Cubs shouldn't bring back Mr.*609

So Sammy Sosa wants back in.

Back into the Cubs family and back into the spotlight.

Sosa has made himself more accessible lately. Including a podcast , which included his approval of Tom Ricketts comments regarding a potential thawing of a long time icy relationship between Sosa and the Cubs.

Fine. I’m over it, kind of.

I’ve harbored disdain for Sosa for quite some time. However, I just feel indifferent now. He is a cartoon character.  He even managed to soften me a bit with that wonderful yellow sweater he wears in his profile. Then he 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”.

The problem is he never would have achieved that stature without extra help. Sosa in my opinion 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 for me. If Sosa would have put up his untainted number for maybe 12-13 years or so, maybe he has a case. I figure the guys who really didn’t need the help like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, or Alex Rodriguez will eventually get in. Sosa I don’t believe is in that class.

There is no way Sosa would have ascended into those “PlayStation numbers” without cheating. I don’t begrudge him for that as much as the ego monster he became around the clubhouse and the media. He did have plenty of enabling to help that monster, but he took it and ran with it. The fact he still believes in this fantasy is not really surprising, but not any less disturbing. His Twitter handle is @TheRealMr609. How is that for irony?

In the end Sosa only did what the other megalomaniacs (see above names) of the era did.

I’m over that.

Now if he was to own up some and maybe even apologize, I’m sure all this would dissipate. He was after all a very entertaining player who made the Cubs a lot of money. As it is he not only doesn’t want to go that route, he wants the Cubs to come to him and apologize.

“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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  • At 64, I have been a Cubs fan since 1958. I have never detested a Cubs player so much as "Soso". He is an arrogant, me-first, cheater (corked bat if nothing else) who abandoned his team. He is, to me, pond scum.

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    a corked bat gives you absolutely no edge in performance...

  • In reply to Cueil:

    That's true, but Sammy thought it would give him an edge (another strike against him there) and therefore used it to try to cheat. Again.

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    I wish he was a Cardinal player, he's a disgrace to the Cubs organization. I wish he would just go away.

  • I'd like to see a Sammy Sosa day at Wrigley and let him toss out the first pitch just so his last memory of being there would be one of getting booed off the field.

  • I have been a baseball fan for more than 60 years. In all that time, perhaps the most memorable and enjoyable moment for me was when Mark McGwire broke the home run record in a game against the Cubs at a time when both he and Sosa were chasing both the record and each other. When McGwire came across the plate, Sosa was there to hug and congratulate him. It made me proud to be a Cubs fan and proud to be a Sosa fan.

    Did he cheat? Almost certainly, although my by being rebels at the thought of scrapping the concept of "innocent until proven guilty". But he and others did so with the tacit acceptance of the entire baseball structure, both management and labor, who were struggling to bet back into the good graces of the public after several destructive labor strikes and bad press. Regardless, it was wrong.

    But would he have succeeded without the "extra help"? Absolutely. At that point he was just coming into his own as a player, and was starting to fulfill the promise that so many scouts had forecast for him.

    I can understand those that say that so many cheated that we should forgive everyone.

    I can understand those that say that cheating is wrong, and we should forgive no one.

    But I can NOT understand those who say that we should forgive SOME cheaters, but not others.

    If I were Ricketts, I would not retire Sosa's number at the present time. i feel certain, however, that in the years to come, it will be, rightly, retired, once the enflamed passions have simmered down.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Good post. I agree with much of this here, Dave. I, too, understand the arguments on both sides and I do think this relationship still needs time to repair itself. We can say what we want about cheating, proof, morality issues. That's all well and good. Everyone will have their opinion there. My issue is that Sammy put himself above the organization and no matter what the numbers say, that's not the guy you want as the face of your franchise at this time. Both sides have to keep moving forward and I think at some point there will be that reconciliation.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think the biggest question should be... Where you not entertained? Sosa was an extraordinary entertainer and was the sole reason to really watch the team through some really bad years

  • I don't care either way. I'm surprised that so many people cheered him when he was a Cubbie but act like what he did for the ballclub and the fans never happened.

  • I was such a huge fan when they first acquired Sosa but over the years the ego just became so inflated, it was hard to like him. Sosa is all about his numbers and the Cubs shouldn't take him back until he learns the game is about much more than that. He has a long way to go in that respect.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That's ALL the game is about now... individual NUMBERS are everything

  • So we are now at the point where we can claim to know the exact point when players allegedly started juicing and whether or not they "needed it"? Cool.

    As far as as Sammy goes, there was a 5-6 year strretch where there was only one reason and only one reason to pay attention to the Cubs. And it wasn't the self absorbed, alcoholic 1B or Woody's simulated games.

  • In reply to Vinny:

    I think the numbers tell a story.

  • In reply to Vinny:

    Besides 5-6 year stretch? They won in 98 and were pretty good in 01 by 2003 he wasn't even a key player.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    They won, well the wildcard, in 98 why? Because of Sosa.
    They were pretty good in 2001. When Sosa had one of the greatest single seasons in Cubs history. And yeah, batting 3rd while putting up a slash line of .279/.358/.553/.911 and an ops+ of 133 is not a key player at all for the 2003 team.


  • Sammy is the man and always will be. We have little information on what performance enhancing substances were used before his time, not to mention pitchers who tinkered with deliveries illegally for years and still made the Hall of Fame.

    I think it would be a much bigger and important step for the game itself to take responsibility for the charges and let the players be honored for their achievements.

    Bonds and Sosa would have been great players without steroids in my view and their numbers might not have been far off if they used legal supplementation. If Darwin Barney uses steroids in the off-season I doubt he would hit more than 14 homeruns. There is some relevance to the debate, but I think it's overblown and ignores the natural skills of the players.

    I would prefer to just be done with the whole debate, welcome the players back in, and let baseball institute stronger policies going forward.

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    You are telling me Sosa was a 60 HR guy legit? All the years of much more accomplished power hitters couldn't do it but this guy could?

  • fb_avatar

    Cubs DFA'd Lendy Castillo and made the Villanueva signing official.

    Still need to make room for Hairston.

  • I'm very happy to see these pro-Sammy comments here. He was The Man for so many years and he was beloved. Sure he developed a huge ego. And, yes, he made a huge mistake in leaving the stadium on the last day of his Cub career -- although none of know the true interpersonal dynamics of what was going on in the clubhouse at that time. Great athletes make mistakes -- just ask Scottie Pippen about those two seconds.

    Between the lines Sosa was truly Awesome -- like Banks, Jordan, Payton awesome-- for so many years. He is one of Chicago's All Time greats. Period.

    It's too bad that so many people who cheered him wildly are so easily willing to just write him off. And since the MLB was itself 100% complicit in condoning the rampant use of steroids and we'll never know the full extent and all the names, I'm just not hung up on it. At a time when so many were juicing, Sammy was among the best of the best of the best. And to my eye he played all out all the time.

    Sammy, Sammy, Sammy . . . !!!

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    It must be Saturday.

  • I think the picture made me throw up a little

  • Sad for me to see support for a maggot such as Sosa. This is who we admire? This is who we want our kids to emulate? Self centered. A bad teammate. Speaks perfect English when proclaiming Wrigley to be his house but unable to speak the language before Congress. A liar. A cheat. Not Banks. Not Sandburg. Not Williams. Sosa. Great. No wonder our country is in such trouble.

  • In an America where the singer at the inaugrration of the President lip sinks the National Antheum, a national hero(Lance Amrstrong) makes millions perpetuateing a fraud and a Notra Dame Hiesman trophy candidate does the same; America needs MLB to stand on principal. The character code is paramount. No known or perponderence of evidence cheater should be in the HOF. Violate the principal is to lose the principal. Sosa, Bonds, Clemens, and ARod have nothing coming period.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    we have tons of cheaters in the hall of fame... assholes that make Sammy look like Mother Terisa and wife beaters... Babe banged his adopted daughter and got her preggers and the girl didn't find out till she was on her dyeing bed

  • In reply to Cueil:

    Those things differed in that they did not violate the intigrety of the game only of the individual himself. The fact that some in the Hall lacked character doesn't justify letting in cheaters.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    MLB and principle? If MLB had an ounce of principle, Selig should admit that MLB knowingly condoned PEDS and turned a blind eye to their use. And the hypocracy of all those high and mighty self righteous HOF voters who say they have to protect the integrity or the game makes me want to puck. Why did they not speak out at the time? Instead, in the thousands of columns they wrote in 1998, they just gushed about Sammy and McGuire and didn't say a peep about the massive use of PEDS occurring right under their noses. Screw them.

    This ain't about sainthood. Even if we all agree that Sammy was a big jerk, we all have to agree that what he did between the lines makes him one of the greatest Chicago baseball players of all time. Go look at those numbers form 1998 to 2002.

    In a time when many others we juicing, they don't approach Sammy's numbers. His elite status among all the others juicing proves his greatness.

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    Well, obviously there was complicent enablers and I cheered for Sammy, but the HOF is a high honor and stands on principle as well as nunbers. Individuals who cheated under those conditions can be forgiven, I will accept the baseball writers outcome, but I would not like to see known PED users in the Hall.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I'll buy this argument as soon as Ty Cobb, one of the most racist bastards ever to walk on American soil as well as perhaps the dirtiest player in baseball history, is tossed out of the HOF.

    Listen, I don't think we can have it both ways with this PED user stuff. We decry these players in particular, but let other players with some rather large personality flaws go in without a blink of an eye. You can also argue that they were cheaters, but frankly, baseball history is strewn with pitchers that doctored the ball and probably other players who used corked bats, amphetamines, etc. to give them that little edge.

    I guess I'm of the mind that since MLB basically winked knowingly at all this and it was so rampant, that we can't just write these guys out. Undoubtedly, Sosa would not have hit 609, but what if he "only" hit 420? Wouldn't he still be a serious contender?

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Sosa could have been a contender if he had put up those numbers he had in 96 if they were stretched out over a long career?

  • Sosa will always be a controversial figure to the Cubs. He left on bad terms, had a massive ego, and was quite clearly on 'roids.

    That said, he WAS the Cubs for a good portion of the '90's. Will he ever take the role with the team that the likes of Banks, Santo, Jenkins, Sandberg, and even his former teammate Kerry Wood will? No. But now that all that junk is out of his system, the guy deserves a chance to redeem himself.

    As the article says, if he's willing to be Sammy Sosa, then he can become a part of the Cubs family again. If he wants to be "Mr. 609", he can try and get in nice with the Rangers and White Sox.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    The argument he was the Cubs through those bad years means little to me. I never did watch baseball for just home runs.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    As much of a fan of the guy as I was before, during, and after his Cubs tenure, I fail to see how Todd Walker gets higher priority with the team.

    The way I see things, outside of a few purists, the Cubs have nothing to lose by letting Sosa back into the fray. If he screws it up, he's likely burned his last bridge in baseball. But he might be able to do some positive things.

    Maybe it's the whole "childhood hero" thing clouding some of my judgement here, but I really fail to see the risk in giving the guy a shot. I just don't see the problem with Sosa coming to Wrigley, sitting down with Ricketts, Theo, and Crane Kenney, and seeing what options are there for Sosa.

  • fb_avatar

    I've been going back and forth about it, but Sammy should just shut up and go away!!!!

  • Sosa was selfish . All the shooting up was for his own fame and accomplishments and not for the team .He doesn't deserve anything . Does his numbers translate into being a Hall of Famer ? Maybe , but he doesn't deserve to go in . He cheated . Does he deserve for his number to be retired ? No , because of his selfishness .I have never disliked a Cub more than him .

  • Even if I could look past the roids, cork, attitude, playing dumb in front of Congress, to me the problem is he WALKED OUT on the Cubs! He quit! Just like Zambrano! Both of them can go buy an island and live together! Certain guys are always welcome, Sandberg, Grace, Sarge, Sutcliffe, etc. Players that cared about the game, the fans and the city.

    Don't do it Theo! I said NO!

  • In reply to jaxx51:

    Grace is welcome? Wow.You'd be hard pressed to find a more despicable human being that has ever worn the Cubs uniform.

    Yeah right, he cared about the fans and the city.

  • In reply to Vinny:

    Flawed yes, but despicable?

  • I don't really like Sammy Sosa either, but I have to say that making the argument that he doesn't deserve to go into the HOF because he was "selfish" is a little laughable. Tons of HOFers were selfish and self-centered and that is, sometimes, exactly why they were so successful. Undoubtedly, we should hold up the team players who also happen to be amazing ballplayers as the "role models" we want our children to follow, but to pretend that the HOF is full of angels with virtuous characters is naive at best.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    I hope you didn't get that from post. I just don't like his unrealistic attitude about coming back in. Be humble.

  • No, not from your post, Tom. I understand your point and your disappointment. In fact, I share it. I am responding to some of the posts here (and in other places) where people act as if the HOF is a sacrosanct place and that only the "pure" get in. I'm just saying that I think that is a mythology that we've created and with any close inspection, it falls apart rather rapidly. I think the HOF should be more museum than shrine.

    I actually am on the fence about whether or not Sosa deserves to be in the HOF and I think it deserves a few years of debate before it's decided (along with the likes of McGuire, etc.)

    And just so it's clear once again, I loved Sosa until he turned into a selfish prig and learned to love the spotlight more than the game or his team. I think his type of attitude is bad for sports, but I also can't deny that the dude provided a lot of entertainment to me over the years and was also a very, very talented ballplayer.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Well put.

  • The fact that there are questionable characters in the Hall is not a good reason to add to it. It is not about sainthood, but it is not just about numbers either, especially when the numbers are not legit.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    But that's part of my point. There are already other people in the HOF whose numbers are "not legit." Perhaps we should throw those guys out if we decide not to let the new crop of tainted numbers in?

    And I'm certainly not arguing that we don't consider character at all, but it's probably something that would be used on a really borderline case (actually, sorta like Sosa) that might sway a vote one way or another.

    I actually think this is an interesting debate and exactly the right time to be having it. What do we want the HOF to be? What, exactly, should voters be voting on when voting in a player? I don't agree with Phil Rogers on much, but I absolutely agree that the HOF should outline some guidelines for these things... how to consider numbers that may have been inflated by steroids, drug use, doctoring baseballs, etc. along with such things as what role does character play?

    Personally, I would say let the McGuire's and Sosa's in, but put them in a special wing that describes the impact these guys had... both good (making baseball relevant after the strike and propelling new interest in the sport) and bad (all the other points people have already made) with an emphasis on the tainted numbers. They are part of the fabric and story of baseball much as we may not like it and it's probably better to remember them and make an example of them at the same time so that future players may want to think twice and have their credentials similarly stained.

  • Actually, I like the way it is for reasons that you state above. The system already gives weight to differing opinions and when enough voters reach the same conclusion a player is honored. It is a little messy sometimes, but fair. It is a big picture decision that a reflects a consensus of opinion.

  • Nope. Didn't like him from day one. Don't care about PEDs and cork. Didn't like him when he was on the Sox. Only ever cared about himself and his stats. Fake piece of crap. I was NOT entertained in 1998, climbed every rooftop and cried that he was a fraud. Very few believed me. Now I get to sit here and say "Told you so!", and I am quite happy with that.

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