Cubs: ‘Long Gone Summer’ director AJ Schnack talks Sammy Sosa, steroids
The director of ‘Long Gone Summer’ recently spoke about Cubs star Sammy Sosa.
The day has finally come. No, baseball isn’t returning – at least not yet. But Cubs fans will get their first look at ESPN’s ‘Long Gone Summer’, a documentary highlighting the great home run race of 1998 between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire.
AJ Schnack spoke with FanSided about making the documentary recently, telling Mark Carman that it will be something unlike anything baseball fans have seen or heard, especially in the one-on-one interviews with the two players.
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"“Once we started talking, I had done a bunch of research, I knew about 20 minutes in that he (McGwire) was telling me stuff that I had never seen him tell anyone before so I knew we had something special.”"
Of course, Sosa and McGwire are in different spots as far as their respective places in the game today. The latter admitted steroid usage a decade ago, while the former Cubs superstar continues to maintain his innocence to this day.
The outcome? McGwire held coaching roles with the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres – most recently serving as the Friars’ bench coach before leaving the team at the conclusion of the 2018 season. Meanwhile, Sosa remains blacklisted by the organization he made a name for himself with.
How both men address PEDs in the documentary varies widely, as well, according to Schnack.
"“I think it’s very different between the two of them. Mark has I think spoken honestly about what he did, why he did it, when he did it. Sammy feels that he has stated for the record in front of congress that he never did it and I think he finds the ongoing questioning a little disrespectful I think to him and his career. I think just the fact that he has to discuss it is a bit annoying.”"
Neither McGwire or Sosa have come anywhere close to gaining enough support to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame – and it doesn’t look like that will change anytime soon. At this point, at least in the short-term, the best Sosa can hope for is a reunion with the Cubs – something owner Tom Ricketts has repeatedly spoken against until the 1998 NL MVP admits using performance-enhancing drugs.
But for one hour on Sunday night, we can all go back to the summer that saved baseball, when two men went head-to-head in a slugfest that captured the hearts of a nation. I can’t wait.