Ahead of the 30 for 30 “Long Gone Summer,” which debuted this past Sunday, former Major League Baseball slugger Sammy Sosa said in a media opportunity that the film would change people’s minds. Not sure why he said that, other than in trying to up hype up a very substandard “documentary.”
Sosa said nothing of real substance, and gave no true insights during this film, which wasn’t a documentary in the truest sense. It told the story of the home run chase of 1998, with barely even scratching the surface on the issue of performance enhancing drugs.
You can bet on almost anything regarding sports these days, and todays bookie knows that. There are prop bets on all the major statistical categories, and in some places you can even bet on suspensions. However, if you think Long Gone Summer will help end the estrangement between Sammy Sosa and the Chicago Cubs, well that is just a sucker bet. You might want to place your bet with a William Hill promo code on who might be the NL Central champs, or become the 2020 home run king instead.
In the film, Sosa is asked about steroids, but maintains his usual stance of diffusing responsibility and denial. The issue is framed to him within the concept that the Cubs are looking for some kind of statement, and probably an admission about steroid usage. You’re just not going to get that from Sammy. Others believe the real issue here is Sosa’s ditching the team on the last day of his last season with the club, cutting out early and then lying about it.
Yes, time heals all wounds, and in the grand scheme of things, this really isn’t that big of a deal. Yet here we are, baseball fans are going to their battle stations on this one. A very boring ESPN film, nearly universally panned by critics and Twitter users alike didn’t do anything to change the situation because they didn’t even cover Sosa’s desertion from the Cubs and the fact that his breakup with the team was a very bad one.
Yet Sammy Sosa would no doubt be welcomed back with a loud, standing ovation and cheering at Wrigley Field, should they bring him back. They could retire his number, have him throw out the first ball and sing the seventh inning stretch. It would, or at least it should not be that controversial, as ownership changed hands five years after he left the club. However, Sosa should come clean. He’s already been caught cheating (the corked bat incident of 2003) and lying (security cameras disputed his story on his final day with the club).
The evidence is there that he used PEDs and cheated, as almost everyone else did in his playing days. It’s time to just get this tired discussion over forever.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TV, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Now and SB Nation.