(Sammy, pictured with bat, works on fundamentals at Rangers practice)

Yep, this curious interview where Sammy Sosa claims to have “one friend,” yet won’t name him, makes me think it’s, a) The Fella Upstairs, or b) someone threatening litigation if publicly named as such (Oscar Minaya). Anyway, the only man in baseball to beat Roger Maris’ 61 season homers without admitting to, testing positive for, being witnessed taking, knowing English when questioned about, or getting shot up by Jose Canseco in an Oakland bathroom stall with — Illegal Performance Enhancing Drugs — is two homers away from his 600th. Are there any points for crossing the finish line clean? Say what you will, Sammy-hatas, but only Hank Aaron and Willie Mays have crossed au natural, as I doubt Barry could say the same nor the Babe have passed a breathalyzer. Canada’s man in Oakland, Paul Gutierrez, elbowed his way to the front of the media pack of Sammy Watchers this week to get this story for The Province.

Maybe that’s why there has been so little attention paid to Sosa, 38, as he approaches the ultra-exclusive 600-home run club, now the domain of Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays.

“That’s human nature. … I don’t need anyone to celebrate,” said Sosa, who has hit 10 home runs this season, 598 for his career.

“It’s a two-way street. Anyone who was with me at the start, they’re invited to the party.”

It would be a small fiesta. Sosa said he learned during his sabbatical who his real friends are.

“I know a lot of people,” he said, “but I have only one friend.”