As to Sammy Sosa: How Do You Say "Perjury" In Spanish?

By John W. Lillpop

Samuel Peralta Sosa, known to bleacher bums at Wrigley Field and throughout baseball yards all across America as "Sammy," was one heck of a ball player.

Over the course of a major league career that lasted nearly 20 years with four different clubs, Sosa hit 609 homer runs, drove in 1667 runs, and boasted a very fine lifetime batting average of .273.

Besides being a great ball player, Sosa understood that his role was not limited to swatting a ball over a fence and lumbering around the bases.

He understood that baseball is all about entertaining a bleacher section full of beer-blasted fans who shell out $20, or more, just to watch 50 spoiled-brat millionaires in their 20s and 30s play what has been charitably described as a "kid's game."

Successfully smiting a round ball with a round bat hurled at close to 100 miles per hour while said ball is curving is a rare talent.

But one must also bring pizzazz and personality to the field. Sammy Sosa oozed pizzazz and was a terrific actor, which made him a fan favorite.

Sosa's acting skills came in handy back in 2005 when he appeared at a Congressional hearing looking into drugs in major league baseball.

Looking overwhelmed by all those white Republicans glaring down at him, Sosa even went so far as to have his attorney read the following statement:

"To be clear, I have never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs. I have never injected myself or had anyone inject me with anything. I have not broken the laws of the United States or the laws of the Dominican Republic. I have been tested as recently as 2004, and I am clean."

That sworn testimony was delivered on Sosa's behalf, ostensibly because of his limited English skills.

As it turns out, Sammy Sosa may not be quite the powerful actor he supposes himself to be.

As reported, in part, at SI.com:


"WASHINGTON (AP) -- A congressional committee will look into former baseball slugger Sammy Sosa's denial that he used illegal performance-enhancing drugs in light of a report that he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in 2003.

"The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Democratic Rep. Edolphus Towns of New York, says that the committee takes seriously suggestions that a witness had been misleading.

"Towns said in a statement Wednesday that he will determine the appropriate steps following a review of the matter.

"In 2005, Sosa told Congress that he had never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs. The New York Times reported Tuesday that Sosa tested positive."


Two questions immediately come to mind:

Can a defendant claim innocence by alleging that his attorney mistranslated his testimony while converting Spanish to English?

And, "How Do You Say Perjury In Spanish?"