The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Wall Street Journal Reads MoC

The Wall Street Journal, obviously influenced by this post, has today published the following editorial on New York City's idiotic "wood bat" law.

Reasonable people can disagree on the relative merits of wood versus aluminum, but leave it to New York City to conclude that government should decide this issue for everyone else.

The City Council recently outlawed all metal bats in the city's high-school baseball games come September. Proponents of banning metal, which has become something of a national movement, claim that balls go faster when hit with metal bats. But this hasn't caused more serious accidents: Studies from the American Legion and Consumer Product Safety Commission found zero reason for alarm.

As for New Yorkers, the peril of getting beaned with a line drive is hardly the most pressing concern for the city's kids. Little League Baseball leaves the choice of wood or metal up to its local chapters because it says "there are no facts -- none at all -- to support" the claim that aluminum bats are more dangerous. Even at the college level, where metal bats are common, baseball is among the safer sports, with serious injury rates roughly on par with women's volleyball.

The current campaign is headlined by a couple of sad accidents, but these cases were literally less than one in a million. Legislation by anecdote is a good way to end up with minimum sentencing guidelines for swimming after eating a sandwich. Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoed the measure sponsored by Councilman James Oddo, who convinced fellow members to override the veto. Then Mr. Oddo got out his stationery to urge other cities to ban aluminum bats too.

You can guess which kind of bat -- metal or forest-grown -- is more politically correct. But fortunately the World Environmental Organization has an eco-friendly plan for recycling old aluminum bats: "Use it for a plant support," the site advises, or "keep in your bedroom in case of an intruder." Now there's a safety tip.
We are pleased that the Journal has followed our lead.

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