Someday, Sammy Sosa should run for the president of the Dominican Republic or congress, or dogcatcher or something, because the ease with which he can placate a room full of knee-pad wearing reporters is amazing. Those of us who’ve paid attention to Sammy the last 14 years or so knew what we were going to get in yesterday’s press conference from Baltimore. You’d get a lot of questions where he talked a lot and didn’t say anything. And the more controversial the question, the less coherent his English would become. Sammy’s not stupid, he just knows where the emergency exit drop floor is in any interview. You start to hit a nerve and every sentence ends with “buddy” then it’s his house and somebody else’s house and the word love starts flying at you like you’re a starlet that Leonardo DiCaprio has cornered at 4 a.m. in some LA bar. But by far the most interesting part of yesterday’s Sosa press conference from Baltimore was that the Orioles apparently have a cheesy talk-show set that they can set up for these things. Didn’t you expect to see one of the Marsalis brothers leading a band off to stage right? All that was missing was Alec Baldwin sitting one spot next to Sammy on the couch. The Cubs, meanwhile, held their press conference in a cinderblock lined room that for...Read More
Feb 2, 2005 | Andy
There’s probably something sad in my hope today that Jim Hendry would wake up, see his shadow and decide to wait six weeks to sign Jeromy Burnitz, but alas, we had no such luck. And you can see how morose it’s made me, I just used the word “alas” in a sentence. Sammy Sosa is in Baltimore today taking his physical, eating crabs and blowing TV kisses to us back in Chicago. He says that keeps us “at the bottom of my heart.” I guess it’s better than him saying he keeps us at the heart of his bottom. I could go on for page after page about what a waste of time and money I think Jeromy Burnitz is, but apparently the Cubs have come to a two year agreement with Jeromy. I was hoping the agreement would be that Jeromy would play for anybody but the Cubs for two years and then retire, but no such luck. Burnitz will get more than $4 million in 2005 and there’s a mutual option (meaning, he’s out on his ass) for 2006. Did you know there are actually Cubs fans, or at least people who claim to be Cubs fans who are hoping that Sammy fails his physical so that he can come back. Does anybody really think that’s a good idea? Does anybody think there’s a snowball’s chance in...Read More
Feb 1, 2005 | Andy
The Cubs don’t have to make another roster move after trading Sammy Sosa to the Orioles, because they currently, even with the additions of Jerry Hairston, Jr., Ray Fontenot’s love child and David Crouthers (or whatever his name is), still have an open spot on the 40 man roster. In fact, they still have plenty of room for everybody’s buddy, Jeromy Burnitz! You’re excited, I can tell. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t roster battles heading into spring training. No sir. The Cubs 25 man opening day roster is up in the air with literally, one maybe two spots up for grabs! Oooh, the excitement. Will Dave Kelton make the team or get sent down and get snatched up on waivers by the Braves? Will Will Ohman’s left arm fall off during spring training? Just what purpose does Jose Macias actually fill? These questions, and more will be addressed during spring training, though it’s likely nobody will ever be able to answer the Macias one. So let’s look at what seems a likely roster make-up coming out of Mesa. The Cubs last year were going to carry 11 pitchers, but decided that when Mark Prior’s calf began to moo that they needed 12. For this exercise, let’s assume they can go with 11, which is preferable. Pitchers (11) The rotation is set with The Franchise–Mark Prior, Carlos Zambrano,...Read More
Jan 31, 2005 | Andy
I wouldn’t even allow myself to imagine the mess that will occur if somehow the Sammy Sosa trade falls through. Don’t even think about what spring training would be like then. It’d make Chernobyl look like somebody spilled grape juice on the carpet. So with Sammy planning on jetting up to Baltimore to get some crabs and take a physical tomorrow and one of the Orioles’ prospects not able to take his until Wednesday (by the way, why are the Cubs even giving the Orioles’ players physicals? If one of them had developed leprosy over the offseason, they’re not going to put the trade at risk), it’s going to be a few days before the hostage crisis finally ends. A thoughtful, intellectual Web site would take the next couple days to reflect. To reflect on what this trade means, not just to the Cubs or the Orioles but to society in general. What does it say about “us”? Hmm? Ahh, screw that. Sammy’s gone. So let’s figure out how to replace him! There are so many candidates to fill the Cubs two remaining outfield spots that it looks like the 2008 Iowa Caucus has started early. Let’s start with the in-house guys, including, for the same of argument one of the guys Sammy was traded for, Jerry Hairston, Jr. Jerry Hairston, Jr. Jerry’s 28, enjoys playing second base and...Read More
Jan 29, 2005 | Andy
And so, barring any last minute freak out by O’s deranged owner Peter Angelos, or a sneezing fit during his physical, Sammy Sosa is no longer a Cub. In a move being celebrated by those who grew to hate him, the Cubs have agreed to send Sammy to Baltimore in exchange for Jerry Hairston, Jr. and a pair of minor leaguers. Those of us who were resigned to the fact that Sammy’s return for 2005 was going to be a distraction at best and a full-scale toxic waste scene at the worst, it doesn’t really matter who the Cubs got in return. Sometimes, buddy, it’s time to go. Now’s the time. Buddy. Dopes like Phil Rogers will express mock indignation that the Cubs couldn’t get more for Sammy, and evil, little, trolls like Jay Mariotti will put down the doughnut to rip Sammy on the way out, but like all things, it was a little more complicated than either has the ability to express. Mariotti actually wrote, “This puts intense pressure on Nomar Garciaparra to stay healthy and carry the offense with Aramis Ramirez, Derrek Lee, Todd Walker and Michael Barrett.” That’s right it’s up to Nomar and FOUR other guys (not to mention Corey Patterson) to carry an offense. In an article that was supposed to be written about how Sammy wasn’t a TEAM-mate, how can Mariotti so...Read More
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