In the last year or so, there have been some very, very minor signs of the frosty relationship between the Chicago Cubs and Sammy Sosa at least starting to thaw – most notably on social media, where the organization has finally quit pretending their all-time home run leader doesn’t exist.
This past week, Marquee Network wished Sosa a happy birthday on Instagram – and two-time All-Star catcher and potential trade candidate Willson Contreras made his thoughts on the fraught relationship very well known.
The tenuous back-and-forth between Sosa and the Cubs organization are well-documented at this point. He left the final game of the 2004 season early, has continued to deny his suspected PED usage and has done little to bridge the gap between himself and the Ricketts family who, of course, have made it abundantly clear what it will take for the once-beloved outfielder to return.
Ricketts, on multiple occasions, has insisted that he wants some ‘honesty’ from Sosa. Of course, that hasn’t jived with Sosa and, to this day, he hasn’t returned to the Friendly Confines since that day late in the 2004 season.
Chicago Cubs: Willson Contreras isn’t scared to speak his mind on Sammy Sosa
Contreras has never been shy about speaking his mind, but he’s really one of the first current players to weigh in on the matter. Now, I doubt it will make any difference to the Ricketts family – but it’s still interesting to see a guy who could either be traded or extended sharing his thoughts on such an emotional matter.
Personally, barring that ‘apology’ Ricketts seeks, I don’t see Sosa returning to the organization – even as a guest – with this ownership group in place. That means we could be waiting years before the man who belted 609 home runs in his career, the ninth-most ever, makes a long-awaited return to the North Side.
That sentiment may also be shared by Sosa, who specifically mentioned potentially having to wait until the team is sold to return, during an interview last summer.
"“I believe time will heal everything. My case is not a hard case to look at,” Sosa told Scott Van Pelt. “I believe that in the near future somebody, a new owner…somebody [will] bring me back.”"
Maybe so. But, for now, despite Willson Contreras dropping a comment on Instagram, we’re no closer to a Sammy Sosa reunion than ever before.