There's an interesting piece
at ESPN where their baseball writers weigh in yes/no on Sosa to the HOF. A lot of good arguments. Steve Phillips's is not one of them.Sammy Sosa is a Hall of Famer. Slam dunk. There is no smoking gun with him. There is just guilt by association. Just because he kept pace with Mark McGwire in home runs in 1998 doesn't mean he should be seen the same way as McGwire. Sosa made a statement in front of the House Committee on Government Reform in which he declared he had never used illegal performance-enhancing substances while McGwire did not.
Okay. Technically true. But Sosa also pretended he didn't speak English and shrank down in his chair and tried to hide in plain sight. It wasn't exactly an inspiring performance.
There are no former teammates pointing fingers at Sosa like there are at McGwire. He has never failed a drug test.
McGwire never tested positive for anything either.
In fact, consider that Sosa did get busted for corking a bat during his playing days. Why would a player on steroids cork his bat? He wouldn't.
This is the part that gets me. Why wouldn't
a player that cheated in one way also cheat in another way? I mean, if you're going to argue with hypotheticals and hearsay, I think it's perfectly logical that a guy on steroids might also cork his bat -- or vice versa.
When Sammy got caught it was June and he had just 6 HR. And he claimed that it was a bat he used for batting practice. Do a lot of guys use corked bats for bating practice? (Seriously -- I never saw that written about. Do they? It seemed weird.) The whole thing was super fishy, and in my mind marked him as the kind of dude who cheats.
I don't mind people arguing that Sammy should be in the Hall. It's legit. But arguing that he probably never did something illegal by pointing out that he did something else illegal is moronic. If you want to argue "yes," the only things you should hang your hat on are: he hit a buttload of HR, and he never technically tested positive.
(Even though, I mean, come on.)
Labels: sammy sosa, steroids, steve phillips