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Injury stirs maple-bat debate

A protective baseball bat wrap that looks like a giant condom might have kept Chicago Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin from being impaled by part of a broken maple bat Sunday.

Colvin remained hospitalized Tuesday night for observation in a Miami hospital after being treated for a puncture wound to his chest suffered when a piece of teammate Welington Castillo’s shattered bat struck him in the Cubs’ 13-3 win over the Florida Marlins.

A Cubs trainer said Colvin was hit in his upper chest, allowing air into his chest wall and potentially into his lungs.

One suggestion to avoid such dangerous scenarios is to use the BatGlove, a thin plastic wrap that looks like a condom.

Colvin’s injury swung the controversy over the frequency of maple bats shattering back to the forefront of the baseball safety discussion.

Maple bats have improved over the past two years, with breakage dropping 35 percent from 2008 to 2009 and another 15 percent from 2009 to 2010, a Major League Baseball official told FoxNews.com.

But many in baseball, such as Orioles manager Buck Showalter, prefer a return to ash bats.

“We couldn’t play if we banned maple bats. There’s not enough ash available,” said Rob Manfred, MLB’s executive vice president of labor relations.

Cubs catcher Koyie Hill said banning maple bats would involve going “through a lot of different hoops.”

“There would have to be a rule change,” Hill said. “It states that it has to be made from a solid piece of wood, so we’d obviously have to change that. We’d have to talk to some of the environmentalists about if we just went all ash, the kind of impact that would make on the environment. … It’s not just a question of whether or not it’s safe.”

■ BEATS A TASER — A 17-year-old clad in a red Spandex body suit and mask was able to dash onto the field at Philadelphia’s Citizen Bank Park on Monday night and evade a crack security force.

One guard was left sprawled on the grass.

That’s when Atlanta Braves outfielder Matt Diaz took action, bringing down the trespassing teen with a rear leg sweep.

Diaz recalled earlier this season when another intruder at Philadelphia was felled by a Philly police officer with a Taser.

“I figured he’d rather get tripped than Tased,” Diaz said.

■ PREMEDITATED NUT CRUSHING — It’s wonderful when young adults have goals and even greater when they achieve them.

The parents of Brandon Hanning must be proud.

When Hanning tried out to be Ohio University’s Rufus Bobcat mascot two years ago, his personal mission was to tackle Brutus Buckeye one day before the two teams played at Ohio State.

His dream was realized Saturday when he attacked the nut-headed Brutus as the Buckeyes ran onto the field and then pinned him again moments later in the end zone.

“It was the whole reason I tried out last year,” Hanning told The Post in Athens, Ohio. “I knew we were going back to OSU, and I wanted to tackle Brutus.”

It apparently did not intimidate the Buckeyes, who won 43-7.


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