Why does Sammy Sosa looks so different? Rapper T.I. has a theory

Sammy Sosa last week in Paris and during his playing days. (AP)
Sammy Sosa last week in Paris and during his playing days. (AP)

There’s no lack of opinions in the baseball world about Sammy Sosa — the ex-Cubs slugger whose home-run records have been mired by performance enhancing drugs allegations for years. But Sosa is apparently even the target of criticism from the hip-hop community these days.

Sosa has mystified the baseball world in his retirement because of a startling change in his appearance. His skin has gotten A LOT whiter in recent years. Many people theorize that he’s bleached his skin. Sosa himself said in 2009 that it was the result of a skin-softening cream.

Whatever the reason, the change is quite noticeable. Take these pictures posted last week by Dominican sports journalist Franklin Mirabal that show Sosa in Paris in the days before his 49th birthday on Sunday.

For some reason, TMZ caught up with rapper T.I. and asked him to weigh in on Sosa’s pigment change. T.I. — the Atlanta-bred rapper known for hits such as “Live Your Life,” “Whatever You Like” and “What You Know” — has a take for Sosa’s transformation and it’s not “live your life, Sammy.”

“Self hate,” he told TMZ.

Maybe. Maybe it’s something else. Until Sosa opens up about it — which he may never do — we’re all just left to wonder whether there’s a true motivation behind all this. That goes for T.I., people on Twitter, you here in the comment section or anyone else, really. Sosa is the only one who truly knows.

Still, the first thing that came to mind when T.I. got brought into this conversation was the famous Dave Chappelle bit about MTV calling up Ja Rule after 9/11 to get his thoughts on things.

“Oh my God, this is terrible,” Chappelle says in his routine. “Can somebody please find Ja Rule … so I can make sense of all this.”

Well, we certainly wouldn’t mind hearing Ja’s take on Sammy Sosa.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!