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Is Bat Warming the new “Bat Rolling”?

The last two years the story around college baseball was about the composite bats and how certain schools were rolling the bats to get more power out of the bat. On Sunday, when the South Carolina Gamecocks visited Clemson, South Carolina’s Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a homer in the first inning. Clemson catcher Spencer Kieboom picked up the bat as Bradley Jr. was rounding the bases where he recognized that the bat was hot to touch. Clemson head coach Jack Leggett came out to question the bat with home plate umpire Randy Harvey, who is a veteran in the industry. After a brief discussion, Bradley Jr. and the Gamecocks were allowed to continue to use the bat.

The interesting part of this is the fact that the Gamecocks have hit an extraordinary high 12 homers already this year while their opponents have hit only three. So does warming up the bat help out at all?

Based on some internet research, warming up a bat in softball is considered doctoring a bat this illegal.

According to a bat warmer has many different positive influences on the bat. The product is description is below.

This is one of baseball’s hottest new products this year. It protects and insulates bats by keeping them 32% warmer, which translates to a more reactive bat with less damage in colder temperatures. Adds distance and velocity for the hitter. The BAT INSULATOR is ideal for softball and baseball bats alike, it was a semi-finalist for Sports Product of the Year. Big Barrel (2 5/8″ – 2 3/4″). Proudly Made in the USA. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed.

As you see in the product description, it states that the bat warmer will add distance and velocity to the hitter which in turn causes more homers for the batters.

Iron Gloves has also put out a video talking about the product also.

Here is a video also talking about another Bat Warming Product on the market.

There currently isn’t a rule in college baseball against the practice but does that mean it should be allowed? Honestly, if there is any warming of the bats going on then it should stop immediately even though there is no scientific research to back up whether it helps or not. The perception that it could help is enough to ban the practice immediately. Of course, we know that the NCAA will wait until the end of the year to give a ruling on this and ban it for the 2012 season.

What do you think should be done with this situation?

  • RSN

    Well id certainly keep my bat in bathroom in dugout or keep a heating pad on it when i was not hitting thats for sure. In a couple weeks it will not be an issue for most schools but until then im not sure what anyone can do about it? What could they do have the umpire feel the bat everytime the hitter comes to plate?

  • Jabbott1960

    I am a Clemson Fan so my opinion may seem biased but I don’t believe any altering of equipment should be allowed. We don’t allow intentional scuffing of the ball or the addition of a foreign substance to the ball or certain parts of the bat.nn I am not so sure that bats won’t continue to be warmed a bit when the winter cold is over.

  • Justin

    I am a Clemson fan as well, so of course I don’t agree with this. However, I don’t think ANYONE should be doing this. If it was found to be Clemson that was warming their bats, I wouldn’t like it either. I would want to win on the skill of my team alone, and I would HOPE that USC would want that as well, with as much history as our two programs have.

  • I have no problem with it. By the way, South Carolina wasn’t using a warmer. They just had them in the sun.

    • Jptubs01

      By the way…. you are wrong. It was intentional bat warming

      • Brandchanning

        By the way, would you like a Kleenex?

      • Tridgeway

        And you know this because you were in the SC dugout?

    • Jabbott1960

      The warm bats were originally noticed Friday “Night” when picked up by the catcher. They just decided to bring it to the attention of the umpires the following game on Sunday. Why they waited I am not too sure and what they hoped to accomplish is also uncertain. This rivalry is “hot” enough without these kinds of distractions. It would be nice if there was some consistency with what all teams are doing with the bats. Anybody that has ever been around aluminum bats knows keeping them warm in cold weather keeps them from stinging your hands (debate on performance is still raging). How you keep them warm is the question here I think.

  • BG

    “Spencer Kieboom picked up the bat as Bradley Jr. was rounding the bases where he recognized that the bat was hot to touch.” n”Based on some internet research, warming up a bat in softball is considered doctoring a bat this illegal.”n”According to a bat warmer has many different positive influences on the bat. The product is description is below.”n”As you see in the product description, it states that the bat warmer will add distance and velocity to the hitter which in turn causes more homers for the batters.” Huh? Is the hitter or the bat being warmed. And if the bat was too hot to touch, it’s being heated. Not warmed.nA difficult to read, 17 sentence story butchered & bungled by the writer & editor.nnnnnn

  • RSN

    The new video just basically tells you to keep your bat covered and to keep it warmer. Dont see how you could police any of this. So unless the NCAA tells teams they can not keep their bats warm then you better keep your bat warm. I dont see any problem doing this and everyone should do it.

  • Jptubs01

    I coach Travel Baseball and we warm our bats during games with low temperatures. Keeping these bats warm definitely helps with distance and how fast the ball comes off the bats. I am a Clemson fan, but I find nothing wrong with it. Some bats you can actually damage if you don’t keep it warm.

  • Anonymous

    The interesting thing is- I doubt most fans undestand that cold bats actually hurt distance. Warming bats is hardly new – although I realize a lot of folks have never even thought about it. I’ve seen many players do it over the years in industrial leagues – baseball and softball. Never thought anything about it. To me it was like rubbing pine tar on a wood bat. The bat certainly doesn’t make it’s on pine tar sitting there in a bag – so you add something to it to improve your ability to control the bat. – But I guess folks make their distinctions based on the name on the front of the jersey. – BTW- there is no evidence that I have seen that South Carolina was heating up their bats – only somewhat of an ccusation by one particular coach.

  • 2010 Nat’l Champs

    South Carolina isn’t allowed to let the sunlight hit their bats? That’s “cheating” and “doctoring” the bat? Really? The warmth from sunlight is cheating? Are we supposed to store our bats in Gollum’s cave?nnThe only ones concerned about this were in the opposite dugout. The umps picked up the bat, determined there was absolutely nothing wrong with it, and gave it back to Jackie Bradley, Jr. to continue using throughout the game. We were not issued any sort of warning, nor were we told we were doing anything remotely wrong.nnAlso, the line about us hitting 12 homers vs. our opponents’ 3 is ridiculous; we’re not playing the same competition. I mean, imagine that! The defending national champions hit 9 homers vs. teams like Santa Clara and Winthrop. And imagine that! Teams like Santa Clara and Winthrop only hit 3 homers vs. the pitching staff that won us the College World Series. It couldn’t possibly be that the defending national champions hit for power and pitch well, they must be cheating!

  • Cain

    Leggett had no problems with Jackie’s bat when he went 0 for 5 Friday night. But the moment he hits a HR there must be something wrong with his bat?? Mind you this is a first team All-American and the MVP of the 2010 College World Series – so he in no slouch. nnSouth Carolina has many BIG hitters and some guys who could hit the ball out of the park with a cardboard tube.

    • Jdtiger

      Uh, Cain? Given that when Jackie went 0 for 5, Clemson’s catcher never had to pick the thing up, and thus never had an opportunity to discover it was hot to the touch, your point becomes pointless, eh?

  • Lacene

    Pitchers lick their fingers and rub new baseballs, so they can get a firmer grip, which helps in manipulating the ball’s action on pitches…nnBatters use tar on the handles to help with gripping the bats and allow them to swing harder….nnFielders spit into their gloves to wet them, making them grip hit balls better and not slip out…..nnThese are all things baseball players have been doing with their equipment for over 100 years, and they are all techniques that “alter” the equipment. Even the Colorado Rockies are known for keeping their baseballs in freezers to make them harder to hit out of the ballpark up in that thin altitude in Denver.nnAs long as the bats are not kept in ovens, then I see nothing wrong with it. The question here is not how hot the bats are kept, but how cold they are kept. There is no proven documentation that a “hot” aluminum bat will hit a ball further, but is has been proven that a “cold” aluminum bat (40 degrees or colder) will diminish the chance, as well as increase injury to fingers and joints of the players. nnWhat USC is doing is what every college program – including Clemson – does with their aluminum bats: not make the bats “hot”, but keeping them warm and from being “cold”. They either let the bats warm up by the sun, or keep them in a heated room…not an oven. Those advertisements above for sleeves, warmers, etc. do not claim that a heated bat becomes a super-bat…they are saying that cold metal bats (40 degrees or colder) are less trampoline-reactive than bats at normal room temperature, and thus balls come off of them with less repulsion. We are talking about keeping bats at normal room temperature. In direct sunlight on a sunny day, the metal bats can get warmer than normal room temperature…….but who is ever going to bother with regulating that?nnWhat is the difference between using a bat at 80 degrees temp. in a night game in 40 degree weather, or using a bat at 80 degree temp. on a sunny June day in 80 degree weather? Absolutely nothing. But Clemson’s JackLeg wanted to be classless about it. The NCAA will never say a thing about it, as they shouldn’t….

    • The NCAA should ban things like the heater bag which you put into an oven then put your bat into it. nnAccording to their manufacturer claims, that will last a couple of hours thus an entire college baseball game.

      • RonnieMachine

        So they should also ban glove oil which you put on your glove to make it soft? Or pine tar which you put on your bat to make it sticky? Or rubbing a ball or your batting gloves with dirt so you can grip it better? nnAll of these are external elements beleived to help improve player performance whether they actually do or not. In most cases, like with the bat warming, it is simply a mental tool to make the player feel more comfortable and have more confidence. I have not seen any evidence heating bats actually impoves performance, just a claim by a company promoting a product. The only fact is that an extremely cold bat does not perform as well and can be damaged if used at cold temperatures.nnThe bottom line is it is not against the rules, so if it did actually provide an advantage ALL teams would be doing it or would be idiots for not.nnThis was simply a case of gamesmanship and poor sportsmanship from a coach with a track record of pulling bush league stunts.

  • PrietoOne

    Bat manufacturers will warranty metal bats as long as they are used at temperatures between 60 and 90 degrees. These bats are intended to perform at their best within this temperature range. Most schools start their seasons when temperatures are well below 60 degrees. Why should’nt a bat be bought up to that same range recommended by the bat manufacturers themselves. In essence all you are really doing is bringing the bat up to a summer temperaturer while in cold climates. The perceived improvement in performance is simply the diference between a cold more stiff and brittle bat vs. a bat designed to perform properly.

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t college baseball just change the bats to keep them from doing what this warmer does and make them perform more like a wooden bat? Just when I thought we’d seen the last of 30-19 college baseball scores….

  • Justin

    Wow, all the Carolina fans just got super defensive all of a sudden. If the whole bat warming thing can’t be ruled legal or illegal or what have you, the NCAA should at least implement something to make things uniform. Either everyone warm up your bats in the cold whether or everyone doesn’t. Simple.nnAlso, I’m not sure who was actually AT the game on Friday, but it was overcast and cloudy for half the day, until around game time, then windy for the duration of the game. Kinda makes it hard to “warm the bat in the sun” with such conditions, eh?nnOne final note: if warmer bats makes Bradley Jr. go 0-5 one day and only gets Carolina 5 hits another, then by all means, keep warming them up. 😀

    • TriFan

      Looks liken the oven wasn’t used until the 7th inning last night. Lucky for the tigers we didn’t turn it on earlier.

      • Rudybow2010

        It wasn’t luck, it was good pitching from our starter.

  • Frank55

    They had the bat check during Friday nights game, article is incorrect.

    • The bat was checked on Sunday after Bradley’s first inning homer! rnrnBrian FoleyrnSent on the Sprintu00ae Now Network from my BlackBerryu00ae

  • TriFan

    We should have pre-heated the oven and not waited for the 7th inning

  • Tiger09

    Screw it all. I think college baseball should just go to wooden bats and be done with it!

  • Gangstadude08

    baseball is cool 🙂

  • Gangstadude08

    baseball is cool 🙂

  • bbcor

    Interesting story. We’re always looking for the next big leg up on the competition. 

  • Everyone is looking for an advantage over the competition. This may or may not work. Just like corking was supposed to increase distance until it was proven that it doesn’t.

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