Friday, January 23, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

New baseball rules enough to drive you batty

Aaron Patella, owner of the Davis Sports Shop and a former pitcher at UC Davis, holds a lower-flight bat, a designation that is now required in Little League and high school baseball. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

By
April 6, 2011 |

It’s enough to drive you batty …

When Little League and the governing body of prep baseball changed the rules for what kind of bats could be used this year and beyond, it started a scramble for proper equipment. Not only are lower-flight bats mandatory in Little League and in high school — all-composite bats are outlawed in Little League.

This left players and coaches with a small window of opportunity to buy new bats, while manufacturers and their outlets were in a panic to provide the sticks.

The California Interscholastic Federation — which oversees high school sports — followed its national umbrella agency in demanding new standards to “limit the potential strength of a bat.”

CIF’s emergency edict, asking coaches to adhere to new Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCR) rules, was a knee-jerk reaction to Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, and his proposed legislation to remove metal bats altogether from high school baseball. Huffman, in his efforts, pointed to a severe head injury suffered last year by a 16-year-old Marin County pitcher who was hit by a batted ball.

Little League and CIF were quick to come up with the new guidelines in December.

“In addition to addressing safety issues raised by our legislators, our approach is intended to minimize the fiscal impact on schools and families, who could otherwise have been required to purchase expensive bats twice — for both the 2011 and 2012 seasons,” said CIF Executive Director Marie M. Ishida.

An effort made out of concern, but it left manufacturers and their outlets little time to adjust.

“This has definitely hurt in the beginning,” said Davis Sport Shop owner Aaron Patella. “Little League kept changing its mind. Every week, it seemed like. They’d approve one bat, pull another off the list …”

Patella said it was frustrating and eventually he pulled all his metal bats from display. Finally, his diamond-legal stock has been replenished, but Patella cautions kids and their parents to look for bats with BBCR or Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) approval seals.

“We didn’t want to sell one, then have somebody come back and complain if the rules changed again,” said the former UC Davis pitcher.

On Wednesday, there was a crowd around the bat carousel at Davis Sport Shop. Two visiting teens from Sens, France, were impressed by American gear. The Sens Dodgers are visiting Davis on a goodwill baseball exchange.

While the French kids compared notes, a couple of local youngsters approached and a dialog started about “which bat is best.”

Patella smiled while he thought about what the new bat standards would mean to the game. Will it bring back Old School baseball?

“Yeah. I think they’re lowering scores (in high school) … bringing the pitchers back into the game. Batters aren’t getting the cheap hit like they used to,” Patella continued. “It’s going back to the way pros play. Back to where it was by taking the technology out of it and evening the playing field.”

So, what’s up with all those “illegal” bats?

Patella said he, and other stores, were trying to get them to outlets with Dixie or Stan Musial leagues — or some sort of youth competition that doesn’t have bat limitations.

“We’re going on eBay and the Internet,” Patella added. “Or maybe the French kids will want them.”

Notes: Patella said he wished these lower-flight rules were in place when he pitched two decades ago. … Metal bats at Davis Sport Shop range from $40 to $399. … Little League has published a list of more than 400 approved bats. Go to http://www.littleleague.org/team/equipment/approvedcompbatssmall.htm for the OK’d models.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Dude, Be Nice to Ty Brown

    By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A1

     
     
    UC regents shelve policy tying coach bonuses to academics

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Resolutions you can keep, with help from local businesses

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Northeast preps as winter storm approaches

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Automakers to add electric charging stations

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A2

    Legislators trade blame over drought bill

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    School board introduces new facilities director

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Meet the mayor for coffee at Peet’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Innovation opportunities on the agenda

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Beekeeper’s feast benefits UC Davis honey research

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Community invited to Fenocchio memorial

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Abraham event focuses on justice

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Rebekahs’ crab feed benefits local families

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis Arts Center welcomes students’ work

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Brick sales will benefit Hattie Weber Museum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Have a heart for art?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    UCD plans ‘STEM-Tastic Sunday’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Artists offer a peek behind the scenes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Yolo County seeking grand jury candidates

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Spend ‘Better Days’ with Speck at ALS fundraiser

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    ‘Mating market’ trumps biology in relationships

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    Locals prepare for March for Real Climate Leadership

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Hardwater plays at Soup’s On

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Walkers head out three times weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Falling into old patterns

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Speak out on death with dignity

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Uncompromising opposition

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    On solar and nuclear power

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Bill poses hardship to businesses

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Buy pottery to help peace

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Compassionate policy needed

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Too little parking causes a mess

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    Aggie men suffer first league loss

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Aggie gymnasts enter Hornets Nest

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Cycling shrine shifts gears in face of challenges

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    UCD’s Wade wins weekly tennis award

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Guitar-vocal duo will perform at DCC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    ‘Inherent Vice': A very bad trip

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Toyota’s lowest-priced car gets spruced up

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Car Care: Tips to make the daily drive easier for commuters

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Virginia Carolyn Keith Crowell

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, January 23, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8