In 1985, the Texas Rangers signed a malnourished teenager named Sammy Sosa. Twenty-two years later, Sosa is nearing a return to the Rangers with a minor league deal. Just like he did when he was 16, Sosa now weighs 140 pounds.

Sosa hasn’t played since 2005, and has shed more than 100 pounds during his year away from the game, insisting the weight loss came from a strict diet and workout regimen.

“Sammy used to be too big,” said Sosa in the third person. “I worked hard the last year to make sure Sammy is like he used to be — lean and mean.”

Others aren’t so sure and suspect Sosa’s rapid weight fluctuation is attributed to illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

“In just a few years a human being bulks up about 50 pounds,” said Dr. Stephen Gatkey, a medical education professor at Northwestern University. “Then, just two years later, he’s skinny as a rail. Hmm, I wonder if this human being was bulking up on steroids.”

The Rangers don’t seem to be bothered by the controversy.

“This is about giving a man a second chance,” said Rangers general manager Jon Daniels. “It’s not like it matters. We’re going to tuck Sammy away in Double-A. Our franchise is just happy to be in the headlines for anything other than having no pitching or drastically overpaying A-Rod seven seasons ago.”

heckler editorial staff