Implied Dissent

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Wow, write columns in consecutive weeks and suddenly I need a break. Don’t worry I didn’t go searching for the truth, I already found it growing up on Michael Jordan. So I am back and stronger than ever (hopefully).
Certainly the same cannot be said for Sammy Sosa. Lost in the whole Nomar Garciaparra-Boston divorce has been the Chicago perspective. As Cubs fans embrace the fallen Garciaparra, the backlash on Sosa has only intensified. There is an amusing irony in Cubs fans showing Garciaparra how they can be much more supportive than the Boston media while booing Sosa any chance they get.
Falls from superstardom are rarely smooth and it has been rather ugly in Sosa’s case. Really nothing has been the same since Salomon Torres hit him in the head last season. After a lengthy stint on the DL, Sosa returned only to be busted for using a corked bat against the Devil Rays. It was one thing to wonder if Sosa was using a performance enhancement substance but to have evidence of him cheating was a different story. It also showed how desperate Sosa was to regain his superstar status.
No doubt Sosa had an amazing run from 1998 to 2002 that no one saw coming. He gained patience and learned how to work the count. Sosa became a hitter and as a result a top 5 player in the game. The home run chase between Sosa and McGwire swept the nation and established Sosa as a baseball icon.
Of course the higher one goes, the greater the fall. Seeing Sosa revert back to his free swinging days is sad. Watching a former superstar become mediocre is not easy. Clearly it is not easy for Sosa either. He refuses to accept his decline even though he isn’t even the 5th best player on the Cubs these days.
Fortunately the Cubs don’t need Sosa to carry them anymore. Unfortunately, Sosa still will only bat 3rd or 4th in the lineup making it harder for the Cubs to reach the postseason. When Sosa was the man it was the team that lacked the overall quality, now it is the reverse.
The solution is simple though embracing it has been rather hard. Cubs’ fans and Sosa himself have to accept the reality that he is not a superstar anymore. Sosa needs to realize that in the current lineup if he is merely a key contributor that is more than enough. Cub’s fans needs to remember all Sosa did and realize he is the greatest Cub of all-time. For now both Sosa and Cubs fans are striking out.Quick Thoughts: Clearly Dave Wannstedt broke the deal he made with the devil…Congratulations to the Chargers on showing why Eli Manning never wanted to go there… It is more interesting watching the USA hoops team lose than win…Gary Payton’s talk about not wanting to move his family would sound a little more convincing if he didn’t whine his way out of Seattle…email any thoughts to for possible use in a future mailbag column


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