Mayor Bloomberg has veto fever! Last week, he vetoed a bill that would have limited the pedicab industry, and yesterday he said he would veto a bill banning metal bats from high schools. The Mayor said, "I don’t know whether aluminum bats are more dangerous or less dangerous...I have had friends who are professional baseball players call me and argue both ways, but I don’t think it’s the city’s business to regulate that." Ha! What is the Mayor talking about? The city loves to regulate stuff (transfats! the noise a Mr. Softee truck makes! smoking!).
City Councilman James Oddo of Staten Island who sponsored the bill said he wasn't surprised by the mayor's words. "I had a conversation with him last week and he told me that he was going to veto. By deferring to the leagues and the organizations, we ensure the status quo, and I think we've demonstrated over the course of three hearings and nearly 20 hours of testimony that the status quo creates an unreasonable and unacceptable risk to our student athletes."
While the bill says that there are safety concerns (metal bats supposedly hit balls faster and there have been some high-profile incidents of players being injured), some don't like metal bats for other reasons. In Virginia newspaper Daily News Record, one coach thinks that metal bats make even average players "threats" while a UNC professor studying batted-ball injuries says, "I think the one thing we all agree on is of all injuries that happen at the ballpark, we’re talking about a narrow slice of them that we could prevent – if we could prevent any of them – by moving back to wood."
The City Council passed the original bill 40-6, which makes it likely the Council will be able to override the Mayor's veto.