One of the elite players in Chicago Cubs history was described as being "very hurt" by not getting invited to Wrigley Field's 100th birthday celebration earlier this week.
Sammy Sosa, the team's all-time leader in home runs and one of the most popular players the franchise has known, told ESPN Deportes the Cubs should have had a dialogue with him long ago to resolve issues that still exist 11 years after Sosa left Chicago. He also said "I should have been there" at Wrigley and that "The Cubs know where to find me."
A source who spoke directly with Sosa on Thursday said Sosa sounded “very hurt” by the fact he was not invited to take part in the Wrigley celebration that included many other former Cubs stars.
On Thursday, [owner Tom] Ricketts said through a spokesman that he stands by his recent comments regarding Sosa and the nature of their relationship. "We can't pretend that he didn't exist, but it's awkward," he said.
It's only awkward because the Cubs made it so. It might have been uncomfortable for Sosa to answer questions from reporters about PEDs, or how he quit on the team and sneaked out of Wrigley on the last day of the 2004 season, but the Cubs controlled the Wrigley celebration. It would have been little trouble to introduce Sosa to the crowd as they did Andre Dawson, Ernie Banks, Bob Dernier, et al.
ESPN's Enrique Rojas writes:
Cubs spokesman Julian Green said Wednesday that Sosa had some work to do before being welcomed back by the organization.
"There are some things Sammy needs to look at and consider prior to having an engagement with the team," Green said.
Sources indicate one thing Sosa has to do is make amends with some former teammates for his actions at the end of his Cubs career.
Is it still such a big deal how Sosa left the team? It was rude and all, but is that an unresolvable issue? As for PEDs, what do the Cubs want? An apology from Sosa for making the team untold millions by hitting a bajillion home runs? Sosa was the most important player on the Cubs for nearly a decade. And who's more popular in the history of the franchise? Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson — Gabby Hartnett before World War II? Sosa is right there.
Sosa obviously has a huge ego and bloated pride, but who are the Cubs to say they don't have to meet him halfway?
More MLB coverage at Yahoo Sports:
- - - - - - -