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Thread: Team Bats

  1. #1

    Team Bats

    One of the very first warnings I recall seeing when I first got my son a "top end" bat was: Beware, this will quickly become the "team bat."

    Has anyone see this before? Little Johnny gets a brand new bat, rakes with it, and then everyone on the team wants to use it. Or, he gets the most expensive bat in the catalog, which everyone knows, and then when he shows up, everyone wants to try it out?

    On of my son's teammates actually had an Easton XL1 go dead on him, after maybe 8 months of ownership, because he was letting some (but not all) of his buddies on the team use it during BP and games. (Lesson I since learned: Have a bat for BP and another for your gamer. And, if you hit off machines with those rubber balls, only use a bat that you don't care about...)

    Everyone on my son's travel team wanted a XL1 or S1 (and eventually got it). But, when the lust for Easton was there, I went out and got my son a CF5 on purpose because I knew it was a good bat and I knew that his teammates would leave him (and it) alone since it was not the holy Easton.

    What's the best way to handle the team bat situation? Tell your kid that no one else on the team can use his bat? That's going to make him an outcast. Tell him that he can only let some of his friends use it? That's not a good "team" situation.

    This is something that really needs to be handled at the parent and kid level - as I doubt any coach is going to get involved or set a policy. What's been your experience with it?

  2. #2
    We let every kid on the team swing any bat they want. The bats have a warranty and generally you are only going to use it for one season. Composites get better the more they are used, they don't go dead until they break. Most of our kids have their own bats, but sometimes another kid's bat works better.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by d-mac View Post
    We let every kid on the team swing any bat they want. The bats have a warranty and generally you are only going to use it for one season. Composites get better the more they are used, they don't go dead until they break. Most of our kids have their own bats, but sometimes another kid's bat works better.
    All the team parents are OK with it, sharing the bats?

  4. #4
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    No sharing expensive bats. That should be made clear. If a parent has a problem with it, tell the parent they can provide you with a deposit of $250 and you will refund 80% of that at the end of the season, if the bat remains in good condition.

  5. #5
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    I don't mind the sharing nearly as much as the throwing of the bats back to the dugout after a play, which frequently means against the fence.

  6. #6
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    When we started buying the kid upper end bats, we told her and the coach that this was her bat and was not to be a team bat. For us, it is hard to pop that #250+ bat year in and out. We currently do as the daughter goes through a lot of bats. We want each and every swing to be from her. As an FYI, the daughter was giving a lesson this weekend and another hitter in an adjoining cage grabbed her bat. The kid almost came unglued. Some things she has been brought up knowing. Don't share bats and never put your hand into another person's glove.
    Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by The Uncoach View Post
    No sharing expensive bats. That should be made clear. If a parent has a problem with it, tell the parent they can provide you with a deposit of $250 and you will refund 80% of that at the end of the season, if the bat remains in good condition.
    LOL. That would be an interesting approach.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by The Flush View Post
    I don't mind the sharing nearly as much as the throwing of the bats back to the dugout after a play, which frequently means against the fence.
    OMG. And, the kids, themselves, too...what they will do and bang with the bats! As a rec coach this fall, a million times I said to a kid "Your parents paid a ton of money for that bat and that's what you do with it?"

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Cannonball View Post
    Don't share bats and never put your hand into another person's glove.
    Another excellent topic! My son has four gloves in his bag: One for the infield, one for the outfield, his catchers mitt and a first baseman's mitt.

    It got to the point with the first baseman's mitt that I had to take it out of his bag and put it in mine...because every kid on the team wanted to use it when they played first.

    And, the OF glove is a larger trap-eze model that I allowed my son to buy on his own just because he wanted it. I would prefer that he just use his one fielders glove all the time when not catching or playing first. And, he does this, most of the time...leaving the trap-eze in his bag. It's basically a goofy back-up mitt now.

    Guess what happened? For a few travel team practices, his manager - yes, the MANAGER! - was helping himself to my son's trap-eze glove and using it in practice. He would actually go into the bag, my son's bag, and take it. After a few times of that, I taught my son how to hide the glove in a top compartment of his equipment bag for when he was not using it.

  10. #10
    It was not until other kids starting getting high end bats that the parents started to understand the dilemma with bat sharing. Prior to them actually paying for one, it was just a bat. I told my son that he is the only one that uses it, and if anyone had a problem talk to his dad. In rec ball, this problem is always going to exist, and dealing with it is going to depend on your feelings towards it.

    Now that he is on a team where just about every player has a good bat, it is not an issue. They will switch up and also let others try out different models to see what they like, but there is now bat respect.

  11. #11
    Really, we have stooped to not sharing bats. I have never had a problem with kids sharing my son's bats. I have always looked for deals so I have only spent full-price on a bat once and that was only because I was having it engraved at the factory as a Christmas present. Kids are like all baseball players, they all want to keep up with what is hot at the moment. It is no different then sharing underwear(was that Arod or Jeter?) in the sense that the sharing only lasts a couple of at bats or until something else pops up in their radar. The most I have seen any kid use my son's bat has been about two weeks, then that kid got a new bat.

    I understand the cost of bats, but they are bats. In my mind, it is more important to teach sharing than the cost of a bat.

  12. #12
    Up until BBCOR, everyone wanted others to use their kids' composite bat, because it would hasten the break-in. So I had my kid offer it around and, because I tended to do more research on bats than other parents, the offer was usually accepted. These were all Easton bats with one year warranties and generally only were intended to last a year or at most anyway, so there really wasn't an issue as far as I was concerned. But we also knew that there were some kids whose fathers were a little more paranoid, so they tucked their bats in their bags after being used and it usually wasn't a problem. But I recall one 13 y/o kid screaming at me to put his bat down (it had been lying in the grass); I'd wanted to check the size because it was too big for him - I figured I was entitled to do so since I was his coach! Sheeesh!

    (Ironically, he played college summer ball with my son this summer (six years later) and lost his outfielder's glove in mid-June, so he had to borrow UMinor's $160 Rawlings 'Heart of the Hide' now-unused outfielder's glove for several weeks. He finally showed up with a new $400 Rawlings Primo and I'd tease him by pretending to reach in and put my hand in it.)

    With composites now outlawed, I think kids will probably be a bit more careful about letting a bat be a team bat. But I still think part of being a teammate is letting someone test drive a bat in BP or at least for taking some dry swings. (But don't let bats be shared at batting cages, as that will void most warranties.)

    But still, there's that one guy with the arm-barred swing who hits everything on the label and can shred any bat - wood or metal. And he's always the first kid to grab any bat handy in the batting cages. We had one on my son's HS team; I've seen kids run screaming across our HS' indoor cage room to get him to drop their bat before he begins using it.

    Gloves should always be off limits unless you're talking about a back-up 'beater' glove. However, denying use can be problematic with first baseman's mitts, as lots of kids are pressed into position there who don't play enough to justify buying the mitt, and a few innings of use by some other kids shouldn't be a problem. And, you'll never be able to keep a catcher's mitt to yourself, as someone's going to have to grab it to warm up a pitcher while you're strapping your gear on. If the glove is properly and lightly worn in, there shouldn't be any injury to it, though I cringe when a 6'5" adult puts on a 9 y/o's junior mitt to warm up a pitcher - do you really need a mitt to catch five 45MPH warmup pitches?

  13. #13
    Saw a wood bat (Louisville Prime) and a composite Louisville Catalyst broken this year during separate games. In both instances it was teamate that broke the bat, not the actual kid who owned it.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by kimbercarry View Post
    Saw a wood bat (Louisville Prime) and a composite Louisville Catalyst broken this year during separate games. In both instances it was teamate that broke the bat, not the actual kid who owned it.
    Now, that's a good reason why not to lend them out.

    Interesting point: It's a given - I would assume - no-no to borrow a wooden bat. But, with the non-woods, since they rarely break, we have the concept of sharing.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by BBSG View Post
    Now, that's a good reason why not to lend them out.

    Interesting point: It's a given - I would assume - no-no to borrow a wooden bat. But, with the non-woods, since they rarely break, we have the concept of sharing.
    No problem sharing in our dugout. It is part of the game in my opinion. The batter that breaks a wooden bat should replace it. The batter that breaks a composite should not be held responsible. Comps have a life span of x amount of hits. Of course if the bat is abused and breaks than that is a different circumstance.

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=Comps have a life span of x amount of hits.[/QUOTE] Agreed. I've always been of a belief that all bats have "X" amount of hits in them. That's why they should be used on a limited basis in BP and only used by the owner in a game (IMO). High end bats are way to expensive these days.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by real green View Post
    No problem sharing in our dugout. It is part of the game in my opinion. The batter that breaks a wooden bat should replace it. The batter that breaks a composite should not be held responsible. Comps have a life span of x amount of hits. Of course if the bat is abused and breaks than that is a different circumstance.
    So IOW your kid breaks a $80 wood bat...you will pay for it. Your kid breaks my kid's $300 2-piece Easton and you don't think you should pay for it? That is an accident waiting to happen.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by kimbercarry View Post
    Agreed. I've always been of a belief that all bats have "X" amount of hits in them. That's why they should be used on a limited basis in BP and only used by the owner in a game (IMO). High end bats are way to expensive these days.
    All the comps I have been around have been more than enough durable to make it throw the year plus some with multiple kids swinging them. The only bat I see breaking down "quickly" is the Combat Protent which has been waranty replaced.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by The Uncoach View Post
    So IOW your kid breaks a $80 wood bat...you will pay for it. Your kid breaks my kid's $300 2-piece Easton and you don't think you should pay for it? That is an accident waiting to happen.
    Correct as long as it wasn't broken from abuse. My kid breaks your kids $300 Easton hitting a pitched ball it was A - under warranty and will be replaced or B - the 3000th hit and the bat is at it's end of life. Just like if you let me borrower your car and the motor seized while I was driving. I wouldn't be responsible for the motor just because I was the unlucky one to be behind the wheel when the motor seized.

    Wood bats break with hitter error.

  20. #20
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    For what it's worth, we basically ask the kid/parent if little johnny can use his bat and then go from there. Haven't run into a parent that didn't allow their bat to be used. 4 other kids use my son's bat and as long as they respect the equipment, no problem. If they don't, I'll tell them they can't use it, not because of a "no sharing" policy but because they aren't showing respect. Then again, never had anyone break his bat, so maybe I'll think differently once that happens.
    Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by real green View Post
    All the comps I have been around have been more than enough durable to make it throw the year plus some with multiple kids swinging them. The only bat I see breaking down "quickly" is the Combat Protent which has been waranty replaced.
    Easton S1 is only good for about 6 months son is on his 3rd now.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by real green View Post
    Correct as long as it wasn't broken from abuse. My kid breaks your kids $300 Easton hitting a pitched ball it was A - under warranty and will be replaced or B - the 3000th hit and the bat is at it's end of life. Just like if you let me borrower your car and the motor seized while I was driving. I wouldn't be responsible for the motor just because I was the unlucky one to be behind the wheel when the motor seized.

    Wood bats break with hitter error.
    I think if this happened, the parent who was out $300 (plus the kid being out of a bat for at least a month for warranty replacement, if available) would be more than ticked off. If you honestly think you are going to get away with some nonsense about 3000 hits on a comp, blah, blah, blah, you're kidding yourself.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by The Uncoach View Post
    I think if this happened, the parent who was out $300 (plus the kid being out of a bat for at least a month for warranty replacement, if available) would be more than ticked off. If you honestly think you are going to get away with some nonsense about 3000 hits on a comp, blah, blah, blah, you're kidding yourself.
    Really? I wouldn't think so, but I can be way off in left field. If a team mate asked my son to use his bat, goes up to the plate for BP/game, and the bat comes back to the dugout with a crack, I am not holding that kid or his dad responsible. Yeah it sucks but I would not have a grudge or feel that they would have any responsibilty to help replace the bat. Now a kid uses my sons bat and slams it against the ground after striking out that is a different story. I will have a discussion with his dad asap.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by real green View Post
    If a team mate asked my son to use his bat, goes up to the plate for BP/game, and the bat comes back to the dugout with a crack, I am not holding that kid or his dad responsible. Yeah it sucks but I would not have a grudge or feel that they would have any responsibilty to help replace the bat. Now a kid uses my sons bat and slams it against the ground after striking out that is a different story. I will have a discussion with his dad asap.
    This is how I feel.

  25. #25
    I have to remember that everyones prospective is not the same. For the most part our youth teams, 10u-12u, have on average 8 nice bats on every team sitting in the dug out. It is not like one bat is getting used by 12 players. The kids try everyones bats on a regular bases. If my kid was the only one on the team that had a "nice" bat and all 12 players used it I could see how that might change my prospective.

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