Chicago Cubs: Time for Sammy Sosa to forget the HOF, make things right with the Cubs
Every year at this time, Sammy Sosa‘s name makes its way back into the conversation of Chicago Cubs‘ fans. Most feel one way or the other about him–there’s very little middle ground. But with a more “relaxed” view of the PED era, should fans’ view of ‘Slammin’ Sammy’ change?
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For one reason or another, some writers have started to back off their stance of players that reportedly–in many cases admittedly–used performance enhancing drugs and considered voting for them for the Hall of Fame. We’re still banning players for this in baseball, right? There wasn’t a memo that I missed? Players who in some cases haven’t had success but are looking for that “edge” are making that decision–and many are being caught and suspended. But the players up for the Hall of Fame are starting to see leniency?
Then we have Sammy Sosa. Once a saving grace for the Cubs–and to be honest, baseball for that matter–has watched his percentage for the Hall of Fame dwindle. It did get a slight bump this year, as did Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. Mark McGwire saw it as well, but this was his final year on the ballot. It’ll be on the veterans committee from here. He and Sammy were saving baseball together in that summer. While McGwire has returned to the game, Sosa remains absent–and in the case of the Cubs? Unwelcome.
The chances of Sosa making the Hall of Fame is unlikely. Maybe in the future baseball will add an “asterisk” wing, and these players can be included. All of them were still highly capable individuals, but unfortunately, they didn’t feel that was enough and made poor decisions. Does Sosa belong in the HOF? If you look at his numbers blindly against other Hall of Famer’s, yes–he would probably be in line. But PED’s have forever damaged that reputation–even without a positive affirmation that he did them. His exit in that final season and the corked bat didn’t help his case either with Cubs’ fans.
For Sosa, what he needs to focus on is repairing his status with the organization he spent so many years with–and some really good ones at that. He isn’t getting into the HOF, but maybe working to make things right with the organization can help him find some peace with the game of baseball. The Rickett’s family wasn’t in charge of the Cubs back then, so nothing is owed by them. But Tom Rickett’s is a fan, and you know Sosa at one point meant something to him as well as other Cubs’ fans.
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When Santo had his number retired, he said that it was more touching and fulfilling than the Hall of Fame. I believe that was a heartfelt comment, even though I know it hurt him each year he was passed over. It may be time for Sosa to look for something along those lines. The Cubs won’t be retiring his number, but finding a way back into Wrigley Field and the Cubs’ organization is probably the most fulfilling thing Sosa will have left of baseball.