Some evening reading that you’re going to want to check out: an extensive interview former Chuck Wasserstrom did with former Chicago Cubs superstar, and current Cubs persona non grata, Sammy Sosa. Wasserstrom was in media relations with the Cubs from 1988 to 2003.
Wasserstrom and Sosa get into the PED allegations in his past, his exclusion from the Hall of Fame, his relationship with the Cubs and the city of Chicago, whether he would return to the organization, and what he’s done in his post-playing days.
Sosa reiterates his long public stance that he never tested positive for PEDs, but now he says he’s not worried about getting into the Hall of Fame: “I’d rather not be in the Hall of Fame and have a lot of money in my pocket than to be in the Hall of Fame and try to find money to pay my bills.”
Sosa also says he’d be open to coming to the Cubs Convention or singing the Seventh Inning Stretch, but he’s not going to be the one to ask. It would have to come from the Cubs.
Of his infamous final day in the organization – when he left early at the end of the 2004 season, before he was later traded in an offseason – Sosa says that he asked an assistant trainer to ask then-manager Dusty Baker if he could leave early, but now regrets that decision. “I understand I made a mistake. I regret it, definitely, but I have to move on.”
We’ve said for a good long while now that, while we can’t know all the ins and outs of the organizational relationship with Sosa, it’s long past time for the two sides to do whatever they need to do to make something work.
Am I convinced Sammy was clean and do I totally absolve him of other transgressions in his time with the Cubs? Nope. But I also no longer harbor any ill-will, and simply want to reconnect with so many fond memories of his time with the Cubs. I doubt I’m alone in that.
Further, Sosa remains a wildly popular figure in the Dominican Republic, where young men grow up idolizing players like him. To have him back in the fold in some capacity could be helpful for the organization in a number of ways.
In any case, read the Wasserstrom interview. It’s full of plenty of quotes that’ll make you smile, and others that’ll make you shake your head. I don’t want to share too much of it here, because you should read it from the source.