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A look into corked bats in professional baseball

In the major leagues, the bat to be used has to be made entirely of wood, thus to utilize a corked one during an official game is illegal. But even like that, there have been a few cases of corked bats in professional baseball, with the most recent case being the one of Sammy Sosa back in 2003 when he was playing for the Cubs, an action for which he ended up getting suspended for a total of 8 games.

A corked bat is lighter, and this represent a significant advantage since it allows the batter to respond in a quicker way, but still, the question about the real advantage for hitters is still being discussed. Just suppose that you are able to make bats which will have the same structure, shape, strength and size, but with a different mass. What can end up being the ideal weight for a bat like that, so that a given player can hit a particular pitch way farther that he could actually do if he was to utilize a bat with a different weight?

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The truth is that to come up with the perfect mass for a baseball bat is not easy at all, as the performance will depend on a number of factors, including the differences between one player and the other, and between pitches. The ideal is that the bat would be as proportionate in weight as the mass of the ball itself, but there is a trick to this as the impact of the ball and the bat lasts for only a thousandth of a single second and the two forces combined can make up for a magnitude of several thousand pounds.

The batter always holds the bat in the handle area, and because of this, when he impacts the ball, the reaction on him concerning magnitude will be equal, this is of course unless the ball actually gets hit in the area of the bat where the trademark symbol is located.

There are internal vibrations occurring during the impact, which dissipates almost 2 3rds of the bat’s full mechanical energy, in fact, the sound that is produced during the collision is a product of this.

I guess the usage of corked bats is never going to be allowed in MLB, but the truth is that now batters are utilizing lighters bats which are not corked, therefore, what is the real difference?

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