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Sosa to Retire; Next Stop Cooperstown?
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 2/15/2006 6:38:00 PM
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Sosa's agent says Sosa likely will retire after rejecting Washington's contract offer Wednesday. The next question, then, is Sosa a Hall of Famer? Normally, 588 homers would be automatic, but he's a known cheater (corked bats) and there's the steroid issue. I wouldn't give him my vote.


I suspect he was on the juice. His corked bat indicates a willingness to cheat, he was incredibly skinny coming up, he had a huge peak, then a massive dropoff especially when MLB started testing last year. (As much as he had dropped off in '03 and '04, last year was abysmal). And after the strike in '94, you can bet that Bud Selig and the rest of the owners and management on down wouldn't want mess with one of the guys bringing baseball back (McGwire was almost certainly on the juice, and the Sosa-McGwire HR race was helping to bring the game back). I think Sosa is basically a simpleton who did what he had to do for the glory. I remember him running around the bases with an American flag after hitting a home run shortly after 9-11. He wanted to look like a hero. Of course, I'll never know for sure, but I'd lay 2:1 that he was juicing if there were some way to tell.
Posted by cliss at 2/15/2006 10:32:00 PM
I have no doubt that he was juicing.

No one is going to care about the corked bat. Spitballers are all over the HOF.

I'd be surprised if he doesn't get in on the first ballot. I have a feeling that history will be kind to him since he always looked so goofy and cheeseball out there.
Posted by herbilk at 2/16/2006 7:47:00 AM
Sosa will get in the HOF eventually (so will McGwire), as I suspect that we'll become a bit more forgiving about steroids as time goes on. That may take years, tho, so I don't know about the first ballot; I'll say the Veterans Commiteee votes Sosa into the Hall in 2032.

And Albert Belle will get in as well, in about the same time frame. Hopefully Bert Byleven's grandkids won't have to wait that long.
Posted by sixsigmagus at 2/16/2006 10:37:00 AM
Sosa stands a better chance because he's so damn likeable. For that reason alone, he's a better bet to get in than McGwire or any of the other possible "juicers."
Posted by czegers at 2/16/2006 1:38:00 PM
Sammy's Rookie Card.
Posted by mikeinlalaland at 2/16/2006 2:05:00 PM
I'd be willing to bet Sosa doesn't get in on the first ballot. Most people at least suspect him of juicing. I think there's going to be a backlash against some of the 'roid guys.
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 2/16/2006 3:31:00 PM
I'd bet Belle doesn't ever get in. Gus, you're right that the Veterans Committee is really his best shot, but I see him falling into the Don Mattingly problem - his career was too short.
Posted by Erickson at 2/16/2006 4:21:00 PM
Sosa will get in just because of how many big seasons he had, but he did it in an era where Raffy Palmeiro became a top-10 all-time HR guy, where an obviously juiced McGwire and Bonds hit 70 HRs and where guys like Brady Anderson and Greg Vaughn even broke 50.
Posted by cliss at 2/16/2006 10:25:00 PM
Has there really been any evidence Sosa took steroids aside from guilt-by-association?

I wouldn't be shocked if anyone of that era later showed up as a juicer, but you do have to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. I'm not sure exactly why he gets thrown into the lot of the guys who are sure-fire steriod users.

Meanwhile, writers in surveys have no problems voting for Bonds ... and he lied about his use to the public.

If the only reason you wouldn't vote for Sosa for the HOF is steroids - that doesn't fly. Maybe later something turns up, but he's a HOF in my book.
Posted by schoenke at 2/19/2006 10:40:00 AM
If Pete Rose is banned for betting on his team (he bet for them not against them) then I think anybody that has ever broken a rule of baseball should get a lifetime ben. Let's also go back and remove players from the HOF if they every cheated and we knew about it. Otherwise put Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson in and they can take their rightful place alongside Baseball's best performers (notice I did not say baseball's "finest." This is a HOF that votes people in based on stats and not character. Either get rid of all the crooks or vote on them based upon what they did on the field!! I am still bitter about I say no to Sosa. No to Bonds as well just as a side note!
Posted by fink38 at 2/20/2006 10:18:00 AM
You can just go on stats when the offense is betting on baseball, drug use, murder, etc. But you can't just go on stats when the offense is cheating to get better stats. The whole point of it being cheating is that the stats aren't reliable.
Posted by cliss at 2/20/2006 5:15:00 PM
If Sosa was taking steroids -- if any of them were, post-strike -- it wasn't "cheating".

Illegal, yes, but nobody was breaking any rule of baseball's by 'roiding up until 2002.
Posted by ESiegrist at 2/21/2006 5:42:00 AM

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