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Thread: How The Mighty Have Fallen: Sammy Sosa Edition

  1. #16
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: How The Mighty Have Fallen: Sammy Sosa Edition

    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....ck=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."
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

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  3. #17
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: How The Mighty Have Fallen: Sammy Sosa Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by savafan
    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....ck=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."
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  4. #18
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: How The Mighty Have Fallen: Sammy Sosa Edition

    Very odd indeed. Maybe Sosa is actually 2 people?
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

  5. #19
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: How The Mighty Have Fallen: Sammy Sosa Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by savafan
    Very odd indeed. Maybe Sosa is actually 2 people?
    I don't think you're be the first one to suggest that. Or at the very least he has 2 faces.
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  6. #20
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    Re: How The Mighty Have Fallen: Sammy Sosa Edition

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/colum...ene&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.

  7. #21
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: How The Mighty Have Fallen: Sammy Sosa Edition

    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!


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