So, Sammy Sosa was not invited to the 100th Anniversary Game yesterday at Wrigley Field, just as he has not been invited to anything Cubs-related in his post-playing days, but, for some reason, this particular one caught on as a “snub.” I suppose you could argue that the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field transcends “the Cubs,” and Sammy was obviously a huge part of a sizable chunk of Wrigley Field history. I can understand some folks having a problem with Sosa not even being invited.
But, you know the drill: there are lingering bad feelings about the PED allegations, the corked bat, the attitude issues, and the leaving-early-on-the-last-day thing. Cubs spokesperson Julian Green wouldn’t get into specifics with Jesse Rogers, but did say that, “There are some things Sammy needs to look at and consider prior to having an engagement with the team.” A source tells Rogers that that means some apologies to former teammates are in order.
I don’t really have much of an opinion on that part, because, if that’s where the Cubs are drawing the line, it seems pretty obvious to me that former players – ones with whom the Cubs do have a good relationship – are the ones holding up a reconciliation. (Well, and some potential stubbornness by Sosa.) I’ve got no visibility to that, so I won’t pretend to know what goes on behind the scenes, or to make judgments based upon my own guesswork. Maybe those players have very good reasons for wanting an apology. Maybe the Cubs have very good reasons for waiting until those amends take place.
Instead, for my part, I stick to what I said last month when the issue came up in a radio interview with Tom Ricketts:
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.
Yup. That’s still where I land. As a fan, I’d like to see this patched up. As a person who tries to see all sides, I’m not sure I can castigate any of the Cubs, Sosa, or former players for the way things stand right now. There’s obviously a complicated relationship situation at play here.
So, yeah: whoever it is that’s holding this thing up, just, like, get over it or whatever.