SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic–Sammy Sosa is back in training with hopes of returning to the Major Leagues. Having been passed developmentally by a seven-year-old Dakota Fanning, Sosa has a chip on his shoulder and is out to prove himself.
Sosa with Fanning in 2001. Fanning can now squat 50 pounds more than Sosa.
“I feel like I did when I was a rookie,” Sosa told The Associated Press, wheezing several times during a phone interview from his Dominican Republic home. “I have a lot of spirit and a desire to return. I think I can play three or four more years in the form I am now,” Sosa said, his emaciated body screaming in protest as he held a telephone handset to his ear.
Sosa says that he has received calls from teams interested in signing him, but would not name names. Sources close to Sosa suggest that the teams may have actually been Dominican secondary school teams interested in Sosa as a fourth outfielder.
Sosa does not feel his one-year layoff from baseball, which he considered a snub, will affect him going into the 2007 season.
“Ted Williams went to war and lost a couple years. More recently, Barry Bonds stayed away for more than a year and came back, and the same happened with Frank Thomas because of injuries,” he said over the sound of his creaking bones. “Also, astronauts don’t go up on a mission every year. And movie stars don’t always make a movie every year. And there’s a year-long break between holidays. All of these things make me think I can come back.”