Sammy Sosa Gets Busted, World Reacts with Shoulder Shrug
Are you telling me that you can’t go from hitting 36 home runs to 66 home runs in one year through natural causes?
Sammy Sosa’s name reportedly showed up on the MLB survey list of 104 major leaguers who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003. It’s the same list that outed Alex Rodriguez earlier this year and the same survey that was supposed to be anonymous.
First, if it’s OK for one or two popular names to trickle off the list and into the public, every other name should be known as well. But full disclosure doesn’t hurt today’s top story more than if it had happened five years ago.
Sammy Sosa was convicted in the court of popular opinion long ago. While there was no hard evidence against him, Sosa failed the eye test. One quick comparison of past and recent present showed that something had drastically changed in his body through the 1990s and 2000s. It was a growth similar to that of a McGwire and a Bonds, and look how the public views them now.
Look at baseball’s 500 home run club. Of those who are still active or have “retired” in the past few years, here’s who makes the cut:
Ken Griffey, Jr.
That’s 10 members, two-fifths, of baseball’s most prestigious record. All of them have played through the steroid era and at least seven have been implicated, one way or another, in using performance-enhancing drugs.
Thomas? Thome? Griffey? What’s to say that they DEFINITIVELY didn’t take anything illegal? We can’t prove anything, but Thomas and Thome sure did gain a lot of bulk in their careers, and Griffey’s body sure did collapse in its prime.
Man, I just don’t know. It’s possible, but …
And that’s all that this Sosa story gives us. It just gives us more reason to be skeptical, more reason to doubt the record books.
The real story here isn’t that Sammy Sosa was on a list of users. It’s just another stake into the realism of baseball’s glorious numbers. No sport cares more about its numbers than baseball and yet, ways to disprove them always seem to pop up fairly often.
As these players listed above leave baseball, either because they are too old or because their bodies have taken too much abuse, and they head toward being Hall-of-Fame eligible, baseball is going to have a real problem: Who has told the truth?
Or better yet, who hasn’t been lying?
It’s a real problem, and that’s all Sammy Sosa has ever been. Another problem, and it’s too late to solve it. The work is done. All we can do is wait and watch the slow, methodical, widespread destruction of baseball’s grandest claim to fame.