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June 21, 2007

Sosa...yes. Sorry, world.

I’ve been reading a lot of the national columns lately and have to admit…I think I’ve made a deal with the devil.

Why you ask?

Are you ready for it? Sammy Sosa is a Hall of Famer, first ballot…no questions asked. Admittedly, I hate Sosa…HATE HIM, but his stats are so overwhelming that you could almost disregard the home run numbers and he’d STILL get in. Well, maybe not…the home runs are what really get him enshrined, but you know what I mean.

We all know by now that there are only five baseball players that have hit 600 (or more) home runs…Sosa being the latest addition, Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays are the others. But did you realize that Sosa is the only one to have hit more than 60 home runs more than once?

Probably. And he did it three times!

Did you know that Sosa has seven years with 40 or more homers and he did it in six straight seasons? Ruth hit 40 or more in seven straight seasons. By comparison, Reggie Jackson (563 career bombs) NEVER hit 40 or more in back to back years and only has two season with more than 40.

Let’s look at some other notable numbers.

Sosa was an All-Star only seven times. HOWEVER, he has seven top ten MVP finishes. He won the MVP award only once (over Mark McGwire in 1998) and finished in the top ten in six straight seasons.

The guy was a scoring machine…PERIOD. Sosa played for some piss poor teams and STILL managed nine straight season with 100 or more RBI (a career high of 160 and a previous high of 158 are awe-inspiring). By comparison, Ruth’s best effort was eight straight and Jackson only had six 100-plus seasons TOTAL. During the afore mentioned nine year span, Sosa had six straight years with 100 or more runs scored. The seventh year…he scored 99. Incredibly, Sosa hit .289...16 points higher than his career average of .273.

Tim Kurkijan pointed out on ESPN that Sosa has more home runs at Wrigley Field than Babe Ruth had at Yankee Stadium. More impressive, Sosa has 545 home runs AS a Cub…and only one AGAINST them. “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks has 512 as a Cub. North Siders might want to reconsider who is who.

So…I’ve gone this whole time without mentioning steroids. And that was on purpose...there is NO REASON to believe that a 39 year-old man CAN’T have an acne issue! In all seriousness, the longer this steroid debate rages (pun intended) on…Sosa’s numbers gain more legitimacy. You see…if MORE players get implicated (and remember Sosa hasn’t tested positive or admitted to ANYTHING), the more players like Sosa, Bonds, Palmeiro and McGwire become “one of the guys”. Except in this case...two get in and two are left out.

Ballhype: hype it up!


E said...

I'm kinda shaky on crowning a guy who hit nearly half of his career HRs in five years as "Great," especially when, hauled in front of a Congressional steriod hearing, he suddenly forget how to speak English. (I think this would have worked well for Ralph Palmeiro as well, seeing as how things turned out for him.) Really makes you appreciate Hank Aaron, who hit 755 by just hitting 36 every year he played.

And we're talking about the same Sosa that couldn't even make a minor league team last year, right?

Just checking.

And while we're on the subject, where's the love for The Kid, who's numbers would be absolutely mental if he could play more than 120 games a year? He could break 600 this year, if he can keep from breaking anything else on his body.

Jesus said...

Sosa sure was fluent the other night after he hit number 600, huh?

Knock the guy for hitting a bunch of his home runs in a short timespan...but THAt is what defines dominance really. The number of consecutive years of 100-plus RBI and 40-plus home runs is incredible no matter how you slice it considering (A) the Cubs sucked and (B) opposing pitchers could have EASILY avoided him and walked him a la Bonds.

Funny you mention Griff. I was just saying the other day that all this talk about Sosa, Bonds, etc...makes you appreciate Griffey more. He's maintained his fielding ability (unlike Bonds) and has shown the affects of age (look at the ass) rather than just getting huge fast.

When it is all said and done, the guy who gets the royal shaft will be Palmeiro. Sure, McGwire never gets in (1600 hits will do that for ya), but Raffy could have easily been the best all around hitter in the pre-Bonds explosion steroid era and since he was ACTUALLY found guilty...he won't get the credit he deserved.

Vinnie said...

Its funny all these numbers are held on the suspicion that these guys took steriods (well except Palmero, he didnt havea choice though. Its like Stallone doing Rocky 25 and not taking some HGH the show wouldn't get off the ground). Suspicion folks, does innocent until proven guilty ring a bell? After all our own congress did the investigating right?? Remember when they investigated WMD's in Irag? They can't handle politics much less the politics of baseball. Now dont get me wrong I wouldn't be surprised if every one of these guys and a ton more took something to enhance performance. But that is baseball. For years guys took speed before games, shit you could argue that the Mic (my personal hero) drank before games. So what if his performance enhancing drug was alchol and not HGH, hey we all bowl better drunk so who is to say Mantle didn't swing the lumber better with a buzz. All joking aside most of the people who are so quick to bash these guys for falling under suspicion of taking some sauce have never stepped into a weight room with a serious approach much less understand the drugs in question and their actual effect and not the urban legend effects either. So go by their numbers (after all it was never illegal by MLB rules) chill out shut up and if you dont like it go take some sauce and come beat me up!!

The Earl of Pimpwich said...

It comes down to this:

-Do you blackball everyone from the steroid era? You can't pick and choose from people who have no evidence against them ie: Sosa, Frank Thomas, Jr Griffey, Clemens (Yes, clemens), etc.

So either you vote em all in if stats warrant it, or none at all. I may be the only Cub fan on the planet that despised Sammy but still to this day believe he took Amphetamines to help alertness. Believe it or not, you can lift weights and actually grow muscle mass. What a concept! Barry will get thrown back in my face on that one but Barry reportedly gained 25 pounds of muscle in three months which is unheard of, Sammy grew into his form from 1993-1998, or over 6 years of baseball.

I feel the sudden drop in Sammy's performance was a result of new Amphetamine testing procedures which hurt him and Barry. Ever wonder why over their past few seasons they start on tears and then just fizzle out? Hmm, you mean exactly what Amphetamines prevent?


Vinnie said...

Spot on Pimpwhich Spot on.

Everyone points the fingers to steriods and such but speed is the most used and abused drug on the diamond. Any player with some guns gets labled a roid head when everyone overlooks the Jessie Spano's "help me study drug."

Either all in or all out is my vote...