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Thursday, February 23, 2017

In defense of Sammy Sosa

Doug Glanville’s take.

His loyal supporters see a Hall of Fame career, the best of fan-friendly examples and the top power hitter in Chicago Cubs history. His critics see stats that were allegedly inflated by performance-enhancing drug, corked bats and an ugly end.

But Sammy Sosa’s numbers don’t tell the whole story, for better or worse.


Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 23, 2017 at 02:52 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: doug glanville, sammy sosa

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   1. frannyzoo Posted: February 23, 2017 at 09:40 PM (#5407842)
Interesting to ponder, which should be the goal of any journalist/author. I don't have much of a dog in the Sammy Sosa hunt, but I learned some things in this piece and much appreciate Glanville's work as a authorial bridge between player and journalist.
   2. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: February 23, 2017 at 09:58 PM (#5407851)
Less than 30 WAA, which is not what I would have expected. Also poor for a guy who is decidedly more a peak value HOF candidate than a career HOF candidate.
   3. zachtoma Posted: February 23, 2017 at 11:25 PM (#5407891)
A guy with over 600 HR not being a "career value" candidate really drives home how crazy the 90's/00's were. I'm still amazed at how poorly Rafael Palmeiro did. Yeah, there was the steroids stuff, at a time when it was much more sensational, but I get the sense even then that a lot of people decided his 3,000 hits and 500 HR just weren't that impressive anyways.
   4. McCoy Posted: February 24, 2017 at 08:13 AM (#5407932)
In 30 years Sammy will be considered a Cub great.
   5. eric Posted: February 24, 2017 at 08:47 AM (#5407937)
Re: Palmeiro, I think without the steroid stain, he would have gotten the Yount treatment: 1st ballot, but near the cutoff (77% is what Yount got). He was never seen as dominant but his counting numbers were still impressive enough that people had consigned themselves to his being worthy.

Re: Sosa. Just noticed his BBR page lists him as 165 lbs. FWIW, I think he goes in via some form of the Vet committee in 30 years or so.
   6. BDC Posted: February 24, 2017 at 09:11 AM (#5407948)
Sosa's Cub career may have come to an "ugly end," but he finished up in Texas with a decent-enough season in '07 despite a year's layoff. As Glanville notes, he always worked hard and loved baseball, and I wasn't aware of any problems during that final season.
   7. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 24, 2017 at 09:37 AM (#5407960)
In 30 years Sammy will be considered a Cub great.

He's undeniably an all time Cub great. Easily top 10, and probably a little better than 10th. 7 more WAA than Billy Williams and Ernie Banks*, only 3 fewer than Ryne Sandberg, 2 fewer than Ron Santo.

*Banks peak WAA is the same as Sosa's. Sammy didn't have his decline with the Cubs like banks did.
   8. Jacob Posted: February 25, 2017 at 04:15 AM (#5408637)
He really should be in the HoF. I still think he took PEDs, but 609 HRs (& 292 in 5 consecutive years) is something special. The WAR total isn't much. He loses a bit for his defense there, but he had a nice defensive peak to show he was talented enough there too.
   9. MuttsIdolCochrane Posted: February 25, 2017 at 06:26 AM (#5408639)
He just plainly got dicked by fans, fools, holier than thouers (a word?) and sportswriters, not all mutually exclusive. Was so special and brought so much life and excitement to the game and to Wrigley. Hit a few homers too. His perceived legacy is a lyin' shame.
   10. Adam Starblind Posted: February 25, 2017 at 08:38 AM (#5408647)
Yeah, now that steroid waters are topping the levee, Sosa's one who should definitely go in. Not a WAR candidate. A (positive) face of the sport candidate. And Governor Bush made a joke about him in a primary debate.
   11. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 25, 2017 at 09:50 AM (#5408655)
I've been thinking about how I wanted to reply to this, but [9] and [10] do a pretty good job of summarizing what I think. [4] too. I just hope it doesn't take that long.

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