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sammy sosa kissThe Red Sox beat the Rays yesterday, and, in so doing, claimed their ALDS series. They’ll face the winner of the Tigers and A’s Game Five, which was forced by a Tigers win yesterday.

  • The Arizona Fall League got underway yesterday, and five Cubs saw action: Jorge Soler went 1-6 with a double and a couple strikeouts (Byron Buxton also went 1-6), while Kris Bryant had a huge day, going 3-6 with a double. Matt Loosen saw some action in the middle innings, giving up a couple hits and a walk in his two innings of work. He struck out one and gave up two unearned runs. Lendy Castillo threw an inning in which he gave up three hits and allowed three runs to score, though they were all unearned. And then Armando Rivero came in, pitching a scoreless inning and striking out the side (all swinging, and one of ‘em was Buxton).
  • Speaking of Soler, and also Albert Almora, Carrie Muskat has a great piece on the duo and their efforts to get back on track post-injury.
  • And speaking of Bryant, Jonathan Mayo says that, with the benefit of hindsight, he now thinks Bryant was the best player in the 2013 draft.
  • Dave Kaplan interviewed Sammy Sosa recently, and aired the interview last night on his radio show. It was the first time Sosa had spoken at length with a member of the Chicago media in five years (according to Kaplan’s intro), and it was a pretty wide-ranging talk. You can listen to it here. Sosa mentioned wanting to reconnect with the Cubs, and acknowledged that some things happened in the latter days of his Cubs career that led to the bad relationship the two sides have now. He added, as Sosa often does, that his numbers are so good that the Cubs can’t not bring him back some day. “The numbers don’t lie.” Although I support getting Sosa back in the fold, even if just in an ambassador role for the young, Latin American players, he’s got to stop pointing to the numbers as the reason. Don’t trade on the numbers, Sammy, which everyone believes are tainted. Trade on the memories. On the emotions. On the fun that fans had when you were playing.
  • I tend to think we’re going to see Sammy Sosa show up at the Cubs Convention one of these years. It could even be a surprise. That would be pretty cool.
  • Former Cubs great Andy Pafko died yesterday at 92.
  • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

    If the Cubs don’t land Girardi, perhaps Sammy is the big attraction this year.

  • On The Farm

    “And speaking of Bryant, Jonathan Mayo says that, with the benefit of hindsight, he now thinks Bryant was the best player in the 2013 draft.”

    How often does hindsight work out in the Cubs favor?

  • Cub Fan Dan

    Sammy needs to admit his PED usage, as McGwire did. If anything, for himself. Otherwise its going to be a cloud hanging over his head for years as he makes appearances at the convention, games, and does interviews.

    When Ricketts mentioned that the situation is “awkward”, I got the feeling that is what he meant. Id certainly be glad to have Sammy back if that were the case.

    • ssckelley

      ^ this

      A lot could be forgiven if Sammy just came out and was honest with everybody. The denials and excuses were getting tiring when he was with the Cubs and I really do not want to see that circus again. The PEDs will always be a part of baseball history, I think many have accepted it. Fans want to forgive their baseball heros, St Louis has with McGwire, if Sammy would come out and tell everyone the truth I think Chicago would accept him back with open arms.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Sammy was a carnival act and a selfish me first player. He was poster child for the steroid era. He was caught with a corked bat. And he quit on his team in 2004 to precipitate his ugly departure from Chicago.

    May he forever remained banished from Major League Baseball and the Chicago Cubs. End of subject.

    • SouthernCub

      Agreed, very well said.

    • Edwin

      Ryne Sandberg and Kerry Wood both quit on the team midseason. Banishment for them as well?

  • DK

    Sammy WAS the Cubs for a number of years. I know it was an ugly departure (spearheaded by some terrible PR decisions by the Cubs), but Sammy meant so much to and did so much for this organization that they have to hug and make up someday.

    • Blackhawks1963

      No. Not in a million years. Sammy was a fraud. Is Barry Bonds embraced by San Francisco? Sammy should be shunned by baseball for eternity in same manner that Pete Rose. is.

      • Tennessee Cub

        Oh but let’s give people who use coacine, get DUI’s, marijuana, and beat their spouses and such a break. Come on man!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Boogens

          And which former Cubs that used to “use coacine, get DUI’s, marijuana, and beat their spouses ” have been welcomed back into the team?

          • Tennessee Cub

            Not speaking former Cubs, use other players in general. Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Steve Howell, Keith Hernandez…..the list goes on. Just saying Sosa deserves to come back if he wants to with open arms.

          • Edwin

            Didn’t Fergie Jenkins get caught with cocaine one time?

            • Jon

              [img]http://www.draftdaysuit.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/cocainesahellofadrug.jpg[/img]

        • Brian Peters

          Who’s trying to give folks who use cocaine, etc. a break??? Folks who throw stuff like that out know they are so far wrong they can’t go back. Sosa was a cancer, and he would still be.

          • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

            Who’s to say that Sosa wouldn’t embarrass the organization once he was brought back into the fold?

            This guy does not make wise choices. Do we want him involved with all the young guys coming up? He’s not like Soriano, who turned his image around with hard work and a great attitude. Sosa has not “reformed” and I wouldn’t trust him if he were somehow associated with my organization.

      • cubfanincardinalland

        There is a street named after Pete Rose in Cincinnati.

  • Brian

    The call/rule made in the A’s Tigers game is complete BS. How can the umpires know the ball was going to be a home run. They can assume I guess, but you just never know with 100% accuracy. It should have been ruled a double, the ball was in the “field of play” when touched by a fan. Reddick might even have a play on the ball if fans aren’t in the way.

    Another example to me shows how wrong the umpires were. Imagine if you will, speedy sensation Billy Hamilton strokes a fair ball down the first base line, before the fielder even gets to the ball, Billy is around 2nd and will have a stand up triple. If a fan touches the ball at any time, he will be called back to second base with a double.

    • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

      Because Reddick would have left the field of play to catch the ball (I think we can all agree that he would have “robbed” the home run), there is no interference. In the same way, if a player who goes into the stands to catch a foul ball and is “interfered” with by a fan, the umps won’t call it an out, because he left the field of play.

      • Brian

        I would agree with this if the ball was clearly outside the field of play “imaginary boarder” that delimits the fans and the field, but the fan touched the ball when it was still on the field side of the imaginary boarder. The fact that it may have crossed that line shouldn’t be the deciding factor. The play should be called where the ball was when it was touched.

        • Brian

          wow, my spelling sucks. I mean border… geez.

        • cubfanincardinalland

          Brian, back to umpire school for you. The ball was three feet over the yellow home run line. You and Keith Olberman are the only two I have heard really even question it, including the Oakland A’s.

  • Curt

    Sammy needs to just keep thinking if himself as he always did and just stay away unless he admits what everyone knows he did then maybe you could bring him back in some capacity but he feels the need to come back and make it a circus then just stay gone Sammy.

  • Boogens

    Sosa is a self-serving knucklehead and I hope the Cubs never reconnect with him. It’s hard to say what his motivations are for wanting to reconnect but it’s say to say that he’s looking out for himself and that he sees this as a possible way to help his HOF case.

  • http://permalink papad1945

    Who gives a rat’s ass about sammy sosa.

  • Brains

    He cheated but his best years were so good that other cheaters never came close (except for Bonds). The guy is a legend who, at his best, was one of the best players over the past 20 years. Too bad about the roids, and too bad that the ENTIRE LEAGUE was on roids, probably with a nod and turn from management and ownership. We shouldn’t individuate blame onto him, what about Selig? What about LaRussa? Steinbrenner? It’s easy to pick scapegoats for the league’s transgressions, but in the end a few players still stood out, and Sammy was one of them.

    • Brian

      Selig, LaRussa, Steibrenner, they committed the so called “white collar” crime in your example and Sosa committed the “blue collar” crime. Of course Sosa will get nailed, it’s an easier crime to prosecute… and don’t forget the interest MLB has over the interest of 1 player.

    • ssckelley

      I would agree with this if Sammy was not still in denial on having never cheated.

    • mjhurdle

      Regardless of what anyone else was doing or how negligent MLB was in catching cheaters, Sammy Sosa still made to conscious decision to cheat in order to gain an advantage.
      I can judge him on that.

    • Brains

      I just think people are hypocritical about this thing – some get passes, others get blamed. Refreshingly it’s not divided on racial lines like usual. But it is divided on labor lines. Players get blamed, the clubhouse and ownership doesn’t. Does anyone legitimately think that owners didn’t know what was going on? It helped them turn baseball into like a trillion dollar enterprise. Fan obsession was never so amplified. So I think it stinks, but if we really dig in against it instead of just find constructive strategies to move on, you kind of have to stop loving baseball forever, because every dark corner was infected by the roids saga.

  • Hee Seop Chode

    Isn’t it amazing how important legacy is to people? Sammy’s got his hundreds of millions sitting in a bank and spends his days relaxing on an island; and yet sounds insecure everytime he pops his head up.

    I’d say no HOF, yes for Cubs convention.

    • cubfanincardinalland

      Fame is one of the most powerful addictions in today’s world. Once they are hooked on it, hard to become just another Joe.

  • dan

    I want Sammy back! i even have his IL cubs plates “Sosa”

    • Blackout

      I’m with you, man. Love, love, love Sammy.

  • http://tootblan.tumblr.com TOOTBLAN Time

    Wow. Just wow, people.

  • TampaCubsFan35

    Other than being an Ambassador for cheating, taking steroids, corking a bat and running out on your teammates, not sure why the Cubs would want anything to do with him???? and the fact he says the Cubs have to bring him back cause “the numbers don’t lie” only confirms he’s still living in the sea of denial! And on a personal note he’s not easy to look at these days.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Don’t sweat it. Sam-ME Steroid will never be invited back by MLB or the Chicago Cubs. He’s banished…permanently. And thank goodness for that. No more of that cheating selfish freak show.

      • Patrick W.

        I thought you already ended this subject

  • Bacboris

    “an ambassador role for the young, Latin American players,”
    -Man it really is the future. Who thought Pfizer would need an American rep down there already.

    “Don’t trade on the numbers, Sammy, which everyone believes are tainted.”
    -Believes… As a fellow former attorney, I understand the desire to cover one’s ass. However, one does not “believe” that the earth is round. The man has not been convicted or proven in a civil suit to have taken steroids. However, he could only hope to have the glimmer of possible innocence that OJ has.

    “Trade on the memories. On the emotions. On the fun that fans had when you were playing.”
    -Certain Players deserve that treatment. We all have had our favorite Cubs. On the flip side though, are loudmouths and arrogant fools. Sammy Sosa definitely fits into that camp. If he’s a “Fan-favorite”, perhaps that would explain a lot of things in this franchise.

  • Jan Forty-Two

    I don’t know what you see here, but I see a future FO star here:
    [img]http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/8a/20/7e/8a207ee96f5bb183081e8ca1d66cc2d5.jpg[/img]

    • Brian Peters

      I see a tinted Eddie Munster. I see a cheater. I see a “Me-First” kind of guy. I see a not-too-smart former ball player.

      • Blackhawks1963

        lol…the love child of Michael Jackson and Eddie Munster!!!

    • D.G.Lang

      I see a man to be pitied. A man who not only endangered his health by using the steroids but one who after leaving baseball used drugs to change his skin color.

      Was he trying for greater acceptance or was he ashamed of his natural skin color?

      If the first is the correct answer, he is still trying to make himself appear better or more acceptable than he is. If the second is the correct answer, he is certainly more to be pitied than despised.

      In either case, he is a fraud trying to appear to be something other than what he is and how God created him.

      He is a man vainly searching for acceptance.

      • ssckelley

        Great points!

        Damn, people are on top of their games today! My work is suffering from reading all the great stuff people are posting.

      • Chase S.

        I see pride. I see power. I see a bad-ass mother who won’t take no crap off nobody.

        I couldn’t resist.

  • Brian Peters

    You know who I’m cutting a break? Brett. I have to think the kids kept him awake most of the night.for him to come down on the wrong side of this issue. Banks, Williams, Santo, Sandberg, Maddux, Dawson, etc. are/were quality representations of The Cubs Way. To think, somehow, that Sosa belongs beside them is simply absurd.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Haha. I really was up all night with The Little Boy.

  • ssckelley

    Great stuff on that Mayo link. It is going to be fun to watch Bryant, Gray, and Appel play out the debate on who should have been #1. Before the draft I was hoping for Appel and now I think the Cubs and Rockies did better than the Astros who had the #1 overall pick. Before the draft everyone was saying how weak the draft was, but now I believe it could be the best ever at least from the Cubs perspective.

  • Bubbleshargrave

    I’m sorry Brett but the way you presented this story in such a favorable light shows how flawed your judgement can be at times. Not to mention moral compass. On the bright side. You always do a splendid job of presenting facts.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That’s a bit much, no? It’s a paragraph touching on a small part of a 30 minute interview.

      I guess I didn’t realize the bitterness was still around 10 years later. Sosa (probably) cheated. So did almost everyone with huge numbers in that era. Keep him out of the Hall of Fame? I have no beef with that. Pretend like he wasn’t the biggest story in the Cubs’ world for 10 years? I don’t understand that.

      • Brian Peters

        That IS a bit much. Just because some of us disagree with Brett’s take on Sosa does not mean his logic/arguments are flawed. I feel hugely responsible for getting this whole ball of wax moving. Despite how I feel about Sosa, it shouldn’t have translated to “Brett must be crazy from kid exhaustion.” I would do almost anything to be kept awake by kid noise at any time of day. So I am sorry for my part in all this, Brett. Sometimes I go way overboard.

      • BubblesHargrave

        Sorry I haven’t had a chance to reply to this yet, been working all day. I didn’t mean to be so critical but I just think that there is too much of a leniant attitude toward deviant behavior such as steroid use. And your comments of acceptance toward Sosa and wanting him to be at the convention before he publicly repents of his wrongs tells me that you have a leniant attitude toward it as well. Whether there was an outright restriction against steriod use, or not in that era, all of us have a sense of right and wrong and know that cheating is bad. I don’t respect bad examples in the game, and I lose respect for those that support them. Sosa and McGuire saved the game for people who didn’t really love baseball in the first place, for people that loved baseball, the game needed no saving.

    • ssckelley

      “shows how flawed your judgement can be at times. Not to mention moral compass.”

      Who are you to judge? I do not agree with bringing Sammy back either until he has taken other steps but I am certainly not one to judge someone else and call them “flawed” if they feel differently. Get over yourself!

    • forlines

      Don’t be a douche. Everyone is allowed to their opinion.

  • BD

    Maybe I’m just tired and cranky this morning, but was Pafko really a “great”?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m getting it on all sides today!

      Depends on the definition of “great,” but when I look at his Cubs years, I see great: http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1009948&position=OF

      • Beardface

        Hmm 13 home runs in ’47 then 26 in ’48. Must have been PEDs.

      • DarthHater

        How could Pafko finish 4th in the MVP voting in 1945, but not be an all-star that year?

        • DarthHater

          Perhaps he had a poor first half and a really strong second half. I’m too lazy to look it up. :-P

    • ssckelley

      Four time all star and four time MVP candidate in 8+ years with the Cubs, yeah, I would say Andy Pafko was great. Talk about a good ambassador to the game, Andy Pafko was that.

    • scorecardpaul

      Yes he was a great, just because you don’t know a player doesn’t mean that he wasn’t great. I don’t understand all of this bitterness, aren’t we Cub fans? I am a fan of all of the players that we have had( good and bad) they are, and were Cubs

  • Randy

    I don’t remember back in the day when he was cranking out home runs, driving in runs and helping the Cubs to some great teams anyone bitching about the steroids. We all knew it but now its all different after he is out of the game. So he was selfish and blah blah blah. Bottom line is he wont get into the HOF but he was a Cubs great. If you deny he was a Cubs great you are way way biased.

  • DarthHater

    At least now we know that Soler is as good as Buxton and Bryant is three times as good. :-P

  • Beardface

    I’d welcome him back. There were way too many good memories people seem to forget about or think are outweighed by the bad stuff. People only remember the bad things. Why is that? I feel like that is a major problem with not only sports but society. I was as upset as anybody at Sammy but he brought life to a city and a team that needed it and needs it again. I don’t forgive easily but after almost ten years enough is enough. I’d be happy to see him come back and work with the team somehow.

  • Leroy K

    Love Sosa…10 years ago let it go….

  • DarthHater

    Anybody know if Andy Pafko was the last surviving member of the 1945 Cubs world series team?

    • Leroy K

      Yes. according to multiple sources.

      • http://www.hookersorcake.com Hookers or Cake

        Nope. There is a utility infielder left. I forget his name. I’ll have to look it up. I think he is almost 100.

    • Jon

      It also drops a candidate out of Die hard’s managerial pool.

      • DarthHater

        ++ Best comment of the day. Period. :-D

      • ssckelley

        Another thankful moment where I am glad I was not drinking coffee when reading this.

        Well played Jon!

  • cubzfan23

    IMO baseball didn’t care about the steroids. I can’t believe some peoples mindset on the Sammy issue. He and McGwire did, no matter what people wanna think, bring fans back with the homerun chase. That was exciting stuff and baseball along with the fans needed it. Sammy is still one of my favorites. I don’t agree with the whole steroid thing but people better start blaming MLB also cause they were a big part of it. Like kaplan said Sammy had the best six streak of any Cub ever. Who really knows what other past stars have used. Sammy is and always wiil be a Cub.

    • Leroy K

      this. IMO Sosa and McGwire saved Baseball.

    • ssckelley

      I agree with all of this, which is why he should just come out and admit to everything. All would be forgiven!

      • scorecardpaul

        Why do you expect Sosa to admit to anything? In my belief most, if not all, of the players of that era used steroids. Do you need Greg Maddux to come out and admit it before he becomes our pitching coach?

        • ssckelley

          Nope, I do not think Maddux owes Chicago an apology. Completely different players and circumstances, Sammy was the face of the Cubs for many years. If what you say is true then it should not be a big deal for Sammy to come out and admit to what he did. What you say is a big reason why he would quickly be forgiven, there were a lot of baseball players cheating during that time.

          • scorecardpaul

            please go back and read your post. You aren’t making any sense. The difference is that Sammy was the face of the Cubs for many years???? that should be more reason to accept him back(or never have thrown him under the bus). If everyone used then that is why he should just admit it??? I don’t understand this either please help me to understand your points

            • ssckelley

              Weird, I completely understand your point but you do not understand mine? Maybe it was the extra question marks you used. :D

              Sammy denies ever having used PEDs (even though he obviously did), denies ever having cheated using a corked bat (it was for batting practice), he walked out on his team. This is why many Cub fans will not accept him back, it is not hard to understand. If Sammy was accepted back now, he would use the same damn excuses over and over and still be in denial. The PED cloud will hang over his head forever and the Sammy circus starts all over again.

              You are correct in that Sammy does not HAVE to apologize for anything, but neither did McGwire and look what it did for him.

              • scorecardpaul

                McGwire gave us some crap about he used occasionally and to get over injuries. I find that to be more insulting than not commenting on it. Do you think he only took steroids occasionally, or to help with injuries?

              • scorecardpaul

                If Sammy came out and said he used steroids every day of his life would you want him at the Cubs Convention?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

                • ssckelley

                  Damn you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                  (extra exclamation points ftw)

                  :D

                  • scorecardpaul

                    well would you ?

                    • ssckelley

                      Not sure, but I have never been to a Cubs Convention so I do not think I am a good one to answer this question.

            • scorecardpaul

              I would also like to hear why you think Sammy needs to apologize, and yet you don’t feel the need for any other players of that era to apologize. That is the part that confuses me

              • ssckelley

                Scroll down and read Indy57′s comment, perhaps he explained it better than I can.

  • Clark Addison

    Lenny Merullo at 97 is the last surviving 1945 Cub.

    • DarthHater

      Thanks! You should forward your research to those “multiple sources” who are reporting otherwise. ;-)

      • Leroy K

        yeah! I stand corrected. Comcast Sports said Pafko was the last one. I apologize.

    • http://www.hookersorcake.com Hookers or Cake

      Yep! Good work.

    • cubfanincardinalland

      Is he a managerial candidate also?

      • Clark Addison

        No, but I am.

      • DarthHater

        Well, Lennie was a SS, so I’m sure Die hard thinks bringing him in as manager for a year or two would be “good for Castro.”

  • Clark Addison

    McGwire was welcomed back to St Loo, Strawberry and Gooden to NY. For a decade, Sosa was the only reason to see the Cubs. A lot of players were juicing in the 90s, yet only Sammy had three 60 home run seasons.

    I’d put Sosa next to Banks as the greatest Cub of all time.

    Bring him back,Tom.

    • Beardface

      While I agree with you on a lot of this, I have a hard time saying Sosa was the ONLY reason to see the Cubs. What about kid K? 20 strikeouts and nobody wanted to go see his next start? They had a playoff team that year. They were good and a lot of that is credited to Sammy but He was also a part of a few really good teams.

  • Indy57

    Sammy Sosa is clearly a controversial figure in Cubs history. On one hand, my wife and I were there on the second to last night of June in 1998. We were with friends sitting in the center field bleachers. He hit two home runs that night. If memory serves me correctly, it was 19 and 20 to tie or break the record for home runs in a single month. The second shot was over our heads. We went to the game to see him do it. I remember looking at my friend in the aftermath of the second “monster” shot, both of us with looks on our faces of joy and a tacit understanding that the guy was on steroids. It was tainted, but it was something to behold. I’m glad they are working to rid the sport of steroids, but that shot was incredible.

    I was also there the night the Cubs started their miserable last week of 2004. They were playing the Braves. As exited as all the people were in the stands, the Cubs were flat and there was no denying it. After witnessing that game in person, it wasn’t a surprise that they went on to lose 7 of 8. I was pissed when it was learned that Sammy walked out on the Cubs that week and I was fist pumping when I heard Kerry Wood destroyed his boom box. Whether it was Kerry or someone else, it doesn’t matter. I’ll never turn my back on the Cubs and I’ll never forgive Sammy for doing it when it counted.

    It’s more than awkward. His presence at any Cubs event will elicit cheers and boos. That has and never will happen with any of the all-time great Cubs. Sammy gave up the opportunity to be considered as one of the greats with his ever-present selfishness. Yes, he thrilled us all, but ultimately he only cares about himself. He has no humility even now. He does not embody what I think it means to be revered as a Chicago Cub. I already have more respect for Anthony Rizzo and what his family foundation is doing for leukemia patients. In my opinion, Rizzo has already surpassed Sammy in the hero department in his short stint with the Cubs.

    Sammy can come back to Chicago, but I suggest he buy a ticket first to see how fans react to him. He needs to understand that we will want a true apology. If he can’t gain some perspective and humility after that, then there is no reason for the Chicago Cubs Baseball team to invite him to any official functions.

    • ssckelley

      Indy, it is not very often that I finish reading a large comment but that was a great post. Thanks for sharing!

      • Indy57

        Thanks. Greatly appreciated.

  • scorecardpaul

    Bring Sammy back He is a Cub!!!!

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