Welcome to the 600 Club, Sammy.
Sammy Sosa drilled his 600th career home run tonight, on a 1-2 pitch from Cubs' starter Jason Marquis in the 5th inning. As the ball came off his bat and took off towards the right-center field fence, Sammy did his trademark hop into the air, and he raised his fist triumphantly when the ball landed in the Rangers' bullpen. Akinori Otsuka came up with the baseball, grinning widely as he held the ball up like a trophy.
Let's be honest here: Sammy's not having a real great season. He's hitting just .241/.298/.448, and his defense is barely passable in right field. The Texas Rangers are going nowhere this year, and Sammy's unlikely to return next year. This team needs to move forward with Jason Botts at DH and see what happens, lest we give away another Adrian Gonzalez or Travis Hafner.
With all that being said though, this was an incredibly cool moment. Sammy comes with his share of baggage, but I find it impossible to dislike him. Even though he's not a very good baseball player anymore, I'm glad that Jon Daniels signed him this off-season, even if only for this one moment.
Another thing to consider: if Sosa hadn't been signed and Botts was the everyday DH from the start of the season, he probably would have never implemented the adjustments in his swing which could make him a mainstay in Arlington for years to come.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Sosa will be on this team for at least several more weeks, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's on the Rangers for the rest of the year. After all, he's still a very serviceable lefty masher, and releasing Sosa outright would be a major PR hit, especially among the average casual Ranger fan. I can see a trade, but I have a feeling the Rangers may only deal him to a contender, and he wouldn't bring much of a return, anyway.
These are all concerns for another day, though.
Congratulations, Sammy. You've earned it.