Sammy Sosa’s feelings are hurt.

Sammy Sosa feels disrespected by the Chicago Cubs.

That number [21] should be untouchable because of the things that I did for that organization.  That right there shows me that they don’t care about me, and they don’t want to have a good relationship with me.

Sammy Sosa auditioning for the role of the Joker in Christopher Nolan's 'The Dark Knight'.

Sosa was an incredibly important piece of the Chicago Cubs history back when he was bashing home runs along with Mark McGwire in that memorable chase of ’98. It was a modern-day recreation of the baseball climate that engrossed the country when Babe Ruth went on tour as the first player to get paid to smash baseballs over the fence.  Pay your nickel, see the show.  Both Ruth’s and Sosa’s careers took place during some of the most romantic eras in baseball, and both of them helped to make their owners rich beyond their wildest dreams while they captivated America with each and every meatheaded swing.

But while The Babe had his vices, certainly none of them were of the performance enhancing variety.  Which is where, it seems, the Cubs have drawn their line in the sand. Since news of Major League Baseball’s 2003 steroid testing was leaked by the New York Times, home run hitters reputations have been dropping like the records they destroyed using steroids.  The news started out as a slow leak that was initially stopped by a good little Dutch boy.  However, he couldn’t stop all of the leaks in the dam and heroic players such as Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, Barry Bonds, and yes, even the legendary David Grimsley have had their legacies forever tarnished.  And what started out as a slow leak in the Dutch boy’s dam has led to a total collapse of dozens of players and their statistics.

As a result of these revelations (revelations meaning ‘evidence’ other than someone’s head growing 3 sizes in the off-season), it looks like the Chicago Cubs want to distance themselves as far away as they can from the current PR nightmare that is Sammy Sosa.  A struggling franchise, the last thing the Cubs need right now is for something to give them a reason to stop hating Steve Bartman.

However, as much as Sosa contributed to the Cubs and baseball in general, I’m going to have to side with the Chicago Cubs on this one.  Speaking as someone who was an engrossed (and naïve) teenager back in that fateful 1998 season,  I wish that I could look back on that era as an exciting time.  Because, as it happened, it really was.

But in the end, you have to decide if that is that the face that you want representing your franchise.  And the Cubs seem to be deciding that Pale Rider Sosa is absolutely not that face.


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