Sammy Sosa as a Chicago Cub in 2002
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Nearly six years after his acrimonious departure from the Chicago Cubs, Sammy Sosa remains bitter over the way his relationship with the team ended. “[The Cubs] threw me into the fire,” he says in an exclusive interview with Chicago magazine. “They made [people] think I’m a monster.”
Sosa, who last played baseball in 2007 and now lives for much of the year in Miami, has largely been quiet since a report surfaced last year alleging he had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003. In his interview with Chicago, he addresses the steroid issue only indirectly, albeit defiantly, saying, “My numbers don’t lie.” Sosa finished his career with 609 home runs, sixth on baseball’s all-time list, and is the only player ever to have hit more than 60 home runs in a season three times. Those records, he declares, “are going to stay there forever.”
Sosa also claims that the Cubs continue to shun him, saying, for example, that the team refused last year to let him announce his retirement from baseball at Wrigley Field.
The article, “Sammy Agonistes,” traces Sosa’s rise to superstardom in Chicago and his subsequent fall from grace—and explores why the once-iconic slugger remains a pariah in the city whose affection he once owned. The story appears in the September issue of Chicago magazine, on newsstands Thursday, August 19th.
Photograph: Chicago Tribune photo by Scott Strazzante