Come To Think of It: Sammy Sosa's Failed Steroid Test Comes as No Surprise

Bob Warja@@bobwarjaSenior Writer IJune 16, 2009

The New York Times is reporting that lawyers with knowledge of MLB's 2003 drug tests say Sammy Sosa tested positive for PEDs that year.

In other news, the earth is round.

So, it's not that shocking, but it does make me wonder why only A-Rod and Sammy have had their test results publicised.

What about the rest of the 104 players on that list? 

In each case, the timing was curious.

Selina Roberts was writing a book about A-Rod. Meanwhile, Sammy was on the verge of formally announcing his retirement, saying he was a lock for the HOF.

''I will calmly wait for my induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame,'' the former Cubs slugger said after speaking at a government-sponsored event in the Dominican Republic.

''Don't I have the numbers to be inducted?''

Well, not so fast, Steroid Sammy. You may have the numbers, but we have the test results.

It was 11 years ago that Sammy and Mark McGwire were in the most famous home run battle of all time, a battle that is said to have helped restore the game following the strike.

Now, both of those guys are clouded in a cloak of shame that could make a serial killer blush.

Of course, Sammy had already faced some shame due to a shattered bat filled with cork that was supposed to be used only to amaze audiences during batting practice.

Right, and Elvis is still alive and eating in a roadside Denny's somewhere.

Look, it is not even fun to slam Sammy because he is such an easy target. He was a diva who suddenly forgot how to speak English during the congressional hearings on PEDs. He walked out on the Cubs in his last Chicago season.

He murdered Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman.

OK, I made that last one up. But, in short, Sammy was all about Sammy.

(By the way, I sure do hope they eventually catch the guy who committed that unspeakable crime.)

Yet, despite the dislike for Sam-me, there is that inner child in all of us that would like to believe in fairy tales, heroes and Santa Claus. That loss of innocence is one of the casualties of this unfortunate era in baseball.

Yes, I know that MLB has never truly been innocent. Cheating of some form or another has always been a part of the sport.

But, PEDs have taken cheating to a whole new level—a level that I think absolutely crosses the line.

I don't know about you, but I've had more than enough steroid stories. But, since it was Sammy, and it was news, I wanted to get your thoughts.

Plus, I was bored.

So, did it surprise you?

Should he make the HOF eventually, despite the news?

We've all seen what has happened to McGwire, who has attracted relatively little support from voters in his first three years on the ballot.

There could be other implications for Sosa besides being excluded from the HOF.

The New York Daily News states, "The 2003 positive test could also create legal troubles for Sosa because he testified under oath before Congress at a public hearing in 2005 that he had 'never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs.'”

You can probably guess how I feel about all this.

If guys like McGwire, Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez or Roger Clemens make the HOF, I will throw up in my mouth.

But if I do, I can always brush my teeth.

But, how can Sammy Sosa erase the stains of cheating?

The question, however, as I posed in an earlier article for B/R, is what do you do about the guys who we suspect to have been PED users but for which we don't have a smoking gun, like a failed drug test?

No matter what happens, it is likely that someone who was on the juice will be voted into the HOF.

Maybe they should erect a special wing at the HOF devoted to cheaters who otherwise put up Hall-worthy numbers. Perhaps they should put an asterisk next to every player who played in this era.

Or, maybe we just shouldn't care and figure it was a fairly level playing field and just let them all in some day.

As Ozzy once sang, "don't ask me, I don't know."

(By the way, I know we're heading into the Cubs-Sox series, but no, that was not a reference to Ozzie Guillen.)

What I do know is that this will likely be the last piece I ever write about this subject.

I can hear the cheering all the way to Tinley Park.

Meanwhile, when are we going to hear about the other names on that 2003 list?

It's not fair to only single out certain players while others may make the Hall because their names were withheld.

On a related note, I was once angry when the Cubs traded Palmeiro instead of Mark Grace after Raffy started hitting all those home runs back in the day.

Imagine the numbers Grace could have put up if he had a needle in his arsenal, or if he hadn't smoked all those damn Winston cigarettes.

Well, to wrap it up (all good things must come to an end), all of this makes me appreciate the numbers put up by players who were clean, a whole lot more.

Cue the 'come to think of it' tag line.


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