posted on Sep, 11 2004 @ 04:09 PM
CHICAGO (AP) - Struggling Sammy Sosa was dropped to No. 6 in the Chicago Cubs' batting order Saturday, the first time he's hit that low in more than
Booed frequently at Wrigley Field recently, Sosa was batting just .254 before Saturday's game with Florida. He played the first game of Friday's
doubleheader, going 0-for-4 with an error and also letting another ball drop between him and center fielder Corey Patterson. Sosa, who is eighth on
the all-time home run list with 568, has been bothered by injuries this season, first a sprained ligament in his lower back brought on by a sneezing
attack. Most recently, he's had a sore right hip.
Since coming off the disabled list for the back problem, he had batted .236 with 19 homers and 41 RBIs in 69 games before Saturday. Last month he
volunteered to move down to No. 5 in order. Sosa has batted third 60 times this season, fourth 27 times and fifth 17 times. He hasn't batted sixth
since June 10, 1994.
"Trying to give him some situations to relieve some of the pressure of being right there in the heart of the lineup and hopefully he'll respond and I
can move him back up," manager Dusty Baker said before Saturday's game.
"I don't want him down there. I want him in the heart of things. Right now he's struggling some and trying to get his swing together, trying to get
his timing. He's missed some time."
Sosa wasn't available for comment before Saturday's game.
Baker said some of Sosa's problems were related to his injuries.
"Some of it he's trying too hard. He's trying to sometimes hit an 8-run homer in one at-bat. And stop the boos and stuff. I think it affects him,"
"Start beating on the ball. That's the only way. That's why they were loving him in the first place, beating on the ball."