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2009 Easton SCN12BH Synergy Helmer Plus


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Tuesday, June 1, 2004 By Jim Caple Page 2 The performance enhancers have ruined the game. Players who could barely ...




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Old 06-08-2005, 09:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default ESPN Article About Softball Bats/Players

Tuesday, June 1, 2004
By Jim Caple
Page 2

The performance enhancers have ruined the game.

Players who could barely hit the ball out of the infield are smashing windshields in the parking lot. Run totals are soaring like gasoline prices. There's talk of altering the mound to help the pitchers. The game is scarcely recognizable from what it was just a decade ago.

Gambling and an aluminum bat? No Hall of Fame for you.
I'm talking, of course, about softball bats.


What a bunch of hypocrites we are. If a major leaguer visits BALCO to boost his run production, the attorney general launches a federal investigation and fans jam the phone system to bitch on talk radio. Sammy Sosa gets caught with cork in his bat and people want him suspended, then excommunicated. We whine that home run records don't mean anything anymore. But if a company manufactures a softball bat that will add 30 feet to your hitting, everyone on the team immediately reaches for the wallet and ponies up $20 apiece to buy the club in time for the next game.

Aluminum bats have been around for more than three decades but it is only in recent years that the various alloy and composite clubs have gotten wildly out of control, performing metallurgy miracles by turning cans of corn into glittering home runs. The new bats allow hitters to feel so much like Barry Bonds that after finishing their home run trots, I expect them to snub their teammates and go sit in a leather recliner. How do these bats do it? Hell if I know. Just reading the bat specifications -- "half & half technology," "composite grip," "rotation index" -- requires an advanced degree in engineering. Here's the actual description for the DeMarini F2 bat:

"Designed for maximum distance. The body has a tape-wrapped carbon phenolic (TWCP) shield bonded to a thin-wall aluminum substrate. The Aerospace Grade Graphite Composite is especially developed for strong and uniform properties. The 'aerospike' telescopes into position to increase aerodynamic performance. Maximum range: 7,400 KM."

Whoops. That isn't the description of the DeMarini F2 -- that's a description of a TRIDENT C-4 intercontinental ballistic missile, as you probably guessed by the 7,400 kilometer range. The DeMarini F2 can propel a ball much farther. And costs more.

At least steroids require an athlete to make some investment (weight-training, painful injections, shrunken testicles, acne). The only investment required for the enhanced softball bats is a credit card with a high enough spending limit. A top of the line composite bat can go for $350, and you better be careful which one you buy. ASA Softball lists 14 bats on its banned list this year, including the Miken Ultra, which no major softball organization approves, and the Miken Ultra II, which is approved by only one.

Golf has a similar problem with its titanium clubs and modern balls that carry farther, but the difference is that in golf, someone else's equipment doesn't necessarily affect your game -- you can still use your own clubs and play the course the same as always. In softball, the bats have pretty much taken away the game's most enjoyable aspect -- playing defense. Infielders have become lawn ornaments. Playing defense means just standing around waiting for a batter to get just under a pitch and hit a flyout to the warning track. It's not softball anymore. It's home run derby.


Worse, balls are jumping off the bats so fast that you still need to wear a cup driving away for post-game beers. Deb Holtkamp, an ASA commissioner in St. Paul, says she's seen pitchers wearing hockey helmets to protect themselves. The pitcher's rubber was moved from 46 to 50 feet several years ago and she says there is talk of moving it back even further and moving the bases to 65 feet.

C'mon, would you rather see a pic of a sweaty dude with a belly? Moving the bases back? You know what that means, don't you? That's right. Even more throwing errors. Just what softball needs.


"The new bats have completely changed the game," says Chris Gallagher. "Guys who have no business hitting the ball out of the park are hitting it over the fence. And the reaction time has decreased substantially, not only for the pitchers but for the corner players, too."

Gallagher decided to do something about it. Last summer he started a wood bat league in Glendale, Arizona. "We started taunting the players. 'How far can you really hit a softball?' and 'Men with big egos need not apply,'" Gallagher says. "It caught on quick. We had a tournament in October, the Wood Bat Classic. The guys loved that defense was brought back into the game. Instead of outfielders playing 290 feet from home plate, they were playing 220. The games were closer and lower-scoring, like 6-5.

"There is no strategy for some big 6-3 gorilla to hit a ball 300 feet. In the wood bat league there's strategy."

Gallagher is onto something. He says he's received several calls from other park directors around the country. It's only a matter of time before others rediscover the joy of wood bats, of again hitting home runs that mean something and fielding grounders without risking a vasectomy.

In the meantime, here are two simple rules that will make softball more enjoyable for everyone this summer.

1. If you can't explain how the bat is made, you can't use it. Look, I'm not a Luddite. You can still use aluminum if you like, but no more quadruple-walled alloys with bladders of liquid nitrogen.

2. Swing the bat. Nothing drives me nuts more than a guy who gets into the box and refuses to swing until he gets a pitch belt-high in the strike zone and fitted with a global positioning device. A 12-inch ball is lobbed up there so nice and easily that a child could hit it, and suddenly these morons are as picky as Ted Williams. Listen, people. This isn't the major leagues. This isn't even baseball. This is softball. If you're really that good a hitter, you should be able to hit anything in -- and out of -- the strike zone.

Besides, you paid $350 for your @#$&ing bat. Swing it.

Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com




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Old 06-09-2005, 11:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Max , as far as aluminum, the manufacturers have gotten worse. Thinking that this alloy is better then that one so on so forth. I stand where I am positive most other people in the softball community do, is that bats like the STZ-1 connexion was one of the most powerful as well as durable alloys ever used in softball bats!!! It's just a shame to see like all the tech. advances in bats like composite material, can turn anyone into a softball player. I would love for connexion or the lighthouse or the Ritches Superior to come back into production. That would absolutely seperate softball players, from jackasses who can hit the ball with a synergy 900 ft. I am nothing but a line drive hitter, and still use the STZ-1 and other alum. bats. I guess companies like Easton, Miken, and Mizuno have to make millions, and have a problem sponsoring a team that promotes or uses their multi million dollar investments!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-09-2005, 12:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree with #2. Swing the bat. I hate those hitters that will take a walk if your pitches miss by an inch or so of hitting the plate/mat. I pitch for the front and side edges of the plate/mat and unless I make a mistake nothing down the middle. I go so fed up last week with those type batters (and they are good hitters) that I finally told one of them if you want a walk go to first because I am not throwing anything over the plate. They all finally did start swinging after that.
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Old 06-09-2005, 03:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I take a few pitches sometimes (less than I used to) looking for a certain one (I hate strikes) but never walk in league if I can help it unless it's a heated playoff game in a league I actually care about against a team that has a legitimate shot at beating us.

I like having the rubber mat there so umps don't **** things up.

Flip...read this post. You can't reply to it (you have to apply to that community) but the guy argues that Freaks are better for the game than Connexions. Connexion plus the ball we use in Yonkers is more dangerous than a Freak with a tournament ball. I'm Swurgen over there.
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default 2009 Easton SCN12BH Synergy Helmer Plus



IMX Composite, flex Rated -90 Handle. VRS -85 Rating. Extreme 100+ MPH performance. 12" Extended barrel design. Slightly end loaded for more power. Ultra-thin 29/32" tapered handle with Pro-Tack grip. Brett Helmer signature series model.
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I like mine, not broken in yet and flaking a little...I've seen a few broken in well and they hit great...mines taking a little longer than expected...

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Old 10-13-2008, 06:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Patriot2415 View Post
Why are you having trouble with your Rolling / shaving machines????
Yea, my rolling machine is filled with tobacco and my shaving kit is out of my Nivea gel for sensitive skin...

Negative rep given...:applause:

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Old 05-20-2009, 08:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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anybody know what the return is for this right now? or does anyone have a receipt for one of these? or a hookup at easton?
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bpierce208 View Post
anybody know what the return is for this right now? or does anyone have a receipt for one of these? or a hookup at easton?

maybe this guy can help.... http://www.northeastsoftball.net/for...ad.php?t=16041
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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So what does everyone think of this bat anyway? I used a friend's the other day and liked it. Might be playing a little more so I was thinking of getting one... Any general complaints, negatives, etc...???
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