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.

Slammin' SammyIn honor of Sammy’s milestone, 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?

11 Responses to “Sammy hits 600. But will he go to the Hall?”

  1. Paul Moro says:

    I think you’re being a bit harsh on Gillick. He had to sell low on Thome. The guy was just coming off a season where he barely hit .200 over fifty-something games. And the fans/press demanded that Howard get playing time. With Abreu, again, the fans and media branded him useless when it was far from the truth. Gordon was serviceable last year and this year’s injury kind of proved to be a tough gamble.

    The only terrible move he made was not getting a full medical report on Freddy Garcia. At the time, it was thought that Garcia would be a good pitcher in the NL. But the velocity wasn’t there at all. The idea was good. How it was executed (not thoroughly checking the arm) was terrible.

    As far as the old guys are concerned, I try not to be too critical when GMs figure that they have a chance to win now and go after veterans. With the lack of depth in the minor league system, what’s the alternative? Young players come with a ridiculous price tag. Aging vets are easier to get. You only have to outbid Kansas City and San Francisco to get them.

  2. Coley Ward says:

    Paul, I agree with you that dealing Thome was necessary and that failing to thoroughly examine Freddy Garcia was folly.

    But there were better options out there than Jamie Moyer and Tom Gordon.

    And there is no defense for signing Jose Mesa. It can’t be defended. It just can’t.

  3. Paul Moro says:

    I do agree on Mesa. We knew the guy was useless to begin with. But for some odd reason, “track record” counts for so much when you’re a pitcher. I guess the thinking is that if they’ve been around long enough, they must’ve done something right.

    And Moyer hasn’t been that bad as to label him a bad signing. To be honest, he’s done better than I thought he would. I do agree that there is something wrong with Gillick’s thinking on this one (bring in an aging flyball pitcher into a hitter’s park?), but the results haven’t been terrible. If he wasn’t in Philly, his ERA would probably be around 4.30 or lower. In today’s MLB, that ain’t bad. And they’re only paying 10 million over two years. I’d call that a decent rate of return.

    If I were you, I’d have more problems with the Eaton signing. And I still have no idea why you guys starter the year with Lieber in the pen.

  4. Coley Ward says:

    It’s hard to take issue w/ the Eaton signing the day after the guy pitched a 7 inning shutout. But I see your point.

    What kills me about Moyer is that we’re paying him for two years. It’s the same thing w/ Gordon. It’s one thing to sign these geezers to one-year deals, but to sign them for longer than that just seems crazy.

  5. Nick Kapur says:

    I have even less faith in Gillick than even whatever faith left Coley still has. The fact is, he’s super old. Look at his moves. He’s GM’ing like it’s still the mid-90s.

    Gillick is like the Jose Mesa of the GM’ing world – an aging veteran who’s all “track record” and not much else.

  6. Wait a minute…what\’s the evidence that Sosa used steroids again? He got bigger as he got older? He hit a lot of home runs? I know he was called in front of Congress, but that was because he was one of the biggest names in the sport, not because they actually had any proof that he did steroids. How can you keep him out of the Hall?

  7. …mediocre slugger before the steroid era, hit an ungodly amount of homeruns during the steroid era, production drastically dropped at the end of the steroid era, body subsequently broke down, all but admitted guilt at the congressional hearings…Kevin, would you like to see the vial? Good grief.

  8. Actually, 1987 ( When McGwire hit his 49) WAS considered an unusual year of high homeruns, the “‘juiced ball”, etc.

    That was the year when many rookies and singles hitters hit 20-30 or more homeruns ( before this was common). I think even Wade Boggs hit 24 and Ricky was in the high 20s. Matt Nokes, Larry Sheets, anyone? Kevin Seitzer and Wally Joyner as sluggers? MCGwire, George Bell and Dawson in the 40s,etc.

    AND, Sosa’s career ( peak anyway) was a lot better than McGwire if you look at more all-around stats like RBI, AVG, MVP performances, etc. Mcgwire’s career numbers look like Dave Kingman in the steroid era. Sosa’s performance was a lot broader.

    McGwire had all his huge HR years in the same years when lots of people were hitting HRs. He was no Babe Ruth.

  9. McGwire was also plagued by back problems. He might have put up better career numbers than Sosa if he had been able to stay healthy.

    Regardless, the point is that Sosa and McGwire both used steroids. There’s simply no doubt. And as such neither belongs in the Hall.

  10. Okay then…do you put Bagwell in the Hall? He could have just as easily used steroids – he fell apart in the last couple years too – but since he wasn’t such a big name, he wasn’t called in front of Congress, so he doesn’t get ripped the way Sosa and McGwire do.

    I do think Sosa used steroids, as did most other players from the era. But because we don’t have proof of who did and didn’t use, we really can’t keep someone out of the Hall just because their name happened to be one of the ones that came up as guilty.

  11. I would have no problem keeping Bagwell out. He was a power hitter in the steroid era, and 450 HRs is good, but not Hall of Fame good.

    But more to the point, Bagwell has never done anything to disgrace himself the way Sosa did lying to Congress. Frankly, I have less of a problem with Sosa’s steroid use — or even his corked bat, for that matter — than I do with the fact that he told Congress he COULDN’T SPEAK ENGLISH! I’m sorry, but on that day he flushed his credibility straight down the toilet. And his claim to a spot in the Hall, as far as I’m concerned.

Leave a Reply

    Recent Comments

    • planet hobbywood: This is very interesting.
    • Bren: He is a awesome player and a good man.. sweet.. polite.. friendly.. down to earth.. he never acted as though he...
    • HADAJUN( Japanese): Okajima a Japanese hero?
    • Rickt: I am the biggest Cal Jr fan around but one of my good friends played minor league baseball in the Orioles...
    • HADAJUN: I wish for play in Japan. The death is regrettable.


    Subscribe via email

    Enter your email address:


Featured posts

December 5, 2011

Will anybody get elected to the Hall of Fame this year?

Last week, we asked you to vote for who you would like to see enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame. The verdict? If it were up to UmpBump readers, nobody would make it in. The leading vote getter (so far) is Jeff Bagwell, who has 60% support. Of course, in the real voting, players need […]

January 5, 2011

Annual UmpBump Hall of Fame Balloting: 2011 Edition

In what has become an annual tradition, we here at UmpBump cast our ballots for the Hall of Fame on the eve of the announcements of the voting for the real Hall of Fame. Voters can vote for anyone ever who has been retired from baseball for at least five years and is not already […]

October 19, 2010

Crowdsourcing the Greats: The Top 10 Managers of All Time

Now that we’ve looked at every position on the diamond, as well as relief pitchers, we are nearing the end of our “Crowdsourcing the Greats” series. But before we finish, let’s turn one more time to the internet hoi polloi for answers on who the greatest baseball manager of all time was. As usual, we […]