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Sosa to Play Waiting Game

Cub slugger's punishment for using a corked bat could come today.

June 06, 2003|From Associated Press

CHICAGO — The bats have been checked and the interviews done. Now all Sammy Sosa can do is wait to see what his punishment will be for using a corked bat.

Bob Watson, baseball's vice president in charge of discipline, met with Chicago Cub Manager Dusty Baker and General Manager Jim Hendry at Wrigley Field before returning to New York on Thursday afternoon. A decision could come as early as today.

"There's really nothing we can speculate until we hear from the commissioner or Bob," Hendry said Thursday. "Hopefully we'll get some news tomorrow. Whether that becomes in effect or whether it's something you can appeal will probably be determined by what we hear from the commissioner's office.

"I'm sure he is going to have a penalty for it, and obviously the team is going to suffer for it too. But hopefully it won't be too severe and we'll be able to survive without him."

Sosa was in the clubhouse during Watson's visit, and Cub officials initially thought the two had talked. But Sosa said after the game he hadn't spoken with Watson.

"I don't know what's going to happen, but I'm prepared for anything," Sosa said Thursday.

A piece of cork was found just above the handle in Sosa's bat Tuesday night when it shattered after he grounded out in the first inning of the Cubs' 3-2 victory.

He insists it was a one-time mistake, saying he accidentally pulled out a bat he uses to put on home run displays for fans in batting practice.

Baker said Watson didn't ask him questions so much as explain the process.

"I called him Judge Dread. He thought it was pretty funny," Baker said. "He just wanted to let me know that they're going to try to come up with a quick decision, a fair decision. Whatever happens after that it's up to Sammy and the organization, if we want to appeal it."

Sosa is all but certain to appeal -- especially with the New York Yankees coming to town this weekend for a much-hyped series. Not only is it the teams' first meeting at Wrigley since the 1938 World Series, but Roger Clemens will go for his 300th career win Saturday against fellow Texan Kerry Wood.

The games Saturday and Sunday will be broadcast nationally, with 90% of the country seeing the Clemens-Wood matchup on Fox.

"I think the world would be disappointed if he couldn't play this weekend," Baker said. "Go talk to ESPN and Fox and ask if they want Sammy to play this weekend."

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