Sammy Sosa hit 545 of his 609 career home runs as a Cub, won an MVP as a Cub in 1998 and was named to a total of seven All-Star games. All as a Cub.
Now the organization seemingly wants little to do with him, and he opened up to ChicagoMag.com on Monday about how it has affected his life after baseball.
Sosa’s name appears on an engraved stone outside of Wrigley Field and there is a flag on the roof of the stadium that pays tribute to the slugger’s record-breaking 66 home runs from 1998.
But Sosa would like his number retired, along with the other Cubs greats, and it’s currently being used by rookie outfielder Tyler Colvin.
“That number should be untouchable because of the things that I did for
that organization,” Sosa said. “That right there shows me that they
don’t care about me, and they don’t want to have a good relationship
The steroid era tainted the legacy of many of the last decade’s stars, but some have found a way to hug it out and be re-embraced. Mark McGwire owned up to using performance-enhancers this offseason in a teary interview with MLB Network’s Bob Costas and now he is serving as the hitting coach of the Cardinals. Jason Giambi apologized for his mistakes in 2005 and sends the Coors Field crowd into an uproar when he pinch-hits now in Colorado. Andy Pettitte has moved on, and is going to play a major role in the Yankees’ quest for a 28th World Series this October.
The path to forgiveness must start with an apology, and Sosa has yet to acknowledge that he deceived the Wrigley Field faithful in the 90s and early 2000s. He must come clean or the current feelings in Chicago and around the game of baseball are doubtful to change.
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.
As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”
The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is entering his 25th season as a professional baseball player and his 17th in the major leagues. The 43-year-old is potentially under contract through the 2018 season if the Marlins choose to pick up his club option.
Few players are able to continue their careers into their mid-40’s. No surprise, Suzuki is the oldest position player in baseball. Only Braves pitcher Bartolo Colon, is older, and only by 51 days. Suzuki, however, wants to play until he’s 50 years old, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports.
“I’m not joking when I say it,” Suzuki said. He continued, “Nobody knows what the future holds. But the way I feel, how I’m thinking, I feel like nothing can stop me from doing it. When you retire from baseball, you have until the day you die to rest.”
When asked about what will happen when Suzuki finally does decide to retire, Suzuki responded, “I think I’ll just die.”
Last season, Suzuki showed he still has plenty left in the tank. He hit .291/.354/.376 with 21 extra-base hits, 48 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 365 plate appearances. If the Marlins’ outfielders stay healthy, Suzuki won’t be starting many games in 2017. He started in right field frequently during the second half last year, filling in for the injured Giancarlo Stanton.