PDA

View Full Version : How The Mighty Have Fallen: Sammy Sosa Edition



Rex Argos
02-13-2006, 11:59 AM
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2328640

MIAMI -- Sammy Sosa is seriously considering retiring from baseball instead of accepting an offer from the Washington Nationals, a source close to the player told ESPNdeportes.com.

Sosa has not made a decision regarding the contract offer from Washington, which is a non-guaranteed, one-year pact for $500,000.

"Sammy doesn't think of himself as someone who has to beg for a spot on a big league roster," said the source.

Washington's offer is the only one the Dominican slugger and potential Hall of Famer has received this winter.

With 588 career home runs, Sosa is the all-time leader among Latin American players. He had three years of 60 or more home runs between 1998 and 2001 as a Cub, becoming enormously popular in Chicago and throughout baseball.
However, injuries and some bad publicity, including the discovery of a corked bat in 2003, have affected his legacy and market value.

"Sammy wants to get to 600 home runs, but he's not willing to humiliate himself to keep playing. He feels that the lack of interest in his services this winter constitutes a humiliation," added the source.

Although the team has not set a deadline for a decision by Sosa, the Nationals would like to have the situation resolved before pitchers and catchers report to spring training on February 18. Washington originally only offered a minor league contract, with an invitation to spring training.

Sosa is taking his time to mull the decision, consulting with family and friends. Some have encouraged him to continue playing, while others have suggested he leave baseball.

Sosa, 37, was released by the Orioles after a disappointing 2005, when he hit .221 with 14 home runs and 45 RBI in 102 games.

The "Caribbean Bambino" was affected by various injuries last year, when he made $17 millon in the last season of a five-year deal he signed with Chicago in 2002. Baltimore declined a $18 million option for 2006.

The Nationals see Sosa as an insurance policy entering spring training, in case Jose Guillen's shoulder does not heal as quickly as they would like, and also with Alfonso Soriano's apparent refusal to switch from the infield to the outfield.

savafan
02-13-2006, 12:14 PM
Humiliation? Cry me a river Sammy.

TStuck
02-13-2006, 01:10 PM
Humiliation???
I don't get it. If I'm Sammy and I only have 1 offer on the table and I REALLY believe I've still "got it", I take the offer and go out and let my play be the spit in the eye to all the other teams that turned their noses up at me. This whole "offer is humiliating" garbage is a pretty weak ploy. Sammy needs to face it, he's depreciated goods right now until he PROVES otherwise.
This reminds me of Andre Dawson's situation a few years back when he signed an undervalue contract (500K maybe) with the Cubs and went out and had a nice rebound season (after some previous injury issues) which he parlayed into additional money as he played out the end of his career. Sammy would do well to look to his example. All of this, of course, is contingent that he does still have a little fuel left in the tank and isn't just trying to bamboozle one last big contract out of some exec who didn't do his homework.

Chip R
02-13-2006, 01:32 PM
Humiliation???
I don't get it. If I'm Sammy and I only have 1 offer on the table and I REALLY believe I've still "got it", I take the offer and go out and let my play be the spit in the eye to all the other teams that turned their noses up at me. This whole "offer is humiliating" garbage is a pretty weak ploy. Sammy needs to face it, he's depreciated goods right now until he PROVES otherwise.
This reminds me of Andre Dawson's situation a few years back when he signed an undervalue contract (500K maybe) with the Cubs and went out and had a nice rebound season (after some previous injury issues) which he parlayed into additional money as he played out the end of his career. Sammy would do well to look to his example. All of this, of course, is contingent that he does still have a little fuel left in the tank and isn't just trying to bamboozle one last big contract out of some exec who didn't do his homework.

$500K back when Andre Dawson signed that deal was a lot more than what $500K is now. It wasn't like Dawson was at the end of his career either. Also there was collusion going on where the owners weren't signing hardly any players and Dawson basically blackmailed the Cubs into signing him.

Not that I feel sorry for Sam the Sham but the situations are different. If he loves to play baseball as much as he says he does, he'll take what's offered. It isn't like there's going to be any better offers on the table and it's not like there's collusion going on now either.

flyer85
02-13-2006, 01:33 PM
Amazing what a lack of flaxseed oil can do a hitter.

Steve4192
02-13-2006, 02:09 PM
Considering who made the offer, this reminds me a lot of Tony Fernandez circa 1994 and Ron Gant / Benito Santiago circa 1995. All three of those guys were unwanted by other MLB teams and JimBo rolled the dice that they had a little gas left in the tank. In all three cases, JimBo got a productive player on the cheap and the players re-established themselves and went on to sign lucrative contracts with another team the following season.

JimBo may not have much acumen when it comes to identifying pitching, but he has an amazing knack for resurrecting the careers of 'washed up' position players. Considering Jimbo's track record in the area, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Sammy had a moderate rebound year (260 BA, 25-30 HR, 90-100 RBI) playing for Nationals.

Sign the deal Sammy.

Rex Argos
02-13-2006, 02:52 PM
I think this proves that teams will put up with a "me first" attitude, as long as the player is producing. Once that player hits the downside, then teams won't put up with that sort of distraction.

IslandRed
02-13-2006, 03:18 PM
Also there was collusion going on where the owners weren't signing hardly any players and Dawson basically blackmailed the Cubs into signing him.

The story of how Dawson ended up with the Cubs is one of my all-time favorites, and you're right, it was totally collusion-driven.

For anyone unfamiliar: that was the peak winter of collusion, when teams had an "understanding" that they wouldn't sign each others' free agents if the original team still wanted them. All-Stars were receiving offers worthy of Triple-A lifers. Dawson didn't want to back to Montreal, he wanted to play in Chicago because of the grass field (his knees were already going) and day games. So he and his agent went to the Cubs' spring training camp, threw a contract on the GM's desk -- with the salary blank, for the Cubs to fill in as they chose -- and then told all the writers about it. The Cubs had no chance.

flyer85
02-13-2006, 03:30 PM
Considering who made the offer, this reminds me a lot of Tony Fernandez circa 1994 and Ron Gant / Benito Santiago circa 1995. All three of those guys were unwanted by other MLB teams and JimBo rolled the dice that they had a little gas left in the tank. In all three cases, JimBo got a productive player on the cheap and the players re-established themselves and went on to sign lucrative contracts with another team the following season.

JimBo may not have much acumen when it comes to identifying pitching, but he has an amazing knack for resurrecting the careers of 'washed up' position players. Considering Jimbo's track record in the area, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Sammy had a moderate rebound year (260 BA, 25-30 HR, 90-100 RBI) playing for Nationals.

Sign the deal Sammy.Problem is there is probably not a worse ball park situation for Sammy to jump into. Huge park that will further reduce his power output and further expose his defensive weaknesses.

Number_Fourteen
02-13-2006, 03:37 PM
"Sammy wants to get to 600 home runs, but he's not willing to humiliate himself to keep playing. He feels that the lack of interest in his services this winter constitutes a humiliation," added the source.

Just what a team wants, a guy whose priority is to achieve personal goals, without a mention of a desire to WIN or help his team. Selfish, selfish, selfish, I say. As Catfish Hunter once said, "a well fed dog doesn't want to hunt no more". Sammy wears the quote well.

registerthis
02-13-2006, 03:41 PM
I think this proves that teams will put up with a "me first" attitude, as long as the player is producing. Once that player hits the downside, then teams won't put up with that sort of distraction.

I don't know many teams that put up with players on the downside of their career, whether or not they have a good attitude. Sosa MIGHT have more offers to make a team through a minor league contract or something if he was known as a great team player and contributor, but honestly--with the price tag he is putting on himself, the injuries and the lack of production--I don't think it's his attitutde that's hurting him the most right now. He's just a bad player.

TStuck
02-13-2006, 03:56 PM
$500K back when Andre Dawson signed that deal was a lot more than what $500K is now. It wasn't like Dawson was at the end of his career either. Also there was collusion going on where the owners weren't signing hardly any players and Dawson basically blackmailed the Cubs into signing him.

Not that I feel sorry for Sam the Sham but the situations are different. If he loves to play baseball as much as he says he does, he'll take what's offered. It isn't like there's going to be any better offers on the table and it's not like there's collusion going on now either.

You're absolutely right Chip on the collusion aspect. The reason I used the Dawson example was to show the difference in attitudes of the 2 players. Dawson loved the game and was going to do whatever it took to keep playing and prove that he was still a top notch player. Sammy, on the other hand, is like the guy at the soup kitchen who complains that they're not serving Prime rib and turns up his nose at the PB&J being served - choosing instead to go hungry. The point is - if you have the hunger, you do whatever you can to satisfy it, don't just outright reject an offer because it's under your standards.

Chip R
02-13-2006, 04:06 PM
I don't know many teams that put up with players on the downside of their career, whether or not they have a good attitude. :aurilia:

registerthis
02-13-2006, 05:38 PM
:aurilia:

Great. So the Reds are one of the "not many teams". i think it's been made quite clear to everyone here that having Aurilia going into camp as the third baseman-to-beat is idiocy at its highest level.

Chip R
02-15-2006, 05:53 PM
Looks like Sammy doesn't want to play this year.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2331819

Sosa rejects Nationals' offer

Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Sammy Sosa has turned down an offer to sign with the Washington Nationals.

The Nationals had offered Sosa a non-guaranteed contract that would have included performance bonus opportunities. Team spokesman John Dever said Wednesday that Sosa had rejected the deal.

Washington originally offered Sosa a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training and then proposed a major-league deal.

Sosa ranks fifth on the career home run list with 588, but he batted only .221 with 14 homers and 45 RBI last year in his only season with the Baltimore Orioles.

savafan
02-16-2006, 12:08 PM
Will he retire or won't he? Is he playing in the WBC? Does he want to go to the Yankees? Perhaps Sammy should team up with Terrel Owens and do a reality show.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/cs-060215sosaretire,1,1375505,print.story?coll=cs-home-headlines&ctrack=1&cset=true

By Phil Rogers
Tribune baseball reporter

February 15, 2006, 11:21 PM CST

By rejecting an offer from the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, Sammy Sosa likely is saying goodbye to baseball, his agent said.

Then again, his Dominican compatriots believe he's likely to play in the World Baseball Classic and perhaps use his appearance as a de facto Major League audition.

Maybe the truth is in who you ask.

"We're not going to put him on the retirement list," agent Adam Katz told ESPN.com. "We decided that [not putting him on that list] was the best thing to do. But I can say, with reasonable certainty, that we've seen Sammy in a baseball uniform for the last time.

"Sammy spent a lot of time ruminating on this. And it basically came down to this: He has such high expectations for himself, and last year was absolute misery for him, the way he under-performed. Sammy just didn't want to put himself through the possibility of going through something like that again. He still thinks he can do it. But there's some doubt there."

But Manny Acta, manager of the Dominican Republic's team in next month's international event, said he is keeping a spot open on his 30-man roster for Sosa.

"We met with Sammy, discussed having him play for the country," Acta said during a conference call Wednesday.

"We wanted to make sure. … He showed us the desire to play. We are confident about that. He worked out filling out the papers."

Acta, a coach for the New York Mets, said that although there was some doubt about the slugger's interest when Sosa was slow in returning the necessary paperwork, the issue was cleared up at a meeting Dec. 17.

His agent, though, told the Associated Press that Sosa is not likely to play for the Dominican Republic.

"The inclination is not to, but it's unresolved," Katz said.

The Nationals had offered Sosa a non-guaranteed deal that would have given him only a $500,000 base salary if he earned a roster spot. MLB.com reported Sosa had sought a guarantee of at least $1 million.

"This was not a money issue," Katz told ESPN.com. "Was the money fabulous? No. Was it part of the decision-making process? Absolutely. … But by no means was it the only thing involved. In the end, the money was a secondary, maybe even a tertiary consideration."

So while his agent says Sosa likely will retire, he still could audition for a 2006 contract at the WBC, allowing Sosa to delay his decision. He is fifth all-time with 588 home runs and has indicated he would like to pass 600 before retiring.

Sosa also may have declined a non-guaranteed deal with the Nationals in the hope he will get an offer from the New York Yankees.

Acta indicated the only way Sosa will not play for the Dominican Republic is if a team signing him blocks him from participating.

"If Sammy gets an offer with somebody, it's not a guaranteed contract, and they ask him to show how well he can do in spring training, then obviously he won't be able to go for three weeks," Acta said.

The Yankees, who reportedly are seeking a platoon partner for Bernie Williams at designated hitter, blocked catcher Jorge Posada from playing in the WBC but might want to base their decision on whether to acquire Sosa on his play in the WBC.According to the Dominican newspaper "Hoy," Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, a fellow resident of Miami, met with Sosa last weekend.

Because he has become a one-dimensional player, Sosa would seem a better fit on an American League roster than an NL one.

The Dominican lineup might be the deepest ever put together. It includes Albert Pujols, Vladimir Guerrero, Miguel Tejada, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz.

But Acta said Sosa should not be overlooked.

"He fits," Acta said. "He has to fit. I'm not down on Sammy. He has had only one bad year, last year, and he was hurt. Everybody says [2004] was a bad year with Sammy, but he still hit 35 home runs and he was gone a month. He fits on the team."

Acta said the Dominican roster probably will not be finalized until the March 2 deadline.

"There are some question marks," he said. "We still don't know what will happen on [the Sosa] front."

Chip R
02-16-2006, 12:28 PM
Will he retire or won't he? Is he playing in the WBC? Does he want to go to the Yankees? Perhaps Sammy should team up with Terrel Owens and do a reality show.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/cs-060215sosaretire,1,1375505,print.story?coll=cs-home-headlines&ctrack=1&cset=true

By Phil Rogers
Tribune baseball reporter

February 15, 2006, 11:21 PM CST

By rejecting an offer from the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, Sammy Sosa likely is saying goodbye to baseball, his agent said.

Then again, his Dominican compatriots believe he's likely to play in the World Baseball Classic and perhaps use his appearance as a de facto Major League audition.

Maybe the truth is in who you ask.

"We're not going to put him on the retirement list," agent Adam Katz told ESPN.com. "We decided that [not putting him on that list] was the best thing to do. But I can say, with reasonable certainty, that we've seen Sammy in a baseball uniform for the last time."

That's odd. This article from Fox Sports says he has a different agent.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5335312


Ken Rosenthal FOXSports.com
Posted: 6 hours ago

Outfielder Sammy Sosa is likely to retire after concluding that he no longer can achieve his desired level of performance, according to his longtime agent, Tom Reich.

Sosa, 37, rejected a one-year, non-guaranteed $500,000 contract from the Nationals on Wednesday. The "odds are" that he will not play again, Reich told FOXSports.com.

"It's not absolute," Reich said. "But his expectations of himself are very, very high. He does not want to disappoint himself, let alone everyone else."

Reich said that Sosa would return to the majors only if he believed he could perform close to the standards he established when he was one of the game's most feared sluggers.

"This isn't a play to see what else is out there," Reich added. "He thinks he's better off not playing."

Sosa batted .221 with 14 homers and 45 RBIs last season in an injury-marred campaign with the Orioles. His sudden decline occurred during the first season in which Major League Baseball began suspending players who tested positive for using performance-enhancing drugs.

Reich said MLB's harsher drug-testing program had no bearing on Sosa's decision.

"The speculation about all of that is part of the fabric of what exists in today's world of baseball," Reich said. "People are free to say or assume whatever they want. But that entire subject has nothing to do with this decision.

"People should not be presumed guilty of things that other people speculate about. That's something that's gotten lost in this country in recent years and in sports. Sammy's entitled to that and everyone else is, too, unless legal standards are met. Otherwise, we wouldn't be a nation of laws at all."

Sosa, addressing a House committee last March, said he had never used "illegal performance-enhancing drugs" and had not broken the laws of the United States or his native Dominican Republic.

The Nationals offered Sosa a deal that could have topped out at around $2 million, including $1.5 million in incentives. But his role would have been uncertain, and RFK Stadium, the Nationals' home park, favors pitchers.

The Nats' plan was for Sosa to play left field, with Alfonso Soriano in center and Jose Guillen in right. Sosa likely would have received an extended opportunity; Soriano is resisting a move to the outfield from second base and Guillen is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder.

But Sosa opted to stop playing even though he is 12 homers shy of 600, a milestone achieved by only four other players – Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds and Willie Mays.

"A lot of people wanted to assume it's about the 600 home runs: ‘He had to get to 600 home runs. He needed to keep playing,"' Reich said. "It's not that. It's not that he has to stay in uniform just to be in uniform."

In the end, it was this: If Sosa could not be Sammy Sosa, he would not make a desperate attempt to extend his 17-year career.

"I'm very, very proud of what he's accomplished and all the thrills that he has provided," Reich said. "I'm also impressed by the way he's handled this decision-making process. "He's been a real man about it, a big man, about the way he has thought this thing through. He's approached this in a very mature way, not like a guy who just won't let it go."

savafan
02-16-2006, 12:33 PM
Very odd indeed. Maybe Sosa is actually 2 people? :confused:

Chip R
02-16-2006, 12:54 PM
Very odd indeed. Maybe Sosa is actually 2 people? :confused:

I don't think you're be the first one to suggest that. Or at the very least he has 2 faces. ;)

Rex Argos
02-17-2006, 02:51 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=wojciechowski_gene&id=2333277

Nothing against agent Adam Katz, but he works for Sammy Sosa, not for you or me. So when he tells ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that Sosa has, "with reasonable certainty," played his last ball game, I check for verbal loopholes.

Either you're retired or you're not, and Sosa is most definitely not retired -- though he played like it last season. Katz and Sosa conveniently decided not to place The Gladiator's name on the Major League Baseball retirement list, which means Sosa still can entertain offers, or in this case, offer. His Samminess has a standing invitation to play for the Dominican Republic in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. But apparently that's it for options.

Sosa, who is less accessible these days than Dick Cheney, could have signed a non-guaranteed $500,000 deal with the Washington Nationals, but decided to take a pass. Katz said the decision "was not a money issue," which means it had everything to do with the Benjamins. Whenever anyone in sports says it's not about the money ... it's about the money.

I know Sosa well enough to know he is a man of immense pride and ego. That pride and ego is why Sosa pouted when Dusty Baker had no choice but to drop him in the Chicago Cubs batting order during the 2004 season. It's why he ditched the Cubs on the final day of the '04 season -- and then lied about it. It's why you probably could steam a clam on Sosa's forehead these days.

Five months ago Sosa was making more than $17 million. Now he can't get anything better than a half-mil contingency offer from the NL East's last-place Nats. Katz can spin this any way he wants, but Sosa equates money with respect. Had the Nationals raised the figure and guaranteed the deal, Sosa would be preparing to report (late, knowing him) to the team's spring training camp in Viera, Fla. Instead, we get more of the drama queen.

The simple, stark truth of the situation is this: Exactly one big-league team was interested enough in Sosa to take a flyer. Ask the majority of general managers about giving Sosa a shot and you can hear crickets chirp.

There are rumors the New York Yankees might stick their pinstripes in the Sosa waters. If that happens, alert FEMA for disaster relief. Can you imagine how fast Yankees fans will turn on Sosa after a few O-fers?

Sosa is 37 and in the middle of a statistical free fall. In each of the last four seasons his numbers have taken it in the shorts. Home runs, RBI, runs scored, hits, slugging average, games played … they're all tracking lower during this four-year span. And yet, Sosa can't fully understand why nobody wants him?

Katz said last year was "absolute misery" for Sosa. Hey, just think what it was like for Baltimore Orioles fans, who actually paid to watch Sosa struggle to hit .221 with just 14 homers. Of course, that's when Sosa was in the lineup. He missed 60 games because of injuries and DNPs.

I have zero sympathy for Sosa because he demands respect, but has often refused to give it. His diva days with the Cubs finally have tied his shoelaces together. His age and who knows what else have caught up with him. The man with 588 career home runs is stuck between indignation and self-pity.

There are no guarantees in sports, which is why Katz's remarks about Sosa's refusing to subject himself to the "possibility" of another 2005-like season are almost laughable. Baseball is a game predicated on failure. If Sosa has doubts -- and Katz said he does -- then the $500,000 Nationals offer was too generous.

Once again, Sosa continues to misread his place in the game. He has those 588 dingers, but he also owns some carry-on luggage that includes persistent rumors of Vitamin S use. His performance at the congressional hearings was Vince Vaughn hilarious. And sorry, but you can't discount his past temper tantrums.

Sosa should have taken the Nationals' deal and, in the process, taken a chance on himself. He could have shown he wasn't about the money, or pride, or ego. He could have played for something as innocent as his self-proclaimed love of the game.

But as usual, he does the E-Sosa thing. He doesn't understand there is no dishonor in trying and failing. The dishonor comes when you don't try at all.

savafan
02-23-2006, 03:37 AM
http://www.progressiveboink.com/dugout/archive/jon18.html