Sammy Sosa has told a reporter from ESPNDeportes that he will officially retire from baseball in the near future.
For the rest of the world, which saw Sosa sit on the sidelines in 2006 and then play his last game on Sept. 29, 2007 for the Rangers, the appropriate response is "Uh, then what do we call the last year and a half, when you somehow drew even less interest from the league's general managers than Barry Bonds(notes)?"
"I will calmly wait for my induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Don't I have the numbers to be inducted?" Sosa said.
Well that remark is a little less black-and-white, isn't it? Is Sosa being realistic and acknowledging that, yes, he'll probably have to wait through a few Januarys before he gets a call from Cooperstown? Or is he being delusional in assuming he'll eventually get in now that he's going to officially start the countdown to his eligibility?
With 609 career home runs and three 60+ seasons Sosa indeed has the numbers for an induction bid. He's never been directly linked to PED use, though the robo-physique he sported in the late '90s/early '00s has always fueled plenty of doubt and suspicion. Oh, and there was that corked bat that he "accidentally" picked up in 2003.
Still, I can't see Sosa being voted into the Hall of Fame while Mark McGwire, who's been rejected by Hall voters three times already, sits in exile. Either both eventually get in or they don't, the Hall's doors remaining about as accessible as Big Mac and Sammy were in front of Congress back in 2005.
Then again, there's a very small part of me that thinks there's a chance we'll figure out a way to somehow reconcile Sosa's era and that the humor and excitement he showed during the 1998 chase will help soften the stance and he'll be one of the first to be cut some slack.
Again, that's a very small thought in my brain, which means Sosa best brace himself for ultimately disappointment while he's calmly waiting for that phone call.
What do you think?
BONUS LINK: Did this Sosa Pepsi commercial ever really happen?