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Much Ado about Corking Sammy Sosa's creative carpentry made front-page news and inspired outrage, disappointment, sympathy, laughter-- and one very bad poem

June 16, 2003
June 16, 2003

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June 16, 2003

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Much Ado about Corking Sammy Sosa's creative carpentry made front-page news and inspired outrage, disappointment, sympathy, laughter-- and one very bad poem

"I hope he wasn't cheating. I'm the best player on my team, and I
kind of model myself after him."
--Ben Jones, 10, of Carol Stream, Ill.

This is an article from the June 16, 2003 issue Original Layout

"Arguably the greatest modern day slugger in baseball, Sammy
Sosa, was caught using a corked bat while playing for the Chicago
Cubs. Corked bats, illegal in baseball, launch pitches up to 10
meters further than standard wooden equipment, potentially
turning innocuous fly-balls into home runs. Need perspective?
Think 'chucking' in cricket."
--Sydney Morning Herald

"We felt it was important to remove any doubt about the integrity
of the five bats in our collection."
--Baseball Hall of Fame spokesman Jeff Idelson, after the museum
X-rayed its Sosa bats.

10. My mind was clouded by anabolic steroids.
3. If you hit home runs you get paid $20M a year, dumb ass.
--from David Letterman's Top 10 Sammy Sosa Explanations

"I think it's a conspiracy."
--Nets forward Aaron Williams

"When it was Albert Belle nobody cared Because with him it was
expected But Oh my God, it's Sammy now That's got himself
ejected."
--Fan Bill Robinson of Springfield published by the Copley News
Service

"Sosa said he keeps a corked bat to use during batting practice
because 'I like to put on a show for the fans. I like to make
people happy and show off.' I believe that. I believe gangsters
keep shotguns in their trunks to shoot rabbits. I believe the
Tooth Fairy is married to the Easter Bunny. I believe--I
guarantee I believe--that Sosa is a liar."
--Rick Telander, Chicago Sun-Times

"If a guy will cork his bat, why wouldn't he cork his body?"
--David Whitley, Orlando Sentinel

"I never heard of [bat corking] happening in Japan. If it did
happen and someone was caught, there would be much shame."
--Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners outfielder

"I believe that's a Pete Rose."
--Jay Leno

"Unless he can somehow prove otherwise, Sammy Sosa is a fraud and
all of his home runs are now tainted."
--Bill Madden, Daily News, New York

"The way [the media] is portraying him because he's a Latin,
black athlete is completely wrong. I guarantee you if this were
Mark McGwire or Cal Ripken Jr., a so-called 'protected athlete,'
an 'All-American' name, this would have never happen."
--Jose Canseco on ESPN

"I was one of his fans but not anymore because it's too big of a
fraud, not just for him but for us Dominicans."
--Rolfi Lajana Santana, 16, a high school student and pitcher in
Sosa's hometown, San Pedro de Marcoris, D.R. (in the Chicago Tribune)

"You'll never see Sammy Sosa doing this in public."
--Ducks forward Dan Bylsma, while honing his sticks before Game 5
of the NHL finals

"Nothing has changed for me.... I am not a fair-weather fan of
Sammy Sosa."
--Representative Luis Gutierrez (D., Ill.), after the House
reexamined its June 5 372-0 resolution to honor Sosa for his
500th home run; the resolution was upheld, and Gutierrez
presented Sosa with a copy of it last Friday

"There has been a surprising amount of shock and horror and
righteous indignation over the fact that Sammy Sosa
cheated."
--The Globe and Mail, Toronto

"He goes to chapel with us every Sunday.... If God forgives you,
you really shouldn't worry about what other people think."
--Cubs manager Dusty Baker

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"Davis Love found Knight dead in the hunting cabin"
--LOVE'S TRYING TIME, PAGE 26