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The Bleacher Bums: December 22, 2006 Archive

Just what the Twins need...or maybe not...

Posted at 11:03 AM on December 22, 2006 by David Zingler (3 Comments)

He’s 38 years old, hit .221/.295/.376 in 2005 with Baltimore, sat out the 2006 season and is now ready for a comeback. Yes, I am talking about the once-beloved Sammy Sosa. The former hulkster swatted over 60 home runs in season a record three times before shrinking in his seat during an unconvincing denial of steroid use in front congress and shriveling up during the season that followed. The only bite Sosa got in 2006 was a minor league contract and invitation to spring training from Washington, which he felt was beneath him.

Now, according to the Associated Press, Sosa claims there is some interest in his services, but declined to go into specifics. Would it be worthwhile for the Twins to give the former MVP a spring audition? It would add some spice to spring training, but sorting out the team’s starting rotation will probably provide plenty of fodder for discussion. In the unlikely event Sosa would make the team, he would take at-bats away from Jason Kubel, who I still think can be a productive hitter. I also think Ken Harvey, who the Twins recently signed to a minor league deal, has a better chance of being a productive player than Sosa at this point. Good luck, Sammy, and remember, there’s always independent ball.

Cecil Travis 1913-2006
While Cecil Travis came back from World War II with his life, he sacrificed his promising baseball career to serve his country. Travis, who passed away last week at the age of 93, was an infielder with gap power, who hit .317 or higher seven times in his first eight full seasons. In 1941, Travis hit a career high .359 and led the major leagues with 218 hits. I can’t imagine too many people noticed however, with Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak and Ted Williams batting .406 that season. The ensuing December, shortly after Pearl Harbor, Uncle Sam came calling and it was off to the 76th Infantry for the Senators’ star.

Travis returned to Washington late in the 1945 season, but with almost 4 years away from the game, he was never the same. His comeback lasted 226 games, in which the three-time All Star hit just .241 before retiring with a .314 career average and 1,544 hits. Many feel that Travis was on his way to the Hall of Fame before the War interrupted his career.

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