Thursday, June 5, 2003
First, this site is now 1 week old, with the first posting being last Thursday. We are up over 225 hits since then, which equates to over 30 hits a day. In the next week, I’d love to double that amount and be at 750 hits by the end of next week! So again, thank you for coming to this site. I hope that my thoughts and opinions can make you think. And, as always, please feel free to E-mail me to express your thoughts on anything I write about, or maybe something you would like me to write about. Tell everyone you know who enjoys sports discussion to check it out, bookmark it, and check back every day.
I got an e-mail yesterday from someone named Melissa O who read the “Who’s the Greatest Hitter?” article from Tuesday. See below (and yes, I ensured that Melissa O was OK with me publishing this)
Melissa O: I have a comment… I am very upset that Dan Gladden is not in you top 8 baseball players.
Seth: I certainly do apologize whole-heartedly for my obvious error in judgment. To have so blatantly left the Dazzle Man out of the discussion of the Top 8 baseball players of all-time is clearly wrong! Again, I sincerely apologize for such an oversight!
See? I’ll read and reply to anything!!!
By the way, thank you to Aaron Gleeman at Aaron’s Baseball Blog for linking to this website. Right now, I’m still in his “Down on the Farm” section, but I hope to someday move up to the “Pinch Hitter” level! I know that if you enjoy reading my thoughts each day, you will really love reading Aaron’s!
ENOUGH ALREADY! (The Sammy Sosa Story)
I don’t think I really need much of a lead-in to this story. In case you’ve been locked away, under some rocks, or in a cave in the Amazon… Sammy Sosa’s bat broke during the first inning and it was found to be corked.
Now, to be fair, I am a huge Sammy Sosa fan. He’s definitely one of my favorite players. I think most of that stems back to 1998 when he and Mark McGwire were bearing in on 61 home runs. Mark McGwire was clearly getting fed up and annoyed by the press. Sosa seemed to just be enjoying the moment. But, when I saw him at his locker being interviewed after a game, I was fully impressed. He would answer two or three questions in English, then take two or three more question from Spanish speaking media. And do that with a smile and truly seem like he was enjoying it really impressed me.
Sosa’s smile and personality with the media has really made him the marketable player that he has become. He’s been great with the media and they’ve been fair with him.
That might be the biggest disappointment to me, how the media is reacting to this corked bat incident. First, Sosa called a press conference and said all the right things! There have been incidents like this, and all denied any wrong-doing. Sammy Sosa told the media that he made a mistake. He told them that he uses the bat in batting practice to put on a show for the fans. I have no problem with this. Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan, announcing the Reds/Yankees game last night, told the story of how he once had a bat corked to use in batting practice. He said it didn’t help at all so he threw it out. In a later game, he had a bad AB and flew out and thought the bat seemed bad somehow. He checked the bat and found out that it was the same corked bat. He got rid of it right away. So, clearly, it is very possible that Sosa did indeed accidentally use the BP, corked bat.
Sosa has answered all the questions, he did it with a sincerity that was hard to ignore. He has been upfront, admitted guilt and understands that this will mean that he will be suspended. The media is treating this as the story of the decade! It’s ridiculous. As Sosa himself said last night, the media is “treating me like I’m some kind of criminal.” Baseball Tonight has spent more than half its time slot discussing the incident. I didn’t see it, but apparently ESPN used a two hour time slot this afternoon to discuss this issue with agents and manufacturers and scientists and players.
There have been some ridiculous questions asked in the last 24-48 hours:
Does this taint his career accomplishments, the 500 home runs, etc.? HUH? Why? Especially when it came out today that Major League baseball has X-rayed the other 76 bats Sosa has with him and NONE of them were found to have any cork. This remains consistent with Sosa’s story. The bat he hit his 498th career home run with was sawed and checked and it found nothing. I have no doubt in my mind that Sosa is being truthful. Many doctors have come out and said that adding cork to a bat doesn’t actually help the ball go further. The only thing it does is makes the bat a little lighter. In a way, bat corking is very much like the steroid question that was brought up in the last year. The hitter still has to put the good part of the bat on the 90 mph fastball, the sharp breaking pitches, etc. Sammy Sosa is a great hitter, he has power, he doesn’t need to cork his bat.
Now that said, I think Sosa will get, and deserves, a lengthy suspension. However, if it is any more than 10-12 games, he absolutely should appeal. The precedent has been set. No one (Wilton Guerrero, Albert Belle, Chris Sabo, Billy Hatcher) has been suspended more that ten games. I believe that this was an accident. Only one person, Sammy Sosa, truly knows the truth of that.
And PLEASE, DON’T be at all affected by hearing what Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated has to say about this. He has personal issues against Sosa and is definitely letting those feelings affect what he is saying about Sammy.
This event in no way affects how I feel about Sammy Sosa or respect him and his game. Give the guy the benefit of the doubt. He’s earned it!
Of course, if I were a cynic, I would ask if Sosa’s ball would still have gone further than Giambi’s up Mt. Everest!!!
Speaking of earning respect - Why do so many people not like Barry Bonds? Is it because 14 years ago, he got caught on tape yelling at Pirate manager Jim Leyland in spring training? Is it because he doesn’t tell all to the media? Is it because he prefers to keep his personal life personal? A couple years ago, he made a concerted effort to talk more with the media, and what did he get for that… most media questioning his motive? I just don’t get it! The guy can flat out hit. Again, if you look at my rankings of the top 8 all-time hitters in major league history, and he ranked 4th on my list. And, with three or four more solid years, he’ll keep moving up. I’d say those numbers deserve some respect. Who cares what he’s like off the field, if he puts up such astonishing numbers? #2 on the list, Ted Williams, who many do consider the best hitter ever, was never really liked either. Joe Dimaggio wasn’t well-liked by everyone. And Ty Cobb wasn’t liked by anyone.
Twins Stuff -
Johan Santana is back in the Twins rotation! Rick Reed’s back acted up again, and this time enough to put him on the Disabled List today. Reliever Michael Nakamura was called up from Rochester to take his spot on the roster.
I won’t go into the players the Twins drafted today in rounds 21-50. However, I am very much surprised, and almost disappointed that the Twins didn’t draft RHP Bill Mauer. Mauer ended up not being drafted by anyone. Very few Day 2 drafted players make it to the majors anyway. So, why wouldn’t the Twins draft Mauer in the 50th round and sign him with a $50 signing bonus? Would have been a nice gesture.
It’s fun to see Rivas diving to his left and his right in this Giants series. Say what you want about him having slow feet (which I agree with) and possibly poor positioning (which I definitely agree with, however, I feel that the coaches should be moving him too), but Rivas’ effort can’t be questioned. Guzman on the other hand, his nonchalant style sets him up for much criticism of his effort. As I asked the other day, when is the last time we’ve seen Guzman dive?
How to mess up the start of a potentially big inning 101 - Taught by the Twins. Top of the 6th, Rookie Jerome Williams walks the first two batters of the inning, Torii Hunter and Doug Mientkiewicz. For some reason, Ron Gardenhire had Dustan Mohr bunt. Not necessarily a bad move, but not with Mohr hitting. How frequently has Mohr bunted? That didn’t have much chance of being successful. However, Dustan Mohr has not been close to hitting in the last two games, that maybe Gardy had him bunt to stay out of a double-play. Anyway, with one out now, Torii Hunter decided to attempt to steal 3B. Why??????? OK, then the next pitch, AJ Pierzynski popped up to shallow RF. So, the Twins go from promising inning to nothing in 3 pitches.
Gotta love the new Torii Hunter “Gotta See ‘em” commercial! That’s good stuff!
Well, Radke deserved better. He pitched great for 7 innings. Romero was brought in and again contributed nothing. Hawkins came in again and somehow kept the game at 3-3. Then Juan Rincon was brought in for the bottom of the 9th. Walks kill, and they definitely did. None more than the walk to Rich Aurilia. But, Rincon also deserved better. I think the second 3-2 curveball that Rincon threw not only fooled Aurilia, but fooled the ump! With the strike not being called, Barry Bonds came up with the bases loaded and two outs and on the first pitch won the game on a single to right scoring Jose Cruz.
NBA FINALS -
The San Antonio Spurs won big tonight (101-89), taking the 1-0 lead into Friday’s game 2. Tim Duncan led the way with 32 points, 20 rebounds, 6 assists and 7 blocks. I know I thought that KG deserved the MVP, but it is impossible to ever argue against Tim Duncan!
I finally watched the first episode of American Juniors last night. Great show! I missed it Tuesday night and had to tape it. Great show. Unlike American Idol, where there was just one winner, this show will create a band of five members. The contestants seem to vary from age six through thirteen. However, most that are going to Hollywood seem to be between nine and thirteen. I already have picked my winner. Chantel Kohl, a 13-year old from Omaha, Nebraska. She’s got a great voice! But the cutest kid has to be six year old Taylor Longbrake from Corona, CA.
Have a great Thursday!
Back to Archives Home