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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Sunday, July 21

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Matt / June 6, 2003 12:39 PM

He goes 2 for 15 with nine strikeouts after coming off the DL, and accidentally picks the one bat out of 76 that has cork in it. Uh-huh. It's possible, but not likely.

Andrew / June 6, 2003 1:40 PM

That's kinda what I was thinking. I mean, why is the practice bat even in the dugout with the other bats? You'd think it would be removed to bar just this sort of "accident."

dce / June 6, 2003 2:11 PM

It would be foolish to have more than one fixed bat - what purpose would it serve? And should you get caught, having but a single bat lends credence to the claim that it was simply a "mistake".

It's all rather tragic. Especially as a corked bat does nothing for a home run hitter. Mass = Force x Acceleration, that's all there is to it. A corked bat might result in a quicker swing, but would do nothing to add distance to a hit. The net 'improvement' would be 0.

So the 505 home runs stand. Sammy made a stupid choice, but this shouldn't detract from his extraordinary accomplishments.

dce / June 6, 2003 2:12 PM

As everyone knows, Force = Mass x Acceleration. Sorry about that.

kathleen / June 6, 2003 4:40 PM

Yeah, you're not imparting more force, but you might be giving the ball more energy (since the kinetic energy of the bat is 1/2 m v squared). I'm not sure how much faster you can swing a lighter bat than a heavier one and whether momentum or energy is more important in the flight of a ball, but there is a possibility that it could help.

Look at college baseball with the light aluminum bats. They hit the balls a lot farther than they would with wood bats. The question is how much of that distance comes because aluminum is harder than wood and how much is from the faster swing. I'm not sure whether it helps or not, but it's not as simple as just f=ma.

Whether it helped or not, it was stupid.

Marc / June 6, 2003 7:32 PM

Everyone cheats. Some people just cheat more than others.

iaj / June 7, 2003 2:07 AM

actually, a corked bat does add distance to a ball. that's why he uses it during batting practice, to please the crowd.

Jeff / June 7, 2003 7:35 AM

A hardcore baseball geek checks in:

1) Sammy reportedly had a big "C" on the corked bat--great to keep track if you're using it in BP, but only a moron would do that on a bat he intended to use in a game.

2) Unlike every other guy caught with a broken corked bat in recent memory, Sammy made no effort to collect the pieces when it broke (if he'd known it was corked, it would have been the first thing he did).

and finally...

3) Does anybody who's been to a game at Wrigley really have trouble buying the idea of Sammy as such a suckup to fans, he'd use a corked BP bat just to impress? That kind of pathetic, over-the-top "showmanship" sounds just like him.

Also, corked bats have an extremely negligible effect on the distance of a batted ball; their effects are mostly mythical and have been picked apart by physicists for years.

That's my take. Anybody still awake? Anyone? Hello?

Cinnamon / June 8, 2003 11:01 PM

I could see it being an accident, and I could also see it being a last-ditch chance at giving himself a little advantage. If he never, ever, ever hits another home-run then we can all assume that the corked bat was with him all the time, but if he continues to hit home-runs without the cork, we can all safely assume his record is legit. Whether it was an accident or not, I hope he gets suspended, pays a fine, whatever is standard in this type of thing. Baseball, and sports in general, suffers from people getting a slap on the wrist just as much as it suffers from people cheating. He should take his suspension square on the jaw, and come back determined to prove his merit.

Ian / June 9, 2003 12:53 PM

He was using the corked bat to impress fans with his bat speed, not hit distance, right?

Hollie / June 9, 2003 1:15 PM

Baseball is at a crossroad where one of the best homerun hitters of his day (Sosa) probably belted most of his 500+ homeruns while on steroids. Once steroid use in baseball was exposed Sammy probably got off the juice. Since then his numbers are down and he is on the disabled list. Decreasing strength and one's body becoming more "fragile to injury" are symptoms of getting off steroids. THEN he tries to us a corked bat in a game, probably to get back into some sort of groove at the plate. The facts point to Sammy Sosa as a "multi-million-dollar-baby-athelete-post-juice-head" who i do not beleive him.

Naz / June 9, 2003 3:06 PM

Forgive and forget. It's not like he's a shitty player.

And; it's only a game. Millions of dollars are being thrown about at things that while they make make people don't make much of a change.

I'm in a world-peace-stop-the-hunger mood.

Hoo ha.

Oh and if anybody read what I had written earlier, I didn't mean that at all.

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