Chicago Cubs slam the door in Sammy Sosa’s face yet again

(DOUG COLLIER/AFP via Getty Images)
(DOUG COLLIER/AFP via Getty Images) /

On Thursday, Tom Ricketts and the Chicago Cubs organization unveiled their new team Hall of Fame at Wrigley Field. The plaques commemorating all 56 of those enshrined will be located on the concourse near the left field bleachers.

One man notably missing is none other than Cubs all-time great Sammy Sosa. The requirements for gaining entrance into the hall include a minimum of five years as a Cub and a major contribution to the team on or off the field. I would say Sosa checks both of those boxes quite easily.

Everybody remembers the historic home run chase, as Mark McGwire and Sosa went back and forth chasing Roger Maris’ home run record of 61, set in 1961. Still to this day, the home run race is widely considered the saving grace of baseball, which had been struggling mightily after the 1994 strike.

Though it was McGwire who first eclipsed the hallowed mark, Sosa was not far behind, even taking the lead again at one point in the race. The Cubs outfielder finished the 1998 season with a slash of .308/.377/.647 with 66 home runs and 158 RBI. Just ridiculous. An absurd line that you just do not and will not see again any time soon. Sosa concluded the year by winning NL MVP and earning one of the seven All-Star appearances he made in his career.

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The next four seasons, Sosa would continue to roll, posting home run marks of 63, 50, 64 and 49 between 1999-2002, earning All-Star nods and Silver Slugger awards in all four campaigns. In 2003, things began to unravel extremely quickly. Between a corked bat incident against the Tampa Bay Rays and a positive PED test that came out later on, Sosa’s reputation with the Cubs organization quickly became tarnished.

Tom Ricketts has repeatedly stated that all Sosa needs to do to be welcomed back to the organization is simply be honest. Though forever a fan favorite, Sosa simply just doesn’t want to accept the shame and guilt that comes with admitting his wrong-doing. However, in an era that was so important to Major League Baseball and how much Sosa meant to the Cubs, I don’t think it could really hurt to simply just be honest.

Chicago Cubs, Sammy Sosa need to make amends and reconcile

Starting with the corked bat incident in which Sosa pleaded he was simply trying to put on a show for fans in batting practice and therefore grabbed it on accident. Honestly, that could happen fairly easily. There is and never will be any proof that he is lying about that. What makes things take a deeper step into the deep end for Sosa, is you simply don’t fail PED tests unless you’re positive.

I will forever love Sosa, but it sounds slightly ridiculous to deny these allegations. Though painful at the time, I’m not even sure Cubs fans care anymore.  I don’t think many see him as someone who didn’t use PEDs. We all have accepted that this was the case and have moved on with Sosa’s contributions forever appreciated regardless of what happened.

At this point, denying all of this is just one big eye-roll. Admitting honestly what happened, explaining why you did what you did and displaying some form of amends making process would pretty much give Sosa a clean slate. It seems apparent that he is content with allowing his reputation to be tarnished. I don’t believe Ricketts’ ask of coming clean to is too much of a requirement to be welcomed to a teams Hall of Fame.

At this point, fans would probably respect Sosa’s decision to come clean more than they do the current state of the situation. I’m not sure why Sosa would rather go about it this way. It’s not like anybody would be surprised if he came clean about steroid use.

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Nevertheless, Sosa will remain out of the team’s Hall of Fame until he decides to be honest. Ironically, it is the only way for him to save face. Hopefully, the former superstar slugger will do just that and come back to the Cubs. He is truly one of the greatest to ever call Wrigley Field home.