Examination of bats proves little

"It is possible the bats in the Hall of Fame might be tested, I think primarily in support of Sammy and the explanation he has given," Alderson said. "I want to emphasize that testing all these bats was done in part to determine if any more had been tampered with. But just as importantly, we feel strongly that it was important to test these bats in the belief that what Sammy told us, in the hope that what Sammy explained, was accurate."

Is the prosecutor looking for alibis?

MLB has a major credibility problem here. In the last decade, it has sold no commodity more than the thrill of the long ball. No one has been a better salesman than Sosa.

With attendance down and skepticism up—in part because of revelations and accusations about an increase in the use of steroids and amphetamines—can baseball afford to see the great man fall from his pedestal?

Sosa, who always seemed to enjoy curtain calls, limos and good seats at the State of the Union address, now seems to be having second thoughts about living with the legend he created.

"The media today, they had me like I'm a criminal," Sosa said before Wednesday night's game. "That really bothered me, hurt me. They speak of me like I do something out of this world.

"It's a mistake. We're all human. Nobody's perfect in this world."

Please, don't let this be Frank Thomas all over again. A guy who set an enormously high standard and then turned paranoid and bitter when things got a little tougher. A guy whose skills head downhill with years left on his contract.

In my opinion, Sosa knew the bat he took to the plate Tuesday night was corked. These guys don't pick bats out of the rack like they're playing pick-up-sticks.

Sosa definitely knew that home runs have been a lot harder to come by lately—12 in 256 at-bats over 71 games since Aug. 17, 2002 (one every 21 at-bats) compared to 286 in 2,887 at-bats over the unprecedented run that began in 1998 (one every 10 at-bats).

So he looked for a little edge, one he really didn't need.

That's all anybody needs to know.

Forget what radiologists say about those 76 bats. The only X-ray that might tell us anything is one of Sosa's head.
CHICAGO

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