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Bats Are At the Center of America’s Favorite Pastime

America's National Pastime reached its zenith of glory by 1860s. Alexander Joy Cartwright modernized the game in 1845 to almost its present form. However, the specifications to baseball bats kept changing with each innovation and need. The innovations changed bat materials to the present aluminum alloy from the classical wooden. Although the whole of baseball gear has undergone a complete makeover, nothing has changed as much and as fast as the bat. There are many different kinds of bats designed for Little Leagues, Senior Leagues, college, and pros. Each coalition has a set of parameters for keg diameter and loop dimensions. It can be a little overwhelming when you consider the variety of baseball bat brands, materials, styles, and qualities. Bat Materials Basically there are three general categories of bat materials, but enough small differences for new comers to get bowled over. Wood: generally willow wood from Canada and Australia goes into making bats for their good grain and fibrous structure. Seasoned wood is used to make bats which can be evidenced by the long fibers of wider nature. One big advantage of wooden bats is customizability with regard to barrel and grip. Contrary to common belief, heavier wooden bats produce greater impact than lighter bats by virtue of their momentum. But these are not crack free and the sweet spots get reduced after endured usage. Aluminum alloys: Get ready to spend about $200 on these. These are stronger yet lighter and help generate greater swing speeds. The general alloy used here is 7046; but special alloys like CU31/7050 with higher zirconium, magnesium and copper content gives higher strength and durability. Ask for more choices in this category. Construction depends on the selling price; so we have single/double layered bats in different alloys for higher impacts, rebounds etc. In addition, cryogenically treated bats give lesser vibration and increased distance. Graphite/Titanium lined: The beauty of this option is that they’re the lightest weight bats. Thinner walled bats lined with titanium/graphite provide the desired strength and help reduce the impact shock of hitting the ball away from the sweet spot. Bats are just part of the game and not the game within themselves. Still this essential piece of equipment is a favorite item of interest for fans of baseball.


A Guide to Betting on Baseball Games

If you know nothing about sports and you still feel the urge to wager, baseball is probably the easiest sport to wager on. As opposed to football and basketball, where you are mixed up with point spreads and other confusing calculations, in baseball betting you simply put your money on the outcome of the game. In addition, the baseball season lasts longer, which means more matchups and bigger chances to go home with the winning money. Here is a step to step guide to baseball betting. The main difference between baseball betting and other team sports betting such as football and basketball is that while the latter ones use point spreads, the former uses the money line. What is a Point Spread? Point spread is the most common betting type offered in football and basketball betting. The sportsbook spreads the odds of a certain game’s outcome by subtracting points from the favorite team, which is the team most likely to win and adding points to the underdog, which is the team that is likely to lose. What is a Money Line? In baseball betting, the sportsbook sets the odds strictly on the outcome of the match. In order to even the action, bettors would have to risk more money on the favorite and risk less on the underdog. This is called the money line. For example, if the money line is minus 170 on the favorite and plus 150 on the underdog, then you would have to bet 170 dollars on the favorite in order to earn 100 dollars. On the other hand, if you bet 100 dollars on the underdog, you would win 150 dollars if they would eventually win the game. The difference between the minus 170 on the favorite and the plus 150 on the underdog is known as the twenty cent line. If the money line was minus on the favorite and plus 150 on the underdog, it is called the ten cent line or dime line. The fifteen cent line is also common in baseball betting. Sportsbooks also offer total bets and run lines in baseball betting. 1) Total Bets: These wagers are based on the sum of the runs scored by both of the teams. For example, if the sportsbook sets the over under total of a match as 7, the over wins if the sum of the runs scored by both teams exceeds 7 and the under wins if it sums up to less than 7. 2) The Run Line: This wager is the baseball variation of point spread. When you are betting on the run line, you are betting on whether one of the teams wins by more than one run, which is marked as minus 1.5 or stays within one run, marked as plus 1.5. Conclusion: Although the money line makes baseball betting simpler than football and basketball betting, it causes the payoffs calculation to be more complicated.


The Cloud That Steroids Cast on Baseball

There has been a lot of controversy about steroids in baseball lately. Does it enhance performance and what are the side effects? Are records today the result of steroids? And are athletes harming themselves? First of all, we need to understand what a steroid is, and why players use them. Anabolic steroids are a synthetic version of the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone in it's normal state promotes and boosts muscle development and growth. When it is supplemented with steroids, you have an increase in muscle mass, a reduction of body fat, and enhanced endurance. They are used by athletes to try to have the edge on the competition. It is believed that by using steroids in baseball it will allow you to hit the ball further and longer. What are some of the side effects? They range from psychological to physical effects on players. From a psychological standpoint, the effects can range from a feeling of well-being to depression, mood swings, and even rage sometimes called 'roid rage'. Other adverse psychological effects can include intense aggression and violence. From a physical standpoint, you can have all kinds of changes. You will have increased muscle mass and increased endurance, but the side effects can include a plethora of problems. The worst being liver damage, and cancer. You can have acne, excessive hair growth or loss, testicular atrophy (shrinking), etc. What is the reward vs. the risk? The reward being a quick avenue for increased muscle mass, increased performance, and increased endurance. They often provide a feeling of invincibility. The risks bring permanent physical morbidity and psychotic episodes that include aggression, violence, and rapid mood swings. Also feelings of depression and suicide. Is the reward worth it? Absolutely not! Yet it is abused by athletes today for the quick gain of fortune and fame. It is believed that by using a steroid in baseball it will lead you down the path of fortune and fame. There has been a lot of controversy about whether Mark McGwire or Barry Bonds or Gary Sheffield and others have used a steroids in baseball. There is the infamous BALCO incident where there were accusations that Barry's long time friend Greg Anderson was supplying Barry with an untraceable steroid, sometimes called "the cream" or "the clear". Which raised a lot of questions in the baseball world. Did they use a steroid in baseball and is there proof it enhanced their game? We can draw several conclusions from this. First off, is there any proof that a steroid in baseball has enhanced the record book with unfair records. At this time, no. We have to remember a couple of things before trying to point fingers, etc. Barry Bonds went on to have an unbelievable season setting a single season record of home runs that will probably never be surpassed anytime soon. This happened from a guy that usually averaged around 35 homers a season. Can you explain the sudden jump in home runs? Probably not. But you can make the assumption that he has matured to the top of his game and that he had a dream season. Now, let's look at Roger Maris. When Roger went on to hit 61 home runs from a guy that usually never hit that many did everyone in the world suddenly start saying there must be a steroid that he is using? Or he must be doing something to enhance his game. No they did not. They assumed that he just had a magical season that only comes around ever so often. Can we draw the same conclusions about Barry, and about Mark? Yes, we can. Could it be that they had magical seasons? Absolutely. That said, steroids certainly take away from the game. Even though they provide a quick explosion of muscle mass and endurance, over the long run, they will harm you. They will cause psychotic events, and physical damage that will last a lifetime. The bottom line is simple. Play the game the way it is meant to be played. Play with honor and pride and dignity. And above all, leave steroids out of it.


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