Sammy Sosa told The Associated Press he feels like he did when he was a rookie as he began training in hopes of playing baseball again next year.
Chances are he also looks a lot more like he did 17 years ago than say, the late ‘90s and early part of this decade, when his “healthy teeth” resulted in the bloated body that helped him bash 243 homeruns over a four year period.
Seeing as how no one wanted to touch Barry Bonds this off season, Rafael Palmeiro is MIA and ESPN.com couldn’t even find Mark McGwire for a feature on him, I doubt teams are going to jump at the chance to sign a guy last seen grounding into more double plays (15) than hitting round-trippers (14).
Aside from the Ultimate Warrior, no athlete’s probable steroid use disappoints me more than Sosa’s. Here was this foreigner from a poor background who spoke in broken English trading homeruns with the absolute epitome of the American dream in McGwire. But instead of playing the Iron Sheik to McGwire’s Hulk Hogan, the mainstream fell in love with Sosa’s seemingly infectious smile.
I remember the year that little league team full of Dominican kids from New York (not the Danny Almonte team) imitated Sosa’s famous homerun leap practically every time they made contact in Williamsport. They weren’t even thought to be showboating. They were just cute kids paying homage to their hero.
Looking back, we should all feel a little embarrassed about supporting Sosa the way we did. At the very least, he broke the hearts of baseball lovers every where.
So I propose that a baseball do the same to him. Someone sign him to non-guaranteed contract. Let him work his ass off through spring training. Make him believe he’s got a shot.
Then, cut him.