Sammy Sosa: “The Cubs know where to find me”

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Sammy Sosa wasn’t invited to Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday party Wednesday and the former MVP agrees with me that it was a petty move by the Cubs.

Sosa talked to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes about the situation, saying:

I think there is something that has to be resolved. If there is something to clarify, we will sit down and clear it up. Time has given me the maturity to reflect upon many things, including knowing that one side doesn’t have to be right all the time.

I should have been there; I would have liked to have been there. The Cubs know where to find me, and I hope to have the chance to clear up any misunderstanding.

“Misunderstanding” is an odd way to describe why the Cubs don’t want Sosa around, but then again the notion that the Cubs need him to “apologize” before he’s allowed back into the franchise’s good graces seems similarly silly.

He’s one of the best players in Cubs history and hit nearly 300 home runs at Wrigley Field. Pretending none of that happened is absurd.

Mike Leake loses perfect game bid on leadoff single in the ninth

Mike Leake
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Just one week after Taylor Cole and Felix Peña tossed a combined no-hitter against Seattle, Mariners right-hander Mike Leake worked on his own perfect game through eight innings against the Angels.

It was an ambitious form of revenge, and one that Leake served up perfectly as he held the Angels scoreless in frame after frame. He sprinkled a handful of strikeouts throughout the first eight innings, catching Matt Thaiss on a called strike three in the third and getting two whiffs — called strikeouts against both Brian Goodwin and Shohei Ohtani — in the fourth.

The Mariners, meanwhile, put up a good fight against the Angels, backing Leake’s attempt with 10 runs — their first double-digit total since a 13-3 rout of the Orioles on June 23. Daniel Vogelbach led things off in the fourth with a three-run homer off of reliever Jaime Barria, then repeated the feat with another three-run shot off Barria in the fifth. Tom Murphy and J.P. Crawford helped pad the lead as well with a two-RBI single and two-RBI double, respectively.

In the ninth, with just three outs remaining, the Angels finally managed to break through. Luis Rengifo worked a 1-1 count against Leake, then returned an 85.3-m.p.h. changeup to right field for a base hit, dismantling the perfecto and the no-hitter in one fell swoop. Leake lost control of the ball following the hit, issuing four straight balls to Kevan Smith in the next at-bat and giving the Angels their first runner in scoring position. Still at a pitch count of just 90, however, he induced the next two outs in quick fashion and polished off the win with a triumphant eight-pitch strikeout against Mike Trout for the first one-hitter (and Maddux) of his career.

Had Leake successfully closed out the perfecto, it would’ve been the first of his decade-long career in the majors and the first the Mariners had seen since Félix Hernández’s perfect game against the Rays in August 2012. For their part, the Angels have yet to be on the losing end of a perfecto. The last time they were shut out in a no-hitter was 1999, at the hands of then-Twins pitcher Eric Milton.