Sammy Sosa Compares Himself to Jesus Christ Amid Criticism

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(Photo: Reuters/Jeff Topping)Texas Rangers Sammy Sosa gestures while signing autographs for fans in Phoenix, Arizona, March 8, 2007.

Former Major League Baseball player Sammy Sosa says if people talked bad about his "Savior, Jesus Christ" then they are also going to talk fowl about him.

The former Chicago Cubs slugger has been the subject of much controversy ever since he walked away from the Cubs during their last game in 2004 and news broke that he reportedly used performance enhancement drugs while playing the popular sport.

In a recent interview on released on Tuesday, Sosa spoke with an ex-Cubs media relations employee whom he trusts. The athlete told his old friend that he is convinced that the public ridicule against him is similar to the persecution Jesus endured while on earth.

"It's like Jesus Christ when he came to Jerusalem," Sosa said. "Everybody thought Jesus Christ was a witch (laughing) — and he was our savior. So if they talk (expletive) about Jesus Christ, what about me? Are you kidding me?"

Sosa parted ways with the Cubs in 2004 after he walked out on the last day of the season. But his career didn't end with the Cubs. He went on to play for the Baltimore Orioles in 2005 and Texas Rangers in 2007 before hanging up his glove. He departed with 609 home runs, including a club-record of 545, seven All-Star Games, six Silver Slugger Awards, a National League MVP Award and international acclaim.

Unfortunately, his image was tarnished after accusations that his home run streak in the late 1990s was aided by performance-enhancing drugs. Until this day, Sosa claims his innocence and accredits himself to putting Chicago on the map.

"I know I had a tremendous career in Chicago. When nobody knew who Chicago was, I put Chicago on the map. Like you said, if I could have done it again, I would have done it differently. The only thing we cannot do is turn back time. We can't do that. But hey, we have to move forward," he stated.

In 2016, the Cubs ended their 108-year losing streak and and finally won a World Series title. When asked if he would ever return to Chicago to at least do a 7th-inning stretch or the Cubs Convention, the 48-year-old said it's a possibility.

"I never say 'no' to that. I owe something to the people — to the crowd in Chicago. For that, I would come back. But I'm not going to go up there and say, 'I'm here. Please bring me back and give me a chance.' No way. I'm not hungry. I have too much pride," Sosa said.

Follow Jeannie Law on Twitter: @jlawcp