The other day David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox showed up for batting practice with a metal bat. Of course, these are banned in major league baseball, but he wanted to put on a show for the fans during batting practice. He supposedly hit several balls completely out of Fenway Park–even some over the scoreboard. Now you know why they are banned in pro baseball. However, that is only part of what I wanted to discuss today. In the early days of baseball, players literally brought lumber to the plate. The bats were huge from one end to the other. Babe Ruth supposedly used a bat so large that some major leaguers couldn’t even swing it. As the years have gone by, the bats keep getting smaller, lighter, and more slender. Couple this with the fact that ash is not readily available any more you constantly see bats being shattered. Ash wood has been affected by a beetle and no other wood has proven to be as good as ash was. Players say they prefer the new slender bats because they get the same effect with the narrow handle as a golfer gets when he uses a driver. You literally get a whiplash effect which carries the ball farther from the plate. With all of the technology in baseball today, you can see this in some of the slow motion camera shots. I have already discussed the controversy of metal bats and their danger to pitchers in the lowest levels of baseball. I doubt if anybody uses the Jackie Robinson model that was so popular in my high school baseball days.
Suarez has until midday on Friday to appeal the additional suspension. In a statement, Liverpool’s managing director Ian Ayre said the club was “shocked and disappointed” by the suspension. “Both the club and player are shocked and disappointed at the severity of today’s Independent Regulatory Commission decision,” said managing director Ian Ayre. “We await the written reasons tomorrow before making any further comment.” The 10-game ban is harsher than the eight-match suspension handed to Suarez in December 2011 for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra, and significantly more than the four-game ban given to Chelsea captain John Terry last year for racist abuse. QPR midfielder Joey Barton was given a 12-game ban last season, for a red card and violent conduct towards three players. In 2006, the FA banned Manchester City’s Ben Thatcher for eight matches for an elbow incident that left Portsmouth’s Pedro Mendes unconscious. The sanction was imposed by an independent regulatory commission on a charge of violent conduct against the Liverpool striker. An FA statement said: “A three-person independent regulatory commission today upheld the FA’s claim that a suspension of three matches was clearly insufficient and the player will serve a further seven first-team matches in addition to the standard three. The suspension begins with immediate effect.” Press Association Luis Suarez has been banned for 10 matches for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, the Football Association has announced.