I wonder how long this has been going on.
He’s a corker!
Do corked bats really work that much better than solid wood bats? How do you cork a bat and not have it shatter everytime you hit a baseball? It’s essentially almost a wood shell at that point isn’t it?
There’s actually a good deal of debate as to whether corking a bat helps or hurts. IIRC, it was discussed in a book entitled The Physics of Baseball.
Somehow, I doubt Sammy ever read that book.
I wonder what kind of long term effect this will have on his reputation?
Come back, Albert, all is forgiven!
I’m not a yank, so could you explain what a ‘corked’ bat is - I assume that it is one that gives extra power or something.
I cricket, while there is a width limit for bats, there is no limit on the length/weight. I believe the Indian team got in a bit of trouble during the world cup this year for having wider bats.
This is really odd. I doubt he’s been doing it a lot, it would seem he would’ve gotten caught by now cuz those bats break easily.
Still, I bet it tarnishes his reputation and some people will even begin to doubt his HR numbers.
Either way, a really dumb move on his part. Wonder if some fringe player will be sent forward to say the bat was his and Sosa was just using it.
A corked bat generally has a hole drilled in the “fat” end of the bat, something like 12-18 inches deep, maybe half an inch wide. Cork (or other substances - those little rubber “super” balls have been used) is then placed in the hollow space, then the hole is “sealed” up somehow. How that is done, I’m not totally clear.
The idea behind using a corked bat does have some validity. Larger bat = more surface area and a larger “sweet spot” for contact. The obvious disadvantage is more weight and slower bat speed. Cork fixes that little problem.
There’s a current GQ thread about corked bats going on here, if anyone’s interested.
Here’s the deal. Sosa’s bat broke in the first inning of the game. The camera’s caught a shot of the corked spot it was about the size of a half dollar and it was basically at the base of the head of the bat. The local guys are saying that it looks like a pathetic attempt at a cork job. They also caught a glimpse of a letter “C” written on the bat, more on that in a sec.
Sosa came to the press conference and said that he basically screwed up and accidentally grabbed the wrong bat. He said that he used a corked bat for use in BP to impress the fans.
MLB conficated his bat and all other bats he had in the dugout and clubhouse.
Now, I’m a Cubs fan and I want to believe him. And having watched a lot of his games, I’d say he breaks a bat at least every other game. His homeruns are usually 400 feet plus and I see no reason he’d need to cork a bat. If MLB finds that no other bats are corked, I’m thinking that the “C” on the bat would mean that he labeled it so he’d know. If you’re trying to sneak something like that by you wouldn’t label the corked one with a “C” IMHO. With the number of bats that he breaks it’d be unrealitic to think that he’d be using them often, and impossible that he wouldn’t have been caught before now. His reaction after the hit didn’t look like one of someone who knew he was using a corked bat.
Thats what I think, and hope.
I’m giving the man the benefit of the doubt. If any of the other bats are found to have cork then we have a problem, but I can see this happening as a mistake. Somebody out there will review the last few years tapes. They will zoom in and out trying to get every little detail they can about whether or not he was using corked bats. And as many homeruns as he has had in the last few years, someone certainly has their work cut out for them.
Omniscient, I agree with you completely. And I’ve never liked Sosa.
I don’t care about baseball at all, so it really doesn’t matter to me, but I hate to see anybody automatically found guilty in the media. Innocent until proven guilty. This happened once and he says it was a mistake. There’ll be an investigation, but in the meantime he gets the benefit of the doubt.
Not that I condone it but cheating is almost a part of baseball.
Gaylord Perry is infamous for throwing a spitter, which he freely admits, as his bread and butter for years and he’s in the Hall of Fame. Corking a bat is no worse, IMO. Getting caught putting grease on a ball or scuffing it gets you tossed everytime. I say the hypocrisy is disgusting but the cheating is not that unusual.
Update: Early reports are indicating that the MLB confiscated 76 bats from the clubhouse and dugout and tested them all and found that none were corked. We’re awaiting apress conference.
Liked the link, japatlgt. But I don’t get this one.
What would that do?
Rilch, essentially the same thing as spitting on it. Rubbing stuff on the ball (e.g.: Vaseline, hair gel, spit, sandpaper) causes it to no longer be a perfect sphere, thus messing up it’s dynamics. This is also one reason that baseballs are replaced so often.
Scuffing a ball should actually make some difference. Science seems to indicate that corking a bat would do little or nothing. Some have theorized it would increase bat velocity by only 1% (ESPN commented this would mean it would make a 400-foot homer for Sammy 404 feet instead), and it probably doesn’t do anything for the ‘springiness’ of the bat, either. That’s all in the other thread. Meanwhile, his records seem to be safe, since 5 of his bats from the Hall of Fame were tested and found to be un-corked. [And yes, corked bats are supposed to break much more often.]
Ohhhhh. See, I misunderstood the implication. When they said “glove”, I assumed the sandpaper was meant to change the pitcher’s grip on the ball, without actually touching the ball itself.
Cheating is so immature! What is it with these people that, instead of thinking, “Well, I got all the way to the major leagues; I must be good enough to win on my own merits”, they instead think, “Well, I’m in the major leagues, so I can get away with this.” Do you think it starts on the high school and college levels?
Nothing personal against Sosa or the Cubs, but I ain’t buying his story. He had 76 regular bats, one corked bat and yet he picks up the corked bat by accident? Why would he take BP with a corked bat when that would alter his timing and defeat the purpose of BP? As to putting on a show for the fans, isn’t BP at Wrigley field closed to the public?