Boy, that was a cryptic sequence of events. A full season after not playing baseball, 90s home run icon Sammy Sosa announced plans to quietly retire from baseball earlier in June. Earlier this week, the New York Times reported that he tested positive for steroids six years ago. Well, there goes his Hall of Fame chances.
Oh, and there goes his clean civilian record. Congress will now review his Capitol Hill statements in 2005 to see if he perjured himself when he stated he never took illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
Let's throw away the "don't they have better things to do" cliché. Congress has their hand in so many industry regulations, and baseball falls under the antitrust exemption. Plus, baseball players do not operate in a vacuum of MLB's rules, because, y'know, baseball is not a sovereign nation.
Sosa is one of only six players who smacked 600 home runs, which could be the most galvanizing baseball statistic in the history of sports. Hitting a baseball has been said to be the most difficult regular task in sports. A home run signifies the best thing you can do to that baseball. It's more climactic, majestic, and decisive than any other method to score points, runs, or goals.
And even though there is not a strong correlation between using steroids and hitting home runs (the first person ever suspended for using PEDs in baseball was Alex Sanchez, a freaking bunt single specialist, and several of the players in the Mitchell Report were pitchers), steroid links to Sammy Sosa — which previously did not exist other than intense speculation — now implicate two 600-homer players and seven of the 25 guys that hit at least 500.
No, Mr. Sosa, you can't retire quietly. Not yet.