Mike Remlinger is selling Sammy Sosa's corked bat

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I guess it’s not odd that someone is selling the corked bat that got Sammy Sosa in hot water several years ago. I’m just surprised that it’s former teammate Mike Remlinger. I mean, did Sosa let him have it, or what?

Last year Remlinger said he contacted Sosa to ask if the retired
slugger wanted the broken barrel. An assistant relayed the message to
Sosa, who said he wanted the bat, according to Remlinger. But he never
heard back from Sosa’s camp again.

“At that point in time I
was just going to give it to Sammy because I figured it was his to do
with what he wanted,” Remlinger said. “Then when I didn’t hear back from
him I figured it was mine to do with what I wanted.”

What is it with relief pitchers stealing corked bats? Remember Jason Grimsley and Albert Belle?

Anyway, Remlinger’s story is a good one if for no other reason than he describes a pretty awful cork-job by Sosa. Apparently the bat was drilled from the barrel all the way down past the label.  The odds of that thing cracking open were likely not long.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?