Thursday, June 4, 2009

Baseball History Day: Sammy Sosa and 300 Wins

Since the Cubs got rained out tonight and my plans of writing about an improved Ryan Theriot were canceled by a barrage of double play balls and bad throws, I'll address the biggest off the field Cubs news. Sammy Sosa announced his intent to retire ending the career of on of the greatest Cubs ever. 

Now in fairness I am probably the only Sammy Sosa supporter remaining, so everything I write about him is pretty biased. Before I go and further I will concede two points about Sosa- odds are he did use steroids, and yes he is an incredible jerk. Now the question is this- does Sammy Sosa belong in the Hall of Fame?

Just looking at the numbers there is no question that Sosa should have his spot in the Hall of Fame. 609 career homers, 128 OPS+, and a whole lot of nice memories. The problem is Sosa is widely suspected as a steroid user and his name is mentioned with McGwire and Bonds. I believe that his name is put in that ring without any real evidence. I have never been able to find any real evidence against Sosa. Sure you can point to his body, and his jump in power, or his fall from grace right when PED testing began, but there is no concrete evidence. Bonds, Clemens, and A-Rod have books. McGwire's brother also has a book coming out. Manny tested positive. Sosa has maintained a clean slate or real evidence, I think despite quite a few Chicago media members looking to catch Sosa. 

Because of all the uncertainty surrounding Sosa I fear that he will have to spend some time waiting for the 75% vote needed. One final note about Sosa- the corked bat cannot be used against Sosa because the Hall of Fame included lifelong cheater Gaylord Perry, who is only in the Hall of Fame because of his spitball.

On to Randy Johnson and his 300th win. Johnson got it today against the Washington Nationals at age 45 and once again the "Is this the last 300 game winner?" talk begins. It has happened every single time somebody has gotten their 300th win, and every time there has been a new pitcher who gets to the mark. It might be 10 years, but somebody will get there. Both Carlos Zambrano and Mark Buehrle are pretty young and with some good health and good pitching it is possible that either or both could make a run at 300 wins. 

If I had to bet- CC Sabathia and Roy Halladay will both get to 300 wins before their careers are over, Z ends up around 230, Buehrle about 250. 

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