WBEZ | Sammy Sosa http://www.wbez.org/tags/sammy-sosa Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Any Chicago baseball players getting a call today? Not Sosa http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-01/any-chicago-baseball-players-getting-call-today-not-sosa-104765 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_sammy_sosa.jpg" style="float: left; height: 413px; width: 300px;" title="Sammy Sosa will not hear from the Hall of Fame today--likely never. (AP Photo/ Matt York)" />Today is an anxious day for some former Chicago baseball players&mdash;will the Hall of Fame ring their phones and give them good news about gaining entrance? There are a few players that played in Chicago, Tim Raines (White Sox) and Lee Smith (Cubs) that are getting some serious consideration.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">There is one that is eligible that is likely not getting the call and probably never will: Sammy Sosa.</div><p><strong>A silent phone for Sosa:</strong></p><p>This is his first year on the ballot and there appears to be no support for the former Cub slugger. Sosa finished his baseball career with 609 home runs (three seasons with 60 or more) and is eighth on the all-time list for that statistic. In the past few years, the players that are considered tainted by the steroids have been filtering into the list of possible candidates&mdash;none have made it. This year the list is peppered with several that have been implicated or are considered likely users of the performance enhancing drugs which includes the former Cub right fielder.&nbsp;In 2009, the New York Times reported&nbsp;that Sosa had a positive test in 2003. There was never an admission by him to confirm he had taken any drugs to help the Cub slugger become one of baseball&#39;s prolific home run hitters of his era&mdash;there were strong physical indicators he likely did. Couple the change of his body with his performance in front of Congress in 2005&mdash;remember he forgot he knew English, therefore sidestepping all questions&mdash;the conclusion by the media was Sosa &quot;juiced&quot;.</p><p><strong>Sosa&#39;s career zenith:</strong></p><p>You can&#39;t forget&nbsp;the exciting quest to break the home run record with Mark McGwire in 1998. Sosa smacked 66 home runs that year and the Cardinal first baseman hit 70. Since then both men have been labeled cheaters and their accomplishments considered fraudulent. McGwire finally came out two years ago and admitted his steroid use. In a Fox Sports radio interview this November, McGwire commented on the costs of using the drugs: &ldquo;It&#39;s a mistake that I have to live with for the rest of my life. I have to deal with never, ever getting into the Hall-of-Fame.&rdquo;</p><p>McGwire has been involved with baseball as a hitting coach with St. Louis and now the LA Dodgers. Sosa has remained isolated from the game.</p><p><strong>The steroid cloud has become a silver lining for others:</strong></p><p>&nbsp;There seems to be a major push to look at players that preceded the cloud of steroids with a new view. Many believe that is why former Cub Andre Dawson was able to gain entrance a few years ago. It seems to me his numbers did merit the vote. Dawson&rsquo;s success was overlooked for years because he played in obscurity in Montreal and was an MVP for a last place Cubs team. For whatever reason this year, Tim Raines is now getting a closer look by the Hall of Fame voters. Like his best friend, Andre Dawson, Raines had his best years in Montreal. He played twenty three years, had a lifetime batting average of .294, stole 808 bases and won the National League batting title in 1986. With the White Sox, his best season was 1993&mdash;the division title year. Raines hit .306 and had 16 home runs that season. In the post season he hit .444 and scored five runs in the series loss to Toronto.</p><p>He was one of baseball&rsquo;s best lead-off hitters and base-stealers. Raines was a seven time All-Star with the Expos. He coached first-base for the White Sox during the 2005 championship season. This is his sixth year on the ballot, last year he received 47 percent of the vote (75 percent is needed).</p><p>The other former Chicago player gaining support is Lee Smith. The big-power pitcher began his career with the Cubs in 1980-1987. He would pitch an addition ten years and finished with 478 saves to his credit. Although relief pitchers have been elected to the Hall of Fame in recent years, it has eluded Smith. He was used primarily for one inning&mdash;but he usually dominated the batters he faced. Smith has been eligible since 2003 for the Hall of Fame. Last year he earned 50 percent of the vote.</p><p><strong>The Class of 2013:</strong></p><p>Who knows what the voters will do&mdash;the system is in the hands of baseball writers. Once a writer gets to vote, he or she has that right forever. What is interesting is many no longer cover baseball (or had a short stint) and you wonder how much thought is put into it. This is not to impugn the ones active or retired that have followed the game closely and diligently cast their vote. With the print industry struggling, the Hall of&nbsp;Fame may&nbsp;consider revamping the voting process.&nbsp;</p><p>As for the next class, it will be announced at 1 p.m. Wednesday and the induction is July 26 in Cooperstown, NY.</p><p>Hope the phone rings loud for a couple of former Chicago players.</p><p>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout" target="_blank">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook C<a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame" target="_blank">heryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame </a></p></p> Wed, 09 Jan 2013 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-01/any-chicago-baseball-players-getting-call-today-not-sosa-104765 Sammy! Sammy! Sammy! Great to see Sosa back on TV (in stands, at basketball game) http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-05-22/sammy-sammy-sammy-great-see-sosa-back-tv-stands-basketball-game-8688 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-22/sammy-sosa.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-22/AP110522083044.jpg" title="Oh, Kyle. (Photo by AP) " width="336" height="512"></p><p>Whichever way you slice it, this Heat/Bulls series is tops. It's so super-charged, not only with great basketball but with stupid side drama that only teams like these could deliver. Get a Bogans/Wade or, even better, Deng/LeBron fight going? Boozer/Bosh? Derrick Rose against the world? Heck, even Ronnie Brewer is fun to watch.</p><p>It's heavyweight basketball. Both teams, trading blows. Miami's bigger, Chicago's stronger. It's what the MJ-led Bulls rarely had during their championship run: a team that could beat them. Yes, there were teams like the Knicks and Pacers that pushed the Bulls, but the Bulls were always the favorites. In this case, America loves the Heat because big business love the Heat. Our biggest secret as fan? We want to win it all, but we're cool if we don't. This is our first year with a 22-year-old MVP. Sound familiar? It would be really nice to have this team earn it and keep it for as many years as our last team. If it means they learn a few lessons and get experience from it, great. And then we come back stronger and win the whole thing (see Derrick Rose hugging trophy).</p><p>Here are some other random observations from Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals:</p><p>Did Noah use a gay slur? I missed it, but the Chicago Tribune didn't. They wrote up the alleged story before halftime with YouTube clip. This is going to be huge this morning. C'mon, Joakim. Chicago wants to like you. But you are too over-the-top with your emotions. Did a fan really get to you on the sideline? That's what they pay big money for those seats for! You just gave the Miami Heat a reason to jack up those court side prices. "You can also interact with visiting players and get under their skin. $4,500."</p><p>Personally, I think the NBA should suspend him for one game. Imagine what message that would send over how serious the league was?</p><p>You heard it here first: Derrick Rose and LeBron James travel like crazy. Sorry, but guys like LeBron, Dwyane and Derrick should get the calls because they are that much more talented than everyone. But not a lot of fouls were called when D. Rose got to the paint. You don't want to call it for Asik, I understand. But c'mon, Rose should be at the line 15 times a game. I saw Chalmers on the line more than Rose. Chalmers? C'mon. (<em>Ed note: Chalmers did not go to the line more than Rose. But still, point made.</em>)</p><p>Again, with the white-outed arenas??!! Do you buy one of those shirts, or do they give you one when you walk in? This t-shirt trend is getting cheesy. If you are going to give credit, give the credit to the Chicago red out or Oklahoma City blue out because really, white out is so lame. Every team has white in their colors. The Heat fans should wear maroon.</p><p>I hope these two teams continue to jaw at each other. Get a real hatred going for both squads. All that leads to a rivalry and great basketball for the next 10 years. Face it ladies, your husbands and boyfriends will be 'this' into basketball for the next 10 years. Every May/June is going to suck in Chicago if you aren't a Bulls fan.</p><p>The Miami Heat play at American Airlines Arena? The Bulls play at the United Center? Do you remember when airline companies were the biggest thing in business?&nbsp; Now it's all banks.</p><p>What's with MJ's Hitler 'stache in those Hanes commercials? It's not a full mustache, it's just a half one.</p><p>Oooh, was that Julius Peppers watching the game in the White Sox hat, sitting next to the scorers table in the front row? I'm now super jacked up. Go Bulls and go NFL players union. Let's get this damn NFL season back on track. PEPPERS!!!!!</p><p>Can TNT hire any more of the Bulls' most hated? McHale is now on the post-game analysis. You already have Charles Barkley/Reggie Miller? At least we have Kerr. I guess it could be worse: the ESPN crew is made up of Jeff Van Gundy and Marc Jackson. Ugh.</p><p>Open letter to the Heat PA announcer: Calm it down.</p><p>God, the Heat just have a slew of guys that can take over a game with huge runs. Bosh in the first half. DWade in the 3rd. Haslem in late third. And then in the 4th quarter, it was LeBron time. Oh, Kyle. You tried so hard.</p><p>After the game, I was ready to turn it off but it was fun to watch the Heat fans throw things at Charles Barkley. And I'm glad I stayed with the post-game, as they flashed the biggest celebrity of the game, giving his signature hand-signs:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-22/sammy-sosa.jpg" title="" width="500" height="667"></p><p>If I were sitting behind him, I would have chanted "Sammy! Sammy! Sammy!" all game. Then I would have partied with him at all of Miami's finest nightclubs and yachts. I miss you Sammy Sosa.</p></p> Mon, 23 May 2011 03:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-05-22/sammy-sammy-sammy-great-see-sosa-back-tv-stands-basketball-game-8688