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Editor's note: In celebration of Monday night's Home Run Derby (7 p.m. CT on ESPN and ESPN3), each of the ESPN local sites is selecting its city's top 10 sluggers and crowning its all-time home run king.
CHICAGO -- When Sammy Sosa walked out of the Cubs' clubhouse that fall Sunday in 2004, he walked out of the good graces of the Chicago Cubs, indefinitely, if not forever.
The Cubs, and their fans, can probably forgive the supposed cheating that benefitted them, but the crime of still being a jerk when you've become disposable is one that lingers.
Traded and later identified as a cheater by a leaked drug test result in 2009, a shrunken Sosa is now slugger non grata in Chicago. He's treated as an embodiment to the excesses of the so-called steroid era and an embarrassing reminder that baseball fans would pretty much believe anything once upon a time.
By the end, he was DL-ed for sneezing, caught using a corked bat and served as an anachronism for a team that was trying to shed an identity of a losing team that filled seats because of Sosa's home runs.
It's a shame, because Sosa did a lot for the Cubs in his tenure, more than any asterisk could erase. He made fans happy, he made the Cubs money, he sold a lot of T-shirts, beers and hot dogs, just by keeping fans enthralled.
Read the entire column.