I hate to say it, but my 5th fave NY Post Columnist (behind Ray Kerrison, Steve Dunleavy, Billy Wagner and Jeremy Shockey) appears to have lost a step. On a Friday when he’d be expected to comment on Allen Iverson paying for the funeral of man slain over an A.I. jersey (an otherwise perfect opportunity to lambaste The Answer along with one or more sneaker / sportswear companies), Phil turns his attentions to…baseball bat manufacturers.

The metal baseball bat industry takes great exception to claims its bats are more dangerous than wooden ones because line drives at the pitcher reduce defensive response time. There’s no conclusive proof, it claims. Yet its own advertisements tell a different story.

A full-page ad in the latest Baseball America claims that the new Louisville Slugger Exogrid metal bat, featuring “carbon composite inserts,” “provides greater handle stiffness than aluminum, alone, ever could” and produces, “more barrel flex, resulting in maximum trampoline effect.”

An online ad for Rawlings’ Plasma Fusion metal bat (with a “machine-aluminum Fusion-Flex Transmitter”), reads, “Upon impact, the Transmitter allows the fused liquid metal and carbon fiber to work together to deliver maximum velocity” and “20 percent more pop.”