Chicago Cubs: Sammy Sosa’s actions cost him a shot at Cooperstown

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs legend Sammy Sosa is sticking to his story – for better or worse.

It just doesn’t make sense. Cubs icon Sammy Sosa has never come clean about his alleged PED use. In fact, he continues to adamantly defend himself at every turn. Meanwhile both Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds faced the truth and came clean.

The result? Both are right in the mix for Cooperstown, hovering in the 70-percent range, while Sammy Sosa checks in with roughly a quarter of the vote. So what happened?

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The longtime Cubs outfielder was honest about his ‘loaded bat,’ but that was it. He has repeatedly denied being involved in steroid use. Steroids? What’s that? If you ask him, it never happened.

The problem is that we all know it did happen, even though Sosa refutes it to this day. But what would happen if Sosa owned up and admitted it? Would he be sliding up the scale, closer to baseball immortality? You never know.

In his five-year stretch from 1998-2002, he was magnificent. He put up big numbers, including a slash of .306/.397/.649/1.046, averaging 58 home runs and 141 RBI. To this day, he remains the only player in MLB history to hit 60 or more home runs in three separate seasons.

The elephant in the room? All or most of this was reportedly accomplished while using performance-enhancing drugs. It’s cast an ominous shadow over Sosa, not just in regards to Cooperstown, but even when talking about a potential welcome back to Wrigley Field.

In the end, he’s never admitted it. We have no reason to think that will change anytime soon, either. But what if he did? Would he make his way up the Hall of Fame ballot? Would he be in the Hall of Fame already? What about the ‘character clause’? To this writer, it’s open for interpretation – especially when you consider some of the guys who are already honored at Cooperstown.

Some say ignore the ‘poor character’ and consider the numbers. Others will judge players relentlessly on it. Whichever way you look at it, we all, at the very least, have to be conscious of it.

When you observe the ways you look at Clemens and Bonds, and then Sosa? Something got to give. If Sosa would just come out as a PED user, he’d probably be better off. But he’s not going to do that. He got pride, whatever that means.

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It’s time Sosa fesses up. Admit you used performance-enhancing drugs. You know it. The fans know it. The game knows it. That way, maybe, just maybe you have a shot at someday joining the all-time greats in baseball’s hallowed halls.