(Cork this: Who’d a thought this’d be worth $500 by Christmas Day)

The Chicago Tribune’s
Ryan Jaster writes today that among the winners in yesterday’s Never To Be Questioned, Written In Stone, Time To Move On Mitchell Report — is Sammy Sosa, now the legit single-season HR King. His closest competition, Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds, are of course asterisk-bait for the record books. But as the Trib reports, perhaps in one last plug to up the value of the team pre-sale, the single-season record belongs to a Cub. While Clemens, Bonds, and John Rocker write their retirement announcements, Sosa has a Cooperstown acceptance speech to pen — once he relearns English, if I recall his Senate appearance correctly.

For a guy whose name is always listed among the suspected steroid abusers, former Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa has never been directly linked to a scandal. No failed tests. No BALCO. No shady clinics in Florida. No checks to clubhouse attendants moonlighting as drug dealers. No paper trail whatsoever.

Even Jose Canseco had nothing but speculation on Sosa in “Juiced.”

And now you can add “No Mitchell Report” to that list.

Sure, his name is in there. Once. On the 133rd page of the 409-page pdf document on our site. And it’s only in a reference that he was among several players whose lawyers received questionnaires that were not returned. As is almost always the case with many of the allegations, the names of Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro and Gary Sheffield were listed alongside Sosa’s.

But they’ve all been linked directly to steroids in one way or another. Sosa hasn’t.

You can call Sosa a cheater. He is. He used a corked bat. You can keep him out of the Hall of Fame for that if you so choose, but not for steroids.