sammy sosa kissWith the Cubs Convention this week, it’s time to bring up the issue of Sammy Sosa.

In an interview yesterday on The Score, Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts was asked – as he is every year – about the situation, and his thoughts were mostly what we’ve come to expect: there are certain things that need to happen before Sammy Sosa can come back into the fold.

Although Ricketts has never stated explicitly what those things are, he did speak broadly about PED-implicated players needing to offer a little bit of honesty, and lay more out on the table. Rip the band-aid off, as it were, and then move on.

In a recent write-up at CSN Chicago, Patrick Mooney reiterated much of the same. It’s clear that ownership is aware that the fans want Sammy back, and from what I can tell, it sounds like they do, as well. There is, however, fair or unfair, a process for players from this era to return in good faith. For example, and whatever you may think of their situations, Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds have done what they’ve needed to and have already made their returns to baseball.



And it’s not like the Cubs front office or ownership has a particularly strong stance against players from this era. Manny Ramirez has failed at least two drug tests, but is a huge part of the organization now. The reason he’s been welcomed back into the game, though, is because he took responsibility, cooperated with Major League officials, and has shared his story with the next generation of players. Major League Baseball has a “roadmap back into the game” and – while I don’t claim to know the entire story – it would appear that Sosa would be welcomed back if he followed it.

And I definitely want him back.

I know many of us feel differently about Sammy’s time in Chicago and his time spent since, but he is my greatest, oldest baseball memory. He’s the reason I’m a Cubs fan, the reason I’m writing now, the reason I kissed my fingers, tapped my chest and pointed up to the sky when I hit home runs in little league or with my friends. We all loved Sammy and I would be thrilled if he returned.

But not everyone feels that same way, and I understand.



Which is why there are more than fan-related reasons to want Sosa back. Specifically, in what he can add to the team as coach and mentor. In Mooney’s piece on the issue, he discusses Manny Ramirez’s huge impact on the players, especially the younger, Latino athletes. Joe Maddon, himself, praised Ramirez’s ability to improve hitters performance and mentions the big impact he’s had on Jorge Soler and Starlin Castro, in particular. Brett has previously discussed this as a primary reason to want Sosa back in the fold.

It’ll never be easy to quantify the impact of a coach, especially a supplementary coach like Manny Ramirez – or what Sammy Sosa could be – but it’s hard to argue with the results and reviews of the former.

Fair or unfair, Sammy Sosa can carry as much weight as Manny Ramirez. And while he might not be sure-thing Hall of Famer, he was a huge part of the game, the Latino community, and the Chicago Cubs. He remains a hero to scores of young players in the Dominican Republic.



I hope he does what he needs to come back, because at least this Cubs fan will be waiting with open arms.

Brett Taylor contributed to this post.


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