There could be a thaw coming in the icy relationship between the Cubs and Sammy Sosa.
Cubs players always get taken care of in this city, but Sosa has become the invisible man. No media gigs, local commercials, spring training guest spots or doing the seventh-inning stretch.
The organization invited more than 75 guests to its downtown convention players, alumni, prospects but not Sosa, the franchises all-time leaders in home runs (545) and the star attraction for so many years at Wrigley Field.
With Sammy, its awkward, chairman Tom Ricketts said Saturday at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. I think over time there will be a good solution for all this stuff. But obviously we saw what happened with the Hall of Fame voting this year. I dont know. It would be nice to put this chapter to rest and just welcome back all the guys who were from that era who were suspected of doing whatever.
The cloud of performance-enhancing drugs hung over Sosas case for Cooperstown. He appeared on only 71 of the 569 ballots cast by the Baseball Writers Association of America. After getting only 12.5 percent of the vote, its almost impossible to see him getting elected to the Hall of Fame, even if this was only his first year of eligibility.
Since Sosa walked out at the end of the 2004 season, the Cubs have changed ownership, shaken up the front office, burned through three managers and completely turned over their clubhouse. There arent many direct connections left.
Ricketts didnt know if keeping Sosa at a distance was because of the PEDs or the way the relationship ended, with a smashed boombox becoming the perfect metaphor. But the chairman seemed open to the idea of considering inviting Sosa to the convention, or at least opening a line of communication with his camp.
Its a great question, maybe we should revisit that, Ricketts said. When we got here, there wasnt much communication and we just really havent focused on it. But maybe its an issue we pick up this year and see what we can do about it.