If Mark Grace is a treasured member of the Cubs family, Sammy Sosa should be, too
today at 9:16 am
1245 Runs Scored
1414 Runs Batted in
545 Home Runs
1998 National League Most Valuable Player
6 time Silver Slugger award winner
The above statistics belong to former Chicago Cubs star Sammy Sosa. His name is at or near the top in these categories and more in the Cubs record book. From the mid-1990s through the early 2000s, he was the main reason Cubs baseball was watchable. When Sammy came to the plate, you stopped whatever you were doing to look. Yeah, it might have been a strikeout: most likely it was because he’s at the top of the record book in that category, too, but it was always exciting.
Despite this, Sammy Sosa is not part of the Cubs family. He hasn’t been for more than a decade. He’s not welcome at Wrigley Field.
According to Cubs management, the reason comes down to steroid usage. They want Sosa to admit he used steroids and to issue an apology. Sammy has basically told the Cubs to shove it. So, we’ve reached an impasse.
I’m not sure why the steroid line is drawn at Sosa. Other big names from the steroid era have been welcomed back into baseball. Mark McGuire and Barry Bonds have been coaches. Alex Rodriguez is part of national broadcast teams and is the leading contender to buy the New York Mets.
As for the Cubs, they let worse people into their family or at least give them second or third chances.
Former Cubs players Aroldis Chapman and Addison Russell have both been involved in domestic violence. That didn’t stop the Cubs from trading for Chapman to help them win a World Series. That didn’t stop the Cubs from bringing back Russell for another season, before cutting him loose after they determined he couldn’t help them win.
They also traded for Daniel Murphy, who was a known homophobe. At least the team didn’t resign him after his contract ended, although I’m sure if he had played better during his two months as a Cub…..
The bad guys go higher up in the organization than the players:
Joe Ricketts, the patriarch of the family, was caught sending sexist and racist emails.
Pete Ricketts is the current Governor of Nebraska. During the recent protests after the police murder of George Floyd, he met with Black leaders of Omaha, in his office. While trying to make a point, he said to them “you people” and they bolted from his office.
The Cubs response to both of these episodes was that neither is part of the current ownership. Yeah, but it was Joe’s money that made it possible to purchase the team, while Pete was part of the original ownership group.
That brings us to Saturday night…..
Former Cub Mark Grace was an excellent baseball player. A three-time all-star, Grace had a .305 lifetime batting average, almost 2,500 hits, plus he was a part of a World Series championship team in Arizona. Those are top-notch baseball credentials.
Former Cub Mark Grace is a putz of a human being.
His misogyny has been known to the public for almost two decades. How can anybody forget slumpbusters? This is what he told Jim Rome in 2003:
“A slumpbuster is if a team’s in a slump, or if you personally are in a slump, you gotta find the fattest, gnarliest, grossest chick and you just gotta lay the wood to her. And when you do that, you’re just gonna have instant success. And it could also be called jumping on a grenade for the team.”
Such a lovely sentiment. You’d think that between this, a couple of DUIs and some other bad behavior, that he would be unwelcome to have a continuing role in baseball, in any position. But this is the Cubs, and Grace was a beloved member of the organization. So when the team started their own television network, Marquee, Mark Grace was invited to be part of the extended broadcast team. What could go wrong?
What went wrong is Grace decided to tell a story about how his ex-wife Michelle once parked her car in a space that belonged to former MLB commissioner Bud Selig. He proceeded to call Michelle a “dingbat.” That was a word Archie Bunker from “All in the Family” used to describe his wife, Edith. While not the worst thing you could call anyone, it certainly isn’t complimentary. Grace said it not once, but three times. Why would Grace tell the story since it had nothing to do with the game; plus why trash a woman who he hasn’t been married to in more than twenty-five years? Rumor has it, that as a punishment, Grace won’t be a part of the Cubs broadcasts for the next five or so games. Afterward, I guess he’ll be welcomed back as a valued member of the Cub family.
Mark Grace gets five games; Sammy Sosa gets a decade. That sounds about right under the Ricketts Cubs ownership.
Related Post: The Chicago Cubs don’t make it easy to be a fan
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