Rob Neyer has a great column on the Sammy Sosa fiasco. Neyer doesn't think the corked bat incident should change the way we look at Sosa as a ballplayer:
With that out of the way, should this change our opinion of Sammy Sosa, the man? Well, sure. Maybe a little. After all, he did cheat. So if anybody out there thought that Sammy Sosa was perfect, now they know better. But do we think Graig Nettles was a bad guy because he put rubber balls in his bat? No, we don't. Do we think Billy Hatcher was a bad guy because he put cork in his bat? No, we don't. Do we think Albert Belle was a bad guy because he put cork in his bat? No, we don't (we think Albert Belle was a bad guy for a lot of other reasons).
Nobody's perfect, and a significant percentage of players would cheat if they thought they could get away with it. In fact, there's a famous saying in baseball, "It ain't cheatin' if you don't get caught." Which reminds me, what's with the double standard in baseball? Gaylord Perry, who was famous for throwing a greaseball, sailed into the Hall of Fame. Mike Scott won the Cy Young Award in 1986, even though everybody knew he was scuffing the ball. In the later years of his career, Whitey Ford knew every trick in the book and he used all of them.
When pitchers cheat, it's "colorful." When hitters cheat, it's "cheating."
To me, it's all cheating. But let's not hold Sammy Sosa to a different standard than we hold Gaylord Perry and Whitey Ford.
In my mind, Sammy Sosa's still a Hall of Famer. And as for what kind of man he is, I can't say I know much more today than I did yesterday.
Amen to that.
Players around the league had mixed reactions to the incident, but most of them seemed supportive of Sosa. Heck, even Manny Ramirez broke his code of silence to speak up for Sammy.