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Wooden Bats! So we can be safe!

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Wooden Bats! So we can be safe!

Hi friends,

I happened across this story on this morning. While I'm sympathetic with the family for their tragedy, what will sueing the baseball bat manufacturer, the sporting goods store AND Little League accomplish? I understand they might need some financial assistance for the medical needs the young man has now.

But to sue Little League Baseball? They're a non-profit organization! And they don't seem happy about the move afoot to ban "non-wood bats" from play.

I haven't seen the details of what terms the family will sue for, I guess the family could simply sue for Little League to ban non-wood bats from play?

The parents could have chosen to not allow their son to play Little League if they didn't feel metal bats are safe. But since they let their son shoot arrows in their basement (see news story linked above), I'm sure a metal bat's safety didn't cross their minds preemptively.

While I don't have a baseball background (neither does Dave, except that he's a Yankees fan), I try to keep aware of these issues, for I'm sure one day Jake will come home from school and ask, "Mommy and Daddy, may I play [insert name of organized sport here]?" At least, we're hoping he'll want to try out something. He's expressed an interest in ice hockey when we get to Nebraska, and this summer I've enrolled him in an ice skating lessons 1-week camp in Cary. We'll see how he feels about the ice hockey once he's developed confidence on ice skates.

Caution: Patricia's opinion follows.

As parents, it is our responsibility to maintain that delicate balance between keeping our kids happy (by letting them do things they want to do) and keeping them safe/well-disciplined/out of trouble (by making those tough decisions on their behalf that might not make the kid happy). So, if you feel a particular organized sport may not be in your child's best interest, make the decision not to allow for it.

Note: I haven't had to make a colossally unpopular decision yet, my kids are still young, and I'm not looking forward to the fallout when I might have to tell my kids things like:

"No, you may NOT stay out all night at age 14." or

"No, I'm NOT buying you a car for your 16th birthday!" or

"No, I'm NOT buying a keg for your 18th birthday party!"

I spend a lot of time pondering whether I'm a good mother or not. Especially with my youngest one, who has a much more "spirited" and "rebellious" personality than his older brother. I think overall they're pretty good kids, but they're no angels! I see parenting situations in the news, on Supernanny, and among other parents at parks/malls/grocery stores and I have to admit I'm always gauging: "At least my kids aren't that bad..." or "Why can't my kids be that good?"

So, there's my controversial topic for the day. Go forth and tell me how right/wrong/out in left field you think I am, it's okay, really.

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At Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 3:05:00 PM CDT , Blogger Maryann Goldman said...

As a general rule, I don't think sueing accomplishes much. Bats can slip out of a child's hand on a swing and fly into someone. Wooden bats can shatter sending sharp pieces in all directions. While I want the family to have the money they need to take care of their son, sueing everyone in sight won't bring him back to normal. Accidents happen as terrbily unfortunate as they are.

At Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 9:36:00 PM CDT , Blogger Suzanna said...

Suing a non-profit dedicated to youth activities seems pretty ridiculous to me. Lets see if the court system will recognize this.

At Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 10:03:00 PM CDT , Blogger Susie PSU said...

I thought the same thing when I read that story - "The BAT company??" Some ppl are just sue-happy.

At Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 10:19:00 PM CDT , Blogger Paul said...

The article didn't say they let their son shoot arrows in the basement, only that he did. My kids do a lot of things I don't let them.

Perhaps a lawsuit isn't the right answer, but I'm not going to criticize them...I can't imagine what it must be like to be in that situation as a parent.

At Monday, May 19, 2008 at 10:50:00 AM CDT , Blogger Christina said...

I'm sure the parents are upset. Dreams that they had for their son probably won't come true. But, I think the law suit is going just a bit far. Kids will be kids. It sounds like the parents encouraged their child to be athletic. So, I don't think sueing is right.

P.S. You have something to pick up at my blog. :-)

At Monday, May 19, 2008 at 9:32:00 PM CDT , Blogger Don Miller said...

The injury data for for pitchers in 2006 shows 78 injuries out of ~2.1 million players. Assuming 1/9 of the players are pitchers thats means about one out of every 3000 pitchers get some type of injury. Switching to wooden bats is going to what change that to 1 in 3300? The chest protector for pitchers would seem to be much more effective, especially for ages 5-12 which had 58 of the 78 injuries. Seems like one would simply not let a son pitch or if he does pitch wear a chest protector and helmet until he is a teenager.

You probably don't want to know what the rates for injury are for bike riding (ever hear of accident involving a car and a bicycle?), roller blades/skating, or falls down stairs. I suspect a child would be much safer pitching little league baseball with metal bats than doing any or those activities.


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