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Mr. 600

Posted at 12:14 PM on June 22, 2007 by David Zingler

Many casual baseball fans may not have noticed that the Rangers Sammy Sosa belted his 600th career homerun earlier this week. It didn’t receive much play in the media and Bud Selig never considered attending. Why wasn’t there more fanfare around this event? After all, Sosa is just the 5th man to reach the 600 plateau.

It is popular for people in their early 30s (like me) to say the 30s are the “new 20s” and those in their 40s to call the 40s the “new 30s”. Maybe the same should hold true for homerun milestones: 600 is the new 500 and 500 is the new 400. Interesting theory – possibly even true – but it still doesn’t explain all of the apathy surrounding Sosa’s achievement.

Maybe, it’s homerun burnout. So many long ball milestones have fallen in the past decade, they seem to have lost much of their meaning. There is probably some merit to that too, but there’s still that 800 ton gorilla in room. And you know what I am talking about.

Along with very observable physical changes in his physique during the 90s, the slugger formerly known as “Slammin’ Sammy” also gave a highly suspect denial of steroid use to Congress in 2005. They basically had to drag it out of him.

So, while the first two reasons may have played a part in the lack of interest, the real reason Sosa isn’t getting the credit he ordinarily would for reaching such rarified air is the storm cloud of steroid allegations hovering over his suddenly smaller head.

June 2007
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