CHICAGO – Sammy Sosa (search)'s 76 bats confiscated by baseball officials showed no signs of cork in X-rays taken the day after he was ejected for using an illegal bat in a game.
The bats were taken from the Chicago Cubs (search)' locker room during the game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Tuesday night. Cork (search) was found in Sosa's bat when it shattered after he grounded out in the first inning of the Cubs' 3-2 victory.
"The bats were clean and had no foreign substances in them," said Sandy Alderson, executive vice president of baseball operations in the commissioner's office. "That is consistent with Sammy's explanation of the incident last night."
Sosa said he accidentally pulled out a bat he uses to put on home run displays for fans in batting practice. He has had dozens of bats break in the past few years with nothing suspicious found.
Fans gave Sosa a loud ovation Wednesday night when he took the field for the Cubs' game against Tampa Bay.
"I stood up yesterday like a man and took the blame," Sosa earlier that day. "But the media today, they've got me up there like I'm a criminal."
Sosa could face a suspension of up to 10 games, but Alderson said the decision will be made by Bob Watson, baseball's vice president in charge of discipline.
Watson was expected to arrive in Chicago by Thursday morning and will conduct interviews at the ballpark.
Alderson said commissioner Bud Selig was "very concerned."
"He has strong personal affection for Sammy," Alderson said. "At the same time, he instructed his office to conduct a thorough investigation."