Most of the things I write about come from scanning sports and newspaper sites, checking out links at news aggregators, or reading other blogs like BTF. I will, however, from time to time, throw in some random Google News searches for things like "baseball" or "ballgame" or something like that just to see what kind of random things pop up.
One thing that always pops up when I search for "baseball" -- without fail -- are street crime stories (like this one) from U.K. newspapers in which someone was attacked with a baseball bat. For what it's worth, it's always a situation in which some "yobs" attack an upstanding homeowner just trying to keep the peace and quiet in an otherwise respectable neighborhood. My guess is that that's a meme that just plays well in the British press, not unlike teacher-student sex scandals and shark attacks do here. Anyway.
The thing I don't get is where all of these baseball bats are coming from in the U.K, because baseball just isn't big over there. There's Welsh or British baseball, but (1) it's not that damn popular; and (2) the bats in that game are flat rather than round. If those bats are what's being referred to in the articles I read, wouldn't it be more likely that they'd be described as cricket bats?
There is some American-style baseball in the U.K., overseen by the British Baseball Federation, but there are only like 800 players on 40 teams in the whole country. Certainly that's not enough to warrant the corner sporting goods store to stock baseball bats as a matter of course. It's probably all special order stuff, right?
So where are the yobs getting the bats? You'd be amazed -- to the point of discomfort -- at how much time I have spent in the past year thinking about this issue.