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Sammy Sosa is a successful guy. He made over $100 million as a baseball player, owns his own company and invests in real estate. But while other players of the recent past have been invited back into the world of baseball, as coaches, special assistants, or even just back to the ballpark for a day of recognition, that hasn’t happened yet for Sosa.
Why not? It all boils down to one thing: Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts wants Sosa to apologize. He wants Sosa to apologize for leaving the team before the game was over on the last day of the 2004 season, and he made it clear at the Cubs Convention in January that he also wants Sosa to apologize for using performance-enhancing drugs.
David Kaplan of NBC Sports Chicago sat down for an interview with Sosa, and his rift with the Cubs — the team he spent 13 of his 18 major league seasons playing for — was a topic of conversation. And the first thing Sosa wanted people to know is that he isn’t looking for a job with the Cubs — or with any major league team.
“I was playing for a company many years ago, it was the Tribune Company, so after I retire I formed my own company, so I’m not looking for a job,” Sosa said. “When I call somebody the first thing that I say is, ‘I’m not looking for a job. Just called you to say hello.’ So I have my own company, I’m comfortable.”
Sosa just wants to be welcomed back, and he has no expectations beyond that. But as far as doing what Ricketts has asked Sosa to do to be invited back, he’s not quite there yet — though he did try. Sort of.
“The ownership they have to understand that I’m a humble man, I’m not a man to have ego, when I was playing I was a little bit because I was focused on what I was trying to do,” Sosa said. “But right now I’m gonna be 50 years old. I’m a granddaddy, I’m a grandparent, so things change. So if I made a mistake, I don’t have to say that, but if I made a mistake, I didn’t want to offend any body, I don’t have a problem with that, I’m sorry because you know, I was in my zone.”
That’s technically an apology, but not quite. He comes close to admitting he made a mistake, but only says “if I made a mistake.” And then he says that he doesn’t have to say that he made a mistake, but if he did, he didn’t want to offend anyone. That’s more of a hypothetical apology than a real apology.
That’s probably not going to be good enough for Tom Ricketts, who is looking for an actual apology from Sosa before he welcomes him back into the fold. Maybe it will happen someday, but for now, it looks like the Cubs aren’t going to be inviting Sosa to any ballpark events anytime soon.
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