SAN DIEGO – The cold war between the Cubs and Sammy Sosa continues while Manny Ramirez joins the organization as a player/coach at Triple-A Iowa.
Ramirez has a personal connection to Theo Epstein after two World Series celebrations with the Boston Red Sox. Sosa doesn’t have that kind of history with the Ricketts family or Epstein’s front office and got snubbed when the Cubs celebrated their Wrigley Field centennial last month.
“I don’t know where things stand with Sammy right now,” Epstein said Sunday on a conference call. “But I do know that it was important to us that Manny has been very upfront about admitting his mistakes, that Manny was very cooperative with Major League Baseball, and that Manny is interested in making sure younger players don’t make the same mistakes that he made.”
The Cubs are estranged from Sosa, who doesn’t have the same documented PED history as Ramirez, but also hasn’t confronted the suspicions. A New York Times report in 2009 identified Sosa as one of the 104 players who tested positive during the anonymous survey in 2003.
Maybe Sosa can follow the Ramirez roadmap by making himself available to the media, telling his side of the story and repairing relationships inside baseball’s Park Avenue headquarters in New York.
They both had potential Hall of Fame resumes while alienating themselves from iconic franchises, leading to messy exits. Unlike Sosa, Ramirez has apparently made peace with his enemies and negotiated his own way back into the game.
“Those are things that were important to us and made this worth doing,” Epstein said. “I’m not sure where things stand with Sammy at the moment.”