Sosa retires with numbers that would have made him a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer in any previous or probably future generation. With players who excelled between the early 1990s and 2004, however, there is an obvious cloud of performance-enhancing drug suspicion hanging over them. On that subject, he just doesn't want to talk about it.
"I assure you that I will not answer nor listen to rumors," he (said). "If anything ugly comes up in the future, we will confront it immediately, but with all our strength because I will not allow anybody to tarnish what I did in the field."As for his next goal. Well, he'll be waiting "calmly."
"Everything I achieved, I did it thanks to my perseverance, which is why I never had any long, difficult moments [as a baseball player]. If you have a bad day in baseball, and start thinking about it, you will have ten more," Sosa told the site. "I will calmly wait for my induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Don't I have the numbers to be inducted?"Absolutely. Take a look.
* 1 MVP, 6 other top-10 finishes
* 7 All-Star Games
* 6 Silver Sluggers
* 609 home runs (sixth all-time, twice led league)
* 1,667 RBI (24th all-time, twice led league)
* .534 slugging percentage (41st all-time)
* Only player to ever hit more than 60 home runs three times
* Three of the top six all-time single-season home run totals
* Nine straight seasons of at least 35 home runs and 100 RBI
Toss in the respectable .274 average, the 234 career stolen bases and the solid .878 OPS, and this isn't even close.
He's going to have trouble making it. While I think he has a much better case -- considering the all-around play and the fact that he's never been explicitly tied to steroids -- Mark McGwire and Sosa are tied together. McGwire hasn't fared well at all with the voters and many won't even consider anyone they suspect used performance-enhancers. While he hasn't been caught or named in much past conjecture, it's easy to conclude that Sosa did something. He grew from a skinny speedster on the White Sox into a barrel-chested power hitter on the North Side of Chicago -- the likes of which we'd barely ever seen before. Then, when testing become public, he virtually disappeared. Sure, he was 35 in 2004, but he fell off a cliff. We also know, due to the infamous corked-bat incident in 2003 -- and his lame attempted cover-up -- that he would do almost anything to gain a competitive advantage when necessary.
Look, I hope he makes the Hall. I'm just saying he'll probably be "calmly waiting" for quite a long time. The wait will surely test his patience.
Regardless, we bid you adieu, Sammy. Let us all blow kisses and do an exaggerated batter's box hop today in your honor. No matter what happens, Cubs fans will never forget the memories you gave us.