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Cards Manager: Sosa Should Be MVP

September 23, 1998

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ It hurts Tony La Russa to say this, but the St. Louis Cardinals manager believes Sammy Sosa should be the National League MVP over his own Mark McGwire.

``I’m so biased it’s ridiculous,″ La Russa said. ``But I think Sammy deserves it.

``I don’t think he’s done more for his team than Mark has, but his team has done more than ours has, so his contribution counts for a little more in my book.

``Just barely, but that’s who I would give it to.″

On the day the Chicago Cubs rightfielder Sosa tied McGwire for the major league record with his 64th and 65th homers, La Russa did remain loyal to his slugger in one regard. He said McGwire, in his mind, will be the home run king no matter what happens.

La Russa said McGwire could have hit a lot more home runs except for his NL-record 157 walks entering Wednesday’s game against the Houston Astros. Sosa has walked 73 times.

La Russa also bristles whenever it’s mentioned that McGwire might have an edge the rest of the way because he can swing for the fences and Sosa has to be a team player because Chicago is fighting for a wild-card playoff spot.

``Don’t be coming around and saying it’s easier for Mark,″ La Russa said. ``That’s just ridiculous. Mark’s been pitched like it’s the seventh game of the World Series since opening day. That’s a fact.″

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