Sosa image already tarnished

When Barry Bonds smashed 73 homers, Derek Jeter earned the special honor of Captain of the New York Yankees or Joe DiMaggio hit in 56-straight games, history was made.

Today, the history book are going to get a little fatter.

Well, not really.

The first installment of Barry Graham’s “True or False” is finally here.

Not that you knew it was coming.

But like a Jose Hernandez strikeout, a Torii Hunter diving grab or Pedro Martinez spending time on the DL, it’s inevitable.

Today’s opening round of “True or False” features the tarnished image of Sammy Sosa and the World Series potential of the Mariners and Braves.

Let’s start with Sammy’s latest bout with controversy.

True or False?; Sammy’s corked bat tarnished his image as MLB’s “Ambassador”.

Sosa’s image is already tarnished due to steroid allegations.

Approximately a year ago, Sosa stated that he would be the first in line to take a drug test to prove his innocence from steroid use.

Then Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly gives Sosa the name and address of a local clinic where Sosa could take a drug test.

According to Reilly, Sosa’s retort was “You’re not my father! Why do you tell me what to do? Are you trying to get me in trouble?”

What happened to that early conviction Sammy?

The speculation over Sosa and steroids has created doubt over his offensive accomplishments in the minds of fans, critics and the media.

This latest incident just adds fuel to the fire.

Sosa seems to make matters worse with his comments.

Sosa stated that the bat he used was for batting practice and that he mistakenly grabbed it before his first plate appearance on Tuesday. He added that he likes to use corked bats during batting practice so he can hit more homers for his fans.

If Sosa wants to keep his fans happy, he should start with honesty and respect for his profession.

True or False: The Mariners and Braves are headed for a World Series showdown.

While it may be true that the Mariners and Braves own MLB’s top two records, it’s only June.

Seattle and Atlanta seem like the only two baseball teams that pitch, hit, and field with any consistency right now.

However, both teams have a critical obstacle that will only be overcome in October.

Both Atlanta and Seattle have had major problems in past postseasons.

The Braves have been the National League East’s top dog for the past decade.

However, they have one title to show for their playoff run and a whole host of postseason debacles.

Their pitching fails in the postseason and guys like Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones and Gary Sheffield haven’t proved they are clutch performers.

The Mariners won 116 games in 2001 but lost in five dreadful American League Championship Series games to the Yankees.

New York has been Seattle’s biggest enemy in the postseason since the Mariners beat the Yankees in the 1995 AL Wild Card series.

Once again, the Yankees could meet up with Seattle in the 2003 postseason.

The problem with the Mariners is that they aren’t built for the playoffs.

Seattle hitters take advantage of mediocre to poor pitching during the regular season. Then in the playoffs, the Mariners struggle with good pitching staffs.

No matter how well Jamie Moyer and Freddy Garcia pitch, they will give up runs. In the end, the Mariners seem to lose close, low scoring playoff games.

This coming postseason will be no different for Seattle.


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