"The first thing that went through my mind," said his former Cubs teammate, Turk Wendell, on Tuesday, "was why would a guy like that be using cork? In my eyes, I could see guys who are little shortstops, who hit two or three home runs a year, using a corked bat so they could maybe hit one or two more homers. But Sammy doesn't hit paint-scrapers. He doesn't need help getting his balls to go out of the park. He hits moon shots. So I don't understand why he'd use a corked bat. ... Now everything else he's done has question marks around it. His home run records, everything. It's all surrounded by question marks." [thanks to Jayson Stark for the quote]
Depressing ... Sosa last weekend was a hero for hitting the game winning hit (his first one he got after coming back from the DL) in the 16th inning in a 1-0 game vs the Astros. This time, I presume he timed it since the umpire involved already has his moment in history, he "accidently" (I guess so, it was the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for crying out loud) picking up the corked bat he used to wow the fans during batting practice. This is lame in itself, but again he is just off injury, and that maybe is the reason he used the bat.
[After all, after he came off injury, he struck out eight times, and had to deal with the indignity of having the guy in front of him intentionally walked ... and they got the out. He got his revenge later in the game, but surely, yesterday's game was not the game to cork one's bat, right?]
It taints him. I think McGuire, legal or not, was tainted for using supplements. Now, Sosa does something truly stupid like this. A local reporter over my way said that while he sits out his suspension, the bats in the Hall of Fame from his key home runs should be X-rayed. An investigation will be made, but how can you prove or disprove this? Obviously, most of the bats are gone. If any cork is found, the reporter suggests Sosa should be kicked out of baseball. This very well might be justified ... either way, his record will be tainted forever. Along with past whispering that Sosa is kind of a s.o.b. at times, it will always be used to tar him.
The Cubs can't be in first place w/o being punished, I guess. Well, perhaps they can stop Clemens (again) from failing to get his 300th win ... he is matched up with Kerry Wood ... and the Yanks are having trouble buying a win [16th inning marathon with the Astros? how about a 17th inning marathon with the Tigers?!]. That's always something, right? Mets fans btw would love it if Kerry "accidently" hit him ... when one of their pitchers tried to do it, he missed. The pitcher, Estes, incidentially is now with the Cubs, so it's only fair.
Other Stuff: Thomas Friedman today has a column discussing how there are various reasons why we fought with Iraq, the real, the moral, the right, and the stated. The stated (WMDs), as many have been reporting, is looking more and more to be at best overblown, at worst fraudulent. The real reason was that we needed to fight someone in the Middle East after 9/11, and Saddam was the easiest target. The moral reason was to get rid of a murderous dictator, while the "right" reason (his reason) was to help pave the way to a freer society in Iraq and the region as a whole. The real reason is sadly cynical, the moral reason selective, and the right reason questionable ... there was other ways to go about it. A honest column all the same. Another good column discusses the limitations of the Family Medical Leave Act and the decision that upheld it.