Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sammy Sosa Seen as Less than the Sosa of Old

The inside perspective from those who watched Sammy Sosa practice during the time of his workout for the Rangers is that while he may be in decent shape for a 38-year-old, Sosa still has a way to go to cut down on his big swing, which with lost bat speed leaves him slow to turn on a fastball.

Sosa -- fifth all-time with 588 career homers -- put up decent numbers as recently as 2003, when he hit .279 with 40 longballs for the Cubs. But age, a couple of stints on the disabled list and a general loss of confidence had left him a shadow of his former self when he last played for Baltimore in 2005, hitting just .221 with 14 homers in less than 400 plate appearances.

Still, at a mere $500,000, Sosa appears to be worth a flyer, especially considering that all he must do is hit left-handed pitching as the Rangers primary right-handed designated hitter. Anything more would be gravy.