Cubs Pretend Their History Doesn't Include Sammy Sosa

Wrigley Field's 100th anniversary was attended by Cubs players across the generations, from Ernie Banks to Fergie Jenkins to Milt Pappas to Gary Matthews to Lee Smith to Andre Dawson to Ryan freaking Dempster, but noticeable by his absence was Chicago's best, most loved, and most important player of the last 30 years.

Sosa was not invited to today's ceremony, and you and I and he all know why. The PED association with a failed drug test, the corked bat, the crappy terms on which he parted with Chicago, leaving the ballpark early in his final Cubs game. (It's that last one a Cubs spokesman cited today, saying "There are some things Sammy needs to look at and consider prior to having an engagement with the team.") The man burned every bridge behind him, and hasn't made any (public) attempts to rebuild them.

Today was the Cubs' party, so there was a cake, balloons, everyone sung "Happy Birthday," and the Cubs got to make the guest list. But Sosa's absence was a pretty glaring shortcoming in what was ostensibly a celebration of everything that's happened in this ballpark, for better or for worse (and by definition, most of this franchise's memorable moments are "for worse"). Sosa was the Cubs during their silver age, a thrilling few years when the team won and fandom was intoxicating. Today would have been a great day to remember how much fun that was. Sosa's fall from grace didn't erase those good times, but failing to celebrate them goes a long way toward consigning living memory to cold antiquity.