Posted at 11:03 AM on December 22, 2006
by David Zingler
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.
Definately worth it. Look at what Frank Thomas did last year. The biggest difference between Sosa and Thomas is that Sosa is a personality that puts people in seats and nobody actually likes the Big Hurt. Everything I've heard about him says he's a good guy to have in the clubhouse. Worst case scenario, the Twins don't get better. Best case, you've got a guy with a huge name who could hit 25 home runs protecting Morneau, maybe 30, and you've got some incentives for him. Really, if he won't take a 1 million dollar contract with incentives, he's not going to play for anybody. And you can do a lot worse for 1 million dollars.
The Twins have to do something. (Ken Harvey has no chance of being useful).
Ryan - everything you say makes sense, adding Sammy would not only make this team better but it would do something Carl complains about all the time - Sammy would put people in the seats. All those things considored, it will never happen. We will hear how they just could not get it done to bring him here, the legislature got it done to bring Carl a new stadium......The time is now for Carl to give up some money and make a legitimate big time deal this off season.
Really? Are we saying that signing Sammy Sosa would be a legitimate big time deal??? Seriously, the guy hasn't played in a couple of years...and when he did, he was terrible. Hardly a big time deal, if anything it sounds more like a parallel to the Batista deal we made last year. A fat, washed up player, who hasn't been that great for a while, that TR signs, and tries to pass off as a player who will make a big contribution.
I agree with you that Polad is a tight wad, and Ryan, I agree that if he is willing to sign a minor league contract for a very small amount of money (which can be made larger through incentives) than it can't hurt at all. But I still don't think he's the piece we need.
From what I heard of his last couple years, he wasn't actually that great of a clubhouse guy.
He's not a comprable fielder, and the last thing we need is a guy who is going to hit .220 from the DH spot, even if all 20 of his hits on the season are homeruns.
Besides, I like watching BP the way it is now...I don't need some juiced up, corked bat, yahoo hitting shallow pop flies to the gap in left-center to make an early trip to the metrodome worth it.