Baseball fans throughout the country were treated to a much-needed hiatus from the nauseating negotiations between MLB owners and players on Sunday night during the premiere of ESPN's "Long Gone Summer" documentary. If there's one thing that viewers should take take away from the 30 for 30, it's how maddening the disparity between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa is, as it pertains to being welcomed back by their respective clubs.
In the doc, McGwire was seen being inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame, whereas Sosa, the runner-up in the iconic 1998 home run race, is shown at home amid his extended exile from the Cubs organization.
This discrepancy is alarming, and proves that it's time for the Cubs to welcome their former MVP back with open arms.
Putting aside their reasonable shunning from the Hall of Fame, McGwire and Sosa's interlaced professional careers couldn't be more different, post-baseball. The former has spent several years as a coach in MLB, including three with the Cardinals from 2010-2012. He's also treated as a welcomed guest at Busch Stadium.
Sosa, meanwhile, hasn't come close to earning a coaching opportunity, and the Cubs haven't considered offering him tickets to Wrigley Field. What's even more disturbing is that most of the publicity the former seven-time All-Star has received since his retirement has been about the drastic change to the color of his skin, which is as ridiculous as it is offensive.
Sosa not being invited back to Wrigley since he was traded back in 2005 is almost criminal when you consider that McGwire is championed in St. Louis. That was 15 years ago. Burying the hatchet is long overdue, and the release of "Long Gone Summer" has presented the Cubs with the perfect opportunity to do just that. It's the least they could do for a guy who was the lifeblood of their club for over a decade.