Sat, Dec 23, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Sosa trains for a possible return to the major leagues

AP , SANTO DOMINGO

Former Baltimore Oriole Sammy Sosa points skyward after hitting a solo home run against the Colorado Rockies in the fourth inning of a game last year in Baltimore. Sosa has begun training in hopes of returning to Major League Baseball.

PHOTO: AP

Sammy Sosa began training on Thursday in hopes of returning to Major League Baseball.

"I feel like I did when I was a rookie," Sosa said. "I have a lot of spirit and a desire to return. I think I can play three or four more years in the form I am now."

Out of the park

Sosa hit the ball out of the park 15 times while training at a field in San Pedro de Macoris that is operated by the Japanese Cental League's Hiroshima Carp.

The 38-year-old slugger said he had received calls from teams interested in signing him but declined to reveal their names.

He has not played since last year with the Baltimore Orioles, when he hit .221 with 14 home runs and 45 RBIs.

Sosa feels that baseball has turned its back on him, calling it a "blow" to not have received more offers to come back last season.

Washington was the only team that publicly expressed interest in the Dominican's services, offering him a non-guaranteed US$500,000 contract that Sosa later rejected.

`I want the chance'

"I want the chance and I believe one is going to appear. This time I will accept an offer like the one with the Nationals because I want to get back to the majors," he said.

Sosa, who won the National League's most valuable player award, played 17 seasons with the Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs and the Orioles.

A year away from the game wouldn't shake him, he said.

"Ted Williams went to war and lost a couple years. More recently, Barry Bonds stayed away for more than a year and came back, and the same happened with Frank Thomas because of injuries," he said.

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