Polling Place: Welcome back, Sammy Sosa? That’s what voters say, anyway

The results of our little poll leave us no alternative but to humbly conclude that Sosa would be cheered at Wrigley Field even if he rode up and down the surrounding streets on a parade float made of cork.

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They knew — and loved — him when.

Photo by DANIEL LIPPITT/AFP via Getty Images

The question never seems to go away: Will the Cubs ever open their arms to former slugger Sammy Sosa?

It never goes away even though the answer never changes: No, chairman Tom Ricketts says, not before Sosa — who homered 545 times as a Cub — takes a walk on the contrite side about his role in baseball’s steroid era.

But forget “will they?” Should they?

Should the Cubs welcome Sosa back?

That question was at the heart of a “Polling Place” — your home for Sun-Times sports polls on Twitter — that was all about Mark McGwire’s co-star in the 1998 home run race. Sosa and McGwire will be featured Sunday at 8 p.m. in the premiere of the ESPN documentary “Long Gone Summer.”

“Never,” @DadsThumb commented. “He epitomizes selfishness and is the opposite of a team player. The team should never welcome back that sort of player for any sort of ‘team’ recognition.”

But never is a mighty long time.

“Sammy Sosa should not be allowed to step foot in that ballpark until he publicly acknowledges what he did and apologizes, period,” @TFroehlig wrote. “This man was not a victim of anything [but] acts like he was to this day.”

Neither of those comments sounds anything like an unequivocal yes. On the whole, though, voters’ hearts and minds had a lot of forgive-and-forget in them.

On to the polls:

Poll No. 1: Your take on Sosa being welcomed back to Wrigley Field?

Upshot: Where we come, 60% is darn near three out of five. That’s dangerously close to a majority, is it not? The results of our little poll leave us no alternative but to humbly conclude that Sosa would be cheered at Wrigley even if he rode up and down the surrounding streets on a parade float made of cork. Or as @estereo put it: “Sosa is a legend and he was the only reason to watch those crummy late-1990s, early-2000s teams. I loved his signature hop after a home run swing.”

Poll No. 2: Right now, would you vote for Sosa for the Hall of Fame?

Upshot: “He was an unbelievable hitter with or without steroids,” @Anthony91530562 wrote. Tell that to the 86.1% of actual Hall voters — those dastardly baseball writers — who went with nay, all day, in a big way on their 2020 ballots. Sosa gets a bit more love from voters here, in case that matters to him. (Come on, you know it does.)

Poll No. 3: Pick a right fielder:

Upshot: Color @CommodoreKEV unimpressed. He wrote, “Thinking Andre Dawson is better than Sammy Sosa is like thinking Carlos Zambrano is better than Fergie Jenkins. Their Cubs careers are in two entirely different tiers.” Their numbers as Cubs undoubtedly are. Hawk was pretty flippin’ good, though. If only his knees could’ve gotten to know the soft grass in right field at Wrigley a few years earlier than they did.

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