racing and the modification of these cars to softball and the modification of bats. A car can be modified to a certain extent and still run in a stock class. A bat can be modified and also be used in a sanctioned softball game. This modification would be limited to a different grip or even a Knobcuff.
I have always wondered what was wrong with shaving a bat because thesebats are allowed in bp and maybe a home run derby, NOT in a sanctioned game.
You have now shown me that the problem is when a bat is shaved it now longer conforms to the association certification and thus is violating their trademark.
Thanks ole wise one! 8)
Oct. 12, 2006
tattooball
605 posts
If you remove the ASA or USSSA mark from a bat you can do anything you want to the inside of the bat.
Oct. 12, 2006
the wood
1075 posts
As yet, we have not come up with the solution for identifying an illegal bat. Kevin's idea seems like a fresh direction but it leaves a lot to be desired. Not all is lost... at least folks are beginning to recognize the depth of the problem.
My guess is that we will not find anything real meaningful until we can stop the 'cat chasing its own tail' portion of these posts. For crying out loud, we should all be adults and, as such, work together rather than get hung up on taking shots at one another.
To Einstein:
You will not shame people into revealing their identity and it's pointless to keep trying? You initiated a good subject matter (illegal bats) and it makes good sense to maintain our focus on this serious issue rather than address side issues.
To one and all:
I, for one, am losing confidence in our ability to work toward anything other than disharmony.
E Ness says that only 10% of the players are using them. I do not know what would be an accurate % but, if it is 10%, that's a big number to me. The law of averages applied to this says that someone will get hurt before long. I would guess that it's a guy that's getting plenty of 'at bats' as opposed to a non-starter.
If we were discussing hurricanes, would we be harping on the way the broadcaster reported the danger? Let's get back on track, folks.
Oct. 12, 2006
Proudtex40
57 posts
Einstein, I would vote for two rules (if I were king for a day). First, hit the pitcher and the batter is out. Second, anyone caught using an altered bat gets a life time ban from senior softball. I know that sounds simple and probably won't happen, but that would be my two choices for rule changes. Unfortunately, I'm guilty of hitting the ball up the middle on occasion and have hit a pitcher or two and I feel like crap every time that happens. And, pitching on occasions, I've also carried some bruises away as well. I think hitting the middle is just a part of the game and as much as some of us try to stay away from the pitcher - we don't always succeed. Ok, I'll shut up. Thanks to all for the great discussion.
Steve Shannon
Oct. 12, 2006
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
RULES, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKING RULES.
Well, I guest I am the 1st one who, should be banned. 6 yrs ago, I started out in SENIOR ball. I brought several bats from several 55 MAJOR PLUS players.

I brought 3 to 4 POWERHOUSE, PLAYER MODELS, from these 3 men. I went to several Events, asked the DIRECTORS, one was T.H., & was told that my bat was legal. That following Feb, one of these men told several SENIORS that I was using this bat. This FINE MAN, did not tell them that I had brought 2 bats from him, 6 months earlier. These bats were rated @ 1.4X BPF

That same spring, I brought a 27oz OZONE 11. This bat weighed only 25.4 oz. So, I drove a 16 penny nail in the END CAP. Lucky, I found out that this was a NO-NO. The next wk., my 28 oz OZONE 11 came in. LET US TAKE ME OUT & HANG ME BY THE THUMBS & BEAT THE BOTTOM OF MY FEET.

Another, of my friends, also, brought one of the PLAYERS MODEL. This same person, last yr, brought another bat from this local SENIOR. My friend got lucky. He broke his 585, the day before he left 4 a WORLDS. My friend though, that this 585 was better than the ULTRA 11. Guest what? This bat had no pin in the KNOB.

SHALL WE HANG HIM ALSO, or JUST MAKE HIM WALK THE PLANK?

WHAT ABOUT: 1) Mudkats? 2) 3, not 2 wraps of tape? 3) A bat is 1 oz less or 1 oz heavier than stated? 4) What if, & how do u prove that the bat was not MFG that way?
5) Bats weight is 32.1 oz? 6) Bats lenght is 34 1/8 inch? 7) The bat comes w/ a pin less that 1 oz or by chance, no pin @ all? 8) A MIKEN, bat that does not balance @ the taper, start of the barrel? 9) Guys, help out on all the problems that could happen, by, chance?

MIKEN, will admitt, that a few of their GRAY END LOAD ULTRA's, did exceed the 1.20 BBF.
WHO, r u willing to trust, when it comes to the TESTING of a BAT. HOW, about BREAKER MORANT? HOW, about NELSON MANDELA. YEA, Winnie the POO!

UPSETTING..........THE STONEMAN.......I need a JACK!
Oct. 13, 2006
tattooball
605 posts
It's not about hitting a pitcher. It's about hitting a player that is seriously injured and needs to seek medical treatment. I for one in this instance would want to cleared, and would want everyone to know that I was playing within the rules. Softball has become a dangerous sport and there is no room for cheaters. If you cheat and seriously injure someone you should be held accountable.
This is not for a ball that glances off someones ankle. (although that hurts) This is to make cheaters think about the personal liabilty they will face if they want to continue to cheat.
Oct. 13, 2006
tattooball
605 posts
I seriously doubt that a player is going to fake an injury and leave the field to go to the hospital just to have a bat checked. 2 it would have to be a sreious injury like the one in fla, were the kids face was smashed in and bleeding badly. Bruised shins happen
He had 4 broken bones in his face and eye socket and took 4 hours of surgery to repair. Not to mention the 5 teeth he lost.
Oct. 13, 2006
Lecak
Men's 55
1005 posts
Gary are you a fan of Monty Python? I'll let you figure that one out.
Oct. 13, 2006
Lecak
Men's 55
1005 posts
Monty Python had a skit where a guys goes up to an argument booth and pays good money to get in an argument they go back and forth with no end in sight because the idea was to caary on the argument regardless of the points made. It seems the guy paying for the argument was able to counter all points made regardless of their validity. That what this thread has become.
Oct. 13, 2006
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Lecak,
I decided a while ago that I'm not running for anything.
So it frees me up to be me and try to be politically correct all the time.
Everyone knows now how I feel about anonymous bomb throwers and I'll sink or swim with it.

Lecak, it's a sign of losing to give up easily when there is so much at stake.
Seriously discussing, notice the seriously,
important matters provides an educational experience by the participants and the viewers.
We ARE getting somewhere anytime we're positive
in regards to solving our problems.

The darkest hour is just before dawn.
Let's keep going and we can work it all out.

Oct. 14, 2006
Lecak
Men's 55
1005 posts
Question for trumpball. I would imagine tuurning a bat down would require sophisticated measuring equipmnent and precision milling equipment. Where I worked at in a previous life we milled metals and turning them down always left a visual, wouldn't the act of turning down a bat leave a tell tell sign on the outside of of bat. Some sort of visual degradation of the paint in a patttern? I also saw a prtotype of the new Ultra II advanced and the knob has a very unique design which would eliminate painting of Ultra II's. The rep stated that removing the knob would destroy the bat. Not a bad idea. Trumpball am I crazy in stating that Los Angeles might be ground zero for this type of activity given the sheer number of small machine shops in the area. Another idea how about a statement from the bat manufacturers by stamping their wall thicknesses on the outside of the bat. Maybe the bat manufactures could then certify licensed testing facilities that they have preaprroved in various locations throughout the U.S. Here is a general question who can tell wall thickness of a Freak 98 versus the UII?
Oct. 14, 2006
Tater50
336 posts
Getting personal e-mails from guys that feel the same way I do on this honor system. Einstein & I have put our names on this national board; he, myself & others are pushing for a change. I know signing a national board is not going to be the only solution, but it is a start. Those who have sent me e-mails & feel the same way, you are promoting the cause if you will put your name on this board that you WILL NOT Cheat. If you have altered bats in the past, change & let your friends know that you are coming clean; honor is better than an All-Tourney trophy. Then when you receive the All-Tourney Trophy or are fortunate to be inducted into the Senior Softball Hall of Fame, you will have friends that will be watching & saying; well, he won it by legal means.

Thanks
Tater50
John W. Hayes
JAH Masters
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