Aaron Judge is chasing Roger Maris, not Barry Bonds

When Aaron Judge reaches his 62nd home of the year — something that’s almost certain to happen between now and October 5, when regular baseball season is over — he’ll be king for one season.

Entering Thursday, Judge has 60 home runs with 14 games remaining. This ties him in with 60-year-old Babe Ruth and puts him behind Roger Maris 61 – which, if you really like the game, is the record that the judge is chasing.

record is Not Barry Bonds 73, Mark McGuire’s 70, or any of Sammy Sosa’s three seasons over 62. Their performances are smug, and they’re done before there was a drug test in Major League Baseball. It doesn’t matter what the Baseball Numbers Book says, because the sport is notorious for not punishing cheaters. The Houston Astros robberyAfter all, they are still recognized as champions of the 2018 World Championships. Enough said.

Barry Svrluga: Aaron Judge’s best historical season comp? Babe Ruth.

Baseball’s no-evil approach to doping harmed the game then and the game now.

People resident Point out that there are no anti-doping rules until MLB and the Players Association finally agreed to an experimental drug-testing system in 2002. This is not true. Faye Vincent Steroids banned in 1991 when it was delegated. Preventing them was one thing. Attempting to enforce the ban was another. It took MLB and the union more than a decade to approve a drug test. It was a bit like there were speed limits on the highway but no police to enforce them.

With no potential consequences, players took performance-enhancing drugs without worrying about getting caught. In 2007, the year that former Senator George Mitchell collected MLB report on steroid use in the gameI was writing a book about Tom Glavin and Mike Musina. Before the report came out, I asked each of them what percentage of players were using steroids before starting drug testing. Both estimated it at 25 percent, although they also agreed that if you counted those who had at least tried steroids, the number was closer to 50 percent. This is an epidemic.

on me Mitchell Report Day Coming out in December of this year, I called the shooter both. Again, they said almost the same thing: they were even more surprised by the names Not In the list of names that are included.

Mitchell had no subpoena, and no one could be despised for lying to him. He still found evidence that 89 players – including Roger Clemens – were users of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.

No one, except perhaps close friends, family, and ardent fans, questions the idea that Bonds, Souza, and McGuire – among many others – used steroids. McGuire I admit itBonds’ denial sounds a bit like Richard Nixon saying, “I’m not a fraud.” Sosa, whose English has always been excellent, told a 2005 congressional hearing that he did not speak enough English to answer questions.

None of the three are inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, although their life stats would usually make them a reckless recruit. The bond hit 762 home runs; Sosa 609 and McGwire 583. Both Bonds and McGwire were Gold Glove defenders.

Even with a new generation of Hall of Fame electors Tend to rely more on analytics than ethics, none of the three men presumed to have outdone Maris was voted out. Nor, on this matter, Clemens.

Meanwhile, Maris reached 61 in 1961 but never reached 40 in any other season. He was a two-time MVP and played for three world championship champions – two in New York and one in St. Louis. But injuries shortened his career, and he finished with 275 home runs.

His numbers aren’t close to the Hall of Fame it deserves. But there are those who think Maris deserves consideration, not just for what he did in 1961, but because he had to tolerate ex-Commissioner Ford Frisk’s vilification of his ridiculous record. An asterisk in his name – indicating that his 61 teammates took part in more games than Ruth did – stayed there until he He died of cancer at the age of 51 in 1985. It was not until six years after the existence of a commission headed by Vincent vote to remove star. Ironically, this was the same year that Vincent banned steroids.

During the summer of 1998, McGuire and Souza’s stalking of Maris’ record became romantic stuff among nearly everyone in the media, with the notable exception of Washington Post columnist Shirley Povich. In fact, the 2006 book “Game of Shadows” by Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada reported that Bonds’ steroid use began after the 1998 season, in part because he was Very upset with the idea That McGuire and Sosa are somehow better players than he was.

The only rage in the Hall of Fame vote? How many people voted for Barry Bonds?

They weren’t. Bonds was a future Hall of Famer before he put anything in his body. It’s worth remembering that he stole 514 bases as well as all of his house runs. But he cheated and damaged the game – just as the others did.

It doesn’t matter, even a little bit, what the judge says 73 Bonds is considered to be the record for one season. He was a 9-year-old who had grown up not far from San Francisco when the Bonds were having his greatest season. Understandably, he thinks Bonds have the record. But he is wrong.

Many in the media continue to report that the judge is approaching Maris American League home record. This is correct. But when he gets past Maris, he’ll hold a one-season all-time record for home runs.

The most personal and exciting moment I’ve had in sports was watching Ben Johnson explode out of the clumps and leave Carl Lewis in the dust In the 100m race at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Goosebumps still go down my arms when I see this race in my mind.

Except it wasn’t real. Three days after the race, the International Olympic Committee Johnson stripped of his gold medal After he tested positive for steroids. (Note to Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred: The IOC didn’t say the medal was only A piece of metal.I was one of many people who were devastated. We have seen history, but we have not. This is how a lot of people felt after Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa became users.

So when the Judge gets to that house 62, we should all not only stand up and applaud, we should get goosebumps.

He would have made history. real history.

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