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The Cubs Convention, Day 2

Today's topic is Sammy Sosa.

His session was the largest-attended of the day -- an overflow crowd in the Grand Ballroom, probably 5,000 people shoehorned in there.

He showed up 20 minutes late -- because he was finishing signing *every* autograph at his previously committed autograph session. He gave the full hour, staying 20 minutes past the scheduled end time.

Look, I used to be a Sammy basher when he had the chains and the Jheri curls and we knew him as "Selfish Sammy". And yes, he's got a huge ego.

But not a single one of you can argue with the production he's given the last five years. Example: Sosa has walked over 100 times the last two years. Do you know how many other Cubs have *EVER* done that? ONE: Jimmy Sheckard, in 1911 and 1912.

When he hits his 43rd HR of this season, he'll be the all-time club leader.

He's the only player to hit 60 HR in a season three times.

If he hits 50 this year, he'll become the only player to do that *five* times.

Yes, he's a showboat. But he didn't get where he is by being one; he got there by working his butt off, and IMO he's still doing that.

He addressed the music issue, and I think he's defused it. Yes, he's going to play his music. But I think his teammates won't LET it become a distraction. Yes, he'll show up late to spring training. Who makes this an issue? The news media, looking for a story.

He had high praise for Dusty Baker and a veiled slam at Don Baylor by doing so, and I think Baker is, as I've said before, the *perfect* manager for him.

Am I going to fawn over him? No. Am I going to criticize the bad parts of his game? Sure -- he's got no speed any more and he's become a mediocre right fielder; I'd think moving him to left when Alou is done would be a fine idea.

But we are seeing the man who will probably, statistically at least, be the greatest player in Cubs history. Enjoy.