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Sammy Sosa upset that Cubs haven't retired No. 21


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From Sports Illustrated:

Sosa upset that Cubs haven't retired No. 21

CHICAGO (AP) -- Retired slugger Sammy Sosa is upset with the Chicago Cubs for not retiring his No. 21 jersey, telling a magazine that the organization doesn't care about him.

Sosa hit 545 homers over 13 seasons with the Cubs while becoming one of baseball's biggest stars. But he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles in 2005 after a sour end to his time in Chicago.

Sosa tells Chicago Magazine for a story in its September issue that his "number should be untouchable because of the things that I did for that organization."

Rookie outfielder Tyler Colvin is wearing No. 21 for the Cubs this season.

Sosa finished with 609 homers in 18 years in the majors. He hasn't appeared in a game since 2007.

Having a hard time digging up much sympathy for the guy. He got caught corking and tested positive for steriods at least once during his time with the Cubs. Can't imagine why they won't put him up there with Santo and Banks.

But even setting that aside, there's something unseemly about a player publicly asking for his number to be retired, isn't there? If the honor isn't so obviously earned that the fans are clamoring for it, it shouldn't be bestowed.

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"the things that I did for that organization"

I love this when athletes bust it out. I love it even more when they say "all I did for the city". Unless you're donating millions of dollars, raising awarness for causes, taking paycuts so your team can sign more players, playing through painful injuries so the team can squeak out one more win, then you didn't do anything for the organization other than your job. Yes, you may have done your job well, but you were also compensated well for it. You're a paid athlete - hired labor.

That being said, they should at least withhold it from circulation for a while, and just see how things look / feel in a few more years. I hate it when teams retire numbers for guys after allowing other players to have worn it in the meantime. It's even worse when they retire a number for two guys. The Phillies retired 14 for Jim Bunning once he made the HOF, but in the mean time, 1B Pete Rose, hitting coach Dennis Menke, and a few others had worn the number with relative distinction. "Nobody will ever wear number 14 for the Phillies" - yeah... except that they did.

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Well it's not like the organization didn't know that he used a corked bat and was using steroids (they had to) yet they let him get away with it because it was good for business and he made them a lot of money. It's not like Sosa is the undisputed bad guy here and the team is the good guys who are refusing to honor a bad guy.

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In his defense (I can't believe I'm defending him so much in this threa), it's frustrating when you've hit historic marks, yet don't get the same honor that other guys do who accomplished less than half of what you did. Some teams (generally newer teams, can't think of a specific example but I'm sure I could find a handful of guys who don't deserve the honor but have received it) look for any reason to retire numbers. He shouldn't go public with it, but if I'm him I'm a little upset too.

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"the things that I did for that organization"

I love this when athletes bust it out. I love it even more when they say "all I did for the city".

Yeah, I love it too. Especially, like you said, when they haven't donated 1 cent to the school system or libraries. All they did was come and play a childhood game that they were paid millions to play.

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In his defense (I can't believe I'm defending him so much in this threa), it's frustrating when you've hit historic marks, yet don't get the same honor that other guys do who accomplished less than half of what you did.

True, but when your historic marks are all home runs, and you get caught up in steriods and corking, then it's the nature of the beast. You'll always be looked at a little differently.

If you can keep playing long after getting caught, then you have a chance to outlive the controversy. A-Rod might be able to do just that. But when getting caught is the beginning of the end of your career, it casts a pall on the achievements of that career.

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In his defense (I can't believe I'm defending him so much in this threa), it's frustrating when you've hit historic marks, yet don't get the same honor that other guys do who accomplished less than half of what you did.

True, but when your historic marks are all home runs, and you get caught up in steriods and corking, then it's the nature of the beast. You'll always be looked at a little differently.

If you can keep playing long after getting caught, then you have a chance to outlive the controversy. A-Rod might be able to do just that. But when getting caught is the beginning of the end of your career, it casts a pall on the achievements of that career.

Right, but you're ignoring (perhaps unintentionally) my earlier point that the organization very likely knew what was going on and turned a blind eye to it because people loved watching him hit dingers. They just let him play it out and set all of these marks, then turn their back on him like he's a criminal who duped them into believing that he was clean and pure.

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In his defense (I can't believe I'm defending him so much in this threa), it's frustrating when you've hit historic marks, yet don't get the same honor that other guys do who accomplished less than half of what you did.

True, but when your historic marks are all home runs, and you get caught up in steriods and corking, then it's the nature of the beast. You'll always be looked at a little differently.

If you can keep playing long after getting caught, then you have a chance to outlive the controversy. A-Rod might be able to do just that. But when getting caught is the beginning of the end of your career, it casts a pall on the achievements of that career.

Right, but you're ignoring (perhaps unintentionally) my earlier point that the organization very likely knew what was going on and turned a blind eye to it because people loved watching him hit dingers. They just let him play it out and set all of these marks, then turn their back on him like he's a criminal who duped them into believing that he was clean and pure.

It all depends. In the case of steroids, the organization could be in the dark, just depends how well the player hid everything from his respected franchise and organization.

Now you do have a point in the Cavs/LeBron case. Where the Cavs blatantly ignored and covered up for LeBron.

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In his defense (I can't believe I'm defending him so much in this threa), it's frustrating when you've hit historic marks, yet don't get the same honor that other guys do who accomplished less than half of what you did.

True, but when your historic marks are all home runs, and you get caught up in steriods and corking, then it's the nature of the beast. You'll always be looked at a little differently.

If you can keep playing long after getting caught, then you have a chance to outlive the controversy. A-Rod might be able to do just that. But when getting caught is the beginning of the end of your career, it casts a pall on the achievements of that career.

Right, but you're ignoring (perhaps unintentionally) my earlier point that the organization very likely knew what was going on and turned a blind eye to it because people loved watching him hit dingers. They just let him play it out and set all of these marks, then turn their back on him like he's a criminal who duped them into believing that he was clean and pure.

It all depends. In the case of steroids, the organization could be in the dark, just depends how well the player hid everything from his respected franchise and organization.

Now you do have a point in the Cavs/LeBron case. Where the Cavs blatantly ignored and covered up for LeBron.

I didn't make a point about the Cavs/LeBron. LeBron has less than nothing to do with this thread - please don't turn this into a cry for Cleveland thread.

As for Sosa, of course they knew. Just like the Cardinals knew about McGwire, just like everyone knew about just about everyone that was crushing 50+ home runs. It's impossible not to have known, and it's naive to think that nobody in the organization knew what was going on.

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In his defense (I can't believe I'm defending him so much in this threa), it's frustrating when you've hit historic marks, yet don't get the same honor that other guys do who accomplished less than half of what you did.

True, but when your historic marks are all home runs, and you get caught up in steriods and corking, then it's the nature of the beast. You'll always be looked at a little differently.

If you can keep playing long after getting caught, then you have a chance to outlive the controversy. A-Rod might be able to do just that. But when getting caught is the beginning of the end of your career, it casts a pall on the achievements of that career.

Right, but you're ignoring (perhaps unintentionally) my earlier point that the organization very likely knew what was going on and turned a blind eye to it because people loved watching him hit dingers. They just let him play it out and set all of these marks, then turn their back on him like he's a criminal who duped them into believing that he was clean and pure.

It all depends. In the case of steroids, the organization could be in the dark, just depends how well the player hid everything from his respected franchise and organization.

Now you do have a point in the Cavs/LeBron case. Where the Cavs blatantly ignored and covered up for LeBron.

I didn't make a point about the Cavs/LeBron. LeBron has less than nothing to do with this thread - please don't turn this into a cry for Cleveland thread.

As for Sosa, of course they knew. Just like the Cardinals knew about McGwire, just like everyone knew about just about everyone that was crushing 50+ home runs. It's impossible not to have known, and it's naive to think that nobody in the organization knew what was going on.

I wasn't turning it into a Cry for Cleveland thread. Wasn't even close to being one. You made a point about the franchise turning a blind eye to shady things they new were happening. This was the case for LeBron and the Cavs. If anything, I was making a point for your statement.

Don't criticize every post that mentions Cleveland, a Cleveland team, or someone who played for Cleveland as being a Cry for Cleveland or homer post, when it clearly is not the case.

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This reminds me of what I told my students two years ago. If you deserve something (a treat or a reward), you'll get it. If you ask for it, you won't get it. You don't get to decide that you should get a reward from someone else.

Those Grade 5's got it. Wonder why Sammy has a hard time understanding that. Irregardless of the corked bat and the steroid issues, by doing this he's just ruined his rep and now is going to solidify the negative aspects of his career that for the most part were in the backs of the minds of many baseball fans until he opened his big mouth.

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What was covered up? Was LeBron blaitantly cheating and using illegal performance enhancing substances? After he left, they said that he gave up on the team and was a baby (or something like that.) It's apples and oranges. LeBron isn't being kept out of the HOF and being dishonored by his team for which he set all kinds of records for using drugs that they probably knew about. Whatever LeBron's actions were didn't impact his performance on the court (in a positive way at least.) It's not even apples and oranges. It's like apples and bowling balls.

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Right, but you're ignoring (perhaps unintentionally) my earlier point that the organization very likely knew what was going on and turned a blind eye to it because people loved watching him hit dingers. They just let him play it out and set all of these marks, then turn their back on him like he's a criminal who duped them into believing that he was clean and pure.

I didn't mean to.

The Cubs and Sosa both got what they wanted at the time. Fair enough, everybody was satisfied.

Now Sosa's thinking that they should still be doing things for him, and that's what's making him the only "bad guy" in this situation, if there is one.

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Right, but you're ignoring (perhaps unintentionally) my earlier point that the organization very likely knew what was going on and turned a blind eye to it because people loved watching him hit dingers. They just let him play it out and set all of these marks, then turn their back on him like he's a criminal who duped them into believing that he was clean and pure.

I didn't mean to.

The Cubs and Sosa both got what they wanted at the time. Fair enough, everybody was satisfied.

Now Sosa's thinking that they should still be doing things for him, and that's what's making him the only "bad guy" in this situation, if there is one.

I disagree. They're both bad guys. They turned a blind eye and profitted off of his performance. He used and profitted off of his performance. Part of the deal is when you retire with historic numbers, you get honored in some way. Yeah, it may be dirty, but that's just how it is. Not honoring him is essentially the club announcing that he's dirty. Since they allowed him to be dirty, they can't now point a finger at him. They should just complete the charade and retire his number. Or, if their policy is that a player has to make the HOF to get his number retired (the Phils have this policy with one exception (and he eventually did make the HOF)) then they're off the hook all together.

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In the Cubs organization the criteria is Hall of Fame induction. They did go ahead and retire the number for Greg Maddux though. But I'm pretty sure he's getting in ;)

Sosa might not even get into the Hall of Fame. So maybe if he does, they will. If he doesn't, they won't. Maybe even if he does get in they won't. He did not leave that organization on good terms. It really doesn't matter what secrets they kept and how much they really knew about his PED use. The bottom line is that he pissed the organization off. They may both be the bad guys. But the Organization has all the power in this situation.

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Just because you have power doesn't mean you need to exert it.

If the criteria is HOF, then they probably should've waited for Maddux, even though we all know he's 1st ballot.

For Sosa, they should at least keep his number out of circulation for a while until he fails a ballot or two (or has he already?)

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