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Thread: Chicago Tribune: Cubs had 70 corked bats on hand when Sammy was caught

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    Smells Like Teen Spirit jmcclain19's Avatar
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    Chicago Tribune: Cubs had 70 corked bats on hand when Sammy was caught

    This story astounds me - talk about cheating on a mass scale

    http://chicagosports.chicagotribune....home-headlines

    '03 Sosa episode was real corker
    Some believe lots of Cubs bats were suspect that year

    Monday night's Home Run Derby in San Francisco brought out some of the game's biggest boppers.

    The high-stakes, made-for-TV All-Star event also conjured up tales of corked bats.

    Former Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa, who won the competition in 2000 at Turner Field in Atlanta, was caught with cork in his bat on June 3, 2003, in the first inning of a game against Tampa Bay. He was ejected and subsequently suspended for eight games.

    Sosa, who claimed he mistakenly picked up the corked bat he used to put on a show for fans during batting practice, appealed and had the suspension reduced to seven games.

    Watching Sosa's bat explode from the visitors' dugout were then Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella and Tampa Bay hitting coach Lee Elia.

    "The only thing I can remember about that corked bat situation was that Toby Hall, our catcher, came back to our bench and one of the other players said: 'What's going on?' " Elia said Monday.

    "Hall said, 'We jammed Sammy, and all of these things came out of his bat. I didn't know what to do. All I could do was point down at the ground and the rest was taken over by the umpire.' "

    Elia, a former Cubs manager and now a scout for Tampa Bay, has spent 48 years in major-league baseball. He says he is not sure if any of the Cubs' bats were corked.

    "I am probably kind of naïve to that kind of stuff. I never really stuck my nose into anybody's affairs," he said. "Even in all of my years as a hitting coach, there were times when I might have thought a player was using a different model bat, but I never got into a conversation about a guy using a bat that might be corked or loaded in some way."

    Sosa did not win the Home Run Derby in 2002 at Miller Park in Milwaukee. But he put on quite a show before confessed steroid abuser Jason Giambi walked home with the first-place money.

    Sosa blasted seven home runs that went 500 feet or more, nine that went 490 or more and 10 that went at least 480 feet.

    Several sources close to the Cubs have told me Sosa was not the only Cubs player who used a corked bat, at least in 2003. On the night Sosa's bat exploded for all to see, officials from Major League Baseball notified the Cubs organization during the game that they had one hour to get rid of any other corked bats of Sosa's in the team's clubhouse before they came down to inspect his arsenal of bats. More than 70 marked corked bats then were extricated quickly by Cubs personnel from the clubhouse, about a third of them belonging to other players.

    "Yeah, I heard that story, but I never saw [the corked bats]," said Tom Goodwin, who was with the Cubs in 2003. "If they got them out, then they got them out awfully fast. But I would be almost certain that there would be more than just one. Maybe a couple of boxes of [corked] bats, something like that."

    Goodwin, now the manager of the Lewisville (Texas) Lizards of the independent Continental Baseball League, said he never used a corked bat in a game, as his 24 career homers in 14 seasons might attest.

    "I had enough problems hitting the ball on the nose anyway," said Goodwin, a .268 career hitter.

    But Goodwin does not discount the likelihood other Cubs players may have used doctored bats.

    "You never know what is going through a guy's mind," he said. "Maybe he doesn't feel comfortable with his swing at the time. Maybe the corked bat brings him confidence.

    "For Sammy to do that, I don't think he would do that on purpose, because why would he have to? With the strength and power that he had ..."

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  3. #2
    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune: Cubs had 70 corked bats on hand when Sammy was caught

    Why would MLB give them advance notice that they were coming? What would be the point of an inspection if they're going to give them a chance to clear everything out? It doesn't make sense.

    Also, if 1/3 of the bats belonged to other players, do we then assume that 2/3 of that 70 belonged to Sosa? That's a lot of corked bats for one guy to have. Should this eliminate Sosa from HOF consideration? IMO, it should. Stuff like this didn't hurt Gaylord Perry's chances for enshrinement into the hallowed halls, however.
    Last edited by macro; 07-15-2007 at 05:56 PM.

    Help stamp out, eliminate, and do away with redundancy.

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    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune: Cubs had 70 corked bats on hand when Sammy was caught

    Even with tainted bats, the Cubs can't win.

    Priceless.

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune: Cubs had 70 corked bats on hand when Sammy was caught

    Quote Originally Posted by macro View Post
    Why would MLB give them advance notice that they were coming? What would be the point of an inspection if they're going to give them a chance to clear everything out? It doesn't make sense.

    Also, if 1/3 of the bats belonged to other players, do we then assume that 2/3 of that 70 belonged to Sosa? That's a lot of corked bats for one guy to have. Should this eliminate Sosa from HOF consideration? IMO, it should. Stuff like this didn't hurt Gaylord Perry's chances for enshrinement into the hallowed halls, however.
    There are inspections and then there are *inspections*...

    MLB doesn't really give a hoot about anything that stimulates homers.....until they have too... With Sosa and the pile of cork captured on film for all to see, they didn't have a choice.

    The irony of Sosa and corking is that it actually ADDS to his legacy... There is a lot of intrigue (i.e. players climbing through the ducts to retrieve the offending bats etc) related to that incident that will go down more as lore that enhances baseball tradition than as a black mark. This latest revelation only adds more color to the story. Really, is anyone outside of some old fans in Brooklyn demanding the Giants give the pennant to the Dodgers because they may have been stealing signs in 1951 by using a telescope hidden in the Polo grounds scoreboard?
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: Chicago Tribune: Cubs had 70 corked bats on hand when Sammy was caught

    Quote Originally Posted by macro View Post
    Why would MLB give them advance notice that they were coming? What would be the point of an inspection if they're going to give them a chance to clear everything out? It doesn't make sense.
    I think it would have looked terrible at the time if the Cubs got caught with 70corked bats. Not something baseball wanted after Sammy already got caught.

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    Manliness Personified HumnHilghtFreel's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune: Cubs had 70 corked bats on hand when Sammy was caught

    Quote Originally Posted by AvesIce51 View Post
    I think it would have looked terrible at the time if the Cubs got caught with 70corked bats. Not something baseball wanted after Sammy already got caught.
    Agreed. It's all damage control, if true. 70 bats looks like its a problem running rampant, rather than being able to pin the problem on one guy. Sounds kind of like a certain Bonds guy who gets a lot more flak.

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    Member Phhhl's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune: Cubs had 70 corked bats on hand when Sammy was caught

    "For Sammy to do that, I don't think he would do that on purpose, because why would he have to? With the strength and power that he had ..."

    Yeah, Sammy didn't need to stoop to that level. He had the steroids.

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune: Cubs had 70 corked bats on hand when Sammy was caught

    Quote Originally Posted by Santo Alcala View Post
    "For Sammy to do that, I don't think he would do that on purpose, because why would he have to? With the strength and power that he had ..."

    Yeah, Sammy didn't need to stoop to that level. He had the steroids.
    I think everyone is forgetting that he only corked for the fans during batting practice. Who knows how that one corked bat mistakenly made it into the game bats???????
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: Chicago Tribune: Cubs had 70 corked bats on hand when Sammy was caught

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    I think everyone is forgetting that he only corked for the fans during batting practice. Who knows how that one corked bat mistakenly made it into the game bats???????


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    Re: Chicago Tribune: Cubs had 70 corked bats on hand when Sammy was caught

    Several sources close to the Cubs
    There's no real proof here of anything about the other players/bats beyond what we all saw in front of our eyes with Sammy. I'm certainly not sticking up for the Cubs, but I'd like to see more info.

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    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune: Cubs had 70 corked bats on hand when Sammy was caught

    You have to remember where Sosa came from. He grew up dirt poor and had several lack luster season with the Rangers before going to the Cubs. At some point I think Sammy realized that he would do anything and everything to make more money. He made a heck of a lot of money but IMO he cheated his way to that.

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    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune: Cubs had 70 corked bats on hand when Sammy was caught

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    You have to remember where Sosa came from. He grew up dirt poor and had several lack luster season with the Rangers before going to the Cubs.
    He also made more money during those seasons with the Rangers than you ro I will ever see. My tears runneth not for poor Sammy.
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

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    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune: Cubs had 70 corked bats on hand when Sammy was caught

    Before we (REDS fans) get too hot-n-bothered about corked bats...

    Since 1970 there have been 6 players caught using a corked bat during a game. Craig Nettles, Billy Hatcher, Albert Belle, Chris Sabo, Wilton Guerrero and Sammy Sosa. 1/2 of these players were REDS players during their careers. Only one was busted with the cork while playing with the REDS (Sabo). One is currently a REDS coach.

    Sure, sure... none of them were guilty (it was just an accident or a mistake). Kind of like "Shawshank Redemption" when the convicts all claim to be innocent.

    I am not saying it is right to cheat, but cheating has happened in all sports since sports began. I do not hold it against Sosa anymore than I hold it against Hatcher, Sabo or Guerrero. They got caught and paid the price with suspensions and fines. Competition is a great thing, but brings out the cheater in some. Happens in all sports... nothing new there and not a story IMO. The real story is if MLB is known to have covered it up.
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

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    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune: Cubs had 70 corked bats on hand when Sammy was caught

    Quote Originally Posted by RedFanAlways1966 View Post

    I am not saying it is right to cheat, but cheating has happened in all sports since sports began. I do not hold it against Sosa anymore than I hold it against Hatcher, Sabo or Guerrero. They got caught and paid the price with suspensions and fines. Competition is a great thing, but brings out the cheater in some. Happens in all sports... nothing new there and not a story IMO. The real story is if MLB is known to have covered it up.
    MLB allowed Gaylord Perry to be elected to the Hall of Fame. When it came to cheating in baseball, Perry made Rose look like a rank rookie.

    You're right, there's no story here, none at all. You can bet MLB covered it up (no pun intended...).

    Stark on cheating in baseball (2005): http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/column...son&id=2129882

    Here in America, nothing outrages us as a society more than cheating.

    Unless, of course, it's a pitcher who is doing it.

    We want Rafael Palmeiro to quit, to confess, to be thrown in the slammer by Congress and to be kept out of Cooperstown, N.Y., -- even if we have to call in the National Guard.

    But Gaylord Perry can sign autographs for 20 bucks a scribble every year on Hall of Fame Induction Day. And Whitey Ford can pose for pictures with our wives and our fathers and our babies outside the Doubleday Cafe.

    So why is that? We'd love to have someone explain it to us.

    It's a phenomenon we've noticed since Steroid Mania began raging in our streets. And we know we're not the only ones who have.

    For some reason, there is only one form of cheating that seems to offend us anymore. And that is guys who cheat to hit more home runs. Period.

    No one grumbles about pitchers who scuff up baseballs with their belt buckles and their wedding rings.

    No one screams about pitchers who fiddle with their cap, wipe their brow, rub their hands through their hair gel and then fire pitches that break three feet.

    No one calls a talk show about middle relievers or fifth starters who test positive for illegally ingesting whatever.

    But Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Palmeiro are right up there with Al Capone, Vincent Gotti and Jack the Ripper: Criminals. Hoodlums. Disgraces to their sport and to their planet....
    Last edited by Always Red; 07-16-2007 at 12:56 PM.

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Tribune: Cubs had 70 corked bats on hand when Sammy was caught

    Quote Originally Posted by RedFanAlways1966 View Post
    The real story is if MLB is known to have covered it up.
    Maybe George Mitchell can investigate the "Great Cork Cover Up of 2003" next?
    /r/reds


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