So Long Sosa?
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Feb 16, 2006 4:32AM
Throughout Florida and Arizona, players begin reporting to Spring Training to begin preparation for the 2006 season. However, it's looking like one play who won't be reporting to any camp is former Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa, who turned down an offer from the Washington Nationals. The only Major League offer Sosa received, the Nats deal only offered a non-guaranteed 1-year, $500,000 deal. Having already turned down offers from teams in Japan and overtures from the Dominican team to play in the upcoming World Baseball Championships, Sosa's agent said, "... I can say, with reasonable certainty, that we've seen Sammy in a baseball uniform for the last time."
However, they have not notified MLB to place Sosa on the offical Retired List. Is this really just a ploy for somebody to love him? At least enough to offer him a guaranteed contract?
Maybe Sosa realizes it's time to hang it up before he further harms his legacy. Whether aging or having to get off the "juice," Sosa is clearly a shell of the player he was only a couple years ago. In an injury plagued 2005, he hit just .221 with 14 homers and 45 RBIs for the Baltimore Orioles in '05. Is there anything left? Maybe there is, and The Trib's Phil Rogers thinks Sosa should play for the Dominican Republic in the upcoming WBC, using the event as a tryout for teams who might decide to sign him.
While Rogers might find it hard to see Sosa retire from the game, Chicagoist thinks it's time. His ego never deminished along with his skills, and he became increasingly more of a distraction to his teams when he demanded the special treatment he got when he was chasing home run records. He alienated Cubs teammates and fans, forcing Cubs GM Jim Hendry to trade him to the O's. They sent him home before the season ended. His poor play on the field and his poor attitude in the locker room will benefit nobody.
He had a great career. He hit 588 home runs and hit 60 or more 3 times. While subject to rumors, he's avoided being linked to the growing steroids scandal. Walking away now will help ensure he doesn't get snagged. Sure, he was gunning for 600 homers but even without those last 12, he's already ensured a place in Cooperstown.