June 11, 2003
it ain’t Sosa
June 3, 2003, Chicago Cubs superstar Sammy Sosa used
corked bat, and the media are having a field
day. If corked bats are illegal in regular competition,
why do they exist at all? Doesn’t their use in
exhibitions render those exhibitions a fraud?
I believe Sosa has broken a trust with the fans. Do
It would have been wonderful for baseball
if Sammy Sosa had come forward and say: “It just ain’t
so!” (He would have had to communicate that the
incident was not of his making and the bat did not belong
to him.) Failing that, let’s hope that, as Sosa
has professed, the “corked bat incident” was
truly a mistake and will never happen again.
Either way, we must live in the real world. This incident
is about market economics and individual greed.
The lawyers and the media definitely are having a field
day asking a few of their favorite questions:
Apparently what is natural, a baseball
bat and a baseball, neither of which has been juiced
up, is no longer deemed
adequate by certain owners and players. Baseball appears
to have turned toward the “carnival atmosphere” and
risks making a farce of what once called “our National
Pastime.” Legitimate games, at whatever level, from amateurs on
the sandlot to the professionals in big league parks,
are designed to place every participant on the same fair
When greed displaces legitimate competition, cheating
creeps in, and integrity has become little more than
a catch phrase punctuated by the wink of the carnival
If this recent Sammy Sosa “corking the bat” incident
is properly addressed, then baseball will be the stronger
and fans will not lose confidence in the sport, its players,
the owners or the agents. Do we really need a corked
bat anywhere, anytime or for any reason? If not, get
rid of them, once and for all.
should all parties not be forthright in communicating
the circumstances that lead to the
event; and should
appropriate evidence not be presented regarding
the real problems (creating false images of players
incredible distances, with illegal bats), then
fans will have reason to assume that fraud and deceit
and well – even with Major League Baseball.
Confidence in the game’s integrity will
suffer yet another blow. Any actions short of
full disclosure will simply
create another corporate scandal covered over
with “cork” and
empty promises about truth, honest competition
and integrity in leadership.
Oh, Sammy, say it isn’t so!