Sammy Sosa caught tonight with a corked bat!
CHICAGO — Chicago Cubs star Sammy Sosa was ejected in the first inning of Tuesday night’s game against Tampa Bay right when umpires found cork in his shattered bat.
ESPN’s Harold Reynolds reports — after talking to a a representative in the Cubs public relations department — that Sosa will admit in his postgame presser that the bat he used tonight was corked. Sosa will say the illegal bat was used for batting practice, but somehow got mixed in with his game bats. He will add that he has never used a corked bat in a major league game before tonight. The Cubs had runners at second and third when Sosa broke his bat with a grounder to second that at first appeared to drive in a run. But crew chief Tim McClelland gathered with the other three umpires to examine the bat. Cubs manager Dusty Baker came out and the umpires showed the bat to him.
Mark Grudzielanek was sent back to third base, the run was wiped off the board and Sosa was ejected as he stood in the dugout. Umpires took part of the bat into the Cubs dugout and down the runway toward their clubhouse. Cork inside a wooden bat is thought to help players hit the ball farther and is against baseball rules. Several players have been caught using altered bats in the past, including Albert Belle, Wilton Guerrero, Billy Hatcher and Graig Nettles.
“Unfortunately, it’s a dirty mark, when you consider all he’s accomplished,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said of Sosa. “It’s really unfortunate for the game. Everybody’s scratching their heads right now. … It’s embarrassing. He’s too good of a player. It’s too bad.”
Sammy Sosa is an phoney. The press knows it, but with the “love me” smile and the dour men he has been linked with (Bonds, McGwire) the press has built him up to be some kind of Marvel superheo character. He helps them out by being accessable, happy go lucky, and quotabe. The only problem is his actions speak to the web of deceipt he has built. He has a history of coatailing (see McGwire), and managed to make himself look like the asshat he is by on serveral occassion.
Here’s the hometown Tribune calling him out (registration required).
There was the steriod flap:
Then there was Sammy’s lie about Bonds saying he wanted Sammy to break is 73 home run record:
Sosa said Bonds had told him, “I want you to break my record.”
But Bonds said he didn’t really care who passed him, adding that Sosa “was just running his mouth too much.”
Bonds indicated he didn’t mean any harm. Sosa didn’t take it that way.
From there, the words escalated.
There is the Jesus Chirst story, where he compared his sufferings as a Cub to those of Jesus. Commenting on his coach (at the time) Don Baylor saying he should improve his fielding:
“When Jesus Christ came here he tried to make everyone happy. He’s the one guy who was close to perfect and he couldn’t do it. Everybody criticized him because he was the real Messiah. So if they criticize him, what about me? That’s the way this world is.” When Jesus Christ came here he tried to make everyone happy. He’s the one guy who was close to perfect and he couldn’t do it. Everybody criticized him because he was the real Messiah. So if they criticize him, what about me? That’s the way this world is. I’ve been carrying baseball the last two years. Everything I’ve been doing in baseball in the city of Chicago — I don’t deserve this.”
“From Day One, I am the target. I play hard every day. I don’t know what else Sammy Sosa can do. I’m never hurt. Why me? I’m innocent. I feel like those comments about my defense and those things, they’re not supposed to be there. By [saying] those little things, they’re not showing me class. I’ve been here for eight years and you’re never going to see me talking against anybody in the paper or pointing a finger. From the first day until now, I’m the same person, but they’re saying negative things about me for no reason.”
“They forget everything, and when they start making some comments, especially from a person who is here for the first year … I’ve never said anything against him. What’s the whole situation here? Does he have something against me? Let me know. I mean, what did I do to you? Why does the person I play for keep saying things that are not appropriate? If I’m going to die for you, why? If I’m missing something, let me know”
“He [Baylor] hasn’t really treated me the way I’m supposed to be treated. And that’s what I’m saying. He has got no class.”
“But I’m not going to let it bother me, because I’m a horse. It takes more than that to get me down. I’m working hard, busting my ass to try to win every day. If somebody tells me that I don’t want to win, they don’t know anything about baseball. When they’re going to make some comments about me, they need to be careful about that.” -Sammy Sosa (2000 season)
There are plenty of other “Sammy is a phoney” stories out there… Expect to see them rehashed now that he can add “bat corker” to the list.
Update: In looking around for details, I happend upon Mike’s Baseball Rants. If you’re looking for more coverage, and links to all the other baseball blogs check him out…
Winds of Change has news that all of his other bats were “clean”. Doesn’t change my opinion of him as a fake.