Well, I'll miss Sammy in Wrigley, but I guess it was time for a change. I find it hard to believe that the Cubs can replace the 70ish homeruns and many extrabase hits and RBIs that can from Alou and Sosa over the past 4-5 years. I am predicting 3rd place for them this season.
Alou's 2002 and 2003 seasons for the Cubbies were extremely average. He didn't hit 15 HR and 61RBI in 2002, went 22/91 in 2003 (a year they were five outs away from the World Series.) He had a year last year where he the most home runs in a season in his career (by one, he hit 38 in 98), in a year where Wrigley Field played even better than Coors Field for home runs. And, it should be said here, that he hit 29 home runs at Wrigley, and 10 on the road, in almost an identical number of AB's, 301-300. The rest of his home/road splits are pretty ugly as well. He was also atrocious on the bases, and got the Cubs ran out of more than a couple of innings on a couple of purely unacceptable baserunning gaffes. He was also pretty brutal in the field. Watching him in the spacious SBC Park right field will be fun this year. I will not miss him or his constant bitching at umpires.
As far as Sosa goes, losing him is tough on me as a Cub fan. My cable company finally got WGN out here in 1998, and while I'd been a Cub fan forever, getting to watch them 2-3 times per week (at least) sure makes following them a lot easier. I will miss him for what he meant to the Cubs from 1998 to about 2002, but the man is on a pretty solid three year decline, starting in 2002. Throw in the corking suspension, the bad attitude last year, the walking out on the last game of the season, getting booed at the Cubs Convention, rumors about his age (among other rumors), plus him WANTING to leave, made this trade necessary. They didn't really get the greatest talent in return for him, but its one of those moves that you have to make. Sosa wouldn't have been able to handle getting booed in Wrigley this year.
Still doesn't explain why the Reds would make the trade, unless Dusty thinks that it will be an extremely hot August and September, and thus Dusty will be at his mental peak to guide the Reds to a near unbeaten record.