Here's some Chicago Tribune breaking news for you, just lost and loitering on ice in the frosty hinterlands of our far-flung Tribune world.
Chances are, you don't care about it. But I'm cleaning out my closet and thought I would throw a few musty things away and twist it toward the Blackhawks so I have a moral to my story.
Sammy Sosa lies. I know, I know, I hate to be so shocking, taking my detour away from all things skates and any GPS update on the Stanley Cup--which should be on the 9th hole with Dale Tallon--for a big-picture snapshot this summer day of how pro sports works.
And I say that still liking the guy. I'm no Sosa basher. He IS misunderstood. By that I mean, he doesn't even understand himself. How can the people who hate him ever hope to understand him if that's the case?
But I know he lies, because he lied to me. At least once. Quite significantly in light of what happened to him. Maybe a lot more, because you don't need snooping federal investigators to trace a pattern of his lies.
Sosa also lied (just a little white lie) in March, 2007, long after a real big red-lettered lie pushed the Cubs over the edge years before and convinced them to throw Sosa off Mt. Olympus, converting him from a god to a ghoul that played fast and loose with the facts.
"They are all my friends," Sosa said about being outwardly welcomed by some Cubs officials when he revisited his old spring training home in Mesa, Az., as a Texas Rangers' player. "I don't have no enemies over there. I was nice with everybody."
Sosa summarized in a nutshell what all his enemies past and present disliked most about him. He didn't believe a word of what he said there and those Cubs officials knew it, too. He regularly hid behind a false facade, retreated to protect himself from scorn and name-calling because he felt enemies were all around him and he had to be vigilant in rebuffing their hurtful jabs and criticisms.
And he wasn't wrong, either. He had enemies aplenty in the Cubs locker room. Being the smart cookie he is, Sammy spent many hours building his defenses and finding a way to make those enemies grudgingly respect him, even if it meant resorting to an illegal means of body-building that he suspected others of using effectively and a lie that even major-league baseball commissioner Bud Selig silently sanctioned the way Sosa obviously viewed it.
Remember, Selig was going out of his way to fly to Sosa's annual birthday bash in the Dominican Republic at a time when many baseball officials now are admitting a strong suspicion existed throughout baseball that steroid use was prevalent, just not publically acknowledged as a lie that needed exposing and examination.
Ask Selig about that and his reply wouldn't be much different from what Sosa's was in the current Chicago Magazine profile when confronted about his failures to pass a steroids test in his playing days.
I don't want to talk about that, Sammy said. Well, no shit. There's the problem in another nutshell. They never had to talk about it. For years, Sammy and Bud didn't have to speak about it openly, either. Assuming and prevaricating was good enough for both. Direct questions were considered unfounded attacks without proof.
What was Sosa to infer from Selig bowing at the altar with all the rest, as well as Cubs president Andy MacPhail? Yep. He inferred everyone was in on the charade and it was business as usual. MacPhail quietly believed Sosa was lying all along about his age, but a certain amount of artful lying is permitted in pro sports.