Former Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg, levied some harsh criticism on Sammy Sosa and his Hall of Fame chances.
According to Sandberg, a Hall of Famer himself, Sammy Sosa does not belong in the Hall because of integrity issues associated with the steroids era.
While a guest on ESPN 1000 radio today, Sandberg 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. 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 coming up like Rafael Palmeiro, 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.”
Ryne Sandberg and Sammy Sosa were Cubs teammates from 1992 to 1997. When you read the entire story and examine Sandberg’s comments, you get the sense he felt betrayed by Sosa.
“I was around Sammy for about five years before I retired, and there wasn’t anything going on then. 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’ve heard many a fan, analyst and sportscaster say that all the players knew that it was going on even those who were clean, but I never really subscribed to that unsubstantiated charge. I do believe there were plenty of players like Sandberg that were fooled just like most the fans were.
Sandberg expressed regret for all the good players who never cheated because they have been thrown into the mix with all the tainted players.
“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.”
Sandberg said that punishment should include being banned from Cooperstown.
“It’s something that’s against the law and against society. It was cheating in the sport. I think it has to be spoken very loud and clear on the stance. I don’t think those guys should be recognized at all.”
I liked Sosa and thought he was one of the more colorful and entertaining players out there, but that said Sandberg is right and there should be a “NO HOF” policy for any player who used banned substances or performance enhancing drugs.
I don’t say that all of these players should have their records purged… that would be ridiculous at this point. I don’t advocate asterisks either…
But I do say lets not roll out the red carpet for these guys and honor them with enshrinement.