Wrigley Field in Chicago is celebrating its 100th birthday today with a lot of hoopla, including a Cubs-Diamondbacks throwback game, a 400-pound cake, and a whole bunch of former players in attendance.
Sammy Sosa is not among them, because the Cubs didn’t bother to invite him. Obviously it’s easy to figure out why they’d rather just sweep Sosa and his time with the team under the rug, but it still seems awfully sketchy to actually do so considering how great he was at Wrigley Field.
Sosa played 917 career games at Wrigley Field and hit .289 with 293 homers and a .960 OPS there.
I’m sure plenty of people disagree, but I absolutely think the Cubs should have invited Sosa and I’d have bet an awful lot of money–or at least, say, Calcaterra’s house–that the Wrigley Field crowd would have given him a huge ovation.
Welp, that didn’t last long. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is going back on the injured list with more knee issues. If it matters the Sox say it’s not a big deal and they expect him back sooner rather than later, but they also said that his post-2017 knee surgery was just a “cleanup” at first and that basically cost him a year. So.
Pedroia has played in six games and is 2-for-20 with a walk.
I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that Pedroia’s career may be nearing an end. Sure, he’s under contract for two more years after this season, but he’s also in a unfortunate spiral that so many players experience in their mid-to-late 30s.
Running a website like this makes it all the clearer, actually. When you search a player’s name in our CMS, you get every post in which he appears in reverse chronological order. Just about every long-tenured player ends with about six posts in which he is alternately placed on and activated from the disabled/injured list. Then an offseason link to a big feature in which he’s written about as being “at a crossroads” followed by something vague about “resuming baseball activities” and then, inevitably, the retirement announcement. I can’t count the number of guys whose careers I can tick off in that way by browsing the guts of this site.
I hope that’s not the case for Pedroia. I hope that there’s a “Pedroia wins Comeback Player of the Year” post in the future. Or at the very least a silly “Miller’s Crossing” reference in an “And that Happened” in which I say “the old man’s still an artist with the Thompson” after he peppers the ball around in some 3-for-4, two-double game. I want that stuff to happen.
It’s just that, if you watch this game long enough, you realize how unlikely that is once a player starts to break down.