He is not one to make excuses, Sammy Sosa said, but he thinks there is a reason why he has often looked lost at the plate and seemingly ages away from being the powerful home run hitter he once was.
"My problem has been my feet and that's difficult for any hitter to overcome," he said. "I've played with a lot of pain this year but I haven't told anybody. It's not an excuse. But it has hurt. I have to talk now because it's been troubling me."
Sosa said he didn't want to say anything publicly because he was trying to fit in with a new team and wanted to play every day. But realizing how his reputation as a hitter has taken a dip this season, Sosa wanted to explain. He has twice been on the disabled list with foot injuries. From May 5 through 24 Sosa was out of the lineup with an abscess and staph infection on his left foot. Then on Aug. 28, Sosa was placed on the DL -- retroactive to Aug. 25 -- with a lesion in his right big toe. Sosa showed the gruesome toe to reporters on Monday.
"That takes a long time to heal," he said. "What can I do? I've played with a lot of pain."
Sosa says he likely won't be healthy the rest of the year but he vows he will return and try to improve upon his season, which has been a disappointment. Sosa is hitting just .221 with 14 home runs. He hit in the batting cage on Tuesday is eligible to come off the disabled list on Saturday. He isn't sure whether he can return on that day since he can't run yet.
"Maybe I can DH," Sosa said. "I want to finish strong. I'm eager to play; let's see what happens."
Sosa will travel with the team this weekend to Seattle and he hopes to hit early batting practice on Friday. At that point Sosa thinks he will make a determination whether he can come off the DL.