This past week, Tom Ricketts continued the Cubs management's heavy representation on the new sports talker 87.7 FM "The Game".
This visit with the "Kap and Haugh Show" lasted an entire hour.
The most interesting part of the hour was when Ricketts seemed somewhat unprepared for a question regarding the possible return of one Sammy Sosa to favored status within the Cubs organization. There had been some talk last January regarding a Sosa reunion, when Ricketts was asked about the subject during last year's Cubs Convention.
Ricketts for sure had a different tune this time around. I had to assume he either completely rethought this possibility, or someone in the Cubs PR department has recently heavily advised him against it.
"You would hope that there would be circumstances that you can entertain that discussion...I'm not sure we'll ever get there.
"I do think it's a little weird that we just kinda take some of these guys and pretend they never existed.
I think any type of discussion along those lines will really have to balance how people feel about that, too. As you guys know, that issue brings up so many emotions with so many different people."
I had some thoughts I shared regarding that scenario at the time that we can revisit now. Those thoughts resulted in Sosa's blocking of me on Twitter. It's the only block I'm aware of, so I feel kind of honored...I think?
Here are some excerpts:
I've harbored some disdain for Sosa for some time. However, I just feel indifferent now. He has become a harmless, almost cartoonish character now. He even managed to soften me a bit with that wonderful yellow sweater he now wears in his profile. Then he went and opened his mouth.
"That is something I'm looking forward to that I want to happen"' Sosa said about having his number retired by the Cubs. "I'm kind of surprised it hasn't happened before. I represented that number for (13) years. That number should have been retired a long time ago.''
Sosa is a reality show of sorts, but that is fitting because Sosa's glory years were just that. All Sosa ever wanted to do was be adored and be "The Man".
Would Sosa have achieved "The Man" status without extra help?
For me, Sosa will always be that player in the supposed pre-roid era right around 1996-1997 and after 2003-2004. A 40/100 guy that at one time played a solid right field and stole some bases, some unnecessarily.
The Hall of Fame will always be out of the question.
If Sosa would have put up those assumed untainted numbers for 12,13 years or so, maybe he has a case. I figure in my own distorted way, the guys who really didn't need the help like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, or Alex Rodriguez would eventually get in. Sosa I don't believe belonged in their class.
I just don't buy that Sosa would have naturally ascended into those "PlayStation" numbers. I don't begrudge him for that as much as the ego monster he became around the clubhouse and media.
There was plenty of enabling to help build that monster, but Sosa took it and ran with it quite well. The fact he still believes in this fantasy his bloated achievements are real is not really surprising, but not any less disturbing. His Twitter handle is @TheRealMr609, mind you. In the end, Sosa only did what the other megalomaniacs (see above names) of the era did. I'm over that.
Sosa should have owned up and publicly pulled a Giambi like mea culpa, I'm sure then the relationship with the Cubs would become more conceivable. He was after all a very entertaining player who made the Cubs a ton of money. Sosa instead wanted the Cubs to come to him.
"I saw that the owner said he wanted to reach me, speak to me'' Sosa said. "I don't have any problem with that. They know where I am. If they want to find me, they have to call me. I'm always available.''
So if Sammy Sosa wants to come back maybe, as for Mr. *609, no thanks.
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