Brad Johnson

Cost/Benefit Analysis of Wood Versus Aluminum Bats in Amateur Baseball

Brad Johnson

The reason college baseball players swing
aluminum bats instead of wood is cost.
The maple bats of MLB shatter
easily and have to be replaced.
Amateurs only need a single bat for an entire season
but injuries resulting from balls jumping
off sweet spots of composite bats like bricks off
trampolines include: fractured
skull, brain damage, coma, broken jaw, shattered
eye socket, concussion. A line drive struck
a twelve-year-old third basemen in the chest and stopped
his heart before his glove fell
from his hand and landed in the dirt.
 
There’s math involved.
Ball exit speed is function of bat speed plus material of bat.
Greater exit speed equals greater ball distance,
i.e. more home runs, deeper line drives.
And fans spin through turnstiles to see offense.
A kid is killed in southern Iowa.
A son will never live alone in Illinois.
Doctors suggest better helmets.
But few enjoy a pitcher’s duel.
 
We name our children after flowers:
Iris, Lily, Heather, Sage.
And when they die we order
flowers and lay them lightly on the graves.

BRAD JOHNSONWinner of the 2012 Longleaf Press Chapbook Contest, Brad Johnson has published four chapbooks of poetry. Work of his has also been accepted by Nimrod, Permafrost, Poet Lore, The South Carolina Review, The Southeast Review, Southern Indiana Review, Willow Springs and others.

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