Sammy Sosa belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Putting all personal feelings aside, the man put up numbers that are Hall of Fame worthy. And yet, the backlash towards Sosa has been relentless due to accusations of steroid use during his playing days. The former Chicago Cubs slugger dominated his era of the game.
Meanwhile, the bias Chicago media gives former Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas a free pass because he claims he never used performance drugs. The same Thomas who was a total jerk to the local media is now Mr. Clean? How do we know that he never used performance enhancing drugs? I’ve heard excuses like his size from his football playing days at Auburn. Oh, because the SEC is full of clean and upstanding programs. Meanwhile, Sosa was all about the fans and never griped about those responsibilities. Thomas complained about game times, batting practices, All Star games, etc. And to top everything off, Thomas when asked about what Jackie Robinson meant to him said “nothing.” Thomas, being an African American, failed to recognize the importance of Robinson. And this guy is a better person than Sosa?
I am not even a Sosa fan. But in Sosa’s era, he was a better all-around player than Thomas. Thomas was a terrible first basemen and an even worse base-runner. On the flip side, Sosa played the outfield and had a strong throwing arm. While he wasn’t a gold glove outfielder, he did play his position. Thomas was the worst first basemen in the modern era.
Here’s one other factor to keep in mind. Performance enhancing drugs started long before Sosa. Players would pop amphetamines like candy during the ’60s and ’70s. These were common place in club houses. So if you’re going to judge players for performance enhancing drugs, perhaps the Hall of Fame will need to look at several of its members from the expansion era.