Slamming Sammy

by john on June 4, 2003

By now you’ve heard that Sammy Sosa was caught with a corked bat. You may think his legacy is broken beyond repair. Today it was found that none of the other 76 bats in his locker (damn, that must be a big locker!) where corked. His excuse that he mistakenly introduced a corked bat meant for Batting Practice seems reasonable.

Here’s my take. Sosa isn’t having a great season. He’s been hurt. In his first two games off the DL he struck out eight times. He’s sitting in the dugout sulking when he spots “the bat.” The one he pulls out in BP to put on a home run show for the crowd. The one that is harmless when used in BP and that sends the ball a mile. The one that he knows to be corked and he knows to be illegal.

“Just one swing is all I need to get out of this slump,” he thinks.

One weak grounder and a cracked bat later and all anyone wants to talk about is how long Sammy Sosa has been cheating. I’d be willing to bet it was the first time and that he got caught before he went down the slippery slope of trying not to cheat again. Imagine if he had hit a home run with that first swing. Could you put it back the next time up? I don’t think so. Hitting is contagious and athletes like Sosa feed off success.

The corked bat is a chink in his armor like the doping charges were. Together they may cost him a few Hall of Fame votes but still, you don’t hit 500+ home runs without knowing how to hit. And Sammy knows how to hit. Maybe next time he should visit a virtual tarot to see his fate first.

I just wish he would tell the truth. It’s good for people to see that athletes are only human.

{ 1 comment }

Joe Grossberg June 5, 2003 at 10:59 am

The discussion about this (when the cork was found, before the other bats were tested) on the Howard Stern show(!) got me thinking …

Why was almost no one able to crack 50 home runs for decades, and then — all of a sudden — tons of people do, with some breaking 70?

Has MLB relaxed its enforcement re: cork, steroids, suppliments, etc.?

I understand that nutrition, training and sports medicine are far better than before, but that would explain an incremental rise, not a sudden one.

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