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 15, 2003

"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.

"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

B/W ILLUSTRATION: BOB GORRELL/CREATORS SYNDICATE B/W PHOTO: ART STREIBER B/W ILLUSTRATION: MIKE LANE-THE BALTIMORE SUN/CAGLE CARTOONS INC. COLOR PHOTO: JOSEPH P. MEIER-TINLEY PARK DAILY SOUTHTOWN/AP COLOR PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER LITTLE/CBS COLOR ILLUSTRATION: MARSHALL RAMSEY/COPLEY NEWS SERVICE B/W ILLUSTRATION: MIKE KEEFE-THE DENVER POST/CAGLE CARTOONS INC COLOR PHOTO: ANDRES LEIGHTON/AP COLOR PHOTO: WWW.FOOTBALLFANATICS.COM COLOR PHOTO: COURTESY OF NBC COLOR PHOTO: JONATHAN DANIEL/GETTY IMAGES COLOR PHOTO: ARCHIVO ICONOGRAFICO, SA/CORBIS

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

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)