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 IronGloves.com 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?