Cubs

Sosa believes Cubs should retire his number

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Sosa believes Cubs should retire his number

Sammy Sosa took to Ustream, a live-streaming website where users can tune-in to such streams, to do an interview discussing a number of topics, including his Hall of Fame candidacy, the potential of the Cubs retiring his No. 21 and whether he may get into coaching later in his life.
Two weeks ago Sosa received just 12.5 percent of votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America, while his good friend Mark McGwire received 19.8 percent of the votes on his fifth year on the ballot. Sosa disagreed with the writers' decision to not vote him in, saying he believes both he and McGwire deserve to be elected.
"I think so," Sosa said earlier today. "I'm not gonna come here and say anything that is gonnajeopardizemy future, but time will determine everything. Right now whatever it is, it is. I am not anybody else to go up there and say what I have to say. I'm waiting for my time. I'm the type of person that doesn't like the controversy. Definitely time will determine everything."
Sosa's 609 career home runs are certainly the main reasons he believes he deserves Hall of Fame votes, and he said two of his round-trippers still stick out to him years later.
"The one that when I hit No. 62 for the first time, that was one that I feel comfortable with and I think I'm never gonna forget that one," he said. "And 600, which I hit in Texas."
Sosa said he can not narrow down his fondest memory of his playing days in Chicago, but that sprinting out to his right field position to the roars of fans in the bleachers sticks out to him.
Related: Cubs might look to repair 'awkward' situation with Sosa
The topic of whether the Cubs will retire Sosa's jersey in the coming years was brought up, and Sosa said it is something he is looking forward to, but admitted should have happened earlier.
"I think that it's something that I'm looking for, something that I want to happen," Sosa said. "Kind of surprised it didn't happen before, but time determines everything and when that happens I'll be more comfortable and happy with my whole family. And this is a good number I carried for 14 years in Chicago, so that number should have been retired a long time ago."
While his number may be retired, don't expect to see Sosa in a Cubs uniform anytime soon. The slugger shot down any rumors about himself one day coaching -- in Chicago or the major leagues -- saying he is happy with where he is.
"Maybe in the future we'll have the opportunity with Chicago, down the road it might change my mind but I'm comfortable here."

Anthony Rizzo takes in Cubs intrasquad game in Wrigley Field bleachers

Anthony Rizzo takes in Cubs intrasquad game in Wrigley Field bleachers

Anthony Rizzo missed Summer Camp on Thursday as he remains day-to-day with lower back tightness. However, the Cubs first baseman still found a way to take in the action.

Rizzo posted up in the left field bleachers during Thursday's game, which pitted Yu Darvish vs. Kyle Hendricks. He later moved to sit by the on-deck circle.

With no fans in attendance this season, MLB players will likely be stationed throughout ballpark seating throughout games to social distance. The Cubs obviously want to see Rizzo stationed at first base come the regular season, but it would be quite the sight if he or any Cubs get to sit out in the bleachers this year.

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No regrets for Cubs' Javy Báez in not reaching extension deal before pandemic

No regrets for Cubs' Javy Báez in not reaching extension deal before pandemic

Cubs shortstop Javy Báez doesn’t know any more than anyone else where baseball’s economics and player salary markets are headed in the next year or two as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the two-time All-Star expressed no regret about not accepting a club offer during negotiations on a long-term extension over the winter and said he felt no “rush” to resume talks in the uncertain climate.

Báez, the 2018 MVP runner-up who is eligible for free agency after next season, had expressed optimism that talks were “progressing” in March before the pandemic shut down sports — and all extension talks.

“It’s been really difficult with all this happening right now,” said Báez, whose family all stayed healthy through baseball’s shutdown and who looks in good shape after working out during that time with brother-in-law Jose Berrios, the Twins pitcher.

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“We have really good communication and relationship between me and the owners and obviously my agent,” Báez added. “I think when this [is in the] past, I think we’re going to talk and stay in touch and see what happens from here on, and with the season.”

Teammate Kris Bryant, long considered a sure thing to test the open market after the 2021 season, said Monday the pandemic and first-time fatherhood has made him rethink things that are important to him — including, potentially, the Cubs and what it might take to stay with them.

But predicting where payroll budgets, industry revenues and consequently player markets will be even two or three years from now is all but impossible during a pandemic with no end in sight.

All of which could render many players and teams’ best intentions moot for now.

MORE: Why Cubs core's desire to sign extensions might not matter anymore

“This is without question the most difficult time we’ve ever had as far as projecting those things,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said this week.

Báez, who has a 2020 salary of $10 million (prorated for the shortened season), was the primary focus of the front office much of the winter as it tried to lock him up as a part of the next contending core it envisioned.

He said he has bigger things to worry about now as the team tries to stay disciplined and committed to pulling off a 60-game season.

“Obviously, everybody wants to get paid, but we’ve got to wait for the right time,” he said, “and both sides are going to see and know what’s right for each other. I’m not in a rush. I’m worried right now about getting back on the field and playing regular games and trying to win in this season that is going to be so weird.

“Obviously with this happening right now it’s going to change everything. It already changed 2020; it’s going to change the next two years I think.”

Báez said the decision to play was not really difficult and he didn’t consider opting out.

“I feel like everybody’s dealing with the same thing,” said Báez, who among other things keeps his free agency timeline intact by playing and being credited with a full season of service time for 2020. “Some of them have got contracts; some of them don’t.

“I’ve got one year [more] I’m going to be in arbitration. We’ll see. They know me. I’m pretty sure every team knows me and knows what I can do. I’m not in a rush. We’ll just see what happens this season and how it goes for me and with this 60 games and be ready for next season.

“We’ll see.”

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