It’s high summer, and those of us who measure time by the mystical rhythms of baseball are deeply immersed in the game. We have been talking lately about the Sammy Sosa affair. The Chicago Cubs slugger embarrassed himself by getting caught—on television no less—using a “corked” bat. He was banished for seven games, during which the baseball faithful argued about the nature of the infraction: Did he know the bat was corked? Had he been using corked bats consistently? Had the cork helped him hit 70 home runs in one season? For what it’s worth, I think that he knew, and that the cork didn’t help him at all.
The feat of hitting a baseball thrown by a pitcher at speeds approaching 100 miles an hour, some of which are curve balls which appear to be coming toward your head and then swoop across the plate at the last moment, is something of a miracle. To hit consistently, and to hit the ball out of the park consistently, is an amazing feat. Sosa does just that.