He couldn’t just go away quietly … no, it appears that Sammy Sosa is making a comeback.
A year after declining a $500,000, non-guaranteed contract from the Washington Nationals, Sosa claims that he will now accept such an offer in order to get back into the big leagues.
Maybe it’s seeing all the crazy money being thrown at career journeymen such as Gary Matthews, Jr. and Mark DeRosa, one-dimensional outfielders such as Juan Pierre, and glass Joes such as JD Drew. Maybe he’s looking to clear his steroid- and corked-bat-tarnished image. Maybe he’s bored. Or maybe he really misses the game.
Whatever the case, he’s attempting a comeback, and it will be interesting to see if anyone bites.
It’s not that he isn’t physically worth taking a chance on … after all, he’s the only guy to ever hit 60 homers in three different seasons. Even an aging Sammy Sosa is probably worth about 20-25 dingers as a DH somewhere.
The issue, of course, surrounds the steroids question. Did he or didn’t he? Does baseball want this can of worms reopened?
It’s apparent that Rafael Palmeiro will remain in hiding, and doubtful anyone would be willing to give him a job after making a joke of himself and probably committing perjury. Mark McGwire has remained silent since his retirement, through the infamous hearings, and continues to avoid the spotlight. Jose Canseco was blackballed a long time ago, and many believe Barry Bonds would have earned the same fate had the Giants not re-signed him a few weeks ago.
Now what about Sammy? If indeed he can get himself back into shape, have a good winter in the Dominican league, will someone take a chance? Not on his performance, but on his image?
Why this is of interest to Mets fans is obvious — Sammy holds a special place in Omar Minaya’s heart. Omar, after all, was the scout who discovered the skinny Sammy so many years ago on a Dominican sandlot. Also, Minaya holds no age discrimination, and he is always happy to give a flyer to an aging veteran — see Jose Lima, Bret Boone, and Jose Valentin, for example. In fact, there was a lot of talk of Sammy coming to Shea back in the offseason preceding 2005 — not so long ago. The Mets might be able use a power-hitting right-handed bat off the bench, backing up the lefty-hitting Shawn Green in right.
Frightening thought, isn’t it ?
Please Omar, keep your heart out of this decision. The Mets don’t need to add any headaches.
About the Author
Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers.