Sosa hoping for fresh start

The addition of Sammy Sosa will make the Orioles fun to watch, but it's tough to see how Baltimore can improve.

Originally Published: March 18, 2005
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
JUPITER, Fla. -- The Baltimore Orioles have a lineup with mashers-a-plenty and the promise of providing lots of value for the entertainment dollar this season. But a little continuity sure would be nice.

The Orioles drove an hour up Interstate 95 from Fort Lauderdale on Thursday to play St. Louis, and the team bus was a tad light on star power. Second baseman Brian Roberts stayed behind with a shoulder injury and shortstop Miguel Tejada was absent because he was recovering from some dental work. Manager Lee Mazzilli also has had to cope with periodic absences by catcher Javy Lopez (sore elbow and jammed finger), outfielder Jay Gibbons (pneumonia) and third baseman Melvin Mora (respiratory ailment).

Two more boppers were missing in action Thursday, but at least they have a note from their elected official. Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro traveled to Washington for the day to appear at congressional steroid hearings, also known as the "Henry Waxman Olympics.''

Jerry Crasnick

ESPN Senior Writer