Chicago Cubs: Three newcomers, one holdover on 2018 Hall of Fame ballot; none deserve induction
Chicago Cubs: Man who helped save baseball now an outcast
This one is a bit more complicated for some people. Going purely on the numbers, there’s a real case for Sammy Sosa to be in the Hall of Fame. But his career is clouded with controversy.
Sosa is a holdover candidate, meaning he’s been stuck on the ballot but not inducted for several years. He’s now been on the ballot for six straight years. Last year he received just 8.6 percent of the vote. Remember, a candidate is removed from the ballot if he receives less than 5 percent of the vote. Sosa is getting closer and closer to that being a reality.
With a career slash line of .273/.344/.534 to go along with 609 home runs (9th all-time) and 1,667 RBI, it would be easy to wonder how Sosa hasn’t already been inducted. But the legitimacy of his career is met with harsh skepticism.
Sosa played during an era of baseball that was rampant with steroid use, and he’s one of many players alleged to have used them. In 2009, the New York Times released a list of players who supposedly tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. Sosa denies having ever used PEDs.
Sosa found himself in the ‘cheating’ crosshairs more than once. In 2003, he broke his bat in a game, and it appeared to contain pieces of cork. Sosa was immediately ejected from the game. He claims the bat was used strictly for batting practice and mistakenly ended up with his game bats.
Whether or not Sosa’s claims are honest is irrelevant at this point. While many see him as one of baseball’s all-time greats victimized by a steroid witch-hunt, others see him as not just a cheater, but a liar as well. Innocent or not, his legacy is forever tainted.
Next: Offensive consistency a concern for Cubs
Whether or not accused PED users should take up residence in Cooperstown is one of baseball’s most heated arguments. Regardless of where you fall in that debate, the fact is, these players face a major uphill battle for getting into the Hall. With his vote percentage dwindling, this could very well be Sosa’s last year on the ballot.