Recent news has people wondering whether or not the Chicago Cubs should finally begin to embrace former outfielder Sammy Sosa.
On Tuesday, blogger Chuck Wasserstrom posted an interview with former Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa. In the interview, Sosa compared himself to Jesus Christ and explained that he would not be doing anything on his end to try and make amends with the organization he walked out on in 2004.
The idea of a reunion between Sosa and the Cubs has long been a touchy subject for North Side fans. For a number of years, Sosa put up jaw-dropping numbers for Chicago. For many, the former slugger is the reason why they became Cubs fans in the first place.
Among the many head-scratching things said by Sosa in the interview, one comment comes across as particularly conceited. Here’s what he had to say regarding accusations of steroid use:
"Chuck, it’s like Jesus Christ when he came to Jerusalem. Everybody thought Jesus Christ was a witch (laughing) – and he was our savior. So if they talk (poop) about Jesus Christ, what about me? Are you kidding me?"
You can’t make this stuff up. The guy has an ego bigger than his supposedly vitamin-fueled biceps. Sosa is one of many players of his era alleged to have used PEDs.
First of all, in 2009, The New York Times linked Sosa and a number of other players to positive steroid tests from 2003, though the report was never corroborated.
And then of course there’s the infamous corked bat incident.
On June 3, 2003, Sosa shattered his bat, the remains ending up in the hands of home plate umpire Tim McClelland. The bat was found to have been corked, and Sosa was then ejected from the game. To this day, Sosa is adamant that he mistakenly grabbed one of his spring training bats he had corked in order to “put on a show” for the fans at practice.
You can decide for yourself whether or not that’s the truth, but for many, that excuse remains about as believable as it was 14 years ago.
The Cubs don’t owe Sosa a thing
If this interview conveyed one thing clearly, it’s that Sammy Sosa is all about himself. This much has always been true. His clubhouse rapport was lacking, to say the least. Sosa was, for the most part, all about Sammy Sosa. And it appears things haven’t changed.
When asked about a potential Chicago Cubs reunion, he had this to say:
"I never say ‘No’ to that. I owe something to the people – to the crowd in Chicago. For that, I would come back. But I’m not going to go up there and say, ‘I’m here. Please bring me back and give me a chance.’ No way. I’m not hungry. I have too much pride. They know where they can find me. They’re in their way; I am in my way."
Here’s the thing. If the Chicago Cubs want to reestablish ties with Sosa, they’re going to have to be the ones to make it happen. That’s right. The Cubs organization, not the man who walked out on the franchise, will to have to be the ones to try and make things right.
Sosa even admitted in the interview that walking out was a mistake, but then followed the statement by saying he has “too much pride” to approach the organization himself.
Is he really all that interested in a new embrace with the Cubs? Clearly not. If he was, he’d make an effort. Therefore, why should the Cubs bend over backwards for someone who won’t give them the time of day? Sosa pompously stated that he “put Chicago on the map.”
Yes, it was Sosa that first gave the Chicago Cubs any degree of relevancy.
What does the future hold?
Many remember fondly his days of hitting unprecedented numbers of mammoth home runs at the Friendly Confines. And they have every right to. Sosa was undoubtedly a source of excitement at the time. But many who shared in that excitement now feel they’ve been lied to. And those people wouldn’t necessarily be wrong in thinking so, either.
If the day does come when Sosa decides to approach the Cubs (I won’t hold my breath), I wouldn’t blame the organization one bit for giving him a firm “thanks, but no thanks.”
With his controversial playing career, his ‘all about me’ attitude, and his refusal to make amending efforts of his own, the Cubs should never feel obligated to open their arms to him. Due to his actions, he has effectively blacklisted himself.
If they see fit to embrace him again, fine. There’s a hefty portion of the fan base that would love to see it happen. In the meantime, the Chicago Cubs don’t owe Sammy Sosa a single thing. If that message isn’t clear to Sosa by now, it never will be.