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Sammy Sosa topic of discussion in wake of Cubs’ hiring of Manny Ramirez

FILE - In this June 18 2003 file phoChicago Cubs' Sammy Sossmiles during batting practice prior baseball game with Cincinnati

FILE - In this June 18, 2003 file photo, Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa smiles during batting practice prior to a baseball game with the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati. The New York Times reported on its website Tuesday, June 16, 2009, that Sosa tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in 2003, citing lawyers familiar with the case. The newspaper did not identify the drug. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)

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SAN DIEGO — Will Sammy Sosa be next? Should he be?

It was a question so obvious in the wake of the Cubs’ hiring of Manny Ramirez, who twice was suspended for using steroids, that players brought it up in
casual conversations in the clubhouse before the game Sunday against the Padres.

‘‘I don’t know where things stand with Sammy right now,’’ Cubs president Theo Epstein said of Sosa, the most prolific home-run hitter in franchise history, who has been estranged from the team since a bitter parting after the 2004 season. ‘‘But I do know that it was important to us that Manny has been very upfront about admitting his mistakes, that Manny was very cooperative with Major League Baseball and that Manny is interested in making sure younger players don’t make the same mistakes that he made. Those are things that made this worth doing.’’

Since the end of his 13-year run with the Cubs, which featured 545 homers and two trips to the playoffs, Sosa has been
excluded from events ranging from the Cubs Convention to the celebration last month of the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field.

Sosa told ESPNDeportes.com the day after being left out of the Wrigley event that the Cubs should apologize to him.

‘‘I think there is something that has to be resolved,’’ he told the website. ‘‘If there is something to clarify, we will sit down and clear it up. Time has given me the maturity to reflect upon many things, including knowing that one side doesn’t have to be right all the time.’’

Long suspected of using steroids, Sosa was among those who tested positive during MLB’s 2003 survey, the New York Times reported. Sosa never
has admitted using performance-enhancing drugs.



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