MILWAUKEE -- As a player, Brewers manager Ken Macha used ash bats. While he sees the competitive benefits of maple bats, he does not see that as reason enough to overlook their dangerous nature.
"Get rid of the maple bats. Absolutely, 100 percent," Macha said. "What's going to really happen is one's going to go in the stands. ... There's people in the stands, they're not paying attention to anything. They're talking to the guy three seats down, not even going to move to get out of the way."
Macha was asked about the maple bats in light of a chest injury suffered Sunday by Cubs rookie Tyler Colvin, who was struck by a portion of Wellington Castillo's shattered bat. Colvin was in stable condition shortly after the game, but is expected to miss the rest of the 2010 season.
While he believes maple bats should be eliminated from use, that doesn't mean Macha is unaware of the reason behind the players' preference.
"That wood is absolutely harder," Macha said of the maple bats. "You'd hit with these ash bats and if you hit the ball on a seam, you could see a dent with the seam on the bat. But with the maple, it's so hard guys will use the thing and you will see no dents in the bat at all.
"When you've got two objects striking into each other, the amount of energy that goes in the opposite direction after they hit is not being absorbed by the compression of that bat, so the ball's going further. I understand that point."
But the potential for the type of injury suffered by Colvin, Macha said, is reason enough to eliminate the bats, regardless of the difference in performance between the hard maple wood and softer ash.