Monday, January 31, 2005

Chicago Says Sayonara to Sosa

Doesn't Sammy Sosa's name just lend itself to quasi-clever wordplay? It just doesn't seem like one can start an article about Sosa without the title having some sort of tie-in with the name, a la Barry Bonds.

In that same vein, it is very difficult to seperate a name like Sosa from the team he played for, the Chicago Cubs. It's not as if Sosa has played his entire career with the Cubs, but just about anything he's done worthy of the household name he now carries was done while wearing a Cubs uniform. Sure, Sammy was slammin' just a bit for the Chicago White Sox before the Cubs, but a lot of people either don't remember that, or don't feel like trying. Again, similar to Bonds. Sure, he played for the Pirates, but so what? Think Barry, you think San Francisco Giants. You think Sammy, you think Chicago Cubs.

So forgive me for being shocked that this will no longer be the case for Sosa. I mean, I knew the Cubs wanted to get rid of Sosa worse than a booger on their top lip, but knowing it and knowing it are two different things.

It's even less tangible when you think of what Sosa was traded for.

Jerry Hairston Jr., and two prospects.

Let that sink in for a minute. Yes, there are two prospects, too, but the names moving -- concentrate on those. Sammy Sosa for Jerry Hairston Jr., Sammy Sosa for Jerry Hairston Jr., Sammy Sosa for...who?

Yeah. Doesn't seem right, does it?

Don't get me wrong. This trade needed to be made, and apparently the Orioles were the only ones willing to give up more than the proverbial bag of baseballs for Sosa, and weren't demanding that the Cubs pay all of Sosa's 2005 salary plus give them a backrub. The Orioles, meantime, had lost out on every big-time free agent they set their sights on, and in addition to the yearly overshadowing that the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees provide, they are going to have to deal with the media press in yonder District of Columbia, where the Nationals will grab tons of extra attention just for playing there. Acquiring Sosa is a good bandage for those kinds of wounds. He won't stop the bleeding, but he'll staunch it some, that's for sure.

The Cubs now have an outfield that's hardly better than the Kansas City Royals, and the Orioles now have another potent offensive weapon, although just how much potentcy remains in Sosa's bat is another topic of discussion in and of itself.


Other weirdness:

  • The Yankees have signed Doug Glanville to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training, and another one of their non-roster invitees is former Royals pitcher Brad Voyles. The Yankees will still field a competitive team this year, and still stand a good chance at postseason play, but...Doug Glanville? Brad Voyles? A centerfielder who never really was good enough to start (a total lack of hitting ability contributed to this), and a pitcher who wasn't even good enough for the Royals? These two aren't on the team by any means, but the mere fact that the Yankees are picking up players like these is an indication of how things stand with them. In a word, precariously.
  • The Astros finally re-signed OF Lance Berkman to a one year, 10.5 million dollar contract. This, to me, spells even more potential bad news for the 'Stros. Clemens will fleece them for 18 million this year, Bagwell and Biggio will have another birthday this year, and Berkman will be free to sign wherever he likes after posting another 1.000 OPS after this year. I would assume that for 2006 and beyond Berkman would be looking for a contract in the 5 to 7 year range, and be looking for an annual payout around the neighborhood of what Carlos Delgado got from the Marlins, but I could be wrong, of course. Not about this, but about other things. I'm right about this. I think.
  • Hideous Nomo has finally found a team willing to give him money to pitch. That team? The Tampa Bay Devil Rays (insert joke here). Truthfully, the Tampa only signed him to a minor league contract with the obligatory invite to spring training, so this really isn't a bad move. No risk for a potential small reward, in the form of a couple of extra wins, and perhaps a few more butts in the seats just because of the name. I am, however, expecting to hear by next season that Nomo has gone back to Japan, where he will find out that he can't pitch there, either, prompting him to go out on all-night saki binges for the rest of his days...

Updates to the sidebar, by the way. A Citizen's Blog is a well-written blog on the Philadelphia Phillies, and it's written by Mike Berquist. Mike somehow finds time to do his Phillies blog, an Eagles blog, and be an attorney-at-law, which is something I find difficult to believe. I mean, where does he fit in the attorney thing while running both blogs? I think he's got to give up that little law hobby if he wants to be a serious blogger, but that's just my opinion.

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