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sammy sosa kissIt would seem a happy day – or at least relief-filled day – for hockey fans, as the NHL and the NHL Player’s Association have tentatively reached an agreement to finally end the lockout, which gobbled up a huge chunk of the season (and, with it, a good chunk of the sport’s relevance). I’ll confess, I’m not a big hockey fan – though it’s a great sport to watch live. Still, I feel for hockey fans who’ve been waiting patiently for this day, and I’m glad you folks will get most of a season. Hopefully the Blackhawks will be a playoff team once again.

  • Hall of Fame voting results are set to be released this week, so the uptick in articles on the subject is understandable. The Chicago Tribune takes a poll of its writers on who they’d be voting for, and each shares thoughts on the subject of voting. You notice a couple things perusing: Sammy Sosa’s name comes up a lot in discussion, but he doesn’t receive a single vote. And that’s from Chicago writers. His goose is cooked. The other thing you notice? Far too many writers have an absurd memory about the caliber of pitcher Jack Morris was. Good pitcher? Yes. Long career? Yes. Hall of Fame career? How is this seriously a discussion?
  • A few fringe Cubs prospects have been released by the organization: pitchers Pete Levitt, Bryce Shafer, and Willengton Cruz. The latter, a lefty, was probably the prospecty-est of the three, having been with the Cubs for four seasons, but never really turned the corner as he reached Low-A ball.
  • Also gone: Alfredo Amezaga. The journeyman utility infielder, 34, spent the 2012 season with the Iowa Cubs, but now moves on to the Los Angeles Dodgers on a minor league deal.
  • More Hall of Fame/steroids/Sammy Sosa literature, this from the New York Times, which you may recall was the first publication to “out” Sosa, formally in a 2009 article, as having failed a drug test. The short version: Sosa has absolutely no chance of making the Hall this year, and probably not ever.
  • http://Www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    They are on the ballot so they are eligible to be voted in, period. If MLB thought PED users should be banned from HoF voting, they would have made that the penalty and not a 50 game suspension.
    But Sosa wouldn’t be in this ballot because I think there are 10 guys with better cases:
    Bonds
    Clemens
    Bagwell
    Raines
    Trammel
    Edgar
    Schilling
    Biggio
    ….and I am forgetting a couple

    • Pat

      MLB and Cooperstown are entirely separate entities. MLB could not have made exclusion from the hall a penalty because they have no jurisdiction in that area.

      • http://Www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        If MLB puts them on the “permanently ineligible” list, the BBWAA would exclude them.
        But MLB didnt do that. So the BBWAA are making up their own standards by not voting for them.

        • Pat

          BBWAA has always made their own standards (to the degree that they have any)

    • NyN

      Id say biggio and piazza get in and that is it. The witch hunt takes out a big portion of this generation. As for the older players: Raines and Morris carry the most weight with me. Raines was an outstanding player and I believe he is fourth all time in steals. Morris has a lot of wins and a lot of rings.

      As for Sosa. He will probably not make it ever. However, I personally will always remember the homerun hop and him sprinting out to right field. I guess that will have to do.

  • DaveY

    While I wouldn’t call myself a supporter of putting Jack Morris into the Baseball Hall of Fame, I wouldn’t oppose it either. He was one of the best pitchers of his era for a long time and won the most games of the 1980′s. He was a workhorse with 175 complete games and 28 shutouts. He averaged over 240 innings a year with a peak over 290. I doubt anyone comes close to those any time soon.

  • Paul Popovich rules!

    Everyone is concentrating on the stars that used or are alleged to have used steroids. But what about those lesser players that used steroids and just improved to a mediocre level ? If enough players were using steroids, than it could be said that all statistics were inflated, and as such the stars were still the best of their era. Just as the HOF has members that had the advantage of not having to play those in the old Negro Leagues, (as well as those in the Negro Leagues that didn’t have to face Ruth or Gehrig), players should be judged by their performance in their particular era and against the competition of their time.

    • lakawak

      No…that is just the dumbest of the excuses. Saying “they are the best of the cheaters, so they are still worthy of honors” is absurd. If anything, the fact that they were good enough before cheating makes it WORSE. (By the way…your little buddy Sammy Sosa was ONE of those average at best players before the juice.)

      If a player took steroids because he was getting into his late 20s having never spent more than a week or so up in the majors, and felt he was running out of time to provide a nice life for him family, you could at least understand why he did it. But Bonds and Clemens, and even Sosa since even mediocrity pays well, had no reason to cheat. That makes them even more pompous pricks who felt they were above the rules.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Could someone please tell me what proof any sportswriter or fan has that Sammy Sosa took steroids? A New York Times newspaper article? When writers start playing judge and jury, the Hall of Fame becomes a sideshow, a sham, inconsequential. The only players we know took steroids are Bonds(who admitted it but claimed he thought it was something else, McGwire, and Palmiero(who tested positive). Anybody else, the writers are guessing.

    • Voice of reason

      The whole world knows that Sosa took steroids. He was so big he could have played linebacker for the bears in the off season.

      The topper was when he was using the corked bat and it broke.

      He cheated in so many ways. He cheated on top of cheating.

    • Kevin B

      Why do you need to prove it? This is not a court of law? Everyone knows he did it so why waste time and energy on this loser to prove it? Just vote no.

      I guess you feel his “No Habla English” performance before Congress was legit? You believe Sammy forgot how to speak English too?

    • NyN

      Sosa name was on the same, suppossedly anonymous list from the 2003 investigation.

    • lakawak

      MY god…seriously, do not embarrass yourself by still hanging on to hope that Sosa did not cheat. All you are doing is making it a given that NO ONE will ever take you seriously as an intelligent human being again. (If anyone does now.)

      People’s heads don’t grow 2 hat sizes in their late 20s. Nor do people suddenly jump 35 home runs a year higher…all in one season.

      That can’t ALL be caused by his “accidentally” using his corked batting practice bat in games.

  • Blublud

    Cheating the game is despicable. If you cheated, you should get in. No Barry, no Mark, no Sammy, no Raphael, no.to any of them.

    • MichiganGoat

      So what about all the other players that cheated in the past, should we remove them from the HOF? I agree the people that MLB actually tested and caught cheating should be excluded (Palmerio, Manny, etc.) but just to ban someone based on speculation is wrong… or am I missing something.

      • Blublud

        The hall is a subjective thing. There really are no rules on who you can or can’t vote for as long as they are eligible. I just can’t vote for those guys. As a writer, you can’t go back, but you can set tye standards going foward.

      • Kevin B

        Michigan what you are missing is this: There is no process, that I am aware of, to remove someone from the HOF.

        Thus its even a bigger reason to not let these cheats into the HOF in the first place, once in they are in.

        You are arguing the opposite – you are claiming if one cheat got in then to be “fair” you have to let all the cheats in? That argument makes no sense to me.

      • lakawak

        It is weird…I always thought the kids grew out of the “B-b-but! THEY did it too!” defense some time around 8 years old. But I am guessing MichiganGoat is older than 8. So that is what is so confusing.

    • Blublud

      Shouldn’t

    • DocPeterWimsey

      So, how do we go about kicking out Aaron, Mays, Mantle, Morgan and all of the other amphetamine users?

      • Blublud

        You can’t. But should a known murderer be allowed to walk because a previous murderer got off. I know that is a bit extreme, but same concept.

  • LubDub

    THESE NIGGAS LOVE SOSA

    • Drew7

      Well then…

      • Hee Seop Chode

        That’s a reference to rising hip hop star Cheif Keef, and not a racial slur. Also a good song if you’re into that sorta thing.

    • Blublud

      Funny how I asked a legitimate question about race and I got pretty much blasted, and yet this comment goes all day without a response from anyone. WOW.

      • MichiganGoat

        That’s because this is a troll comment, no need to address it.

        • Blublud

          TRUE!!!!!!!!

  • Crazyhorse

    I think the steroid era will always cast doubt on who can be considered for Hall of Hame membership. But doubt can be exploited for many uncountable reasons to deny players to be HOF’ers.
    Maybe I am thinking outside the box . I think the HOF should come to a compromise and just create an asterisk era within the Hall of Fame. Any player elected into the Hall of Fame that played during certain years . They get an asterisk on the plaque almost like a scarlet letter in symbolism. To me it was a generation of teams, players, coaches, and yes the fans that ignored the use of performance inhancing drugs, I feel it’s the era that should be punished and it recipients honored in the same way yet dignified.
    We talk about players not getting to the Hall of Fame. What about the executives that one day may get into the Hall of Fame?
    Executives that signed players that were known to be cheaters. Executives that leave a paper trail of such corruption in baseball. I believe Theo Epstein is one of those people. Do we punish everyone? Or just the select few that we do not like? I say we punish the era.

    • cheryl

      He either is worthy of being in or not. Those who have been included in the past have been thought of as examples of playing the game right. I can’t think of Sosa or any pther player who has used performance enhancing drugs as an example I’d like to see in the HOF. If this means drawing a line on this era of players I agree with you. I don’t think an asterick is acceptable here.

      • cheryl

        P.S.: This view should also apply to coaches and baseball executiveswho knowingly flout the rules.

      • Drew7

        “Those who have been included in the past have been thought of as examples of playing the game right.”

        Right. Just like nearly every player scooping a handful of “greenies” out of a bucket in the clubhouse in ’50′s and’60′s, and the plethora of players snorting cocaine in the 80′s, and the one’s taking HGH in the early-2000′s…

        They played the game “The Right Way”.

        • MichiganGoat

          Like Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays

        • cheryl

          There has to be some standard for getting in. Would you prefer all those who took greenies, did cocaine, used peds be the ones we set up as the standard? Maybe you want an automatic exemption for drug use. These players knew what they did was wrong and went ahead anyway.

          • cheryl

            I’ll be even more consistent. If it was proven at the time of their induction that Now I’m bound to get some people mad with that stateent.Mays and/or Mantle used peds or cheated they shouldn’t have been voted in.

            • cheryl

              Computer jumped. “Now to statement” should be at end.

            • MichiganGoat

              If getting caught is the test then Bonds, McGwire, Sosa should be in since they were never caught by MLB. The guilt rest in public opinion not MLB standards, as greenies were allowed/ignored so were PEDs.

              • Scotti

                There is plenty of evidence showing Bonds did steroids. Big Mac virtually mea culpa’d. Sosa, on the other hand, has broken bat. No PED proof in that. The link to Sosa is that he got bigger and put up Nintendo numbers after. Which leads to the obvious observation that there is a huge difference between old school PEDs that make you wired (speed) and new school roids that GROW you. The PHYSICS of hitting a baseball require MASS. Steroids supplied greater mass.

                • MichiganGoat

                  Yes plenty of evidence but MLB never offically punished them for taking PED and both Bonds and Clemens have been exonerated in court. They only one finding them quilty are the writers and that’s what I have a problem with.

                  • Scotti

                    MLB has nothing to do with the Hall–the writers control it lock, stock and barrel . Kind of like how rock music has nothing to do with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

                    • hansman1982

                      They were also completely innocent in the coverage of the power numbers:

                      [img]http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/si_online/covers/images/1998/1005_mid.jpg[/img]

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Am I the only one that thinks he is saying “Fabulous” as he saunters on his way?

                • Scotti

                  FWIW, the article that “outed” Sosa was never sourced. As I recall it was based on a list that the author claimed to get a gander at and it, basically, included anyone with decent stats. The list was supposed to be the same as the one the Feds tried to get in the Bonds trial (but could not). There is absolutely no telling whether the author saw a legitimate list or the fake list that made the rounds the next day. Did Sosa do roids? Yes. Is there proof (was he outed)? No.

                • hansman1982

                  So now we are judging guilt based on the level that PED’s boost you? Or the way they boost you?

                  It all comes down to one truth – Players always have and always will look for any way (legal or otherwise) to get a leg up on the others. In today’s game that makes these guys the top .000025% of the world’s wealthy it’s doubly true.

                  • Scotti

                    Being elected to the Hall isn’t about guilt–it is either deserved or it isn’t. Guys that took speed to stay awake after a late night out is different than guys who take roids to add bulk and assist in recovery so they can OBLITERATE a huge chunk of batting and pitching records.

                    Did Clemens take roids? According to the guy who everyone admits shot up his wife, hell yes (and he kept the needles to prove it). Did 165 pound Greg Maddux take steroids? If he did he should get a refund!

                    • MichiganGoat

                      So now the fans and writers are choosing which drugs are worse than other? The same fans and writers that celebrated the achievements of PED players. It’s just too much hypocrisy for me.

                    • hansman1982

                      So it’s ok to take one illegal substance but not another?

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Ill take hallucinogens please

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            I think his point was that those players are already in. They have already set the standard. Amphetamines were rampant in baseball for quite some time, and there undoubtedly amphetamine users in the Hall of Fame.

            Even the character question gets murky. Ty Cobb, during a game, attacked one man for insulting him. He also tried to throttle a groundskeeper’s wife when the lady attempted to break up another fight involving Cobb, and he has an award named after him and has one of the highest percentage of votes on any Hall of Fame ballot in history.

            There does have to be some standard for getting in… but unfortunately the standard seems to be “don’t get caught.”

        • hansman1982

          Pretty much the only way to “play the game the right way” is to do whatever in the hell you can get away with to win.

          Cobb, Ruth, Williams, santo, feller, Ryan, blah blah blah all did whatever they could to get a leg up on the other guys to win.

          • cheryl

            Luke and Hansman are probably right, but its sad that it comes down to “don’t get caught” and “all did whatever they could to get a leg up on the other guys to win.”

            • MichiganGoat

              That’s professional sports

              • cheryl

                And how much of that is now what we face beyond sports today?

        • lakawak

          Cocaine is not a performance enhancer in the long run. So it is a different issue. I’m not sure many of the ones found to have been part of the 80s cocaine ring are in the Hall of Fame anyway. It definitely hurt Keith Hernandez. Not that he would have likely gotten in anyway, but he got a lot fewer votes than expected.

  • Sandberg

    Is there a level of career WAR that is considered HoF worthy?

    • John

      I can’t recall exactly, but I seem to remember that if you had 60 WAR you basically have a 50% chance of getting in.

      Here are some rough numbers I just threw together (I didn’t take out anyone who isn’t eligible or active so they will be a little off, and pitchers and hitters are all lumped in but it’s close enough for now):

      Chance of getting in / WAR threshold

      20% – 42.5 WAR
      40% – 53 WAR
      50% – 58 WAR
      60% – 63 WAR
      80 % – 82 WAR
      100% Lock – 92 WAR

      Based on this, Sosa would have about a 45% chance of getting in with his 54.8 WAR.

  • WNebCub

    Sosa will never get in. He cheated twice and acted like he couldn’t speak english. The most ridiculous part of the whole thing is they way they all lie and act like the general public is all a bunch of 4 year olds who believe anything. McGwire only used for what a year and a half period or portions of a couple years??? are you serious…Or Bonds didn’t know what he was taking??? what…(although Bonds was enjoyable holding press conferences and attacking Pedro Gomez verbally and trying to be intimidating as possible about the whole thing)…Sosa can’t speak English of course…whatever sort of shady character McNalmee is still doesn’t mean that Clemens didn’t use Roids! Even if only 25 percent of what McNamee said is true then Clemens is as guilty as can be. Plus he admits that McNamee shot up his wife. And he wants us to believe he didn’t know he was throwing a bat at Mike Piazza. Clemens was a hell of pitcher and competitor, but he’s a bad liar.

    If they all got in or if they were all left out, i guess i wouldn’t care either way. But the way they all act about it in defense of themselves is flat out comical. And it makes you want to not like them in general.

    But I am excited for the 2013 Cubs campaign. Loving the commitment by the Rickett’s family to the team. Getting Epstein and Hoyer has been unbelievable. And then on top of it the ability for those guys to then add to the organization with new hires and creating new positions. To me that shows commitment. So that’s nice.

    I’m an everyday reader of BN and every day follower on twitter which is really the best way i’ve found to be only a couple seconds away from breaking Cubs news at any point of my daily life with the ol smart phone. lol. following the trade fiascos and signings was an absolute roller coaster.

    When i have time i enjoy reading the comments on every story for even more perspective on the things. Good situff around here.

  • Fastball

    They all cheated during the 7 – 8 year span. You may as well say they all cheated because you can’t put a tag on one guy and not on another. I personally don’t are if they did them or not. It was an era in baseball where if you didn’t do them you were not going to make the cut because everyone who was doing them could out perform you and you would get cut anyway. So say it is an era and you can’t discriminate one way or the other. For people to say Johnny did it but Joe didn’t is BS. There is no way on earth anyone especially a writer would know who was and who wasn’t using. Unless they walked in the shower and inspected butts for needle tracks.

    • lakawak

      No..that is just your ignorance understanding of the situation. “everybody” was not using them. Maybe 15% were. That leaves 85% that were clean and put at a disadvantage. Some were hurt financially. Any time Bonds, Clemens, or Sosa (or the others) helped their team win a game, it prevented their opponents from winning. Surely at least ONE team during that period missed the playoffs by a game or two and therefore would have made it without the cheaters winning unjustly. So those players all missed out on playoff bonuses. Or what about a pitcher called up from the minors that gave up a tape measure home run to Bonds or Sosa and was sent down the next day and never made it back. He may have lost out on millions of dollars.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    How far do you take it. A sportswriter won’t vote for McGwire or Canseco because they took steroids. Does Tony LaRussa get in the HOF next season? How many games does he win if his best players are not cheating? You seriously think he didn’t know these guys were juicing up?
    What is in the process of happening is the HOF will really become meaningless, unless this situation is addressed in the next couple years.

    • lakawak

      You are TOTALLY missing the point. IT has nothing to do with their inflated stats. IT is about their HONOR. Tony LaRussa did only what he could do with what he had. HE didn’t cheat.

  • http://ehanauer.com clark addison

    Lots of cheating went on in that era, and very few were caught. But nobody else in history had three 60 home run seasons. Or four straight with 50+ home runs. From five years from 1998 through 2002, he was the top slugger in baseball. If I’m voting, Sosa gets in.

    But nobody asked me.

    • Kevin B

      Well Clark I am glad no one asked you then.

      So you state “nobody else in history had three 60 home run seasons. Or four straight with 50+ home runs. From five years from 1998 through 2002, he was the top slugger in baseball”

      Well Clark he got those numbers by cheating, corked bats and PED’s. Everyone knows it. The reason to cheat is to get better stats and he did. But you then will simply accept that stats as real, despite the obvious cheating, because all you look at is the result???

      Well the result was from cheating that is why he is not getting in and should not. The voters they understand how the numbers – the results – were obtained and they care about it because it matters to them. Just not to you.

    • Voice of reason

      This from a guy who goes by the name Clark Addison!

      It’s shocking that you support Sosa!

    • lakawak

      Being the best of the cheaters is honorable to you? Wow. No wonder you are a failure at life.

  • Need mee owner

    Mlb and bud looked the other way when all this was good for baseball wat happened

    • lakawak

      So? That has nothing to do with the Hall of Fame which is not in any way connected to MLB.

  • TigerCub

    I’d be down for inducting Barry Bonds as a Pirate because I think he was good enough pre-Roids to make the cut. Don’t even mention Bonds’ time with the Giants on his plaque. Clemens has an argument as a Red Sox pitcher. Forget the rest of em.

    • lakawak

      Anther idiotic comment.

      Bernie Madoff was rich before his Ponzi Scheme. So why should he be punished with jail time?

      Get this through your non-functioning head…Once you cheat…your accomplishments DON’T MATTER. You have NO HONOR. Pieces of garbage don’t belong in the Hall of Fame. And only a piece of garbage would want them there.

      • crazyhorse

        Engage in Name Calling first setence.Assume Facts Not In Evidence
        and sentence the final sentence Spurious Delegitimization of Evidence or Criticism

        be proud ! now look them up!

  • Dude

    The Dodgers really are signing everyone, huh?

  • Dustin S

    My feeling on the top end steroid era guys is that they are in the same category as Pete Rose. Totally different misdeeds, but effectively they are in a similar boat. I see it going 1 of 2 ways for them. Either it will be a deal where the Bonds/Sosa/Clemens guys get in eventually, but not for many years and maybe even posthumously. Or one of the borderline guys who maybe were suspected of steroids but less certain they took them gets in, which will open the floodgates to guys from that era and most of them will get in soon after. Either way, with the current stigma around the steroid era guys (and especially the big 3 names above) I don’t expect them to get in anytime soon. It won’t help either that in the next 4-5 ballot years after this year there are a number of other guys coming up that will probably be first ballot automatics like Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine and Randy Johnson (maybe not automatic for them but close I bet), Chipper in 2018, etc. Those guys are all going to pull a lot of votes away. If I were Sosa I wouldn’t hold my breath until 2020+.

    All that said, I can’t help but feel bad for Sosa being treated like an outcast and being shunned by most of baseball. There is no post-baseball career signing autographs, appearing at conventions, tv, etc for these guys. It’s just a bad situation. The fans including me loved the home runs, the owners loved the attendance and that it saved baseball after the strike year, the players loved being treated like rock stars and the big contracts. What they did was wrong, but at times it feels like scapegoating to put all the blame on them.

    • MichiganGoat

      As I said before there is a major difference between Rose and the PED suspects- Rose agreed to a lifetime ban and isn’t even allowed on a ballot. The PED suspects have no ban and are on the ballot.

  • Chase S.

    I’m very excited for the NHL “season” to start again. As sour as I was/am about the lockout, it still won’t deter me from watching hockey.

    One thing I’d like to bring up is that the discussion of the FO for the Cubs on this site has been similar, at least in my eyes, to the ongoing discussion of the FO for my beloved Blackhawks. Each are recently (2010 for the ‘Hawks) coming off of regimes that seemed to value high-paying lengthy contracts (Hendry, Tallon) and have new people that covet building the farm (Hoyer/Epstein, Bowman). This plan has definitely had it’s pros and cons for the Blackhawks, as they’ve build a solid minor league system but have been unable to attract major free agents/trade partners (primarily due to either a reluctance to trade young players or some sort of upheaval between GM and coach and GM and owners). Although they are two entirely different sports and situations, they seem pretty similar. Thoughts?

  • hansman1982

    Wait, I thought the prevailing conspiracy theory was that ball construction standards cause the inflated stats and not PED use.

  • AB

    Whenever I hear some of these BBWAA guy’s opinions, I think of Robert Duvall’s charachter from ‘The Natural’ (no I haven’t read the book).

    He thinks he is this all-important guardian and expert of the game for the common fan, but he’s really only in it for his own ego. He even admitted tat he had not even played a professional game in his life.

  • curt

    brett help me to understand why these sportswriters have a holier than though attitude about these players like sosa,mcgwire, bonds. i just dont get what they did that was that bad ,the hof is full of cheats and persons of questionable character.and yes while some of these players are bona fide douschenozzles, and were just asses to the media, why are these players being held to some self righteous moral standard, if their stats dont warrant induction fine by me , but if yr keeping worth inductees out bc yu think they cheated or they didnt treat the media as nicely as they should have get over yrselves already these sportswriters should lose their votes and find different people to vote on the players worthiness. stepping off the soapbox now have a nice evening.

    • lakawak

      Just because you are a failure doesn’t mean that cheating is OK.

  • Timmy

    Cheating or not, that 2001 season is ungodly. It’s hard to imagine a season with numbers like that ever appearing again in the majors.

  • mudge

    Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose are probably more famous for NOT being in the HOF.

  • DCF

    The whole Sosa vs. HOF drama showcases badly how inept basbeball and the whole baseball sportswriters world is in even trying to handle this stuff rationally.
    MLB has no official opinion on any of this, HOF sportwriters just vote by their gut feeling and standards that exist mainly in their own head. The rest of the writers don’t say anything at all or just rely on an very easy “these bad cheaters shouldn’t be allowed in the holy HOF”.
    All of the real interesting questions about PEDs remain unanswered. What effect do PEDs really have? How widespread was using in “roid era”? And most importantly, how’s shit today?

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    I really don’t have too much of an opinion on steroids. If the CBA was really weak on drug-testing in the 90′s, then of course-the inmates will rule the asylum, but baseball needed a way for fans to come back after the strike. It seems like anyone with the tag of “could-be” is made out as a villain, but the strike really got to me when it happened and I’ll admit, I became more focused on girls than baseball ;)…

    Josh Hamilton is celebrated for his openness of his “battle with addiction”… which makes me think… you can’t get arrested for driving under the influence of steroids. So, whatever…

    First ballots?
    Clemens would have got in even if he declined regularly and ended his career in Toronto.
    Piazza would have got in, had it not been for the era in which he played.
    McGwire would have got in, even though he took a substance that was not illegal in the US, had it not been for all of this hubbub.
    Bonds would have got in, even though no charges have stuck to him. Also, if he had just put up numbers from the Pittsburgh years and consistently declined, that would have been hall-worthy.

    Sosa? Even though he ended his career in Chicago with a black eye, I have no ill-will towards him. He only stated publicly that he took Flintstone vitamins with his kid(s?) and it seemed endearing at the time. I don’t care if he used a translator for Congress; that’s smart. If I were to speak for myself in a foreign country-even if I knew the language, I would use an interpreter as well. That’s not cowardly, that’s practical. Same reason Big Mac didn’t want to “talk about the past.” Grey areas are were people drown themselves…

    A guy that I worked with a long time ago, knew I was a Cubs fan and once told me that, “Sosa hit most of his home runs off of Latino pitchers” the year McGwire and him were battling for the record. It seemed to me like people already had their opinions preconceived before knowing any facts. 7 of his 66 were hit off of “Latino” pitchers that year.

    The only thing that really disturbed me about the Mitchell Report was that Chuck Knoblauch was listed and later admitted to using steroids. I have to tell my wife that a lot of references to “middle-infielders who used steroids” that commentators make on MLB Network are actually referring to Chuck Knoblauch-a skinny dude that never hit more than 18 HR in a single season.

    It’s a messed up mess that I don’t care to argue about. No one is right and no one can erase the stats that the players put up. It seems like a moot point to me. Just call it a stain on the fabric of time that had to happen to make the fans come back. Leave it at that. Let em all in. F*¢K it.

    • bob

      I agree on Bonds and Clemons, but the others are a little iffy. McGwire was injury and strikeout prone, and may never have put up the career-long numbers necessary for the Hall. Piazza’s numbers may have been OK, especially for a catcher, but his defense was bad, and that seems to be a big consideration for that position. Sammy, much as I enjoyed the ride while he was playing, is probably a no. Ironically, without the “juice” he might have kept the speed component of his game longer, and put up numbers similar enough to Bonds’ to be at least considered.

    • lakawak

      What effect do PEDs have? Well..ALL THREE of Sosa, McGwire and Bonds saw their home run totals jump by over THIRTY from one year to the next. Bonds was the most obvious since he did it in his late 30s when 99.99999999% of honest athletes see their ability start to decline significantly.

      • crazyhorse

        davey johson went from 5 to 43 homeruns in the 1972-73 towards the end of his career, to follow your statement than davey johnson was using steriods. That comparisoin was stupid but i was only following your methodology.

    • Jimmy james

      The thing that bugs me is that people always say so and so was a hall of famer before he started juicing……um how do we know when he started? Canseco said he wouldn’t have made it to the show without the stuff and he was up at the end of 85….who is to say bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Clemens were not using from day one? and don’t even start with the “legal” stuff McGwire took…..if I were a betting man that was some deep cover on the not so incognito tip.

      That being said I’m with a lot of you, numbers are numbers….MLB didn’t care enough at the time they were putting them up to stop them so why shouldn’t they go in……don’t even get me stared about the joke of not letting rose in. Most of these guys hurt there chances by their responses,….im looking at you Sammy, Mac, rafi…..

  • Spriggs

    If I had a vote, I would vote in Sosa… Just because I’m a shameless Cubs fan. And I had a blast cheering for Sammy. (and in defense of his corked bat, I say, all we know for sure is that he was 0 for 1 with it). Oh, and Lee Smith too. Just those two!

    • lakawak

      In defense of OJ Simpson, all we know for sure is that he was late for the airport on the night of June 12, 1994.

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