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Sosa the Hall of Famer

By: Jose Acevedo

A batting average of .273, 609 home runs and an OBS of .878. In a vacuum these numbers are a sure way to the hall of fame after an eighteen year career in the outfield. Unfortunately, baseball does not exist in a vacuum. Baseball is a game played in a world of PEDs and BALCO, a world of random drug testing and constant affirmations, that later turn out to be lies, of having done nothing wrong, period. As a result of this, the player who owns these stats, Sammy Sosa, may never enter the hall of fame, and at will most certainly be passed over in his first year of eligibility (2013). But should he? What about the intangibles? And, what about the state of the game when Sosa played?

Sammy Sosa did one thing for baseball that will not be reflected in the hall of fame vote of 2013. He, along with Mark McGwire, brought America back to baseball. The home run race was not just about home runs and the American juggernaut against the Dominican sensation, it was about bringing fans back to the stadium after a strike that nearly ruined the sport. This fact alone should get Sosa into the hall of fame, along with McGwire. But they were both juicing, so this fact gets looked over and the two take the fall. But wasn’t everyone else juicing too?

In 2003 104 players tested positive for PED, five years after the home run race between Sosa and McGwire. There is no doubt that if anything that number went down from 1998 when there was absolutely no regulation on steroid use. In that list are the superstars of today, some who chose to sit down and talk to the news media like victims and others who deny using today, and still others, like Sosa, who have not really been pursued to justify themselves because its easier to demonize them as false heroes of their day. The problem is that MLB new exactly what was going on, that means everyone, players, GMs, trainers, the list goes on and on. The group that knew of it did little to curb steroid use until 2003 and now Sosa is being penalized for being part of a broken system.

Look at the stats, look at the intangibles, and soon we see another playing, doing what everyone else was doing, pitchers included, who was just a fantastic baseball player. A player of hall of fame caliber who might never make it because there is only so much room for repentance until everyone turns a blind eye and casts broad stereotypes over any player who took PEDs in their career. Sosa was an incredible player, who did tons to fuel the imaginations of baseball fans and performed amazingly while doing it, and as such, belongs in the hall of fame.

1 comment:

  1. What about his statement under oath to Congress? “I have never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs. I have never injected myself or had anyone inject me with anything” and the act of downplaying his ability to speak English? And the corked bat? At what point do we stop valuing integrity as a society and in our most cherished sports institutions?

    Also, Tell That Mick He Just Made My List Of Things To Do Today.