Sammy Sosa to the hall? You must be drunk on Cubs Kool Aid

sammy-sosa

I’ve always compared steroids in baseball to breast implants. Both are artificial “performance” enhancers that excite men despite the obvious fraud. A few years ago, radio host Doug Gottlieb took my analogy further saying Barry Bonds is like Demi Moore and Sammy Sosa like Pamela Anderson. Bonds/Moore were already well known and established before receiving their enhancements; which took their careers to the next level. Sosa/Anderson were complete nobodies until they got their enhancements.

That’s why you can make a case (but shouldn’t) for Bonds to be in the Hall of Fame, but there is ZERO rationale for Sosa. But Red Eye writer Matt Lindner disagrees with me. And his article has more holes than Sosa’s skin during the heyday of his (alleged) injections. Lindner writes:

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No one elected to Baseball Hall of Fame, first time since 1996

major-league-baseball

For the first time since 1996, no one has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Craig Biggio was 39 votes short of selection. He “killer Bs” longtime teammate Jeff Bagwell obviously fell well short too. So did Tim Raines, Mike Piazza and Don Mattingly. Ok, it was a weak class for the first ballot.

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Ron Santo, the Chicago Cub, forever

santo

A shout, a moan, a cheer and a heel-click all help explain why Cubs fans fell in love with Ron Santo.

People of all ages, be it 7 or 87, love and admire Ronnie. Everyone appreciates him in their respective ways because he was a part of this team for 50 years in different capacities.

Ernie Banks might be known as Mr. Cub, but Ron Santo was the franchise. He was the figurative heart and soul.

Cubs’ fans have never connected with a ballplayer the way they did with Ronnie. His histrionics in the booth emulated what was going on in millions of households around Chicago and the millions more around the country watching WGN.

By: Brian McCabe

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Is Sammy Sosa Hall of Fame worthy?

Sammy Sosa: Then and now

By Jake McCormick

Sammy Sosa and Brett Favre have more in common than you think. Both road drugs through their highest peaks of success, and enjoyed unanimous admiration by their respective leagues and fans while building themselves into living legends. But in the words of Harvey Dent, they lived long enough to see themselves become the villain.

Everyone knows of the neverending Days of Favre’s Lives episodes carried on by ESPN. Sosa’s career went from hoppin’ happy to corked frustration almost overnight.

Injuries, steroid allegations and declining production turned an icon into someone who had convinced himself that there actually is an “i” in team (another Favre trait, incidentally). After two years denying that no MLB team had a spot for a rapidly aging player that only hit home runs or struck out (currently see: David Ortiz), Sosa will officially retire and “calmly wait for (his) induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.” Can anyone really be that confident when they won’t answer questions about their success?

Sosa and McGwire in 1998In 1998, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire single-handedly resurrected nation-wide interest in baseball. It would be hard to say that every game of a 162-game season was as consistently popular as 16 NFL games, but that year came closer than ever because let’s face it – everybody digs the long ball. Now Sosa and McGwire are retired with statistics, as Sosa puts it, worthy of the Hall of Fame.

But both players have seen tarnished legacies result from allegations of steroid abuse that will affect voters. In his first year on the ballot, McGwire acquired as many votes needed for his cause as Ralph Nader did in the 2004 election. This begs the question: is Sammy Sosa a Hall of Famer? Based on precedent, I would argue that Sosa is crazier than Darren Daulton if he thinks he deserves a spot in baseball’s Vatican City.

Dave ChappelleMcGwire’s Dave Chappelle-like Fifth Amendment performance in front of Congress has been used as a strong case against his credibility, which ultimately affects his karma within the baseball universe. But what did Sammy Sosa’s testimony look like? We don’t know because he apparently couldn’t understand English enough to answer Congress’ questions. If my memory serves me correctly, he had no problem answering English-speaking reporters in 1998 or at any other point in his career. This should be scrutinized as much as McGwire’s waffling, yet somehow it takes a back seat.

Throughout the past four years, one man has a perfect bJose Cansecoatting average pointing out baseball’s steroid abusers: Jose Canseco. Canseco is the Nostradamus of baseball and has accused McGwire, Manny Ramirez, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, and surprise! Sammy Sosa of steroid use. If he’s been on the money with the most famous users, why would Sosa be any different? If McGwire and Rafael Palmerio have/will been denied entry while posting virtually identical numbers to Sosa’s, the precedent has been set that any negative association with the steroid era means Pete Rose has company down the street in Cooperstown.

During his announcement that he was going to make an announcement (you read that right), Sosa refused to discuss anything pertaining to his possible steroid use and said it would not hurt what he has done on the diamond. Considering Sosa’s legacy at this point is 1998 and juice, and he’s so confident in his chances for the Hall of Fame, it would only make sense to answer any questions about his past if he has nothing to hide and believes his body of work will trump any other concern. But Sosa continues to brush any mention of steroid use off, which only keeps suspicions and rumors swirling.

The next 15 to 20 years-worth of Baseball Hall of Fame inductees and candidates will undoubtedly be entertaining. Sosa still has five years before this topic is brought up seriously again, and a lot can happen in that time period. However, baseball prides itself in being a relevant piece of American society through some of the country’s darkest times in the past 100 years. If Sammy Sosa is allowed entry, then anyone Hall of Fame-worthy mentioned in the same breath as steroids should be given a plaque as well.