No progress on Sosa reunion – NBC Chicago
Ricketts: No progress on Sosa’s date appeared first on NBC Sports Chicago
During a fan question-and-answer session at the Ricketts Family panel that opened Saturday’s events at the Cubs convention this weekend, fans asked the Cubs president about the possibility of more day games, changes around Wrigley Field and Laura and Tom’s earliest memories. there were chicks.
As for baseball, two fans asked Ricketts about the star who hasn’t worn Cubbie blue in nearly two decades.
“How’s Sammy?” »
Ricketts reiterated that there has been no progress on the former Cubs icon.
“Nothing has really changed. I see both sides, and I hope one day we can come to a really good solution, but I have nothing new to report.”
The news that there was no move to meet a player many Cubs fans consider essential to their love of baseball was not what some conventioneers wanted to hear.
As Ricketts finished his answer, a fan could be heard shouting.
“Bring it back!”
Sammy Sosa and the Cubs have had a frosty relationship since his tenure with the team ended in 2004, which unfortunately ended with Sosa leaving Wrigley Field before the end of his final game, with the outfielder sharing different versions of events, according to Cubs manager Dusty Baker and the Chicago Tribune.
The end of Sosa’s tenure with the Cubs coincided with the end of a very disappointing season in which the Cubs dropped seven of their last nine contests and lost a 1.5-game lead in the Sept. 24 Wild Card race.
Sosa then played one season with the Baltimore Orioles in 2005, where he pitched below league average in 102 games before taking a year off in 2006.
The former Cubs star played his final Major League season in 2007 with the team he debuted with in 1989 with the Texas Rangers. Sosa hit his 600th career hit that summer against the Cubs in a Major League game.
In June 2009, the New York Times reported that Sosa was among 104 players who tested positive for a banned substance in 2003, while MLB was evaluating steps to create a future performance-enhancing drug testing program. it entered into force in 2005.
In the same report, David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez, among others, the latter two would later serve official long-term suspensions for steroid-related violations.
The report severely damaged Sosa’s standing with Hall of Fame voters, never failing to garner 18.5% of the vote in 10 attempts.
It also further strained Sosa’s relationship with the Cubs, his 13-year-old team for which he holds the franchise’s all-time home run record.
The Ricketts family officially took over the Cubs, months after the report revealed Sosa’s positive test, and Sosa has not attended any team functions or events since.
Ricketts previously said he wanted the slugger to publicly acknowledge his use of performance-enhancing drugs, suggesting Sosa should apologize to the Cubs and their fans.
In the 2020 ESPN documentary “The Long Last Summer,” which chronicled the 1998 home run that many fans consider a moment of baseball’s resurgence after the 1994 strike, Sosa said he chose to do what “everyone else was doing.”
“Why were they worried about me, almost everyone thought so at the time [steroids]?” Sosa said in the documentary.
However, Sosa has never admitted to using steroids, and in the documentary Am I Guilty? He said. for the scratches that the steroid era brought to baseball.
Sosa’s lawyer previously testified before Congress in 2005 on his behalf that Sosa had never used steroids.
The testimony comes in the wake of the BALCO scandal involving a West Coast nutrition center accused of distributing steroids to players.
Sosa’s absence from the Ricketts’ service was noticeable at major team events, notably the 2014 Wrigley Field Centennial Celebration and the 2016 World Series celebration.
Despite Sosa’s clear rejection of the Cubs’ teachings under Ricketts and the vocal nature of fans who want to see their team overhauled by the former slugger, the president’s response Saturday was very similar to what he said during a January 2019 radio appearance. year chicks convention.
“There’s no answer at this point, nothing’s changed,” Ricketts told David Kaplan on ESPN 1000.
While the uncertainty surrounding Sosa’s steroid use and clumsy responses in the years following his career left the Cubs and many others in baseball eligible (notably Hall of Fame voters) feeling uneasy about Sosa being adopted by the Cubs, the second fan Ricketts asked about Sosa. very rude.
“You and your family are not the reason I watch baseball. I watch baseball for Sammy Sosa.”
The fan continued: “Who do you think both sides are? Because from a fan’s point of view, it’s very one-sided. That’s why I watch and why I’m a Cubs fan. For 25 years.”
Ricketts addressed Sosa’s struggles on the Hall of Fame ballot, saying voters on the committee agree there are two sides to the issue.
“I want to think about it and do it in a way that respects both the people who love Sammy as a player like me and the people who respect the game, and I think there’s a balance somewhere for that, maybe we’ll find it at some point.”
The Cubs president added that he “can’t believe the last chapter has been written on this.”
However, it’s hard to imagine the Cubs’ all-time leader without Ricketts’ adamant opposition to Sosa’s smooth return to the organization and an apologetic sign of past laziness. welcomed with open arms. future.
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