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BASEBALL
Sosa Gives Up Salsa Music for Girl Bands
Pre-Game Assault on Ears Coincides with Assault on Baseballs.

by Timothy McGinnis
August 17, 2003

Sosa Gives Up Salsa Music for Girl Bands_Timothy McGinnis-Pre-Game Assault on Ears Coincides with Assault on Baseballs. Kerry Wood and numerous other Cubs’ players once longed for anything to take the place of Sammy Sosa’s pre-game ritual of blasting salsa music on his clubhouse boombox. But Wood and his teammates have learned that the old cliché, “Be careful what you wish for,” could not be more true.

After a season-long search for a new music genre that would break him out of his first-half power outage, Sosa has apparently decided that girl band music brings out his best performance.

“I never thought I would look back at the days of that god-awful salsa music with fondness,” said Wood, “But if I have to hear We Got the Beat by the Go-Go’s one more time, I’m going to demand that Hendry trade me.”

“A warrior needs to get himself properly focused before a big battle and I am a warrior,” yelled Sosa over the strains of Britney Spears’ Oops…I Did it Again. “I don’t know why, but after listening to this music for a while, I really want to go out and smash the ball very hard.”

According to numerous Cub sources, Sosa has experimented with all kinds of music this season after his typical slow start uncharacteristically stretched throughout the entire first half of the season.

“He tried speed-metal, rap, hip-hop, folk, jazz, blues… everything. Nothing was working,” said manager Dusty Baker. “He even tried some obscure Korean rock band whose name I can’t even pronounce on a suggestion from Big Choi.”

“The closest English translation of the band’s name would be ‘Giant Pigeon Testicles,’ but that isn’t what the band’s music is about,” confirmed Choi. “They are quite popular in Korea, but Sammy stranded 5 runners that night, so he threw the CD back in my locker after the game and told me I shouldn’t ever bring it back.”

Since accidentally (he claims) popping a Wilson Phillips CD into his boombox in early July, Sammy has hit 18 of his total 28 homeruns and his slugging percentage has risen from .507 to .581. “I saw the CD in Farnsy’s locker and I mistook it for Wilson Pickett. I didn’t mean to put in that girl music, it was a total mistake, but you can’t argue with the results,” said Sosa.

Kyle Farnsworth has refused comment on exactly why he had a Wilson Phillips CD in his locker in the first place.

Sosa’s teammates have been mostly supportive in his quest to return to the ridiculous power numbers of the last 5 years, but their patience is clearly reaching an endpoint. “I’m glad Sammy is hitting well, but this might be too high a price to pay,” said Dave Remlinger, “I mean, how can we keep having a winning attitude in here with the Spice Girls blaring across the locker room as we are trying to prepare for the game?"

Sammy has tried to find a genre that is more pleasing to everyone, but nothing seems to work quite as well. “One day he tried listening to something a little edgier and cranked out Seether by Veruca Salt. Of course, that was the day he struck out four times, so that CD and another couple by Liz Phair and Juliana Hatfield went right out the window,” recalled Eric Karros. "He's going to stick with that pop crap."

Even the coaching staff is growing a bit restless. "I thought that some Sheryl Crow or Jewel or even some Shania Twain might be a little easier on the ears, but Sammy wouldn't even try it," said hitting instructor Gary Matthews. "It seems a couple of bad games in a row is our only hope for never again hearing Manic Monday and Walk Like an Egyptian upon walking into the clubhouse. As a hitting coach, I swear I never thought I would hope that our clean-up hitter would go 0 for 20 or so, but I think in this case, the end would justify the means.”

Dusty Baker has been doing his best to quell the growing discontent among the rest of the team. He has reminded them constantly that, despite what they may think, things could be worse. “A lot of these guys forget that he did try the Backstreet Boys and N’Sync back at the beginning of the season in Pittsburgh,” said Baker. “I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it, but the first thing that went through my mind when Sammy got drilled by that Solomon Torres fastball was, ‘I guess that means I’ll never have to listen to As Long As You Love Me again.’ Then, of course, I said a quick prayer that Sammy was actually OK.”

The rest of the league has been less than sympathetic to the Cubs’ Sosa-imposed imprisonment in girl band hell. “HA HA HA HA HA HA HA (cough) (cough) (wheeze)……AHHH HA HA HA HA HA!” said former teammate, Mark Grace. “HEE HEE HEE,” he continued.

“People wondered why I preferred playing for a last place team instead of consenting to being traded to the Cubs for the stretch drive,” said Rafael Palmeiro. “I think anyone who has heard the soundtrack to Josie and the Pussycats will understand my reluctance to be in that particular locker room.”

Sosa, however, remains undeterred in his new pre-game ritual, “As long as I keep hitting the ball good, I am helping the team to win. This helps me play my best, so I will keep listening to my new music until it doesn’t work anymore.” He then turned back to his boombox, cranked up the volume on Bananarama’s Venus, and pulled out his new ABBA t-shirt to wear under his uniform.

About the Author:
Tim would like to point out that his extensive knowledge of girl band music comes almost entirely from one of his former college roommates. He will admit to owning a Cranberries CD though.


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