Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis has 37 home runs at the All-Star break, tying an AL record and putting him in contention to perhaps pass Barry Bonds’ record of 73 home runs in a single season.
However, in Davis’ mind, the former San Francisco Giants outfielder and PED-user is not the single-season record holder. Neither is Mark McGwire nor Sammy Sosa, who both also used performance enhancers.
Davis says that with 61 home runs in 1961, Roger Maris is the single-season home run king, because he did it clean.
“In my opinion, 61 is the record, and I think most fans agree with me on that,” he told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times at the All-Star festivities in New York on Monday.
He elaborated on his claim earlier this month, on an interview with ESPN Radio:
There’s a lot of things that have been said about the guys who have come after him and you know and have achieved the record, but I think as far as the fans are concerned they still view Maris as being the all-time home run record [holder] and I think you have to. There’s no doubt that Barry [Bonds] and Mark [McGwire] and any of those guys had ridiculous seasons and had some great years, but I think when you get to the root of the record I still think it’s Roger Maris.
Davis himself has faced accusations regarding PEDs this season, as the veteran has seemingly come out of nowhere this season and began launching balls out of stadiums like crazy.
It is unfortunate that we can’t accept things at face value, and just enjoy Davis’ spectacular season without bringing up unsupported claims that he is being aided by an illegal substance.
But I guess when you’re in the company of guys like Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa, it comes with the territory.