On Sammy Sosa and the Hall Of Fame

I stopped giving a damn about the Hall of Fame years ago, save for one player. I wanted Ron Santo in the Hall Of Fame because I thought he deserved it, but also because I loved Ronnie so much and he wanted it so badly. I'm glad they finally called his name, despite the fact that they insultingly did it after he was dead.

I used to care about career WAR and peaks and all the rest of that crap, but I don't anymore. I've come to terms with the fact that it is the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and the voting criteria (just like the MVP award) is vague enough that many different interpretations can be semi-reasonable. I don't care that Jim Rice is in the HOF, or if Jack Morris does get elected. I have no problem with giving Morris bonus points for 1991 Game 7, because that performance was pretty damn famous (see also: Bloody Sock game, Jeter Flip, etc.). 

Which brings me to Sammy Sosa, who is currently sitting at around 8% of the vote according to Repoz's tracker. I don't care if he gets in or not. I don't think he'll ever get in, due to the chance he could fall off the ballot, the fact that his career numbers are marginal-ish for the HOF, and the fact that enough of the BBWAA won't vote for him even if the HOF gets off its ass and takes a position on the PED era. They can't force people to vote for Barry Bonds, no matter what they do. Just look at all the machinations to get Santo in, FFS. 

I do think the hall would be better with Sosa in it than not, as well as Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, and Palmeiro, and whoever else you feel like associating with the PED era. This is a baseball museum. It's not like they can pretend the 90s (1998 in particular) never happened. But it's surprising how easy we forget just how famous Sosa was from around 1998-2003. Derek Jeter was probably the only baseball player more famous than Sammy over that time period, and he appeared in countless commercials, promos, etc because his enthusiasm was always so infectious in everything he did. Who didn't want him as a spokesman? Any ballpark he played in buzzed during every one of his PAs (one could make the tongue-in-cheek argument that he was the Most Feared hitter during that time period, something that's been used before). Then it all fell apart in 2004 and suddenly people said they never liked him anyway. People made fun of him for wanting a lawyer to talk to Congress, never mind that law is complicated and English is not his first language. When pictures surfaced of whatever strange skin thing he had going on people mocked him mercilessly (hooray racism!), not to mention his awkward social media debut last year. I guess we take glee in punching our former heros when they're down.

/Goes back to not caring about the HOF


About berselius

How appropriate. You fight like a cow.