Cubs: Sammy Sosa said he had permission to leave final game
Sammy Sosa revealed he was given permission by manager Dusty Baker to leave his final game early, adding to his complicated relationship with the Cubs
It’s no question the Chicago Cubs’ Sammy Sosa has had a frustrating relationship. From someone who idolized him growing up, watching things unfold has been nothing short of disappointing.
From the corked bat incident to his positive PED tests, Sosa didn’t turn out to be the hero I made him out to be. In a recent interview, he claimed during his final game as a Cub, one in which he left early, that then-manager Dusty Baker gave him permission to do so.
On October 3rd, 2004, the Cubs played the Braves at Wrigley Field for the last game of the regular season. Not only was it the final game of the season, but it would be Sosa’s last game in a Cubs uniform.
Well, that phrase could be used if he suited up for this one. He left the game 15 minutes after it started without dressing up. The reason that was given was for being banged up, but that did not excuse his individualistic act.
Adding this to his positive PED test in 2003 and his corked bat incident in June of the same year, reputation had become an issue for Sosa in his career. I remember the day Sosa corked his bat.
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The Cubs were playing the Devil Rays that day, and I was convinced my favorite player could never do anything wrong. When Sosa’s bat cracked, revealing the cork in it, I was devastated, but refused to believe it was intentional. I wanted to read the narrative that said he just picked up a random bat from the bench.
Little did I know this was just the beginning. Sosa and his relationship with the team has been tarnished. Sure, a corked bat and early departure may seem like minor details but pair that with a positive PED test and we have a very choppy situation for a player who meant so much to an organization.
Sosa has been open about accepting a welcome back to the Cubs but Tom Ricketts refuses to do so until he owns up to his past. Taking ownership for past mistakes is so crucial not only in baseball but in everyday life and by the Cubs taking stock into that shows the ethical values this team has.
Circling back to Sosa’s final game with the team, the narrative he gives about Baker letting him leave early really doesn’t mean much, as it just seems like another shot for attention.
At this point, it doesn’t matter what anyone told Sosa he could or couldn’t do, what matters is his ability, or lack thereof, to apologize for his mistakes if he wants any opportunity for the Cubs to welcome him back.
Sosa is a unique player in the Cubs history, and it truly is disappointing to see his relationship with the team be so poor. Maybe one day, he will return, but until then, we are forced to watch him find little ways to get into the spotlight.