By Brian Duryea
(If you are looking for a more nuts and bolts type review you may want to try this 2015 Marucci CAT 6 Review.)
As someone who has a near clinical obsession with baseball bats, and has taken it upon himself to review them out loud for searchers willing to find the blog, I often find myself trying to look for what I don’t like in bats. Most readers, I may incorrectly suspect, expect a review to contain not just the good (they can usually find that on the company’s web site) but also the bad. And maybe not so much ‘bad’ as they want to determine if the bat is a good fit for them. So, with that in mind, I tend to be more critical of bats than is probably necessary in hopes of answering the question, “Is this bat for me?”
But here is the problem I stumbled upon very recently: sometimes you hold bats that you can’t find anything wrong with. And when that happens you are at a loss for words. I can’t just slobber all over myself on a blog post intended to review and introduce the reader to a new product. This isn’t a commercial after all and, again, readers want some integrity they can trust in their bat buying process–and that trust usually comes in a willingness to point out how the bat isn’t nearly as good as the company’s pictures and ad slicks make it out to be.
But how do you stay objective when it’s love at first sight? When the glow of the bat in your eyes is matched only by the glow in your hands as you grip it. How can you disparage goodness as crisp and clear as mountaintop sunrises? How can anyone possibly resent something that provides so much joy in their life. Are reviewers not allowed to love? Oh, writes the poet, but how can lovers hate?
I guess one might claim the relationship is too young to gauge if the love is really forever. I mean, a few hundred balls in the cage, a couple nights to sleep on the idea and then another couple hundred balls to see if the love you felt at first was sustaining. Surely such a few late night trysts with a one piece aluminum shtick can’t prove love?
But when the second go round was better than the first? When baseballs scream from the ping of this angel bat? I respond: Who is to argue what I felt in my heart? Who is to tell me that my commitment to never cheat, never pick up another bat, never swing any stick that doesn’t make me quiver at the thought of a stand up triple, that my love for this beautiful, sting free aluminum casing isn’t as real as my trembling voice? Who dares claim that pure and innocent love, new and fresh as it may be, isn’t as lasting as the ocean. Much less love has been bought for far greater a price.
And my commitment strengthens as I see her resting not far from me on the couch. Glistening white with gray and red accents. A patented knob with a vibration dampener. A gloss finish that is cool to the touch yet angry at the plate. Marucci CAT 6 printed so cleanly on the barrel.
And to those who are so quick to claim the love is mere infatuation and will last but a short while, I retort, ‘who cares’. Who cares what the future holds. Isn’t love meant to be lived in, to be captured in the moment. And in this very moment, I am certain, this bat is all I ever wanted.