The Cubs Off-Season Report – The Rise and Fall of Sammy Sosa

Sammy Sosa Contemplating Retirement

Slammin’ Sammy….The Dominican Daddy or just plain Sammy was some of the many names the Cubs Faithful called Sammy Sosa for the 13 seasons he patrolled right field at the Friendly Confines. While he departed Chicago on the worst of terms, he owned the town and much of Major League Baseball since 1998. After his departure from the Cubs before last season, his numbers declined and the once great Sammy Sosa is having trouble finding a job for the upcoming season and is contemplating retirement according to a report from ESPN.com.

Sosa is one year removed from a 35 home run season and is only 12 away from 600 career home runs. The Washington Nationals are the only team showing interest in Sosa and they are only offering a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training and according to an article in the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday night, Sosa signing with the Nationals could benefit the Cubs. But how did this happen to Sammy Sosa?

The Tribune article mentions that if Sosa could play well enough to make the Nationals out of Spring Training then the Cubs might be able to acquire either Alfonso Soriano or Jose Vidro. With Sosa taking an outfield spot, which would force the Nationals to move Soriano to the infield or trade him. The Trib thinks it would make more sense for the Nationals to trade Soriano because of his price tag. Soriano is schedule to go to arbitration today and could make $10 – $12 million this season. The Nationals would want a front line pitcher, but the might be willing to take less. The Cubs are interested in finding a new second baseman and have been interested in Soriano for years, we have all heard the rumors, and the Trib article reiterated the same. So could Sammy help the Cubs one more time?

SAM-MY! SAM-MY! We all cheered that no matter if it was Wrigley Field or Riverfront Park….and if you say you didn’t….well…. Sosa has become as much a part of Cubs history as Ryne Sandberg, Ernie Banks, Harry Caray or Ron Santo. He was the face of the Cubs, he was Chicago, he was Slammin’ Sammy. We all watched his race against Mark McGuire, hoping the Cubs would at least beat the Cardinals to history and immortality. He came in second, but we still cheered and for 5 glorious seasons, number 21 was on the backs of our kids, friends and neighbors. I defended him after the corked bat and hoped he could lead the Cubs to the World Series in 2003. After all it was Slammin’ Sammy….

Apparently he could not lead and on the last day of one of the most disappointing seasons in Cubs history, he walked out on HIS team, he wore the C, he was the Captain. When he walked out, I lost all respect for him. A leader does not abandon his team, whether it is a baseball team or your office team. A leader takes charge and stays with the ship….through rough or smooth waters. But not Sosa, he left his team in a time of need and the Cubs paid for him last season, both financially and emotionally. Now the same people Sammy met on the way up, he is asking for a job on the way down.

I guess Slammin’ Sammy, did become Selfish Sammy after all….

Quote of the Day

"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer
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