Friday, May 13, 2005

Now they'll pay attention--Sammy has the resistant bug--CORRECTED

Baseball legend Sammy Sosa is out for a month with MRSA.

May 13, 2005


We noted on April 12 [Maybe now that the NFL is involved people will notice] that methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was popping up in the dressing rooms of sports teams, and while the Canadian media were covering it extensively, the U.S. media still hadn't noticed. Despite the smart-assed headline, that is still true, but maybe now it will change. The Baltimore Orioles’ Hall-of-Famer, Sammy Sosa has it, he has been placed on the disabled list and will be out for a month. Sosa, who is the seventh most prolific home run hitter in the history of baseball, complained of a sore foot and had an abscess lanced and drained twice. It didn’t get better and the doctors reported it was infected with MRSA. Since it has not spread beyond the abscess, he probably won’t suffer a hole in his foot or have nerve damage or chronic pain, which can sometimes happen. (Several deaths have been reported but is not likely for someone with the kind of medical care Sosa is getting). Whatever antibiotics they are using, seems to be working. There also is no sign anyone else in the Orioles locker room has it, so they don’t have to disinfect the place. Technically, he can play next weekend against the Phillies, but doctors said that was very unlikely. Sosa, traded to Baltimore from the Chicago Cubs, is in the twilight of his career, but the O’s, uncharacteristically, are in first place, a game over the world champion Boston Red Sox in the American League East, and he is needed. Sosa is batting .269 (for foreign readers and the baseball illiterate, that means he gets a hit--a good thing--27% of the time he comes to bat). His lifetime average is .277. Doing that 30% of the time you are at bat makes you a star. But he has only hit four home runs this year, and the two times I’ve seen him play, he was more valuable as a fielder, which is atypical. Maybe his foot hurt. Sosa also missed a chance to return to Chicago in triumph as an Oriole, which would have been a major event. The Orioles play the White Sox this weekend, but Sosa is here in Baltimore.

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