September 19, 2010
Check out the flying object heading toward the chest of Chicago Cubs rookie Tyler Colvin(notes) on Sunday afternoon. As the frightening screen capture provided by Keith Olbermann (of all people) shows, Colvin's upper left chest was punctured by a flying piece of Welington Castillo's(notes) bat as Colvin came home from third to score on a double.
If the term "impaled" doesn't do the job by itself, the aftermath makes for one of the scariest baseball injuries in recent memory. Colvin needed to be hospitalized because of a wound described as "fairly deep." Sutures helped to close the wound and a tube was inserted into Colvin's lung to prevent it from collapsing.
The good news is that Colvin is going to be fine, but the bad news is that his promising rookie season is over. Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that Colvin will remain in the hospital for a few days for observation and won't play for the next two weeks.
As 'Duk writes in another Big League Stew post, this incident is sure to intensify the debate over baseball's use of maple bats. They're the villain du jour in the sport — with plenty of reason — and though Castillo's bat looks like ash, it's actually made of Canadian maple.
"That's the danger of a maple bat," [teammate] Jeff Baker(notes) said. "I saw an umpire get slashed [in the neck] in Kansas City. It's just not worth it to me to use that kind of bat. I don't want that on my conscience."
Manager Mike Quade, who didn't realize Colvin was hurt until well after the incident, was just as outspoken.
"I'm amazed it doesn't happen more often," Quade said. "Over the last 10 years, I've seen a lot of projectiles out there. Sometimes I've seen it happen three or four times a night where bats get snapped in half. Years ago, I don't remember that happening that often."
Well, it does happen often now. And with this unfortunate incident making headlines across the country, baseball should feel compelled to address the issue before someone is hurt even worse.
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