Rick Morrissey of the Sun-Times is getting the jump on the 2013 Hall of Fame insanity, and is coming out strongly opposed to Sammy Sosa’s candidacy:
What’s that? You’d like to see solid evidence of past drug use on Sosa’s part? Well, there is the New York Times report that he tested positive for PEDs in 2003. And you might recall the way he conveniently forgot how to speak English during a 2005 congressional hearing about steroids in Major League Baseball. Through an interpreter, he said he never had used “illegal performance-enhancing drugs.’’
I’m kind of exhausted over all of the Hall of Fame stuff from the past few weeks so I’ll let most of this pass, but I really do get annoyed at the criticism of Sosa for using an interpreter and speaking his native language at the 2005 hearings.
I would never, ever, ever let a client of mine testify under oath, speak to law enforcement or to speak in any other context where legal jeopardy might attach in anything other than his native language. It’s just way too dangerous. As we’ve seen with Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, the real point of the various steroids hearings over the years was to create perjury traps. Perjury charges often turn on nuance, tense and the smallest interpretation of what the speaker is saying. One tiny misstatement and you could be facing jail time. Why risk it?
Go after Sosa as a PED user if you believe that to be critical. Heck, go after his merits as a ballplayer, which aren’t nearly as strong as a lot of people think even if you ignore the PEDs. But really, don’t go after the guy for speaking his native language when he was subpoenaed to Congress. You’d do the same damn thing in his shoes. And if you say otherwise, you’re either lying or you’re unduly comfortable with taking risks with your freedom.