Former MLB player Jose Canseco just turned some heads with a tweet about one of his fellow players. He accused former teammate Mark McGwire of cheating. Specifically, Canseco claimed that the former home run king used a corked bat, a serious offense in baseball's top league.
"Mark McGwire corked his bat before every game," Canseco tweeted recently. The message was simple, but it surprised baseball fans. Many did not expect to see one-half of the Bash Brothers taking shots at someone he partnered with for many seasons. Several people responded to the accusation in a variety of ways. The list includes former White Sox and Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, who played against both Canseco and McGwire during his own playing career. Guillen expressed doubt about McGwire's ability to modify his bats every single day.
The corking bats comment is not the first accusation that Canseco has made about McGwire. In his 2005 book Juiced, he also accused the former A's and Cardinals player of abusing performance-enhancing substances. McGwire did later say in 2010 that he had taken anabolic steroids intermittently throughout his career. Though he said that he had done so for "health reasons."
A corked bat is a specially-modified bat filled with less dense material to make it lighter, increasing speed and timing. MLB punishes players that use these corked bats, ejecting them from games. Many are subject to further punishment. For example, Sammy Sosa was suspended eight games in 2003 after using a corked bat.
The incident occurred when Sosa's bat shattered during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Umpire Tim McClelland found pieces of cork among the shards, conferred with the crew, and then ejected Sosa from the game. The Cubs player later apologized and called the situation an innocent mistake.
"I just picked the wrong bat," Sosa said. "I apologize to my team, to my fans. ... I apologize to the commissioner of baseball." He said that he occasionally used a corked bat during batting practice. He also pulled out the specially-modified bat during home run exhibitions to bring excitement to the fans.
The Bash Brothers was a nickname bestowed upon Canseco and McGwire during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The two men led the Oakland Athletics to three straight American League pennants from 1988 to 1990. They also won the 1989 World series while hitting numerous home runs and sparking comments about their talents behind the plate.