Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Yes, Sammy Sosa some numbers for the hall of fame

Sammy Sosa will announce his formal retirement from baseball. Really? Do we need to make a formal announcement?

The most interesting quote from the story:

"I will calmly wait for my induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Don't I have the numbers to be inducted?," said Sosa, who presently serves the Dominican government as Special Ambassador For Investment Opportunities."

Yes, Sosa has the numbers to be inducted. Or at least some numbers. The career 609 home runs is impressive. That's elite company. If you look at his rate stats, he posts a mediocre .273 career batting average with a so-so .344 on base percentage and a very nice .534 slugging percentage and a 128 OPS+.

Of course he forgot English when facing Congress about steroids. Then there's the corked bat incident. And finally that Rick Reilly SI piece where Sosa declined Reilly's steroid test offer.

Then again you could make the argument that while circumstantially things don't look good for Sosa, he has never failed a drug test. Also, will the Hall of Fame keep Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and Roger Clemens out of the Hall of Fame?

The kicker is Mark McGwire The man Sammy Sosa is linked with. Both were a part of the magical 1998 home run chase. Both were at the congressional hearing. One didn't speak English, the other didn't want to speak. Both have never failed a drug test, yet the public and media suspects otherwise. McGwire hasn't even gotten close. Also, McGwire's numbers dwarf Sosa's numbers.

Let's compare:

Sammy Sosa

.272/.344/.534 and a 128 OPS+

Mark McGwire

.263/.394/.588 and a 162 OPS+

Sammy Sosa gets extra points for being a right fielder, but not that many extra points. Before that 1998 season, he was very good at making outs.

On Base Percentages:

1990: .282

1991: .240

1992: .317

1993: .309

1994: .339

1995: .340

1996: .323

1997: .300

That is just dreadful. Steroids or not, Sammy Sosa is truly a borderline case. And with McGwire struggling with the voting, Sosa might not want to actively wait for the call to the hall.

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