Sunday, March 1, 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

    Sheriff: Mother ‘sole person responsible’ for infant’s death

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Rifle Team has a blast with competitive shooting

    By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Child abduction case in jury’s hands

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    Pipeline project will soften water in 2016

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Pig out at Farmers Market’s Pig Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

     
    Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Christie to Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Bob Dunning: Colon prep can be hard to swallow

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Scouts help fill STEAC’s pantry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Parole denied in 1987 killing spree

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Explore Asia at Arboretum storytime

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    MU Games closing in late March

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Still no parole in toddler case

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    City offers wetlands tour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    UCD student with meningococcal disease is recovering

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Young patients bond with special stuffies

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Diversity theater group continues creativity workshops

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Radio talk show moves to Mondays

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Assault awareness campaign kicks off

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    UCD student panel to cover anti-Semitism, Islamophobia

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Yolo Food Bank hosts thank-you breakfast on Pig Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Forum

    Mars or ISIS? Similar outcome

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    City may get charged up over energy choices

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    Milt Priggee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

     
    Rowing: PE as well as life skills

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Police complaint procedures drafted

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Clarifying energy update letter

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Weekly claw pickup necessary

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Design innovation centers for the 21st century

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Speak out

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B5

     
    A new perspective on life

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

    Distant water crisis has lessons for Davis

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

     
    Call for study to settle if anesthesia poses risk to babies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    .

    Sports

    Devils get a soccer win despite finishing woes

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Winning close games is the key for DHS softballers

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie men get a bounce-back win at Cal Poly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    The mystery continues: lowly Gauchos upset UCD women

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Razo throws well as Aggies get a baseball win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Defending champion Blue Devils have diamond holes to fill

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Republic FC falls to storied New York Cosmos

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B10

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Yolo Federal Credit Union honored for supporting business education

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Online store will celebrate, mock People’s Republic of Davis

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, March 1, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8