Don't expect Sammy Sosa to try to find his swing in Japan. Despite several reports saying he would sign with a Japanese team, Sosa said he has no interest in playing overseas.

"I'm not going to Japan," Sosa said in a phone interview from Miami. "I don't need to go to Japan. I want to play here and get 600 home runs. Next year I know I will be better."

Though Sosa would prefer to return to the Baltimore Orioles, he said he'd be willing to play for another team, though preferably in the American League where he can DH occasionally. It's uncertain what kind of market exists for Sosa, who hit just .221 with 14 home runs this season.

Sosa needs just 12 home runs to reach 600, a mark held by only four players: Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds and Willie Mays.

"Those are some of the best players ever to play the game," Sosa said. "It's not a record that's easy to attain."

Meanwhile, though it seems likely the Orioles will retain interim manager Sam Perlozzo, Vice President of Baseball Operations Mike Flanagan did not count out Lou Piniella as a possible candidate.

"We haven't eliminated anybody from the process," Flanagan said. "But I can't say his name has come up either."

-- Jorge Arangure Jr.