Sosa just glad to play another day
Posted: Monday September 28, 1998 01:45 PM
By Dave Van Dyck
HOUSTON -- Sammy Sosa knows what he's going to do when he sees Neifi Perez in the Dominican Republic this winter.
``I'm going to shake his hand,'' Sosa said. ``He gave us another opportunity.''
Perez's home run turned the Cubs' 4-3 loss to the Houston Astros from sad to happy. It gave the Colorado Rockies a 9-8 victory over San Francisco, setting up a playoff for the playoffs tonight between the Giants and Cubs.
Perez's homer may be gigantic in Chicago, but in St. Louis the talk was about two by Mark McGwire, giving him 70 at the end of his season, four more than Sosa.
``He's The Man now,'' said Sosa, whose statistics tonight will count toward the regular season. ``I've been saying all year that he's The Man.
``I would like to say to him, `Congratulations on No. 70.' ''
Sosa said he has a chance at something McGwire doesn't.
``Mark McGwire is going to go home tonight, and tomorrow maybe go to the beach,'' he said. ``And I'm going to play.'' Of course, McGwire will be the official record-holder of the single-season home-run record, having broken Roger Maris' mark of 61 long ago. Whether Sosa is remembered in the same breath 10 years from now only will be known 10 years from now.
``Ten years, 50 years from now, I hope they remember me, too,'' Sosa said. ``Pretty much all year long, I was with him. When they mention McGwire, they're going to mention me.''
If there is any other individual consolation for Sosa, it is that he is expected to be the National League MVP, perhaps unanimously.
``I'm not thinking about that right now,'' he said. ``I'm thinking about the game tomorrow.''
He was able to think about it only because of Perez's home run.
Sosa was like the rest of the Cubs, leaving the field with his head down after the Astros scored in the bottom of the 11th inning.
But by the time Sosa was at the top of the stairs, the news came about Perez's homer, meaning the Cubs and Giants were tied after 162 games.
``At first, I was thinking about going home and singing the blues,'' said Sosa, using one of his favorite new lines.
``I'm happy, really excited because we're still alive. I hope tomorrow we can win the game and celebrate.''
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