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franklin county times

Slammin' Sammy Sosa uncorked

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
June 6, 2003
The next time some up-and-coming band or just the local tavern musicians cover Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson," you think we can get them to change a line.
Instead of "Where have you gone Joe DiMiggio? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you," let's make it "Where was your head Sammy Sosa? A nation turns a questionable eye to you. Woo-who-who."
It's been done with remakes of movies, heck even our constitutional amendments have a few dabs of white out here and here, so there shouldn't be any problem changing a line from a pop song from the 60s.
Sosa's batting faux pas has been well documented and scrutinized since that fateful night at Wrigley Field just Tuesday, but for those who missed it or just want to read it again here are the main points of the Dominican slugger's blunder.
Sosa, one of the biggest bombers in the history of the game, recently returned from taking a heater to the noggin' and is walking to the plate in the first inning.
The only slugger in history to put together three straight 60-plus home run seasons brings with him one of the most devastating swings in the bigs to the plate, known for spraying lumber across nearly every ballpark in America.
Sosa shatters his bat, and the evidence of his cork-filled stick spews across the infield leaving him caught red handed.
The Cubs' outfielder is tossed from the game and numbers for how long his suspension will be start flying faster than a stock ticker during a bull market.
Sosa doesn't flee the scene of his baseball crime, instead the man who has reportedly the highest Q-rating of any player in the majors comes out of the clubhouse after the game to explain to anyone that will listen that he "grabbed the wrong bat."
It seems the corked lumber is only supposed to be taking out of the bat bag for batting practice, so he can put on a home-run exhibition for all of the fans. Riiiiiiiight.
Sosa has already been marked as a top suspect in players juicing up with steroids, an accusation he didn't just vehemently denied but almost got into a bruh-ha-ha over with Sports Illustrated's Rick Reilly.
Just to cap off bat-gate 2003, Sosa was caught cheating in a game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Go ahead read those last four words again TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS.
That's right, the Devil Rays current record 21-35. A team 11 1/2 games out of the American League East Division race.
Arguably the worst team ever assembled on a ball field, if not for the Detroit Tigers. This is the team that Slammin' Sammy decides he needs a little extra edge to compete against.
Sosa has hit 505 homers, and he felt the need to cheat against Jeremi Gonzalez, career record 20-17, with a 4.56 ERA.
Gonzalez came into the game with a 2-1 mark this year and an even three for an ERA. In essence, this is not a man to fear.
A batter in the twilight of his career, trying to hang on for just one more Major League check cheating against say a Roger Clemens or Randy Johnson makes a little more sense.
But Sammy Sosa, the new Mr. Cub, the prototype for long-ball hitters every where cheating against Jeremi Gonzalez, what is that?
Jeremi Gonzalez not only doesn't ranked in the top five of pitchers in the league, he doesn't even come close to cracking the list of best Gonzalez in the league.
Coming in a very far behind two-time MVP Juan Gonzalez, who is with Rangers, and the Diamondbacks World Series hero Luis Gonzalez, just to name a few in front of Jeremi.
All this just leads everyone to say, "Sammy what were you thinking?"
Sosa proved to be a man by not fleeing and answering the hard questions after the game. Most players would have been in their tinted window roadster so fast and scarfing down room service at the four-star hotel after the cork bat was exposed, it would have set a new land speed record.
But the simple fact is, you don't have to explain yourself when you don't cheat. Also, Sosa is built for home runs, he shouldn't have to cheat.