After the New York Times reported Tuesday that Sammy Sosa had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, the Chicago Tribune polled its Hall of Fame voters for their verdict on sending the slugger to Cooperstown.
Dave van Dyck: The "yes" vote has changed to a question mark, to an I-don't-know-what-to-do-about-the-entire-era vote. Thank goodness, we have four or five years to clear the air on what was done by whom. Maybe. Allegedly.
Mark Gonzales: Character is taken into consideration on the Hall of Fame ballot, and Sosa could face trouble for lying to a congressional committee as well as testing positive the same year he corked a bat. He's banned on my ballot.
Philip Hersh: I love being able to say, "I told you so" on this one. And what I had told you was, "No, no, a thousand times no" in answer to the question of whether I would vote for Sosa when he is eligible for the Hall of Fame. Now I would make it, "a million times no."
Dan McGrath: I voted yes - reluctantly - last week. I'm not going to jump ship until the hysteria dies down and we can put the Steroid Era in some type of context. The whole mess heightens your appreciation for Andre Dawson types.
Fred Mitchell: As we take the temperature of Sosa's Hall worthiness - some four years until we will actually submit our votes - the obvious answer is "no" following the latest revelation. Hopefully we will have more answers, better voting guidelines and more worthy players by 2013.
Phil Rogers: Flip flop. Flop flip. Sosa would have gotten a qualified vote from me before the report of his positive steroid test in 2003. But the voting today is no way, no how. Sosa's Hall of Fame qualifications were all about his power. Don't vote for Mark McGwire; won't vote for Sosa.
Paul Sullivan: If Sosa ever gets on the ballot in the Gladiator's Hall of Fame or the Cork Hall of Fame, I'd be happy to cast a ballot for him. But Tuesday's report is the smoking gun that prevents me from giving him my Hall of Fame vote.
Bob Verdi: When I suggested last week that we be patient (what's the hurry?), I meant it to allow for more information, such as arrived Tuesday. If he cheated, my vote would be no.
- Chicago Tribune
Canseco's ready to sue. Jose Canseco plans to file a class-action lawsuit against Major League Baseball and the players' union, saying he has been ostracized for going public with tales of steroid use in the sport.
Canseco said yesterday that he has discussed the suit with lawyers and intends to enlist Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro to join in the suit.
Canseco said the basis of the suit would be "lost wages - in some cases, defamation of character."
"Because I used steroids and I came out with a book, I was kicked out of the game, but I have not been inducted into the Hall of Fame," Canseco said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press.
"A lot of these players have not been inducted into the Hall of Fame: Mark McGwire and so forth. They're losing salaries, because obviously when you're inducted into the Hall of Fame, you get asked to do certain, you know, appearances and shows and so forth, which incorporates income. So there is a major income loss.
"Not even that, baseball blackballs you from their family, meaning you can't have a future proper reference from them, a job, no managerial jobs, no coaching jobs, nothing. They completely sever you."
The 1986 AL Rookie of the Year and 1988 AL MVP, Canseco hit 462 home runs from 1985 to 2001 and currently is 32d on the career list. In books published in 2005 and last year, he detailed steroid use by himself and others.
He appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2007 and received just six votes, 21 below the amount necessary to remain in the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot in future years. McGwire, eighth on the career list with 583 homers, received 118 Hall of Fame votes this year, which came to 21.9 percent. That's well below the 75 percent threshold needed for election and down from 128 votes in each of his first two appearances on the ballot.
Rob Manfred, MLB's executive vice president for labor relations, declined comment. Michael Weiner, the union's general counsel, did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
- Associated Press