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Pine tar and baseball go together like peanut butter and jelly. That is unless, of course, you're a pitcher. Pitchers that use pine tar usually earn suspensions.
Pine tar is the tried, tested, and true method for getting the best grip on the bat. It has been trusted by baseball players for decades.
There is the old saying that goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Of course, Bob Dylan also sang, "The Times They Are A Changin'." So, what old saying is correct?
We're going to drill down into the facts to compare traditional pine tar with the newer solution: Manny Mota Grip Stick. Can this sleek little stick replace the pine tar that has become synonymous with baseball or is it just a waste of your money? Let's find out.
First, let's begin with a short lesson about pine tar and its role in baseball. At the professional ranks, baseball players must use wooden bats. These bats are smooth and slippery when held. That's not exactly ideal for players who have to swing hard in order to hit a fast moving ball out of the park.
Pine tar is a sticky substance made from pine wood. It is used for a number of applications but most people probably associate pine tar and baseball. The sticky tar used on baseball bats is as much a part of the game as a ballpark hot dog.
Major League Baseball and a number of other leagues allow players to use pine tar on their bats to provide for a better grip. There are rules about how much pine tar can be used or how far up the bat it can be applied.
Pitchers use pine tar to get a better grip on the ball and change the flight of the ball to make it harder for batters to hit. Of course, using pine tar as a pitcher in the MLB is illegal and results in an immediate ejection from the game.
If pine tar is such a major part of the game, why are there products seeking to replace pine tar as the grip assistance of choice for batters?
The truth is that pine tar is messy and not always a great solution in some conditions. Manny Mota Grip Stick tries to build on what makes pine tar a popular choice while also improving areas where pine tar falls short of expectations.
The first thing you notice about Manny Mota Grip Stick is the clean packaging. The solid stick is held inside a cardboard package. It almost looks like deodorant rather than something you use on your baseball bat.
This clean application method is one of the major differences that make Manny Mota Grip Stick unique from other products. There's no need to deal with messy, sticky liquids. That means no staining on jerseys and equipment, either.
Essentially, Manny Mota Grip Stick promises to be a cleaner, simpler solution to pine tar. The real question is whether it lives up to that promise. For that, we look at what the players and purchasers of the product are actually saying.
Take some time to look at online comments and talk to baseball players at your local ball diamonds; you will see that pine tar is quickly falling out of favor with baseball players.
Manny Mota Grip Stick has rave reviews from dedicated customers. These people have dealt with the messy and sticky substance that is pine tar for their entire playing lives. By comparison, Manny Mota Grip Stick is a breath of fresh air.
One of the most common comments about Manny Mota Grip Stick is the ease of use when compared with pine tar. Liquid pine tar has a tendency to get onto clothes, equipment, benches, and anywhere else where you would rather not have sticky pine tar. On the other hand, Manny Mota Grip Stick is a solid stick like a glue stick or a deodorant stick. No mess and no clean up after applying.
A lot of people also feel that Manny Mota Grip Stick is more versatile than pine tar. In cold conditions or rainy conditions, pine tar can actually become slippery or lose tackiness. This is obviously the opposite of the intended purpose of pine tar.
In comparison, Manny Mota Grip Stick is said to work in all conditions. Since baseball is an outdoor game, players have to be able to deal with whatever Mother Nature throws their way. Manny Mota Grip Stick allows them to do just that.
It is actually very difficult to find negative opinions about this product. People who use it rave about the quality of Manny Mota Grip Stick. With that said, there are some things to note if you are thinking of making a purchase.
One thing that people noticed about the Grip Stick when compared with pine tar is that Manny Mota Grip Stick had to be reapplied more regularly than pine tar. This wasn't a major concern for most people since the Grip Stick is so easy to use and apply but it should be noted for those who are used to getting a few games worth of use out of a single pine tar application.
Some people did note that dirt sticks very easily to the grip stick and can reduce the effectiveness rather drastically. However, this is no different than any other adhesive-style product. Dirt with negatively affect the performance of anything that requires a sticky connection with another surface. Regular cleaning and reapplication is necessary to get the best results game in and game out.
Finally, some people did note that they miss the classic smell of pine tar. This is obviously a personal preference and has no bearing on the performance of the product. If you have a unique love for the pine tar smell but you want to use Manny Mota Grip Stick then you could always see if there's a pine tar scented candle available.
Overall, people love Manny Mota Grip Stick and very few people had any negative thoughts about the product at all. You should feel very confident if you choose to spend a portion of your baseball equipment budget on this incredible product.
There are a few products competing for your money with Manny Mota Grip Stick. The most obvious comparable product is pine tar which has been trusted by baseball players for years. Can Manny Mota Grip Stick overcome those decades of built up trust?
The truth is that pine tar is messy and unfriendly. Using a Grip Stick instead of pine tar is much easier and cleaner. This is one of the main reasons people choose Manny Mota Grip Stick over pine tar and one of the top reasons people stick with the product after the first use.
There are other stick-style pine tar replacements on the market that strongly resemble Manny Mota Grip Stick. These brands have mixed reviews and you may find that the quality just isn't quite up to the level of Manny Mota Grip Stick.
In terms of pricing, all sticks are priced around the same level. Manny Mota Grip Stick is very competitively priced despite being one of the top brands. You could save a couple of dollars choosing another brand that doesn't have the same reputation as Manny Mota Grip Stick. However, spread those savings out over the entire ball season and you will see why spending a little extra for the best product is worth it.
When compared with pine tar, the Grip Stick is noticeably more costly. A bottle of pine tar is very inexpensive. You definitely pay extra for the convenience of Manny Mota Grip Stick. Again, spread the savings out over an entire ball season and you will understand why so many people are happy to pay extra for Manny Mota Grip Stick. $10 to $12 saved over an entire ball season is rather insignificant for most.
With a price tag coming in under $15, Manny Mota Grip Stick is still an affordable product. The stick should last through many uses and fit within most people's equipment budgets. Frankly, a $15 Manny Mota Grip Stick that will last an entire ball season for many people is a bargain. Plus, think of all the money you can save on cleaning products to get the pine tar out of your clothes.
Replacing pine tar is no easy task. Batters have trusted pine tar for decades. Many players don't know of any products other than the pine tar brand they used when they started playing. Needless to say, Manny Mota Grip Stick has a long road ahead if it wants to achieve market dominance.
The perception of Manny Mota Grip Stick from players is exceptional. It's very difficult to find someone who has used the product and has negative feelings about the Grip Stick.
The quality of Manny Mota Grip Stick rivals that of pine tar while the convenience factor puts the Grip Stick well ahead of pine tar. No mess, no sticky stains on your clothes, just an easy-to-use stick.
We believe that most people will find that Manny Mota Grip Stick is a better product for them when compared with pine tar and the other grip sticks on the market. The only area where Manny Mota Grip Stick is not a clear winner is price.
Comparing a generic bottle of pine tar to Manny Mota Grip Stick will reveal a decent sized gap in pricing. Of course, both products will last for many applications. In the case of Manny Mota Grip Stick, you may get an entire season of use from one stick.
When you consider the longevity of the product, spending extra for Manny Mota Grip Stick should not be of great concern. If your ball season is 4 months then the savings of choosing pine tar over the Grip Stick would amount to somewhere around $2 per month. For a quality product, that extra small expense is well worth it.
If you're wondering whether Manny Mota Grip Stick is the real deal; it is. This product offers the same benefits as pine tar without some of the annoying or messy quirks that people dislike about pine tar. Frankly, all competitive ball players should consider having Manny Mota Grip Stick in their bag or at the on deck circle.
Still not sure if you're ready to move on from pine tar? Take the plunge and try Manny Mota Grip Stick for yourself. The expense is a small purchase in the grand scheme of equipment costs and you may find a new favorite product to keep with you for every game.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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