Carig: Notes from a surprise roadside conversation with the elusive Sammy Sosa

From Marc Carig at The Athletic on January 15, 2020:

“I wanted personally to call you,” said the voice on the other end of the line, “and say thank you for your good work and all the defending that you have done all those years. I really appreciate the way you’ve stepped up to the plate.” It was Friday afternoon, rush hour in New Jersey, and I’d just been driving over the speed limit. Along with everyone else, I was getting away with it. Then the phone rang, and suddenly I was pulled over on the side of the road, listening intently to a stranger calling from exile. I hadn’t begun the day expecting to hear from Sammy Sosa.

Earlier that afternoon, I appeared on the MLB Network, where I was quizzed about my Hall of Fame ballot. I’ve been a voter for the last three years. I’ve voted for Sosa every time. This puts me in a tiny minority. In talking through my rationale, I railed about the suspicion that clouds the Steroid Era. I lamented how no one could ever be certain about who did what, and when. I explained how I couldn’t serve as judge and jury to determine which players would be punished for the crimes of an era. That includes Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sosa, whose only actual documented link to steroids is far from airtight.

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Originally published: January 16, 2020. Last Updated: January 16, 2020.