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Sammy Sosa, I'm so sorry

Link: Sosa likely to retire

Sammy Sosa probably will retire after rejecting an offer from the Washington Nationals.

"It's more than likely we have seen him in a uniform for the last time," Sosa's agent, Adam Katz, said Wednesday.

Well then.

On March 23, 2005, at this very Baltimore Orioles blog, I said:

Of course, based on the available most similar by age score, Sosa's closest at 35 was Mickey Mantle. Mantle had by far his worst season at age 36, and retired. Sosa's health is nowhere near what Mick's was at the time, so that's likely irrelevant.

Sosa will go down in history oddly, along with McGwire and Palmeiro and Bonds and probably a bunch of others. With McGwire, you have what may as well have been admitted guilt before Congress. With Palmeiro, you have a positive test after he wagged his finger at the same Congress. With Sosa, it's just speculation.

But what's done is done. Sammy Sosa's name in the record books will be by 588 homers, 1575 RBI, 234 steals (the eighth-best Power/Speed Number ever), a career .537 slugging percentage, seven All-Star games, the 1998 National League MVP, six Silver Slugger awards, and more and more. He was a hell of a slugger and for the majority of his career was a very positive public figure and generally nice human being.

Personally, I'll sadly always associate Sammy Sosa with the 2005 Baltimore Orioles, the year of the grand collapse and the steroid scandal. But time forgives these things, and Sosa's place in history will in time be that of one of the all-time great Chicago Cubs. He was their identity for many, many years.

I guess we'll have to just wait and see how the Hall of Fame voters deal with this generation, but Sosa is no lock despite the numbers. The perception of the era will become clearer with time, and until then, all we can do is wonder.