Chicago Cubs: Karl Ravech talks Cubs-Cardinals, Cole Hamels addition

Karl Ravech of ESPN speaks prior to Game 1 of the 2015 World Series.(Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images)
Karl Ravech of ESPN speaks prior to Game 1 of the 2015 World Series.(Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Sosa’s future in Wrigleyville? Cloudy, at best

Whenever the Cubs and Cardinals hook up, it’s hard to not reminisce over the epic battles of yesteryear. For my generation, at least, that means memories of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa slugging it out in the summer of 1998.

But over the last two decades, the sentiment surrounding Sosa has changed a great deal. He’s been blacklisted by the Cubs and Major League Baseball – and does little to help his own case, if we’re being honest. The suspected PED user continues to skirt around any questions about his career – carefully dancing around ever confirming what he may have done to enhance his abilities.

Ravech, for his part, has trouble believing the game will ever welcome him back – at least while Sosa keeps up this approach.

"Given his recent interview, I don’t. I think there’s got to be sort of a cleaning of the closet with Sammy Sosa that I didn’t feel existed in his most recent interview. That was a very confusing, puzzling path he tried to walk down and I don’t think an organization would embrace someone who refused to answer the questions he was asked."

In that interview, Sosa continually repeated the phrase ‘I never tested positive,’ when asked about suspected PED usage. Of course, that’s a far cry from ‘I never used performance-enhancing drugs,’ and that did not go unnoticed by the baseball world.

On the North Side, Sosa was an icon – one seemingly destined for Cooperstown with a white flag with the number 21 flying down the line at Wrigley. Instead, Tyler Chatwood dons the uniform and the odds of Kyle Hendricks hitting 95 on the radar gun are higher than Sosa ever being enshrined at the Confines.

What does it come down to? Owning it – and acknowledging the past, as so many others have done.

"“There’s been so many examples of players who have confessed, admitted, acknowledged and it seems, for the most part, they’ve been ‘apology accepted.’ He wasn’t willing, at that moment, to issue any type of apology or acknowledgement or awareness that he had done anything that was not within accepted rules of the game – even if they weren’t written down rules.”"

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So, as the Cubs look to avoid a series sweep tonight at Busch Stadium, Ravech gave us plenty to think about. A straight-shooter, he’s watched this rivalry grow and evolve over the years – and there are few better equipped to talk about it outside of the two respective organizations.

Now, let’s go get that win.