Former Cub Sandberg says Sosa doesn’t belong in Hall of Fame

Former Cubs infielder Ryne Sandberg recently said on a Chicago radio show that Sammy Sosa shouldn’t be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame after the New York Times reported last week that he tested positive for PEDs in 2003.

Appearing on the “Waddle & Silvy” show on ESPN 1000, Sandberg was asked whether Sosa belongs in the Hall of Fame. “I don’t think so,” he said.

“They use the word ‘integrity’ in describing a Hall of Famer in the logo of the Hall of Fame, and I think there are gonna be quite a few players that are not going to get in,” Sandberg said. “It’s been evident with the sportswriters who vote them in, with what they’ve done with Mark McGwire getting in the 20 percent range.

“We have some other players … like [Rafael] Palmeiro coming up soon, and it’ll be up to the sportswriters to speak loud and clear about that. I don’t see any of those guys getting in.”

“I was around Sammy for about five years before I retired, and there wasn’t anything going on then,” Sandberg said. “I did admire the hard work he put in. He was one of the first guys down to the batting cage, hitting extra. I figured he was working out hard in the offseason to get bigger. It was just happening throughout the game, that even myself was blinded by what was really happening, maybe starting in the ’98 season.

“I think it’s very unfortunate. I think suspicions were there as they are with some other players. Those players are now put in a category of being tainted players with tainted stats. I think it’s obviously something that was going on in the game. Players participated in it and, as the names have come out, I think that they will be punished for that.”

Isn’t it ironic that Sosa and McGwire essentially saved baseball after the ’94 strike with their steroid-invested home run derby, yet they’ll probably both be denied of baseball’s most cherished honor because they cheated to accomplish what they did?

Sandberg didn’t say anything that we weren’t already thinking ourselves. Sosa might have been one of the hardest working players in the game when he played, but he juiced (allegedly) and therefore doesn’t deserve to be inducted into the hall. Sosa wanted to hit a bunch of home runs and inflate his power numbers, so he took PEDs and accomplished what he set out to do. But now he has to pay and part of the punishment is not having his name listed aside Willie Mays, Ernie Banks and Mickey Mantle.

Sorry, but that’s just the way it is. I agree with Sandberg and while baseball didn’t have a steroid policy in place before 2003 and those tests were supposed to be anonymous, the bottom line is that Sosa cheated. We shouldn’t turn a blind eye to that like baseball turned a blind eye to their steroid mess in the first place.

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