Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts believes Sammy Sosa owes him and the fans “a little bit of honesty” if the franchise’s all-time home-run leader wants to be welcomed back to the organization.
Sosa has made it clear that he wants to be part of the Cubs’ family, but the feeling hasn’t been mutual.
Last February, Sosa told blogger and former Cubs front-office official Chuck Wasserstrom that he’d love to return to Wrigley Field but is too prideful to ask for an invite.
Ricketts said Saturday during a panel at the Cubs Convention that Sosa needs to “put everything on the table” regarding his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs, a stance Ricketts has maintained since the issue first arose.
That’s why it was unusual for Ricketts to appear sympathetic toward Sosa when a fan asked if it’s time for Sosa to come back.
“I really believe all the players from that era who were in that kind of steroid era … I think we owe them a lot of understanding,” Ricketts said. “We have to put ourselves in their shoes and be very, very sympathetic to everything, all the decisions they had to make, and certainly as it turned out after testing had begun in 2002, a large number of players test positive.”
But Ricketts’ understanding tone took a quick 180-degree turn.
“Players of that era owe us a little bit of honesty, too,” he said. “I feel like the only way to turn this page is just to put everything on the table. That’s the way I feel.”
Sosa, who spent 13 of his 18 major-league seasons with the Cubs, has always denied using steroids, despite reports that he failed a drug test in 2003.
The Cubs welcomed back Carlos Zambrano, who also had left the team on bad terms. Zambrano has since apologized, and he was at the convention this weekend.
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