Sammy Sosa is going to be waiting a while

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Last week, Sammy Sosa said that, following his retirement, he would “calmly wait” to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The headline from a weekend story in the Chicago Tribune: “Sammy Sosa
gets reluctant Hall nod from most.” That isn’t from most Hall of Fame
voters, mind you, just most of the eight Hall of Fame voters who happen
to work for the Tribune. And, as the headline suggests, the support isn’t exactly strong:

Until there’s significant evidence he cheated, Sosa gets my wobbly
vote . . . No, no, a thousand times no . . . we still don’t know any
more about the steroid suspicions surrounding Sosa, which were
circulated merely based on the “eye test” of fans and media.
Fortunately, we will have another four years to uncover any possible
revelations regarding Sosa and others . . . You can’t disqualify Sosa
using those guidelines. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t cheat. Just
that he did it better than some others . . . I’m calling for a separate
wing for the Hall of Fame for candidates like Sosa, Mark McGwire, Barry
Bonds, Manny Ramirez and others who have been suspected of bulking up
with improper chemicals . . . The answer now is a yes vote, but we have
four years to have our minds changed, thank goodness . . . Obviously,
suspicions about Sammy Sosa also exist, and he never quite has
addressed them, but as he continues to work on his English over the
next four years, we should feel confident that he will provide a
clearer picture of how he did what he did.

If that’s the kind of sentiment that comes from the guys who covered
Sosa for this defacto hometown newspaper for so many years, we can only
guess that the sentiment against him among the other Hall of Fame
voters is going to be much stronger.

Not that this is particularly shocking. At least no more shocking
than the fact that one newspaper gets eight Hall of Fame votes.

Rays acquire RHP Drew Smith from Tigers

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The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.

Yankees activate Didi Gregorius from the disabled list

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The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.

Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.

Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.