Since the end of the regular season, i’ve been in a strange sort of funk in terms of writing. I’ve been so frustrated with the team that I have not wanted to even hear any news about them, let alone write the news/commentary myself. Now, as we begin to move toward the official beginning of the Free Agent frenzy, I am beginning to emerge from my self induced Cubs coma. I am going to make every attempt to be optimistic about this team and the moves that Jim Hendry has in store. In the next day or so, I will try to comment on who I would like to see in a Cubs uniform in 2005. Until then, I am going to take the time to share my opinion on some rumors and happenings in the last week or so.

Sammy Sosa
Is there anyway to make this guy just go away? I admit, when Sammy was battling Mark McGwire for the HR title, I was a stupid fan that only looked at his HR numbers. I thought to myself, “Hey, this guy could be the greatest player in the game today.” I know it sounds funny to hear that now that we have seen such an incredible turnaround from a player that used to be a media darling, but has not turned into a card carrying member of the Sex Pistols. Everyone must tip toe around the great Sammy for fear that at any minute he might blast his music and erupt like a volcano. Perhaps the fame was just too much for him. Perhaps it has simply gone to his head. Maybe he feels as if he is indeed better than he really is. Maybe the problem is that Sammy follows that hallowed rule passed down from player to player for ages way too literally. The rule of not listening to the media, EVER. The fact of the matter is, this guy needs to wake up, spend some time reading The Cubs Blog Army and realize that maybe his luster and attraction has worn out.

All around I have been reading trade rumors for Sammy. I have a hard time deciding if any trade will actually happen. I mean after all, we’re talking about a drastically overpriced cancer. I don’t know too many people that will pay 16-18 million dollars to acquire cancer. Yet on the other hand, I think about the fact that we have the great magician Jim Hendrini as our GM. The man has magical powers that enable him to convince teams that his garbage is their treasure. I have complete faith in Jim Hendrini’s powers, but there are times you just have to ask yourself, “Are we asking too much from one man?”

I’ve read rumors of late concerning Sosa. Looking at all of them, I’m not sure that I like any.

Rumor # 1 ~ Sosa to LA

Hendry might be attempting an even more difficult proposal than trading Todd Hundley for Mark Grudzielanek and Eric Karros. The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday that the Cubs and Dodgers will discuss an exchange of right fielders Sammy Sosa and Shawn Green during the general managers meetings this week in Key Biscayne, Fla.

Rumor # 2, 3, & 4 ~ Sosa Going Everywhere
There is speculation the New York Mets could offer former Thornwood High School standout Cliff Floyd for Sosa if they cannot land free agent Manny Ramirez, the World Series MVP for the Boston Red Sox. The Colorado Rockies, according to rumors, are interested in shedding the contracts of outfielder Preston Wilson, catcher Charles Johnson and pitcher Denny Neagle and could consider dealing for Sosa. “I have not talked to the (Cubs) about Sosa, but I would definitely get in the middle of a trade like that if I could spin (Sosa) somewhere else,” Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd told the Denver Post over the weekend. Rumors have also surfaced that Florida could be interested in Sosa, who has a home in Miami. The North Siders would likely have to pay a large chunk of Sosa’s salary — and give up a prospect or two, or take right fielder Juan Encarnacion and his $4.45 million salary from the Marlins.

I’m not sure about how much truth there is to any or all of these rumors, but If it were up to me, the Marlins and Met’s seem the most intriguing. If the Rockies deal is the case, we get an over priced backup catcher, an OF that strikes out more than I would if I played, and an overpriced # 5 starter. If we took the Dodgers deal, which I do not think will happen, we get a RF which potential to do well, but will be disappointed in coming to Chicago. That’s not the kind of player we need.

In my times of concern, I always check with what my favorite writer has to say, and as always, Rick Morrissey did not disappoint.

It could be we’re too close to the Sammy Sosa situation to have a reasonable perspective on the guy. It’s possible we’re having trouble seeing the cork forest for the cork trees. But I doubt it. So we ask ourselves: Why would any team in its right collective mind want this guy? What can he offer even the most gullible franchise? And why do we feel the perverse need to ask these questions when all we want is for Sosa to go away?

The Cubs would rather not ponder any of it as they try to trade Sosa, the greatest home-run hitter in team history and a man who somehow became one of the biggest horse’s patoots the club ever has had (no disrespect intended, Dave Kingman).

I don’t know what is going to happen this offseason. All I know is that Morrissey’s title says it all. “Cubs urgently need sucker, er, taker for Sosa” Our season depends on it. We’ll just have to stay tuned.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail