Tonight, Sammy Sosa hit his 600th home run, joining a very select club. Sosa became only the fifth player to hit 600, along with Aaron, Bonds, Ruth and Mays.
In honor of Sammy’s milestone, ESPN.com asked their baseball “experts” to weigh in on whether or not Sosa should be in the Hall of Fame. Let’s take a look at some of their responses, and make snarky comments about each.
Enrique Rojas says YES.
So as long as Sosa isn’t found guilty of charge for violating any established rules, then his numbers should be the sole argument to consider in order to open wide for him the doors of Cooperstown.
Actually, Enrique, Sosa was found guilty of violating an established rule. Remember that whole corked bat thing? Yeah, there was a rule against that.
Steve Philips says YES.
“He has never failed a drug test. 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.”
That’s interesting logic, Steve. Sosa corked his bat, so he must not have been on steroids. Honestly, where’s Harold Reynolds when we need him?
Jim Caple says YES.
At this point, it’s hard to see me not voting for him, though I can’t say I’m as enthusiastic about him as I have been about others. Not because of any steroid allegations but because his numbers were inflated by the era in which he played (unlike McGwire, who had his first monster year before the explosion in offense, when 49 home runs was still a lot).
Jim, McGwire was ahead of the curve. He started putting up monster numbers before everybody else because he started using steroids before everybody else. If you’re going to penalize Sosa for being a steroids follower instead of a steroids pioneer, that’s your business. But there are better reasons to penalize him. Like that time he went before the US Congress…
Tim Kurkjian says YES.
Sammy Sosa is a Hall of Famer. There is no definitive proof about his alleged steroid involvement, so, in the absence of hard evidence, his numbers are what we go by, and they are of Cooperstown quality.
There’s little doubt that Sosa’s numbers are Hall worthy. But when Congress asked Sosa about his drug use, he claimed he couldn’t speak English. And while that was ballsy and brilliant, if it didn’t convince you of Sosa’s guilt, then nothing short of a confession will.
Jerry Crasnick says NO.
I want the Mitchell investigation and the surrounding uncertainty to play out before I commit to players with red flags.
That’s a little wishy washy for my tastes, but since Crasnick’s the only ESPN talking head who says he wouldn’t vote for Sosa, I’ll cut him some slack. Congrats, Jerry, on being the only ESPN baseball guy with principles.
Last winter ESPN surveyed Hall of Fame voters and found that only 20.4 percent would have voted for Sammy Sosa if he’d been eligible. Since then, Sosa has hit 12 home runs. Apparently, that was enough to change some peoples’ minds. Did it change yours?