May 25, 2011
Sammy Sosa has been persona non grata in Chicago ever since he sped away from the Cubs on the last day of the 2004 season, a fact the slugger was still crying about last fall even though it has been a purgatory of his own making.
Well, Slammin' Sammy, this certainly won't heal a thing:
Yes, America, that was Sosa who appeared on your television screens on Tuesday night, cheering the Miami Heat so eagerly and obviously that even current Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro(notes) took note while watching in the team's postgame clubhouse.
OK, so I'm only just kidding because we've known for awhile now that Sosa really likes his courtside seats in Miami, the city he now calls home. It's not like he just showed up at the game to spite Chicago. He appears to be one of the true basketball fans in Miami. (You know, the type that comes dressed like they're attending a joint Great Gatsby dress-up party/mass cult suicide at a South Florida yacht club instead of an NBA playoff game.)
Still, don't think Sosa's siding with the wrong team won't go unnoticed here in Chicago. We're the same people, after all, that once threatened to run Mike Ditka out on a rail when he initially declined to pledge an allegiance to either the Chicago Bears or New Orleans Saints before the NFC Championship a few years back.
No, he did not see MJ rooting for a team not from Chicago, even though his White Sox ties could have given him a reason to stay away from the 2003 Cubs.
Come to think of it, though, I suppose it's possible that Sosa could have been an undercover basketball operative for the Florida teams all along. Remind me how many games Tracy McGrady played in a Bulls uniform after he hit Wrigley Field on his ill-fated wooing tour way back when?
Yep, that's just what I thought.
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Note: Before y'all up and leave an angry comment, go back and read the line in this tongue-'n-cheek piece where I said I was just kidding. I really don't care what basketball team Sammy Sosa — or anyone, really — prefers to support.
Or ignore that part entirely and choose to believe that I really and truly thought Sosa was secretly working for the Orlando Magic. Your choice.