Let’s talk about the 75 bats that Xu Guiyuan shattered at one of the three Major League Baseball developmental centers in China. That’s a lot of smashed lumber.
Before and after Roy Hobbs broke his bat “Wonderboy” in “The Natural,” fans have paid attention when ash or maple splinters at home plate, and perhaps wonder the reason. It’s often simple physics -- a pitch striking near the thin handle of a large-barreled bat.
In Xu’s case, his mentor imbues the broken bats with a sort of symbolism.
Simon Huang, Xu’s friend, teacher and business manager for MLB in China, suggests the player wore the bats out through relentless practice in the cage.
“He worked so...