Sammy Sosa Wants to Come Back, Teams Question His Playing Shape
December 31, 2008
(Miami, FL) – This offseason has already seen contracts dolled out for the older crew in MLB. Randy Johnson, 45, just signed with the Giants, and 46-year-old Jamie Moyer just got a two-year deal with the Phillies. So if old is the new young, why is 40-year-old former superstar slugger Sammy Sosa having such trouble getting a deal?
Some say it is his age and declining skillset. Some say it is his me-first attitude. But others point to certain rule changes that occurred in the twilight of Sosa’s career that have limited his, um, physique.
Sosa, who did not play last year, announced last week that he was ready to come back and play in MLB. He even volunteered to work out for teams that were interested in his services. And when he worked out publicly in Miami, Florida earlier this week, 12 general managers showed up. They did not like what they saw.
“We’re just not interested at this time, that’s all,” Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. “There was something about Sammy back when he played for us. Something special. Something that, um, supplemented his natural abilities. And I’m just not sure that something is still there.”
Cincinnati Reds GM Walt Jockety agreed with Hendry.
“I’ve just got to question whether he kept up his playing shape last year. He looks a bit petite. I mean, heck, I could see all of his ribs, including the one he broke while sneezing.”
For his part, Sosa says he’s ready to come back, regardless of the nay-sayers.
“I’ve been training in Florida for months,” Sosa said earlier this week. “I’m ready. I’ve been eating healthy, I haven’t been polluting my body with illicit substances, and I’ve never felt better. I should probably mention, though, that I may need to be a designated hitter for the most part, because I lack the strength in my left arm to catch fly balls.”
Sosa’s hitting display at the workout left most onlookers less than impressed. Just one ball left the infield, and that was because Sosa hit it into a golf cart leaving the infield. Four times Sosa had to take a break for oxygen and an IV.
One American League GM, who asked not to be identified, said that teams are unlikely to express interest in Sosa in his current shape.
“I just don’t think he has it anymore. Not only is he 40, but he’s, um, sort of diminished in size. Ok. Whatever. I’m going to lay it all out there. When I saw him, he looked like one of those kids in the Sally Struthers videos”
“He had flies on his face and everything.”