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Sammy Sosa is on the DL again. He had a lesion under his big toe removed, much like the Cubs did when they traded him to Baltimore. Baltimore, by the way, was once 41-27. They are now 61-68. That's a staggering 20-41 since the middle of June. They are a mess.

One of the reasons they are a mess is Sosa. He had been dropped to 7th in the order before this latest stint on the DL. His numbers read like this: .221/.295/.376=.671. Yes, .295 OBP and only .376 slugging. They'd be better off with Mark Belanger. He has only 14 HR and 45 RBI. Something he would usually have by early June. He went to the DL in a 5-50 slump. He hadn't driven home a run in 12 games. He last homered August 4th. For the month of August he will end up hitting .159/.205/.217=.422

It's often sad to watch athletes, particularly baseball players, in decline. You wonder how it can happen, seemingly overnight. In Sosa's case there has been a steady drop in his numbers since 2001. What's truly sad about Sosa's decline though is that people are enjoying it. I don't think people reveled in seeing Willie Mays at the end of his career. Or even Willie Stargell. Or Willie Mc Covey. But they enjoy watching Sosa in this prolonged failure. There are many other players in this era that people will enjoy watching fail, if it comes to that. Bonds. Palmeiro. Giambi. The list goes on.

As for the Orioles, they are in for some bad times ahead. Melvin Mora and Brian Roberts have returned to earth. Sidney Ponson seems determined to destruct his career. Rafael Palmeiro is an embarassment to the league, will be 41 in September and isn't very good anymore. With the exception of a handful of players, their roster is old and bad. They will have a lot of turnover next year. The free agent crop is weak. Furcal looks to be the darling of the bunch but they have a great shortstop. Johnny D? I'm guessing he'd rather go elsewhere. They need a whole lot of pitching too. I don't doubt they will be seeking a new manager soon.

They tried to make a run this year. Sosa was a big part of it. They were counting on him to club homers. They tried to catch lightning in a bottle. It didn't work. Part of me wanted to see him succeed over there. But the part that didn't is enjoying his slide. If only it didn't cost the Cubs so much money for my enjoyment.


BigD said...

I know it's not right, but I do take pleasure in Sammy dropping off the table.

I include him in the growing group of athlete's that put themselves first while playing a team sport. Sammy never saw a camera and microphone he didn't like while at the hieght of his success. He put himself and his numbers ahead of the success of his team. Now that he is failing, he sits on an island he created with a bullseye on his chest.

On the other side of the spectrum is Greg Maddux. His domination on the mound equaled any success Sammy has had, yet he always put his team first. Now that Maddux is in the twilight of his career, he is being shielded from his slipping numbers. And I still root for him. Even if he were not a Cub, I would root for him. He never made himself the center of attention, so he doesn't have to run from it now.

The Zoner said...

Good stuff. I still have to order my "I Smashed Sammy's Boombox" t-shirt. I wish Maddux would write abook when he retires but you know he won't. Too bad.