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sammy sosa kissChicago Cubs owner and chairman Tom Ricketts was on The Game yesterday discussing a wide variety of things, and among them, was the looming presence – and absence – of former Cubs star Sammy Sosa. The Cubs’, and Cubs fans’, relationship with Sosa has been strained in his post-Cub days, partly because of the way he departed the organization (Sosa famously left early in his final game with the Cubs), partly because of the cork thing, and partly because of lingering PED allegations.

With Barry Bonds being welcomed back to the Giants, it’s time to more seriously consider the question: when is Sammy Sosa coming back into the fold?

In his radio appearance, Ricketts discussed Sosa a bit more than he has in the past, but still didn’t quite give up the good, in terms of what exactly has to happen for Sosa to come back into the fold.

“You would hope that there would be circumstances that you can entertain that discussion,” Ricketts told Dave Kaplan and David Haugh. “I’m not sure we’ll ever get there.

“I do think it’s a little weird that we just kinda take some of these guys and pretend they never existed …. I think any type of discussion along those lines will really have to balance how people feel about that, too. As you guys know, that issue brings up so many emotions with so many different people.”

You can tell there’s a lot to the story that we simply don’t know, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable if part of the hold-up is the organization wanting Sosa to be the one to do the coming back and seeking an opportunity to mend fences. I don’t know Sosa personally, but it’s not difficult to get a sense of him over the years. Some of the very things that made him an exciting player to follow – the swagger, the ego, the success – could be making it a little difficult to have a good relationship.

In the end, hopefully everyone can just get over things – whether it’s Sammy, or the fans, or the organization – and repair the relationship. Sosa remains a huge figure in Dominican baseball culture, and it would be nice if the Cubs could start leveraging that. Even last year we heard that big-time signing Eloy Jimenez was pulled toward the Cubs because of his fondness for Sosa. There is also the value in having someone like Sosa meeting with – or even working with, say, in Spring Training – young latin players who are already in the organization, and are trying to develop and adjust. 

If you’ve got a potential market advantage, you do whatever it takes to put yourself in a position to use it.

And, also, for me personally, I’m ready to see Sammy back in the fold because I’m ready to let all of the bad stuff go. So many of my best Cubs memories have Sammy in them, and I want to feel like I can enjoy them again.

(The Sosa question has me wondering, by the way: when will the Cubs reunite with Carlos Zambrano? Is that ever going to be a post-playing-days match-up? Zambrano, too, left the organization under unhappy circumstances.)

  • King Jeff

    Yes to Sammy. I’m not so sure Zambrano has even close to that type of legacy and I don’t think he would have the positive impact in returning that Sosa would.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Z doesn’t have close to the legacy of Sosa, that’s for sure (few do), but he certainly meant more to the Cubs than many of the guys who are brought back to squeals and cheers.

      • Funn Dave

        But what’s the point? Just squeals and cheers? Say we did bring him back as a coach or mentor–why would we want a guy with anger issues hanging out with our young, impressionable players? Just because he’s an ex-cub with some star power?

        • Chicago4Life

          I think that these players have a bigger impact on the countries they are from. When I was in the Dominican a few years ago, every time I told a local I lived in Chicago, they would all talk about Sosa. They idolize him as a guy who became one of the richest, most respected Dominicans of modern day history. Zambrano would be a good tool for recruiting young players in Venezuela the same way Sosa would be. I think that is what Brett is getting at.

          • Funn Dave

            Yes that’s what Brett’s getting at. I’m just saying that I think it would be slightly morally reprehensible in the same way it’s slightly morally reprehinsible (and banned by the NCAA) for Tim Tebow to talk on the phone to potential college recruits.

            • Brocktoon

              Morally reprehensible????

        • Brocktoon

          What’s the thought here that Z is going to take a bar to a rookie for not throwing strikes?

          • Funn Dave

            The thought is that not only does he not have any qualities that would make him particularly qualified to mentor prospects, but he even has qualities that make him less qualified than your average, non-superstar ballplayer.

            • Brocktoon

              Billy Martin was a lunatic and was an outstanding manager

      • King Jeff

        True, and I really like Zambrano, I’m just not sure what kind of role he would be able to fill. I think him cleaning out his locker and “retiring” is still pretty fresh on everyone’s mind.
        I’m with you though, it’s time to let all of the negatives go and move on. It probably would have been nice to have Sammy involved with the opening of the Dominican facilities.

        • Funn Dave

          This. If there’s a reasonable role for an ex-cubbie, throw him in there. You’re right, that would have been cool to have Sammy be there for the opening. I just don’t think there needs to be some big reunion, with cameras and cheering and booing and clashes between fans over whether the player in question deserves to be there.

      • 70’s Cub

        Should he be welcomed back? After he admits to the extent that he was a PED user, apologizes for providing bogus testimony to the United States Congress and mentioned how many games he used a corked bat. He appeared to be very bitter that the Cubs would not extend his contract. I don’t see any public relations value adding him back into the Cub mix even if he answers all the questionable moves he made in the past. I don’t think the Cubs are interested in any baseball value he may bring in terms of coaching. My conclusion is to bring him back would be a negative move especially in terms of having any contact with new young Cub fans.

        • Brocktoon

          Bogus testimony?? Kyle, can you add this to the lost of dumbass cub myths. HE ANSWERED EVERY FUCKING QUESTION ASKED OF HOM for 10 years people made fun of him for not being able to speak English and saying nothing but baseball been good to me, but go before congress you better fucking speak ‘merican. Interpreter so you’ll neither perjure yourself in your response and so you understand what’s being asked of you? Outrageous!

          And if he wasn’t a PED user he should just say he was to satisfy people like you I guess. If he truly used a corked bat once he should probably lie about that too because people like you won’t believe him

        • Brocktoon

          And contact with new young cubs fans? Hilarious. Young fans don’t give a shit about PEDs it’s people like you that like to believe your heroes weren’t greenie popping cheaters that would have a negative reaction to the greatest cub of the last 70 years

      • gnjaxon

        I wouldn’t be so sure about Z. I have three students who are from Venezuela and they love him. The difference between Z and Sosa is that the DR is more of a hotbed for baseball than is Venezuela.

  • C. Steadman

    i’m for bringing Sammy back, was my favorite player growing up…he does look scary now though, good thing we have Clark to balance that out for the kids

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    Sosa is more likely than Zambrano.

    • cms0101

      It’s probably time to bring Sosa back soon. They’d probably have to wait until Zambrano was clearly done playing to bring him back. I think once he steps away from the game, that fiery attitude may also subside. Sosa’s value to attract Dominican players is definitely a good reason to try and get him back into the fold. Just let him hang around at the Dominican academy. I’m not sure exactly what Zambrano’s rep is in Venezuela, but if he can attract guys there, I’m all for it too. They both played big roles in happier seasons, and left under bad circumstances when the team was performing poorly. Can’t glaze over their character flaws, but both have a certain charisma that could be put to good use on behalf of the organization. And I would hope there are lessons they’ve learned that could be passed on to some of the younger guys that will come through the organization going forward.

  • TTH

    Bring em both back and throw them into this sorry outfield mix.

  • CubChymyst

    I’m for bringing Sosa back. Him and McGuire in the homerun race during the 1998 season is what brought a lot of fans back after the strike.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Like many Cub fans, I will be mightily pissed off if the Cubs welcome Sam-ME Steroid back into the fold. The guy was a one man circus act. The steroids, the corked bat, the “I no speak good Inglish” to a US Congressional hearing panel, etc. The rest of the baseball world mocks the Cubs over Sosa…and for good reason.

    Keep.him.banished.for.good. Frankly the US government should never allow him to re-enter the country in my estimation.

    • Voice of Reason

      I wish the Cubs were mocked for Sosa. That would be easy.

      The Cubs are mocked for being LOSERS!! No World Series in over 100 years. That’s why we’re mocked. Pretty much every team has had a player on roids.

      Plus, Sammy hasn’t been a Cub now for 10 years. Kids watching the game up till the age of 18 or 20 don’t even really remember Sosa as a Cub.

      • C. Steadman

        other teams have been bringing their roid stars back as well…only two cases come to mind at the moment, that missouri team brought back McGuire and now Giants and Bonds…heck Boston still has Papi in their lineup

      • D-Rock

        Agreed. I’m all for 2nd chances. As long as he is truly sorry and apologetic for his cheating ways, I’m all for a Sammy Sosa day at Wrigley. Not sure I would want him to be hired for any job with the Cubs though.

    • itzscott

      It WAS a circus and I really don’t care one way or the other if Sosa comes back….

      But it WAS a fun circus at the time between Harry Carey getting wasted as the game went on and the camera always focused on Sosa sprinting out to RF to take his position and, of course, the homer race.

      No fun finding out we were the idiots being manipulated by shrewd marketing after the fact, but it sure was fun before then!

      • Drew7

        Harry died before the ’98 season.

    • Boogens

      “Like many Cub fans, I will be mightily pissed off if the Cubs welcome…”

      Although I don’t agree with everything BH1963 stated in his post I do agree with the basic notion that I don’t want him welcomed back. At all. No malice or vitriol, just plain speaking. He was an entirely selfish person that always placed himself above the team and organization. Nothing that has happened since he left the team has humbled him. He’s the same self-absorbed guy and I don’t want him around the team in any capacity.

    • MattyNomad

      That seems a bit harsh. At the very least, I think Brett brings up an extremely valid point when using that market advantage.

      Would it help ease the pain if they offered these to the first 10K fans?

      http://www.bleachernation.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Sosa-Boombox-bobblehead-project.jpg

    • cdosmann

      I agree and I don’t feel it is harsh at all. The fact that both Bonds and McGwire were brought back is an embarrassment to the game I love. Sosa thought he became bigger than the game. What makes you think he he would act any different today? I might have been able to someday forgive the steroid use (probably not) but the corked bat was it for me. Leave him in the Dominican. Is that really something we want to remember?

  • Eternal Pessimist

    I just hope he isn’t brought into the fold based on “what he’s done for the team”. He was the antithesis of what a teammate should be, and I haven’t forgotten that what he did for the team was in large part due to his cheating (yeah, yeah…that is still not proven). I don’t know if there is a metric out there for how much he hurt the team in other ways, while helping them with his bat, but I think it was significant and some of those effects lingered after his exit.

    As he sits on the sidelines, wanting to return, he should do more that say he wants to return…he should be saying, with tears in his eyes, how disappointed he was in himself for the harm he did to the team, and how much he wants to return as the example he should have been in the first place.

    • Brocktoon

      Not only were Sosa’s intangibles so poor that he apparently harmed the team while he was there, but he napalmed the franchise so badly that the team sucking after he left was his fault too??)

      • Eternal Pessimist

        He was part of a greater discipline problem that is being addressed by the new management. I believe the new FO is installing the “Cub’s Way” to get rid of some of the distractions created by people like Sosa.

        Clubhouse culture matters in the performance and preparation of the whole team, and Sosa was a keep part of the destruction of the Cub’s culture (along with some weak managing styles…particularly in the continuation of weak leadership under Pinella. I hope to God Renteria wouldn’t allow any of that crap to take hold again!

        • Eternal Pessimist

          BTW, Parks tweeted about the Mariner’s Spring training culture and apparent failure to have disciplined practice and performance. You just can’t build a great organization this way. The Yankee’s and Cardinals have known that for years…ugh…decades.

        • Brocktoon

          So the 98 and 03 cubs must have been unstoppable juggernauts to make the playoffs with mean ol Sammy Sosa around. What nonsense

          • Eternal Pessimist

            What non-sense….I never said he was ‘t some part of their success, but I would temper my enthusiasm as i would bet his antics fucked up some otherwise good players at times. There was a reason skmeone smashed his music. Yes, overall he provided value, but clearly took a cheater’s path to accomplish that.

            The culture persisted (and grew as the Cubs picked up another clubhouse cancer on a 2 year 20 million dollar deal afterward). Clubhouse cture matters and affects team performance. You can see how culture affects performance in your business, schools, sports and anywhere else you look.

            • Eternal Pessimist

              Sorry if he was your friend or hero!

            • Brocktoon

              Statistics are the records of performances in baseball, both team and individual. Could you point me in the direction of whose performance suffered due to Sosa’s “antics?”

              Baseball is a series of individual matchups, there’s very little “team” to the game There’s no doubt some of Sosa’s teammates didn’t like him, but your theory states that Mickey morandini went up to the plate and just couldn’t focus on his job because he would have to hear salsa music blasted in the clubhouse in 3 hours. It’s preposterous

  • Funn Dave

    Ugh I always feel like these situations should not be stories. Any drama about who’s reaching out to whom, or which player’s agent said what to which member of management…it’s all so unnecessary. The Packers are in the same situation with Favre. Just tell him he’s welcome to come hang out whenever, and don’t turn it into a media frenzy, and it won’t be that big a deal. There doesn’t have to be some big decision, like “we now formally accept and acknowledge the existence of Sammy Sosa, and the fact that he may have once played baseball for the Chicago Cubs.” F that. Rant over

    As for whether we should add him to the staff, I see no real reason to do so. As far as I know, there’s no evidence that he would be an exceptionally good coach or mentor. I don’t think we need to reward his perhaps somewhat ill-gotten fame by paying him to hang out with potential recruits. I don’t think his star power would have much sway with recruits, anyway. And even if it did, with all the talk about makeup, do we really want players to sign with us just because they’re starstruck? Ok, maybe the rant wasn’t quite over after all.

  • TTH

    They let lowlife Grace sing the stretch, they should invite Sammy, who meant much more to the franchise, to do the same. The thing is, would Sammy accept?

    • Blackhawks1963

      Did Mark Grace cheat on baseball? Use steroids? Use a corked bat? Claim he didn’t speak English to a US Congressoinal hearing? Walk out on his teammates the final game of the 2004 season? Make key teammates in the clubhouse despise the man (hint..hint..it was Kerry Wood who smashed his boom box)?

      No Sosa. Not now. Not ever.

      • C. Steadman

        “Claim he didn’t speak English to a US Congressoinal hearing?”

        shit that was genius though

        • blublud

          Yeah, that’s the one smart thing he did do.

          Also, why hasn’t Palmeiro been indicted for lying in a congressional hearing.

          • Voice of Reason

            Take the spot light off the players. We all know that they are guilty.

            What we need to do is turn the spotlight on Selig and the owners. Those are the ones who get a free pass in all this steroid talk and that’s how they want it kept! They love that ARod and company continue to take the heat.

            Selig should be called to testify and the owners. When did they know and why didn’t they stop it is what I want answered!

            • blublud

              They deserve some blame but not all. There was a CBA and they tried to get testing long before it was allowed, but the union refused. They knew it was happening, but in the middle of a CBA, they really had no control.

              • Voice of Reason

                You aren’t that naive to believe the owners couldn’t have stepped in to stop the use of steroids?

                Do you honestly, 100%, believe that?

                • blublud

                  They did eventually, with the help from the government, and the players are still doing it today. So tell me how much they could have stepped in and stopped it so easily.

                  • Voice of Reason

                    How could baseball have stopped the use of steriods among players?

                    Boy, that’s simple!

                    Selig calls the players union and asks for a meeting.

                    In that meeting he says that he has evidence that players are taking steroids and it is or will tarnish the game.

                    In that meeeting Selig says he wants testing started immediately.

                    He says if there is not cooperation with the union then he will be forced to go public with what he knows about rampant steroid use among players.

                    In closing, Selig would say that the press conference he would conduct would be something the players would certainly regret!

                    How’s that?

                    • blublud

                      And the Union would laugh at him and tell him and tell him to go ahead and ruin his product and watch how much money he loses. On, and when FA comes around, the player would still get paid. Until the non using players got on board, giving the unions support, there was never going to be any MLB could have done.

                    • Voice of Reason

                      I answered your question.

                      You can’t debate that Selig could have done just what I said, but he chose not too.

                    • blublud

                      How do you know he didn’t. There is proof Selig asked for test when it first starting and the union wouldn’t allow it. Without the union, the league can’t test for anything.

                    • mjhurdle

                      in your scenario, the Union would tear Selig and MLB apart for disclosing any “evidence” of PED use that was not part of a agreed upon full-disclosure testing.
                      And the result would be a few athletes dragged through the mud, a severely weakened MLB organization, and still no testing policy in effect.

                      Not sure what that really accomplishes

                    • Voice of Reason

                      Again, mjhurdle, Selig could have done what I said.

                      Selig chose not too.

                      He most certainly could have forced the union to reopen the contract to bring in testing. He could have said if testing wasn’t done then he would go public with the steroid problem in the league.

                      He could have done it. Don’t you believe he could have done it?

                    • blublud

                      The point is he could have. It would have caused more problems, and there would still be no testing. So what would have been the point.

      • Funn Dave

        Did Sammy Sosa ever endanger the lives of others? Because Grace did.

        • blublud

          Using a corked bat to hit home runs towards people heads can be pretty dangerous.

          • Voice of Reason

            They use aluminum bats in college and the lower levels of baseball like high school. Aluminum bats are much more dangerous than a corked bat.

            • C. Steadman

              “aluminum bats in college”

              they have changed the college bat rules, significant less pop…no clue about high school since the change in college happened when i was in college

              • CubFan Paul

                “significant less pop…”

                Someone should of told Bryant that…

                • C. Steadman

                  thats what makes what he did more impressive than any other HR hitter prior to 2011(year the bats changed)

                • blublud

                  They did. He would have had many more homer with the old bat. I think they calculated 11 more or something like that.

              • Drew7

                Same rules in HS – BBCore bats only.

            • blublud

              That was a joke Voice of Reason

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Actually, given that corked bats actually reduce the transfer of momentum from bat to ball, Sosa might have saved lives doing that!

            • Funn Dave

              Boom! Doctored!

        • Boogens

          “Did Sammy Sosa ever endanger the lives of others? Because Grace did.”

          That’s the basis of an argument to re-instate Sosa? Pretty low standard. Do you have anything that points to Grace’s bad behavior with the team when he was a Cub?

          As Brett mentioned, there must be some other deeper issues that occurred that we’re not aware of at play here.

          • Brocktoon

            Mark grace is the most contemptible human being to eve put on a cubs uniform.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              That is probably going a bit far. To an extent, Grace suffered because he was one of the only guys in the Cubs clubhouse with the combination of wit and erudition to provide any decent lines to the media. That made him the golden boy in the eyes and minds of the sports media: and we all hate golden boys.

              To another extent, Grace was just another ball-player: partying all night and carousing goes way, way back in baseball history. And, unlike Babe Ruth, Grace was not imbibing illegal substances in the bars!

              • Brocktoon

                Ah but you can’t name a more contemptible cub can you? Kingman was a surly cuss, but he was barely here and kept to himself.

                Regarding graces partying, I love the fact that average fans favorite players are eckstein types who are pure grit and grace types who are lazy sacks of shit who don’t get the most of their abilities by closing down gamekeepers every night.

          • Funn Dave

            Um. No. Nowhere did I say that Sosa should be “reinstated.” What exactly would that entail?

          • Funn Dave

            Hawk had just repeated his racist rant about why Sosa is a terrible person, and I was pointing out that Sosa never did anything as bad as drunk driving.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Grace stated that any player who isn’t cheating isn’t trying. It’s an old saying: but it’s something that people have to understand about professional athletes. They play to win: and what you call “nobility,” they call “doesn’t care.” (I would write “indolence” but I doubt that most athletes know that word.)

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Oh, and Gracie also was very unpopular with a lot of his teammates. The media loved him: but a lot of the guys that the media portrays as “team leaders” solely because they provide a lot of great quotes (and Gracie was great at providing good quotes) are considered attention-seekers by athletes, it seems.

      • TTH

        “Make key teammates in the clubhouse despise the man” Actually, yes. Grace was the one who split the clubhouse due to his jealousy that the media was focusing on Sosa more than him. He was also let go, in part, because the FO didn’t want him to corrupt Wood anymore than he already had.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        “Claim he didn’t speak English to a US Congressoinal hearing?”

        I love it when folks bring this out. Really shows their intelligence.

      • Edwin

        He went home early after a frustrating season during the last game of the year when he wasn’t scheduled to play. If he could do it over again, I’m sure he would, but I don’t see why it’s such a big deal.

        Same thing with the US Congressional hearing stuff. English is his second language, and he was being asked questions in a very high setting. He’d be crazy not to have a lawyer for that.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        “No Sosa. Not now. Not ever.”

        So if Sosa were welcomed back you’d stop being a Cubs fan?!??!!??!?!

        DO IT TOM, DO IT! WELCOME HIM BACK WITH OPEN ARMS!!!!!!

      • Brocktoon

        He answered every question, every fucking question before congress but committees the apparently treasonous act of doing so through an interpreter. I wonder how you’d do in front of a circus like proceeding in a language that wasn’t your native tongue

    • mbzsays

      Just because Mark Grace is the real-life version of all the characters Kevin Costner has ever played in sports movies, it does not mean he is a low-life.

  • mjhurdle

    I have no problem with the Cubs never welcoming Sosa back, given the situation as it stands now.

  • Voice of Reason

    The funny thing is a lot of people are mad at Sosa for cheating.

    What about the baseball managers and owners? Why aren’t we mad at them the same way we are mad at Sosa? They knew what was going on yet they let it continue.

    Sosa and others on roids are thrown under the bus when the managers and owners should be thrown right under that same bus.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Exactly either banish the entire era, take away championships, and revoke HOF players OR get over it and measure players of that era against other players from that era.

      • MattM

        It hurts me to say this but I absolutely agree with the goat and voice.

        This is a JOKE! Seriously! He along with Mcgwire brought baseball from the brink. Had that season not happened baseball very well could have been ruined! Selig is the baseball version of a mafia boss. Coluding with owners based on what owners they want in baseball as opposed to what owners are better for the team and baseball!

        It’s a joke! The man shouldn’t have ever even been commissioner it’s against the rules! If you ask me the union heads that allowed that should be fired! Don’t tell me, “oh well he gave HIS team to his daughter.” Really? That’s a joke much like him. He knew about steroids and he could have stopped it but didn’t because at the time it would have been bad for baseball! Palmeiro, Bonds, Clemens should never set a foot inside a jail cell if this man gets away scott free! It’s discusting!

        • mjhurdle

          “Had that season not happened baseball very well could have been ruined!”
          This is probably not true. Baseball was already rebounding. Big Mac and Sosa simply hastened the recovery. The larger point of it benefiting baseball stands, the particular point of them “saving” baseball is over-stated.

          • MattM

            Talk to Selig about that. Google a bunch of his own quotes, and you will see that he himself credited that season for saving baseball…

            • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

              Eh…barring a 5-10 year period of historic mismanagement, I don’t think there is a thing any of the top-5/6 sports could do that would cause them to “fail”.

        • MattM

          As to the left the game early B.S.. Everyone here knows that the Cubs since the beginning of time have always tried to sully players at the end… Kerry Wood was a baby if he did what he did too!

          With the corked bats I’m sorry, but I was a Criminal Justice major and I have to look at the facts. They checked something like 60 bats in the hall of fame for corks after the incident. They found NONE! Clearly, if I was going to cheat that would have been the time I did it when I’m trying to break records! I believe what he said about that incident. I also think he should be welcomed back and if Tommy boy can see the money in it he will be all over it!

    • TTH

      They not only let it go on. In some case they promoted it. And Selig perpetuated it to boost revenues..

    • mjhurdle

      “What about the baseball managers and owners? Why aren’t we mad at them the same way we are mad at Sosa? They knew what was going on yet they let it continue.”

      These are good questions, but they have nothing to do with Sosa and his situation.
      If Sosa cheated, it doesn’t matter if a guy 50 years ago also cheated, or if a voter 30 years ago voted for a guy that cheated, or if a manager knew about the cheating and did nothing.
      None of that changes the fact that Sosa cheated (if he did).

      • Brocktoon

        It wouldn’t change things in a vaccum, but IF Sosa cheated, he shouldn’t be treated any different than cheaters of the past. Gaylord perry is a lovable old coot, hank Aaron is the greatest person who ever lived, but Sammy, no no we’ll have none of that.

        • mjhurdle

          “IF Sosa cheated, he shouldn’t be treated any different than cheaters of the past”

          i disagree with that thinking.
          I have no control over what people in the past did. And I expect that people learn/mature over time, so even if i previously held a belief about something, that shouldn’t prohibit me from changing my opinion if I learn more about the topic. Using what happened 10, 50, 100, 1000 years ago as justification of what you are doing now makes no sense to me.
          If I feel that Sosa cheated, I can treat him with the attitude that I would treat anyone I feel cheated the game, regardless of how some sportswriter in 1968 treated them.

          • Brocktoon

            I’m not talking about how they were treated at the time. I’m saying I don’t want to see articles pining for halcyon days that never existed while demonizing modern players for sullying the reputation of a game that has been sullied for over 100 years

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    Baseball just needs to get over this steroid era “I didn’t see nothing but now I’m pissed” childish way it’s been handled. All this behavior to act high and mighty is more disgusting than players taking PED.

    • Voice of Reason

      I wish Selig would be called to testify. All the players take the heat for the owners. Selig wouldn’t go watch Bonds break the home run record. Selig said the period was a black eye for the sport.

      What a hypocritical ass. He should be forced to stand right next to Bonds and Sosa and hold hands with them. As well, the owners and managers should stand next to them too. They are all guilty.

      It’s not just Sosa and those who took the roids.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Completely agreed.

    • blublud

      I could careless about baseball. Maybe they are fault too. As a fan though, I hate any player that took it. Like I said yesterday, I’m the biggest Lebron fan you will find, but if I find out he is using steroids, I would probably stop watching sports all together. I will no player a past. If they want to bring players back, fine, but I will still never forgive what they did.

      • blublud

        That 2nd to last line should have said, “I will give no player a pass.”

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        So just to be clear you want to ban the entire era or just the players that were suspected? You realize how bad an idea the former is?

        • blublud

          I dont wanna ban any of them. If they flunk a test or there is other reasons (ARod), then yes, ban them. But dont get mad at a hall voter for using what they believe to decide who gets in and who doesn’t.

          • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

            Yes I can and yes in do, if they can arbitrarily tell who has and hasn’t juiced by banning them from the HOF then I sure as he’ll can hate them for it and avoid those writers that are do flippin stupid.

            • blublud

              The hall is a, private, popularity contest. Baseball doesnt own it and neither does the public. Hell, if you want them in the hall, start your own. Being a hall of famer would not be something I personally strive for. My view of a player has nothing to do with rather they are in the hall or not. I would strive to be the best I could, and if I made it to the hall, fine. If I didn’t, fine. It doesnt change my accomplishments.

              • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                Okay blu just give me a list if what I’m allowed to be mad at (especially any public place that requires public support (ie tickets)) and which people and places (that “vote” for things that are directly the result of the public supporting a game) I have no right for meing angry at. I’d appreciate that list before I feel the disgust of baseball morality bullshit again.

                • blublud

                  I didn’t say you didn’t have a right. I just said don’t be. If Sosa don’t get in, I’m still going to work. Life is good. If bonds don’t get in, I’m still going to eat, life is good. Is Clemens don’t get in, I’m still going on vacation, life is good. And guess, they are all still richer and have better lives than me. So being mad at a what amounts to basicly a popularity contest, is nothing but wasted energy. If you like it, don’t buy tickets and go support. If people do, that’s their choice.

              • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                And I call BS about not wanting/striving to be in your sports HOF. I’m not buying that for a second… unless you are a god and even then I bet you would.

                • blublud

                  Would it be nice, yes. Would I let it bother me or define me, no.

                  • C. Steadman

                    if only Pete Rose were like you…

                • Funn Dave

                  Idk…I think there’s something to be said for not wanting to be associated with an organization that excludes people for getting caught doing something that many people who have been included have also done.

                  • MightyBear

                    “I don’t want to be part of any club that would have me as a member.” – Groucho Marx

            • MattM

              I agree here too! I’ll go a step further though…. the B.S. going on with Rodriguez discusts me! He did not fail anything and I guy to save his own skin gave information to try to get these people in trouble.

              The CBA clearly states that players have to FAIL a drug test! Not have to skeezy a-hole tell on them to save his behind!

              Also, if I had worked for the Union at the time they agreed to let MLB test players because MLB said it was completely confidential, and then MLB turns around and leaks all of the names! MLB would be sued so fast and for so much money they would have pissed their pants, and the sad fact of the matter is the Union would have had a strong case!

              • blublud

                Actually you are wrong. What the league did is legal according to the CBA, which is why every other player admitted to or accepted their punishment. ARod is just an asshole who thinks the rules don’t apply to him.

                • MattM

                  Blu Blud go back and look at the CBA from when the first tests were taken. Also, check out the agreement between MLB and the Union for doing it!

                  So, you mean to tell me that the CBA say, “players are guilty if drug dealers say they are guilt”? That’s what happened btw…

                  • blublud

                    The new CBA just came out 2 years ago. Arid and comp were suspended under the new CBA. If it wasn’t allowed, the union wouldn’t have allowed those suspensions, and the players wouldn’t have accepted it. The league can’t just do what they want. The can’t force test with negotiation, and they can’t suspend you justbp because they want to.

      • Edwin

        Just steroids, or players who were taking speed too?

        • Voice of Reason

          How about the pitchers who doctor the ball?
          How about those who take cocaine?
          How about stealing signs?

          Where do we draw the line?

          • TWC

            “Where do we draw the line?”

            Line? There is no line:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vUhSYLRw14

          • blublud

            Stealing signs should never be illegal. That a dumb rule, written or unwritten.

            • C. Steadman

              im with blu, stealing signs is apart of baseball, thats not in the same category as roids, cocaine, or doctoring the ball…runners should try to steal signs on 2B every dang game

              • Edwin

                Sure. But I think the point is that the line can get blurry between what is considered gamesmanship, and what gets considered cheating.

                Players were popping pills as early as the 60’s to try and gain an edge on the field. Is that considered gamesmanship, or just cheating? At what point is there a difference between taking speed, and taking steroids? They’re both a way of taking a drug to try and enhance performance.

                • C. Steadman

                  popping pills is performance enhancing, stealing signs is a mental skill(unless you took pills to sharpen your mind…aderall) i’m not talking about pills, stealing signs while on base isnt cheating

            • mjhurdle

              Stealing signs is not illegal.
              The only thing against the rules (per a memo, not the rulebook) is the use of technology to steal signs, which I think makes sense.

              • C. Steadman

                yeah maybe VOR was talking about technology, i guess i took it differently

              • blublud

                I don’t even think that makes sense.

                • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                  What’s confusing? You cannot use a high-def camera to zoom and steal signs.

                • C. Steadman

                  http://sports.nationalpost.com/2011/07/16/girardi-suggests-jays-may-be-stealing-signs/

                  blue jays were highly scrutinized on using technology, much like the patriots

                  • C. Steadman

                    “scrutinized on possibly using technology”

                • mjhurdle

                  If you can’t see how having someone with binoculars in CF reading catchers signs, determining the pitch and location, and then displaying that on the scoreboard in CF for every batter (obviously only for the home team because the visiting team isn’t going to have a scoreboard operator) is not in the best interests of honest competition, then I can’t help you.

                  see Giants, 1951

                  • blublud

                    I didn’t say all that. But if I can record it and study it for the next game, fine. Once the game starts, no technology should be used. But if I record it, memorize it and use my memory in the game, no problem.

                    • C. Steadman

                      signs change every game…recording it would be useless…

                    • blublud

                      Not every game, but you are mostly correct. The point isit legal to record ssigns in every other sport. In football, you just can’t record private practices. You just cant use the video during games. Its no big deal.

                    • C. Steadman

                      the order in which the signs appear and the trigger sign should change every game, especially if you play the same the same team 3 days in a row

                    • blublud

                      They don’t change every game, they change in game.

                    • C. Steadman

                      yes i know, they change in game, every game

                    • C. Steadman

                      im sure you know, its not that fricken hard to change the trigger

                    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                      “In football, you just can’t record private practices. You just cant use the video during games. Its no big deal.”

                      Didn’t the Patriots get in some hot water for taping the other sideline recently?

                    • blublud

                      They taped a private practice during the Super Bowl.

                    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                      Wikipedia partially disagrees with you:

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_National_Football_League_videotaping_controversy

                      They did tape a pre-Super Bowl practice but they were busted taping the Jets sideline during a game.

                    • blublud

                      I’m wrong Hans, it was a game. They got in trouble though, because they tape it from the sideline, using their own equipment to do so.

                    • blublud

                      Actually, I right Hans. They got in trouble for both, taping signals from a sideline and filming the rams Superbowl walkthrough.

                    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                      They were accused of taping the Rams practice but the league didn’t agree.

                      “NFL officials say they have found no evidence to substantiate the allegation that the Patriots taped the Rams’ walk-through.”

                      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/01/AR2008040100873.html

                    • blublud

                      Who the hells quote Wikipedia anyway :)

          • BigsmokeJ

            The day they kick Gaylord Perry out of the Hall is the day I focus on steriod users.
            Talk about cheating. He used a doctered ball (which is and was against the rules) to win games and get voted into the hall.
            Then you have all the speed (pills) taking guys from the 60’s-70’s who lived on that stuff. And I don’t want to hear, speed won’t make you hit a ball farther. Ok I’ll agree with that, but if you weren’t taking speed you wouldn’t even be in the game.

            • ssckelley

              I always thought he was able to do it because he was grandfathered in after they changed the rules on the spitter.

              • Brocktoon

                No, I’m sketchy on details, but there may have been a guy grandfathered in back in the 1910s or 20s. Best of my recollection the spitter was banned before perry was born

                • ssckelley

                  You are right, i think the Niekro brothers used it as well.

                • C. Steadman

                  there were multiple guys grandfathered in, like Mariano and #42, but perry was all illegal and wrote a book on it even

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Speed greatly, greatly increases hand-eye coordination and reflex speed. When I used to juggle, I found that a bit of speed greatly increased how easy it was to juggle multiple balls with one hand and things like that. (It also makes it a lot easier to spend 14 hours in the lab!)

              • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                Hehehe a robot on speed and juggling… my day just got a lot better. Thx RoboDoc ;)

        • blublud

          Look taking an illegal substance to improve performance, doctoring balls, paying official, things like that , those people should be banned. Acting like you were hit by a ball, flopping in basketball, acting hurt to stop the clock in football, while also being cheating, is considered gamesmanship. There a line somewhere, I just dont know where.

          • Funn Dave

            But what about all the players who’ve taken banned substances and not gotten caught?

            • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

              And that’s my issue unless you are caught through an agreed upon policy and have the opportunity to appeal finding a player guilty because of superstition is a bad way to treat anything. But here we are using suspicion to label players guilty.

            • blublud

              What about murderers who didn’t get caught. What about all the cheating husbands who didn’t get caught. If you don’t get caught, then nothing can be done.

              • C. Steadman

                this was my argument against you the other day about Pujols…

                • blublud

                  I never as definitively that Pujols used, just that its my opinion. I don’t know for sure, but I believe he did. I never said suspend him or ban him.

                  • C. Steadman

                    no, but someone listed pujols and his accomplishments the other day and you were just throwing them under the bus by saying it was all the roids while not acknowledging Pujols is a damn good and skilled player

                    • blublud

                      Because I think he used them. Its my opinion. I can have my opinion. I don’t respect Pujols as much because I think he used to be a user. It does change his accomplishments.

                    • C. Steadman

                      okay you are entitled to your opinion, but dont go out of the way to undercut someone when they say Pujols is a great player and then you reply with one word…”steroids” when they werent even having a conversation with you, that was your only input on that conversation, normally you dont comment like that with those undercuts like many others do

                    • blublud

                      It wasn’t one word, and I was probably also being a little fecetious.

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    Strictly speaking, what you are voicing is a belief, not an opinion. There is an important distinction.

                    • blublud

                      Opinion: a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

                    • MightyBear

                      Gonna need some help on this one Doc. The difference?

                    • blublud

                      Belief: an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.

                      opinion, view, conviction, judgment, thinking, way of thinking, idea, impression, theory, conclusion, notion

                      2.trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.

                      They are they same thing.

                    • blublud

                      Also, if I had to choose, I would choose opinion. I don’t believe it has fact, I just feel he did. I can be persuaded on this however, so I know its not a fact.

              • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                If yiu don’t get caught and/or there is no evidence then how can you call someone guilty? Unless you witnessed said crime then you can put guilt onto someone just based on suspicion. It’s kind of an important part of a good democratic society.

                • blublud

                  I never said they guilty. But as a hall voter, if I have suspicion, or maybe enough suspicion, I’m not voting for you. If someone does, I’m not mad at that either. I don’t want Sosa, Bond and company in the hall. If they get in, I have no problem with that either. Hell, I even said give them a steroid wing.

                  • Funn Dave

                    “But as a hall voter, if I have suspicion, or maybe enough suspicion, I’m not voting for you.”

                    See, that strikes me as a little messed up. I hope there aren’t HOF voters out there going, “well, that guy had a great career, but I find him a little suspicious, so I’m gonna vote for someone else….”

                    • blublud

                      There are plenty of them. The hall vote is subjective, just the way it should be.

                    • King Jeff

                      You obviously missed the Hall vote this year where writers refused to vote for Maddux because he played during the steroid era, even though one of them voted for Jack Morris who’s career overlapped Maddux and the steroid era. The BBWAA is a joke in it’s current state with regards to MVP voting as well as the HOF.

                    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                      But that is exactly what they are doing and I wish they’d let us see ballots after say 2 years so I know who I shouldn’t be reading anymore.

                    • blublud

                      There you go MG. Now that’s how you show you don’t like something. I felt the same way, I would do the same thing, except I might stop reading people who voted for them. :)

              • ClevelandCubsFan

                Blu, I’m curious WHY you think Pujols used them? That’s an honest question. The ONLY thing I’ve heard is Jack Clark’s accusation.

                • blublud

                  I have no reason honestly, I just feel he did. Its just my opinion that more than likely, he used. Unfortunately, that era has cause me to not just be able to enjoy the game without suspicion. So much so, that all it takes is for someone like Jack Clark to make me suspicious. Like I said, I don’t feel about Pujols the same way I feel about Sosa, Bonds, McGwire, Clemens and others, but I have opinions and I suspect he did. Like I also said, I can’t be persuaded on the group of 4, but I can be persuaded that Pujols didn’t.

                  • ClevelandCubsFan

                    Maybe it’s the whole innocent until proven guilty thing, but I separate Sosa from the other two. Which doesn’t mean I’m not suspicious. We know he used creatine (admitted, wasn’t banned). He went through Texas. But José didn’t say anything about him (with regards to his time in Texas, that is. Canseco says Sosa used in 1998, but that seems to be his, er, “expert opinion” rather than substantiated fact). His name supposedly was on the list of players who tested positive, which list was not supposed to exist. So while the list makes Sammy look bad, the existence of the list itself is suspicious, so yeah. There is no smoking gun on Sosa. Which doesn’t mean he’s clean. And it doesn’t mean I believe him clean. I’m agnostic with grave concerns.

                    • blublud

                      In the court of law, it innocent until proven guilty.

                      In the court of public opinion, give me a reason not believe what was said about you.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Occam’s Razor. But the better idea is to just not believe anything at all, and simply use facts and logic to formulate true opinions.

                  • Funn Dave

                    So if you were a Hall voter, you would vote against Pujols even though “I have no reason honestly, I just feel he did.” That doesn’t strike you as a little messed up?

                    • blublud

                      I don’t have enough suspicion, or enough people in the know to not vote for Pujols. I would probably, reluctantly, vote for him.

                • blublud

                  The fact he played for Larissa doesn’t help.

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        I stopped reading after “I’m the biggest Lebron fan you will find”

        • C. Steadman

          haha i think theres something against that in the BN commenting policy..ask Brett he’s from Ohio :)

  • NorthSideIrish

    Looked a little different back then…

    Andy Gray
    ‏@si_vault
    Sammy Sosa in 1999. pic.twitter.com/SK1nrQS900

  • Ron

    WWTLD…..I don’t have an opinion so I will defer judgemnet to Ted Lilly. Someone should ask him.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      Maybe that is why Tom said what he said today…maybe The Ted is pushing him…

  • PolarBear

    Not sure why, but I could really care less if they every bring Sosa back. His numbers were incredible and he was fun to watch, but in the end, I was so happy to see him go. I did not cheer for him during the homerun chase in 98 and have never really cared for his selfish attitude. The only good memory I have was when he hit the game-tieing homer in game 1 of the NLCS in 2003. Not sure how I feel about him being around the younger players with that attitude as well.

    • Brocktoon

      You didn’t cheer for the guy who is the reason your favorite team made the playoffs in 98 because why exactly??

      • PolarBear

        Because I did not care for him as a player. Same reason I could cheer for the Bulls but did not like Scottie Pippen. It doesn’t change my allegiance to the team.

        • Brocktoon

          And why didn’t you care for him as a player?

  • Javier Bryant

    It’s time we bring back Chet Steadman and Henry Rowengartner

    • C. Steadman

      amen to that!

  • Jason P

    I think the thing I dislike most about the steroid era is the “guilty until proven innocent” mentality. It’s one thing when proven users (or near-proven users) like Bonds, Sosa and McGuire are looked down upon for their cheating but an entirely different thing when the same thing happens to guys like Piazza, Biggio and Bagwell.

    • MattM

      Totally agree Jason!

    • C. Steadman

      this…its a slippery slope assuming who did and who didnt if they werent specifically named in a specific report

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Agreed so now we are using observations to label someone guilty? “Well you have a big head- GUILTY!”

        • CubbieBubba

          Having a big head, that is his crime. It is also his punishment.

    • Brocktoon

      How is Sosa a proven user?

  • kj1

    Let’s first bring back Moises Alou so he can publicly apologize to Steve Bartman. Moises cried like a spoiled child after the play and it simply put everyone on edge. Moises should do the right thing by stepping up to the plate and doing the right thing, rather than just walking away and allowing someone’s life to be ruined. Classless act!

    • Funn Dave

      I can’t tell if you’re joking or not.

  • Brocktoon

    The cubs organization (and many of its fans’) treatment of Sosa is about as embarrassing as it gets.

    Hank Aaron admitted to trying greenies. But he’s a saint. Sosa has one leaked NYT report put his name on a list of players who failed a test (with no follow up story or evidence) and he’s history’s greatest monster.

  • Jon

    Baseball was so much more fun with steroids.

  • Ballgame17

    Hint hint, it was actually Wood and Prior with Barrett following it up with a bat smash that killed Sosa’s radio. Heard 1st hand.

  • Jed Jam Band

    I’m 22 now and I grew up with Slammin’ Sammy. He was and still is to this day, my favorite player. Most of my favorite memories as a Cubs fan, watching with my younger brother and dad include Sammy. I loved those out on to Waveland homers, the trot, the kiss to the sky. Everything about Sammy was pure fun and enjoyment and you could just see how much he loved baseball. I would welcome him back with open arms and know many, many Cubs fans who would do the same.

    • Edwin

      1998 is still my favorite baseball season ever.

      • Brocktoon

        08 passed it in spite of the Shit ending. I guess go cubs in ’18

  • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

    It is interesting how two of the more productive Cubs, Carlos (signed at 16 by the Cubs) and Sammy (not an original) left in a huff.

    Back a few months ago, I thought it wasn’t absurd to utilize Bonds as a hitting coach/instructor, and lo, the Giants put him to use. I do find it interesting too that we want to “leverage” Sammy after so much has been said about even alleged PED/steroid users. Though Sammy was never mentioned in the Mitchell Report.
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/friv/mitchell-report-players.shtml

    Carlos was the Cubs #1 pitcher for Cubs best run in recent memory – despite his FIP. To me, if you are going to leverage one, you try to bury both hatchets as quickly as possible. And in the future, it might be a good idea to think about the relationships you expect to keep alive for this such purpose.

    Sure, athletes are A-holes many times, and you don’t how else to rein them in. But remember, people can and do evolve (as they mull the regrets of poor choices made), and if you are a sports org. it is imperative to have ways to show off your legacy. And add teaching, instructional, and goodwill ambassadors to your company is pretty important.

    Cubs haven’t done this very well at all. Better fix this too.

  • CUB5

    Bring him back for a “market advantage?” Seriously? My old business ethics professor would love that one.

    Sammy, while fondly remembered by some of the fans, did not have a lasting positive impact on this club: His records are a farce; his incidents when playing give baseball a black eye; and his smug assurance of being a HOF afterwards is laughable.

    This is worth bringing him back for a market advantage? The new facility and other Caribbean stars on the roster wouldn’t do that?

    The man couldn’t even get his charity right lol…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You underestimate his popularity among Dominican youths. Not every organization has a Sammy Sosa.

      So, yes. Potential market advantage.

      • MightyBear

        I agree.

      • Edwin

        Wasn’t one of the top IFA players the Cubs nabbed a pretty big Sosa fan?

      • Funn Dave

        I don’t think CUB5 is questioning Sosa’s popularity with Dominican youths. I think he’s questioning how ethical it would be to use him for this purpose. My comment towards the top brings up the same question.

        • Brocktoon

          Did Sosa murder somebody and I missed it?

    • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

      And if we don’t hire him, someone else will. The White Sox – they could make a funny commercial at the Cubs expense – Frank Thomas v. Sammy Sosa, if those two could get along. (I don’t know if they do or would.)

      Those two could have a flashback sequence to 1991 – and the potential that could have been with two mashers. Then a home run hitting contest pitched by HOF Gaylord Perry- with Sammy caught winning with a corked bat by HOFer Frank…if Sammy was humble enough to be made fun of for a commercial’s sake. (A la Billy Martin v. George Steinbrenner.)

      Not saying it would ever happen, but Sammy could say a line like, ” Gaylord Perry, how’d you get by with it?” And Perry could appear and say, “I just knew the right guys to grease…” With him holding a jar of Crisco open.

      I think it would be funny….

  • Chiburgh

    I’m a huge Sammy fan. I love Big Z. My e-mail addresses represent my fandum for these two men.

    No matter your feelings towards Sammy and Big Z, it’s time to welcome them back with open arms.

    In a sense, the organization is going through a healing process. The Cubs are re-building. Part of the re-build is forgiving, forgetting, and moving on. A clean slate is required as fans, as players, and as an organization.

    We all make mistakes. In order to grow as an orgnization, we need to forgive the goat, forgive Sammy, forgive Bartman and forgive Big Z.

    We get frustrated as fans, why can’t others.

  • DrReiCow

    I’m ready to bring Sammy back. I have a lot of fond memories of him, and I hate that my Sosa jersey is a (temporary) shirt of shame.

    Moo.

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