By Chris Emma–

CHICAGO (670 The Score) — Like the optimism for a new season, January has brought another rite of passage, with Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts being asked about Sammy Sosa’s status with the organization.

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Sosa, who’s on ballot for the 2018 class to the Baseball Hall of Fame, hasn’t been welcomed back into the Cubs franchise since his departure in 2004. Ricketts pointed to Sosa’s place as a controversial figure in baseball’s steroid era as the reason why he hasn’t been invited into events like the Cubs Convention, which is taking place this weekend in Chicago.

Rather than referring directly to Sosa, Ricketts addressed the steroid era as a whole.

“Players from that era owe us a little bit of honesty,” Ricketts said in response to the fan’s question. “The only way to turn that page is to put everything on the table.”

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The Cubs invited many former players back for their annual convention, which takes place at the Sheraton Grand Chicago hotel, but Sosa hasn’t been among them since he retired from baseball in 2007.

Sosa ranks ninth on the all-time home runs list with 609, which includes 545 with the Cubs during his 13 seasons with the team. He debuted with the Rangers in 1989 and played three seasons with the White Sox before being dealt to the Cubs in 1993.

Though Sosa never tested positive for steroids during his career, he’s still considered a prominent figure to that era — which has cost him, among other things to date, induction into the Hall of Fame.

“I just think we need to put everything on the table and move forward,” Ricketts said to reporters after finishing his panel session.

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Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670 The Score Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.