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Sammy Sosa and Phil Esposito: Turning the Coat Inside Out



Turncoats in sports seem to be an epidemic in the new century.

Lately we have been witness to more than a few athletes who have turned away from a team that gave them succor and decided to bite the hand that once fed them.

Perhaps it all started when that first turncoat, Benedict Arnold, began to root for Manchester United over the Boston Revolution. Washington sent him packing, and football was never the same in America—or something like that.

We don’t have to go far to find another recent culprit, playing his hot heart out for the Heat in Miami after taking his talents out of Cleveland. Of course, LeBron James has become the poster child for ungrateful children.

Yet, he is not alone. If you looked closely at the Bulls-Heat games, you saw a front-row low-down one-time two-timing Chicago varmint by the name of Sammy Sosa. Once the toast of Chicago, he is now considered toast in Chicago, rooting vociferously for the Heat to defeat all the dream team of President Obama. What makes Sammy run? Perhaps he had juice for breakfast. 

Others have come home to foul the nest. Phil Esposito, one-time Bruin star alongside Bobby Orr, had his number retired in a gracious and heart-warming ceremony a few years back with Ray Borque, surrending his jersey number off his back to Phil.

Ray may want his number back.

This week Phil, instrumental in hockey coming to Tampa Bay, announced he didn’t give a rat’s posterior for the Boston Bruins, not anymore. How’s that again? Say it ain’t so, Espo! He loves Tampa over Boston.

Apparently, the good manners wore off after Phil’s jersey hit the rafters. How he really felt must have been a hard nut to hide while fans cheered him at the Garden one last time to give him honor.

We simply lost track of how many Red Sox players left for Yankee Stadium and became pin-stripe pariahs in Boston. You can start with the Babe, and the list of ingrates grows old from there.

Switching team loyalty can easily be accomplished by the stroke on a pen on a paycheck for some stars. Lacking virtue is nothing new under the sun. Still, we never understand the need for former team bashers to open their mouths to denigrate fans that gave uncontested love.


If you enjoy pointing out the Emperor has no clothes, then you will love the humorous essays of William Russo. Give them a try at You will find RAJON RONDO: SUPERSTAR! and two, count'em, two volumes of SEX, DRUGS, SPORTS & WHIMSY. The books are available in print on as e-books.


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