Sosa fumes at Cubs over his unretired number 21

21 Comments

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
with me.”

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.

Cubs won’t make Kyle Schwarber available in trade talks

Kyle Schwarber
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.

The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.

Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.

Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”