Be it an act of charity or desperation, the Texas Rangers are attempting to bring Sammy Sosa to Spring Training. For the Dallas Morning News’ Jean-Jacques Taylor, said move is an unneccessary distraction.
Understand, I’m not part of the self-righteous throng passing judgment on Sosa because I believe he used performance-enhancing drugs “ he never failed a test “ to become one of the best power hitters in major league history.
I simply don’t think he can play anymore.
You have to be leery of any player who can’t get along with Dusty Baker, known far and wide as a players’ manager. Sosa does have a good relationship with Rudy Jaramillo, the Rangers’ hitting coach, who might be able to squeeze what’s left from his talent, and what player won’t like new manager Ron Washington.
That said, Sosa’s teammates aren’t going to appreciate answering question after question about his alleged steroid use throughout spring training. Trust me, the questions are going to come daily.
Hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in professional sports, and after a year away from the game, it’s hard to believe Sosa could give the Rangers much of anything. For Texas to maximize his ability, Sosa needs close to 100 at-bats in spring training so he’ll be ready for the regular season. Of course, that probably means taking at-bats away from players such as Jason Botts, Victor Diaz and Nelson Cruz.
Though I take Taylor’s general point, I disagree that hitting a baseball is the hardest task in sports. Tricking Jim Gray into believing you’re Allen Iverson is much, much more difficult.