By Tony McClean
Updated: August 8, 2007

Sammy SosaBRONX, NY.— I deliberately waited to comment on the whole Sammy Sosa incident because I wanted to see the predictable reaction from the media and the fans.

Lemme turn on the TV…….

NEWS FLASH: This just in……With exception of one corked bat, Sammy Sosa’s other 70 bats were clean. But in a statement released from the White House, weapons of mass destruction were found within the ivy-covered walls of Wrigley Field.

NEWS FLASH: This just in…….Three of Sammy Sosa’s bats were found in the grassy knoll near Dealy Plaza in Dallas. Representatives from the Warren Commission were unavailable for comment. In a prepared statement, Albert Belle said, “Thanks, Sammy.

I’m off the hook.”

NEWS FLASH: This just in……An alledged betting scandal on the 1998 home run race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa was uncovered today. Apparently, many dollars came from the Cincinnati area. Several on-line bets under the name of “hit king 4192” were recovered under an unknown address.

Those headlines (as true as they may sound) aren’t true, but you get the idea.

But lets get to the crux of the matter. Whether it was a mistake or not, Sammy was wrong to use the bat and he should be suspended for his actions.

I was a little troubled to see him appeal the 8-game suspension.

I’d would be more understanding if he had taken his medicine and said I’ll see you in eight days or so.

His agent claimed the punishment didn’t fit the crime. How can you be humble and embarrassed in one minute to angry and accusatory the next?

Could it be because of pressure from the networks (i.e., ESPN and FOX) so he’ll play in this weekend’s interleague series with the Yankees? The same networks who have taken turns jabbing at Sosa?

No, we’re not blaming the messenger. But both networks have been hyping this series for the last few weeks. They were the ones that had the most to gain and the most to lose as well.


Whether we want to believe it or not, there was some subtle prejudice involved in the reporting of this event. Was it the main factor?

No, but to dismiss it would a bit naive.

Sosa wasn’t suspended because he’s a Latin ballplayer, he was suspended because he broke a rule. But the backlash by several white media members was really sad and embarrassing.

There are some that say this may hurt his chances of being voted into the Hall of Fame. You mean the way it hurt admitted spitball artist Gaylord Perry? The way it hurt devout racist Ty Cobb? The way it hurt admitted scuffballer Whitey Ford?


You tell me. If both were ruled eligible today, who would get in first: Pete Rose or Sammy Sosa? Both cheated on the game of baseball, but Rose (gambling) is a sympathetic figure and Sosa (corking) is the new Hitler and Hussein all rolled into one.

The real unfortunate thing now is that every MLB player will be under unreal scrutiny. Whenever Barry Bonds or Carlos Delgado hits one a mile, the whispers will start. Guilt by association is dangerous and is one main reason why McCarthyism was able to thrive during the fifties.

Baseball must also look at itself in the mirror as well. For years, it’s always dealt with things of this nature by looking the other way. To paraphrase TNT announcer Kevin Harlan, baseball has now taken another public relations hit “right between the eyes”.

So what do I really think?

NFL training camps open in July. I cant wait.