Bat Rolling Machine Issue – Bat Slippage

One of the issues in Bat Rolling is what is known of in the industry as bat slippage. I have not seen this problem discussed in any articles that I have read. I am going to tackle this issue in the article and educate and enlighten you to the problem as well as the solutions.

There are basically two styles of Bat Rolling Machines on the market. They are know as Perpendicular and Parallel Bat Rolling Machines.

In a perpendicular machine, bat slippage is not as big of an issue as you are only compressing a very small area of the composite bat at a time. In a parallel machine this problem can show up. For the most part it appears when you are trying to roll stiffer bats or the newer bats that have more laminate glues being used.

In a parallel machine you have a greater area of the bat being compressed at a time. For this reason slippage can show up on certain parallel bat rolling machines.

It would seem that an easy solution would be to only use a perpendicular machine, however they are antiquated and limited to there ability to fully roll a bat to its’ maximum potential.

Most parallel machines will also roll perpendicular, so it is an obvious conclusion that they are a superior machine. Since the lion share of all machines on the market today are parallel machines, I will not expound on this area.

The plastic being used in the rollers are the main area of discussion on this topic. A simplified explanation of the slippage is that the plastics being used are very slick, and the bats being rolled are also very slick. The natural result is slippage at higher compression levels of the bat rolling process.

Other areas can come into play, such as the bearings being used and alignment, etc. However the number one reason for this problem area is slippage.

Too hard of plastics that are also slick is one problem area. One plastic that is used today is a plastic called Acetal, the trade name for this plastic is Delrin. This plastic is very slick and also very hard. The hardness does not allow this plastic to have much of a footprint on the bat during the rolling process, thus it has less surface area to grip. With the hardness and slickness of this material, slippage is often the end result when rolling at the higher levels of compression.

Another plastic being used in most machines is a high density plastic that is also very slick, but does have a have more surface area on the bat when rolling. It is a better solution but still has slippage problems at the higher levels of compression. Adding texture to this plastic during the machining of the rollers helps to eliminate this problem.

One Plastic Solves the Slippage Problem:

There is now a third material that is being listed as a proprietary plastic that eliminates this problem all together. The reason being that it is not nearly as slick and grips the bats really well, thus eliminating the problem. It also is softer then the Acetal plastic, so it has a better footprint on the bat. This plastic used in these Bat Rolling Machines is expensive, so you are only seeing it on some of the higher end machines on the market.

In Conclusion:

The slippage problem of bat rolling is know in the industry but seldom discussed. Some of the high end machines are solving this problem by using expensive, but effective plastics in them. The best solution for the consumer is to gain knowledge in this area and simply ask the manufacturer and or sales representative what there is available that eliminates this situation.

Time / Diagonal Spreads – Rolling the Position, Call Spread and Put Spreads – Rolling the Position

Rolling the Position

Time spreads are unlike all the other strategies we have

discussed before when we talk about rolling or continuing the

position. In other strategies, the option component is limited

to a single month. At expiration, the position disappears. It

either transforms into stock or expires worthless leaving you

with no option position. It is different in the case of a time

spread because you are dealing with two different expiration

months. After the front month expires, in addition to a

potential stock position, you will still have an option position

– the out-month option will still have time until expiration. To

properly roll that position, you must first understand the new

position you have inherited.

Rolling the Call Spread

Let’s look at the call time spread first. For the purposes of

our example, let us pretend we are long the September / October

25 call spread. If the stock were to close below $25.00 on

expiration Friday of September, the September 25 calls would

expire worthless and you would be left with a long October 25

call position. From this position, you would have several things

that you could do.

First, you could just sell out the October 25 call. Hopefully,

the combination of the expiration of the September 25 calls and

their subsequent worthlessness along with the proceeds gained

from the sale of the October 25 calls after September expiration

might make a profitable trade.

You could keep the position open and continuing in several ways.

You could stay long the October 25 call naked. You could sell

the October 30 call and become long the October 25 / 30 vertical

call spread if you are bullish. You could sell the October 20

call and become short the October 20 / 25 vertical call spread

if bearish.

You could buy the October 25 puts and become long the October 25

straddle if you felt the stock would become volatile. You could

even sell the stock and create a synthetic put if you were very

bearish. There are ways to create a new position that reflects

any possible future outlook an investor can have.

If the stock were to close above $25.00, then the September 25

call would close in-the-money. At that time, you would be

assigned your short September 25 call and that would translate

into a short stock position. That short stock position that you

received from the assignment of your short September 25 call

along with the remaining October 25 long call position is the

equivalent of a synthetic put. At this time, you could close out

the position or keep it.

The position is a bearish one so if you felt the stock would be

heading down, you could keep the position on. You could sell

another option of a different strike to set up either a bull or

bear put spread. You could buy the October 25 call to create a

long straddle. As you see, there are many different combinations

that could be created.

If you were short the September / October 25 call time spread

and the stock expired under $25.00 on expiration Friday of

September , then you would have a remaining position of a short

October 25 call naked. Again, there are many potential ways of

continuing the position. Of course, you could always buy back

the naked call and close the position if you no longer wanted to

maintain a position in the stock.

If you did, you could buy a call in the same month and create a

vertical spread, sell the corresponding put and create a short

straddle, buy the stock one to 1 and create a buy-write or other

combination based upon what you felt the stock would do.

If the stock closed above $25.00 and you were short the call

time spread, then you would be left with a long stock position

from your long September 25 call and short the October 25 call

against the long stock position. The position you would be left

with is a buy-write. Depending on your outlook for the stock,

you could keep the buy-write on, take it off, or use other

options to change the position to what you want it to be.

Rolling Put Spreads

As far as put spreads, let’s take an example and see where we

are when the front month option expires. We will use the

September / October 25 put spread for our example.

When long the spread, and the stock closes above $25.00, the

September 25 puts, which you are short, will expire worthless

leaving you with a long naked put position. From that position,

you can close it or combine it with other option or stock to

create a different position. Again, there are many different

possibilities.

If you were short the put time spread, and the stock closed

above $25.00 then the September 25 put, which you are long, will

expire worthless leaving you with a short naked put position in

the October 25 puts. This position can be closed out or combined

with other options or stock to create a strategy that will take

advantage of the outlook you have on the stock.

When the stock closes below $25.00, the scenario is different.

When long the spread with the stock closing lower than the

strike price, the front month put which you are short will be

assigned to you thus making you long stock in addition to your

long October 25 put. This position is known as a synthetic call.

As before, there are many ways to combine other options and/or

stock to change the position so that it is in line with want it

to be going forward.

If you were short the spread, and the stock closed below $25.00,

then you would exercise your long September 25 put making you

short stock and short the October 25 put. That position, which

is called a “sell-write” (the sister strategy to the buy-write),

can be kept as is, closed out, or changed in different ways by

combining it with stock or other options based upon your

expectations of the stock’s future movements.

Do Educational Toys Promote Early Childhood Development (Physical Development – Part I)

From the time a child is born, parents enthusiastically wait for the day that they witness the “Developmental Milestones” of their child. The joy that parents experience the first time that their child rolls over, crawls and then begins to walk will most likely be shared with everyone they know. These milestones are all signs of a child’s physical development as well as the maturation of their brain.  

The physical development of children is divided into two main areas, Gross Motor Skills and Fine Motor Skills. Motor skills are actions that involve the deliberate and controlled movements of muscles in the body. Gross motor skills are the large body movements that involve legs, arms and the entire body, these activities include crawling, walking, running, jumping, climbing, etc. Fine motor skills involve more precise and smaller movements that involve hands, fingers, wrist, feet, toes and eyes, these activities include eye-hand coordination, grasping objects, stacking objects, writing, etc.

Keeping in mind that the following is not meant to be all inclusive, below is an overview of some of the physical development milestones that parents can begin to notice in their child from infancy to six years of age…

  • Newborn: Reflex motions such as sucking, limited hands, arms and leg movement
  • 3 – 12 Months: Lifts head while lying on stomach, rolls over, grasps rattle, sits without support, rocks on hands and knees, pick up small objects, move objects from one hand to another, sits up with out help, crawls and can walk holding on to someone or something
  • 12 Months – 2 Years of Age: Walks and runs, climbs stairs, throws, feeds self usually with hands, builds with blocks, imitates adults, begins using utensils to feed self, scribbles
  • 2 – 3 Years of Age: Jumps in place, hops, balances on one foot, helps in getting dressed, uses spoon and fork properly, uses toilet, draws stick people, rides tri-cycle, begins using scissors
  • 3 – 4 Years of Age: Runs, skips, hops on one foot, throws and catches various size balls, dress self, shows dominance in hand usage
  • 4 – 5 Years of Age: Builds with smaller objects, colors within the lines, rides a two wheel bike cycle with training wheels, bounces, catches and throws balls with more accuracy
  •  5 – 6 Years of Age: Ties shoelaces, cuts with a knife, jumps rope

A CBS News Report entitled “Baby Toys Have Lasting Effects” reveals that a Stanford University School of Medicine researchers studies indicate, “the brain regions that help children sense and interpret the world are dramatically affected by early childhood experiences, and educational toys that stimulate young minds and encourage them to explore the world in a new way may help build their brain for future tasks”.

Although both areas of motor skill development is a continuous progression over time, educational toys can play a major role in the development of fine motor skills for children from infancy to 6 years of age. The various shapes, colors and design configurations stimulate and challenge eye-hand coordination, visual tracking, shape and color recognition, depth perception as well as language development, all while having fun. But isn’t that a parents desire for their child in a seemingly stressful complex world? To learn and grow while having fun which will prepare their child to be a successful, productive adult?