Chicago Sun-Times
A hearty stew of offbeat sports and pop culture.

Sammy Sosa will retire. Any chance he belongs in the Hall of Fame?

| 2 Comments | No TrackBacks
sammy-sosa-retire.jpgOur baseball guy Chris De Luca's column in today's Sun-Times talks about Sammy Sosa's formal retirement from baseball. In it, De Luca chastises Sosa for insisting he's clean in one breath and skirting the specifics in the next.

In an interview with ESPNDeportes, Sosa says he will patiently wait for his induction into the Hall of Fame. With 609 career home runs, he definitely has the numbers.

But, numbers in the Steroids Era are but a small part of the entire picture.
Sosa, 40, also has the unmistakable steroid stench covering him thanks to a firmly pointed finger from Jose Canseco, who has been spot-on with all of his other allegations of stars who needed performance-enhancing drugs to get by. We all watched Sosa, who spoke fluent English in the Cubs' clubhouse, suddenly forget how to speak the language during a Canseco-inspired appearance on Capitol Hill in 2005.
Sosa said that he will not address his alleged steroid use, or steroids in general, going forward.

''I always played with love and responsibility, and I assure you that I will not answer nor listen to rumors,'' Sosa said. ''If anything ugly comes up in the future, we will confront it immediately, but with all our strength because I will not allow anybody to tarnish what I did on the field.''
De Luca, serving as a conduit of common sense, suggests that if the former slugger isn't willing to candidly speak about the topic in detail, he'd be best served to just keep his mouth shut.

While Sosa is calmly waiting for his induction to the Hall of Fame -- he can expect some anxious moments -- he better either keep his mouth shut on the subject of steroids or be willing to take the allegations against him head-on.
So here we are in 2009, looking back at a career that is split into two specific Sosas.

There was the home run king who with Mark McGwire authored the unforgettable storyline of 1998 and hit over 60 round-trippers in a season three times. The charismatic right fielder who sprinted to his position and was worshiped by the Wrigley Field bleachers.

But there was also the current incarnation of Sosa. The one sullied by a cloud of suspicion as thick as the Texas haze in which he finished his career. A striking example of how an entire era of baseball blurred -- if not obscured -- the record books as we know them.

Which one of these Sosas will you remember? Is it possible to look past the events in recent years and see him as a captivating, dynamic player?

I don't know too many people who could do that.

More importantly, does he belong in the Hall of Fame? Is there any chance he'll escape the cold shoulder voters have turned to his counterpart McGwire? Should he?

Personally, I think Sosa's story is the most tangible example of how all the halcyon moments of baseball's comeback from the 1994 were contrived and can't be fully appreciated. He was so exciting. And the realization that it all may have been fake hurts. Moreover, the doubt that surrounds that time besmirches it past the point of enjoyment.

We'll have to wait and see what happens when Sosa comes up for induction. If I were him I wouldn't hold my breath for Cooperstown.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/23344

2 Comments

no! Just because other guys have used steriods and got away with it, it doesn't mean everyone should be excused. That's like when 5 people are driving drunk, and the police catch 2 of them. If the guys caught say, "Well, there are alot of others out here you didn't get so it's only fair I get away, too," the police can't just say, "You're right" and let 'em go. If you break the rules, you're gambling that you won't get caught. If you get caught, you get no special treatment because other rule-breakers were smarter than you.
An easy way to avoid all this is to simply NOT CHEAT. Have some pride. If you don't, you don't deserve the Hall of Fame. Period. That's for the game of baseball, and cheaters do not follow that game's rulebook, and therefor do not belong in Cooperstown.

Nevermind the fact that both Bonds and McGwire were directly implicated and the best of your currently active heroes have actually tested positve for steroids (A-rod & Manny Ramirez). Countless other superstars have tested positve and continue to have starting jobs on mlb teams. But this is different. This is Sammy Sosa and a whole different set of rules applies to him. Call it the "Sammy Rules". It's ok when someone else does it, but even if Sosa was never even directly implicated everyone wants to insist that he's still guilty. I just want to know why the double standard? Why does everyone hate this guy so much? Players get so many second chances. He only had one bad year (Baltimore 2005) and never got another real chance again? This is insane, much like baptizing babies born out of wedlock. Nothing in this world makes sense anymore.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on June 4, 2009 2:07 AM.

Report: Braves release Tom Glavine was the previous entry in this blog.

Donte' Stallworth pleads not guilty to DUI manslaughter is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Pages

Powered by Movable Type 5.04