r/baseball Los Angeles Dodgers Sep 29 '22

Roger Maris Jr.: Aaron Judge on verge of becoming 'the actual single-season home run champ' News

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/yankees/2022/09/29/aaron-judge-roger-maris-jr-real-home-run-champion/10457945002/
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u/Hi_My-name-is-Rose New York Yankees Sep 29 '22 edited Sep 29 '22

The irony in all this Bonds vs Judge talk is that Maris’ own home run record was considered with an asterisk all the way up to his death. It was thought to be illegitimate due to him having done it after the season was bumped up to 162 from 154, so the record was kept “separately” from Ruth’s.

He never personally got to enjoy being, let alone acknowledged, THE Home Run King.

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u/Subfixed Atlanta Braves Sep 29 '22

I hope this gets more people to watch Billy Crystal's "61*" such a great underrated baseball movie and I'm not a Yankees fan by any means.

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u/barberst152 Sep 29 '22

I love that movie. I lived in Fargo in 2011 for the 50th anniversary. Billy Crystal gave a Q&A after a viewing and Barry Pepper ate at the brewery I worked at. There's a Roger Maris museum at the local mall. I've gone to look at all of the memorabilia so many times.

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u/well-lighted Kansas City Royals Sep 29 '22

Man, it seems like forever since I've seen Barry Pepper in a movie. He had such a good run in the 90s/2000s. Looks like he's mostly doing DTV trash now, which is a shame.

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u/barberst152 Sep 29 '22

Easy paycheck maybe? For a while there he was one of my favorite actors. I'd go see movies with him in it regardless of what the movie was about. I did NOT go see Battlefield Earth though.

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u/Cjwillwin San Francisco Giants Sep 29 '22 edited Sep 29 '22

I started watching it yestersay (I've seen it before) because of all this. It's on hbo max for anyone interested.

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u/HawkkeTV Sep 29 '22

And Amazon prime as well.

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u/DearBurt Oakland Athletics Sep 29 '22

And Spice Channel, too.

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u/thebobbyloops New York Mets Sep 29 '22

I remember Adult Vision. Previous name before Spice Channel. Even with a cable descrambler that porn was beyond awful and censored to death. But when my friend got illegal DirecTV porn…that was the good stuff

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u/Fortestingporpoises Sep 29 '22

Watched it recently. It's a delight.

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u/sd2528 New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

Just pointing out Judge hit 61 in game 155.

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u/OldManWiggy New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

The Yankees also played 155 games the year Ruth hit 60 fwiw. (And Gehrig played all 155 of them of course, lmao)

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u/NostrilSearingFart Sep 29 '22

Baseball was also segregated, so Ruth never had to face the HOF Negro League pitchers of the era.

And now that MLB owns Rawlings, they monkey with the ball so much you can barely compare consecutive seasons. They had to admit two different balls were used in 2021 because they were "gathering data."

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u/iratepirate47 Oakland Athletics Sep 29 '22

Steroid usage was effectively league-sponsored in the 90s and early 00s.

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u/ThePiperMan Sep 29 '22

Yeah: and it was awesome to watch as a fan.

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u/Known-Economy-6425 Sep 29 '22

What’s amazing is the ball is not very live this year and Aaron judge is doing this. There is only one other player with 40 hr which means this is a historically average year at best.

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u/JungCarl2 Sep 30 '22

Plus look at the low batting averages this year as well.

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u/Known-Economy-6425 Sep 30 '22

He’s leading the AL at .314

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u/KidGold Atlanta Braves Sep 29 '22

Not sure it makes each season significantly less comparable than in Ruth’s era when you couldn’t even compare each at bat - and by the end of the game balls would be so dirty it was hard to see them.

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u/gottahavemyvoxpops Sep 29 '22

That was only the very beginning of Ruth's career. His first year on the Yankees, 1920, someone else in the league got hit by a pitch and died. Beginning with the 1921 season, the league started doing what they do now, and switch the balls out multiple times per inning. Babe Ruth's significant home run output was between 1919-34.

Until 1919, he was primarily a pitcher, so the rule was actually to his benefit for the first five seasons of his career.

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u/KidGold Atlanta Braves Sep 29 '22

Good context, thanks! Is it still safe to assume the balls were significantly less consistent than today’s, even when new, and swapped much less often?

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u/Russian_Rocket23 New York Yankees Sep 30 '22

The pitcher that killed a guy was Carl Mays. He was on the 1918 Red Sox with Ruth and I have a baseball that is signed by both of them. Although, it's in rough shape (my dad used it to play a pickup game in the early 60's.....he isn't super proud of his temporary stupidity).

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u/OlafShvenski Atlanta Braves Sep 29 '22

It was easier to see though since they only played day games. Imagine night games with a ball covered in dirt

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u/KidGold Atlanta Braves Sep 29 '22

Extra inning games when dusk would set in were supposedly brutal though.

Bu besides the visibility the real issue was the actual ball movement, which must have been insanely inconsistent.

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u/moonfox1000 Sep 29 '22

Not to mention the Yankee's built their stadium with an unusually short right field line to increase Ruth's home run numbers. Judge, being a righty, doesn't have the same advantage.

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u/dean16 Sep 29 '22

they monkey with the ball so much you can barely compare consecutive seasons

I know the consistency of the balls has been talked about ad nauseam, but I think it’s so fucked & can’t believe the players have to tolerate it. The NBA introduced a synthetic basketball several seasons ago. Well, that lasted about half a season because the players weren’t putting up with that bullshit. Surprised the MLBPA hasn’t done something about it

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u/dan_ford652 Sep 29 '22

I would think it’s because the basketball negatively affected all players equally, whereas there’s a back and forth with the baseballs being juiced to being dead and so there’s never a full majority of players agreeing on a consensus at any given time

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u/fuqqkevindurant New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

You mean that ball in 2018-2019 that flew 340 feet on bloop single type contact wasn't normal?

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u/an-itch-in-her-ditch Washington Nationals Sep 29 '22

The Gehrig streak is kinda bogus as well. They did a lot of questionable things to extend it.

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u/sd2528 New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

I always thought that was more of a sidenote than anything else. Did they count the April 14th tie?

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u/destroy_b4_reading St. Louis Cardinals Sep 29 '22

It shows up on the 1927 Yankees season page but not in the AL standings on BR. It looks like maybe individual stats were counted towards season totals though, but nobody hit a home run.

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u/SkimBeans Toronto Blue Jays Sep 29 '22

He only played 151 though

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u/Taurus_Aurea New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

Yesterday was also Judges 151st game

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u/KnicksJetsYankees Sep 29 '22

*Put on tin foil hat

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u/donutlad New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

and it has been 61 years since Maris hit 61 in 1961. The plot thickens

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u/ballrus_walsack New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

Roger maris Jr. is 61. Source: guessed.

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u/TigerBasket Baltimore Orioles Sep 29 '22

Which is probably why he's so mad that those guys cheated to get it.

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u/ImNotTheBossOfYou Sep 29 '22

Steroids weren't even against the rules of baseball at that time. Baseball was PERFECTLY happy to have all those guys banging those dongs.

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u/lickachiken Chicago Cubs Sep 29 '22

As a 7 year old Cubs fan in 1998, I was also PERFECTLY happy to have all those guys banging those dongs. Absolutely made me a baseball fan for life. I appreciate more nuanced and smallball play now, but that period was magical. Considering the Cubs aren’t good this year, Judge and Pujols have made me feel like I’m 7 again.

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u/atowelguy Colorado Rockies Sep 29 '22

Common misconception. Steroids were banned federally in 1990 and as such were also against MLB rules.

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u/yeshua1986 Tampa Bay Devil Rays Sep 29 '22

MLB just didn’t care. They were openly using to the point that McGwire had andro is in locker during interviews.

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u/[deleted] Sep 29 '22

[deleted]

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u/suuubok Sep 29 '22

every player that’s smoked weed should have their stats stricken from the book

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u/examinedliving Baltimore Orioles Sep 29 '22

Or used “greenies” (amphetamines) - which fucking everyone did. They used to brew “special coffee” in the clubhouse. No shit

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u/NeoLoki55 Seattle Mariners Sep 29 '22

What about a pitcher on acid?!? Lol.

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u/Merfstick Pittsburgh Pirates Sep 29 '22

Fuck it, let's level the playing field and give everyone acid.

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u/fuqqkevindurant New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

Yep, but the types of drugs McGwire was taking(andro) aren't anabolic steroids that were banned. You could buy that shit at GNC til the early 2000s

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u/TheVich San Francisco Giants Sep 29 '22

And there was literally no enforcement within MLB against steroids. Sure, by the letter, they were against the rules. In practice, they were allowed and encouraged.

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u/storeydustin Chicago Cubs Sep 29 '22

Steroids were medicine for baseball. MLB both knew and were glad they were being used. They saved the game after the strike. They just had to find some scapegoats, everyone knew and baseball loved every second.

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u/3pointshoot3r Sep 29 '22

Common misconception.

Fay Vincent himself acknowledges that his commissioner's memo had no force and effect, and that PEDs could only be banned as part of collective bargaining with the MLBPA.

So no, they were not against MLB rules.

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u/OlderwomenRbeautiful Atlanta Braves Sep 29 '22

“Banging those dongs” is an… interesting way to put it.

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u/Maj0r_Ursa Boston Red Sox Sep 29 '22

Everyone is misinterpreting his comment. He’s not disrespecting Bonds, he’s saying the entire National League sucks and he only recognizes the American League records /s

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u/sndtrb89 Seattle Mariners Sep 29 '22

DH-pilled

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u/Shaking-N-Baking Philadelphia Phillies Sep 29 '22

That must be why the last 2 AL teams to win the World Series had to cheat /s(?)

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u/storeydustin Chicago Cubs Sep 29 '22

Lack of morals in the AL good sir.

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u/MCHammastix San Francisco Giants Sep 29 '22

The AL are false patriots. Hence why they call themselves the American League.

Bring back pitchers hitting!

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u/Legatron4 Milwaukee Brewers Sep 29 '22

I'd say that too about my dad. My dad would probably hit more homers than judge and Maris combined

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u/theseaskettie04 San Francisco Giants Sep 29 '22

As soon as he gets back from getting the milk.

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u/WhatAmIDoingHere05 San Diego Padres Sep 29 '22

Cigs*

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u/jigokusabre Miami Marlins Sep 29 '22

My dad was a well-practiced hitter.

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u/storeydustin Chicago Cubs Sep 29 '22

He never missed a day.

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u/throwaway891369 New York Mets Sep 29 '22

well my dad would hit more homers than your dad

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u/BNCAN87 Toronto Blue Jays Sep 29 '22

My Dad has that Dee Gordon build, I don’t think he’d be known for his power.

I’d be willing to credit him with solid plate discipline though, he’s a patient man.

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u/Legatron4 Milwaukee Brewers Sep 29 '22

I bet he is that "lead off homer for his buddy who just passed" clutch too

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u/Yankeeknickfan New York Yankees Sep 29 '22 edited Sep 29 '22

Judge disagrees with him. Though going through this whole song and dance with a steroid guy and finding out he broke his dad’s record through illegitimate means has gotta hurt on a deep level that none of us can understand.

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u/Frijolebeard San Diego Padres Sep 29 '22

This^ It's personal. People are forgetting that. If any of our fathers were in that situation we would all be in the same boat. Anything to hold onto your dad's legacy.

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u/penguinopph Chicago Cubs Sep 29 '22

If any of our fathers were in that situation we would all be in the same boat.

I'd be more mad at MLB for looking the other way and allowing it to happen. It may have been unethical, but technically Bonds was playing within the rules of MLB at the time.

Sure, Fay Vincent sent a memo to teams in 1991 saying steroids were against the rules, but he himself admitted he didn't have that power. Vincent has said the memo was intended to be a "moral statement" to the players, rather than a "legal one," that he didn't actually have the power to do that, and that "when [he] left baseball, there was no written policy on drug activity in baseball."

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u/Frijolebeard San Diego Padres Sep 29 '22

If maris said the only guy to do it not using roids would be a better statement here. Most people wouldn't make a fuss.

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u/River_Pigeon Chicago White Sox Sep 29 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

Bad paraphrasing. I mean if you wanted to convey the message of who you’re quoting it’s absolutely terrible. Good paraphrasing if you want to excuse the players. Cuz the opposite is described in your link.

The letter was ignored because it didn’t affect the players. They were thoroughly protected by collective bargaining. But I wanted to make a moral statement to them and legal one to everyone else. The union told them to ignore it. The only way a change could be made was through collective bargaining. The union argued that testing violated players’ civil liberties. The union had strong, bright lawyers who concocted a bulletproof legal argument.

I knew the memo would be ignored. But even more surprising was that no one in the press covered it. It turned out to be right, though. Federal law, much later, would assert itself.

I wanted to put pressure on the union to recognize I was correct. I failed; we tried and failed at the bargaining table, too. When I left baseball, there was no written policy on drug activity in baseball. It was pathetic, inept.

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u/TheFancyShark Kansas City Royals Sep 29 '22

I wish my daddy issues went this deep

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u/LiteratureNearby New York Mets Sep 29 '22 edited Sep 29 '22

This is having love for your daddy. No issues detected

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u/CrunkCroagunk New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

Your thinking a son loving his dad is "daddy issues" and not a healthy father/son relationship suggests to me that maybe they kinda already do...

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u/hallese Minnesota Twins Sep 29 '22 edited Sep 29 '22

But we all knew? It wasn't a secret, McGwire and Sosa were openly juicing, they just weren't broadcasting it and MLB was completely onboard with it because of what it meant for ratings. McGwire admitted to doing so in 1998, while chasing the home run record, because it wasn't a banned substance at the time per MLB and the United States government. If Judge hits his 62nd home run I will consider him the clean home run king, but MLB can't just wash its hands of the steroid era and pretend it did not encourage the use of said substances. Sosa didn't lie when he said he didn't break any laws, the laws didn't exist yet, and McGwire retired before his preferred drugs were banned.

Edit:

To pile on, let's add everybody's favorite bogeyman, Barry Bonds. He was a lock for the hall of fame before juicing, but you can see exactly where in the 2000-01 offseason he went "fuck this" and started juicing after seeing what it was doing for others. Then he was caught in this awkward betwixt and between where MLB and Congress were starting to crack down on these drugs and Bonds became the poster child for steroid use, because he was too late to the party. Those that came after (aka, Ryan Braun)? F those guys, they weren't just skirting the rules, they were blatantly cheating. McGwire, Bonds, and Sosa were doing exactly what baseball wanted them to do at the time.

And yes, I'm biased as fuck because I was nine years old at the time and the 1998 season made me a baseball fan for life. I watched McGwire line number 62 over the fence and initially forget to step on first base. I was living that shit as McGwire and Sosa went back and forth and I was pulling for Sosa so damn hard once Griffey fell behind. I also remember reporters covering it and discussing the steroid issue, even pointing out the drugs sitting in plain sight in the background of interviews in the locker room. In 1998 the question was still firmly one of "should these substances be banned?" And not a discussion of banning the athletes.

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u/shapu St. Louis Cardinals Sep 29 '22

Plus, a ton of the top pitchers were juicing too.

Like, we can sit here and pick on the hitters all we like, and that's probably fair, but it's not as if they were going up against sheep on the mounds.

There are a ton of reasons to acknowledge, and even enshrine, the steroid era. The only reason not to is that "it harmed the integrity of the game," and that argument is frankly pretty weak.

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u/hallese Minnesota Twins Sep 29 '22

Roger Clemens violently enters the chat

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u/perry649 Sep 29 '22

SHHHH!!!!!

Not so loud - his third ear on his forehead is very sensitive.

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u/FeloniousDrunk101 New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

Say what you will about pitchers juicing, it probably helped them less. The pitching quality and management now is definitely better than it was 20 years ago. Offensive numbers were so much higher across the board in the steroid era than pitching numbers, so I think batters definitely got more of an advantage in regards to juicing.

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u/philosopherking27 New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

was there higher pitching velo in the roid era? asking honestly. my impression was that velocity has been rising since analytics and before then was significantly lower/rising only gradually over the decades with sports science.

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u/hallese Minnesota Twins Sep 29 '22

My understanding is that for pitchers it wasn't about velocity but recovery. There's a reason nobody throws 250 innings a season anymore.

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u/philosopherking27 New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

makes sense

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u/shapu St. Louis Cardinals Sep 29 '22

There have been a ton of different measurement systems used, and they don't always overlap. There was the JUGS gun, the PitchF/x system, Stalker. It's really hard to say. But generally speaking it's safe to say that pitching velocity increased from 1998-2004. And it has continued to do so.

Here's a chart starting in 2002, it's the oldest data I could find visualized.

https://theatlas.com/charts/S1-DccGC

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u/lickachiken Chicago Cubs Sep 29 '22

I may be off base, but I also understood steroid use by pitchers to help with quicker recovery and more longevity.

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u/Gilshem Sep 29 '22

McGwire gave an interview and was asked about Andro in 98’ and he admitted he used it. So he pretty much broadcasted it. On Bonds, apocryohally he started juicing after 98’ because his 40-40 season got no love so he wanted to show them all. Three seasons later his giant head changed history.

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u/TYBG1001 St. Louis Cardinals Sep 29 '22

Implying Judge isn't also taking some performance enhancing substance lol

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u/[deleted] Sep 29 '22

Maris record was never accepted until very recently. Cause 162 vs 154 games and maris didnt get the 61 im 154 games.

Of course maris had no control on why he was "asterisked" but its kind of ironic lol.

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u/confused-koala Detroit Tigers Sep 29 '22

What do you mean by "very" recently, over 30 years?

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u/qlube Seattle Mariners Sep 29 '22

I think basically during/after the 1998 homerun chase, Maris's record was universally considered legitimate. Especially after the 2001 movie 61*.

That's not "very recently," but somewhat recently?

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u/MightyMoustache69 TEAM CHAOS Sep 29 '22

In my mind, 2001 feels like yesterday still. Aging is fucked.

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u/CobaltRose800 MLBPA Sep 30 '22

and then one day you find, ten years have got behind you

no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

-solo kicks in-

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u/Bigalbass86 Chicago Cubs Sep 29 '22

I just recently rewatched “Race for the Record” on YouTube, the VHS tape that highlighted the 98 home run race. The Maris sons are on that and were talking so highly about Mark McGwire. They apparently became friends with McGwire too. I wonder what they think of him now. Lol

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u/Swtor_dog New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

Roger Jr made some comment recently about how McGwire reached out an apologized for cheating. He says something like "that takes a big man to admit his mistakes" or something to that tune.

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u/Degan747 New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

Yup, he also said Mark is a great guy, but doesn’t think he really broke the record.

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u/MoreThanLuck Chicago Cubs Sep 29 '22

Guy thinks dad is true champ, what a surprise.

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u/Jux_ Los Angeles Dodgers Sep 29 '22

My dad is a scumbag, if he also held a HR record I’d personally be offering the juice to players

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u/r2-mew2 New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

Guy doesn't respect people who cheated to eclipse his dad's record*

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u/no_h36 New York Mets Sep 29 '22

His dad never took greenies?

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u/NJ_Mets_Fan New York Mets Sep 29 '22

…the dental pet treat?

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u/lickachiken Chicago Cubs Sep 29 '22

Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. 🦷🪥💪💪

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u/Mr_TreeBeard Los Angeles Dodgers Sep 29 '22

Now my poop is green, thanks.

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u/Downbound92 New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

Did he? What allegations are out there?

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u/no_h36 New York Mets Sep 29 '22

There aren’t allegations of any player other than the ones who openly spoke about it. Sports writes didn’t care about it back then.

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u/Downbound92 New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

Players accused others. For example, John Milner talked about getting them from Willie Mays's locker. Zev Chafets, a writer, uncovered a story about Mantle injecting himself with amphetamines in 1961. So, what's out there about Maris?

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u/Lee_Doff Minnesota Twins Sep 29 '22

i guess the bowls of them in the middle of every MLB clubhouse is a dead giveaway.

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u/Aitatoday69 Sep 29 '22

Everyone in baseball used greenies.

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u/Downbound92 New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

You're going to need a more direct connection to Maris if you want this to be comparable to McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds, who we specifically know took steroids.

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u/Lee_Doff Minnesota Twins Sep 29 '22

how else does ripkin make it through 2,600 games.

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u/Aitatoday69 Sep 29 '22

I've actually got a story on that too, there was one game probably in the early 90s where the lights in the stadium would not turn on.. the rumor is it's because Cal was dealing with issues at home and wasn't going to make the game on time. Knowing the record was at stake keeping the lights off because "they're broken" was a good way to give Cal time to arrive.

As soon as he made it the lights suddenly were working again.

As told to me by the camera guy.

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u/Fauxy Sep 29 '22

“Problems at home” being that he caught his wife in bed with Kevin Costner.

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u/Aitatoday69 Sep 29 '22

That too is the other part of the story have heard, but haven't looked it up.

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u/Lee_Doff Minnesota Twins Sep 29 '22

i vaguely remember something about that.

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u/_Jackie_Daytona_ New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

I like how we can pick and choose what type of cheating is ok.

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u/PattyIceNY New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

The thing that bothers me the most is looking at all those guys who took steroids and how they had this power spike in their 30s and even 40s. It was so blatantly obvious that they were using something outside of their natural abilities to improve. That rubbed me the wrong way back then and still does

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u/duyogurt New York Mets Sep 29 '22

Hot take. I’ve speculated for the last 30+ years that Nolan Ryan was using roids as far back as the early 80s and accounts for not only his longevity, but also the sharp rebound in his numbers later in his career.

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u/apollyon_53 San Francisco Giants Sep 29 '22

Early 80's is 15 years into his career. Dude first pitched in 66 if I remember right

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u/duyogurt New York Mets Sep 29 '22

Sure did. He pitched in 4 decades and led the league in Ks per 9 at age 44. I also laugh at his 1974 campaign where he walked 202 and struck out 367. Comical if you ask me.

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u/ImNotTheBossOfYou Sep 29 '22

Most sports had rules against PEDs and drug testing by the late 90s. Baseball DIDN'T. The MLB was perfectly happy to have those guys blasting balls all over the place.

NOW they want to act like it was illegitimate? It's nonsense.

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u/PattyIceNY New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

MLB is totally at fault for it in more ways than one. The strike turned a lot of people off to baseball, and instead of making the right choices, they tried to go for a quick fix in letting steroids slide under the table.

And it's a shame because if they actually were legit and cracked down back then, baseball would have made a comeback and this home run Chase would be legendary news and would bring baseball back into the forefront. It still is doing that, but nothing like what it would be if it was the actual all time home run record

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u/iratepirate47 Oakland Athletics Sep 29 '22

Steroids were basically league-sponsored, if not full-on mandated

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u/Grandahl13 Boston Red Sox Sep 29 '22

Right? Nobody cares that every pitcher uses sticky stuff these days even though that’s cheating, too.

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u/cocoatractor Montreal Expos Sep 29 '22

Baseball is a sport built on cheating. It’s practically a pillar of the game.

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u/yourecreepyasfuck New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

This is such silly drama and i’m disappointed by how many people are giving in to a stupid media narrative and arguing about it. Marris was asked a question and he answered it. It’s his opinion and he’s entitled to it.

His opinion shouldn’t, and won’t, have any more or less weight on the topic than any other fan’s will. At least as far as an official MLB stance on the topic goes.

Some people don’t think the steroid guys records should count, others do. I don’t think, at this point, anyone’s personal opinions are going to change because of an exchange they had on reddit. So let’s all try and relax a bit and just enjoy it for what it is. Because the truth is, outside of the steroid era, this has only happened 3 times in almost a hundred years. It is possible that many of us will never live to see another player hit more than 60 again.

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u/limprichard New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

I'd say Judge has another year or two of being able to do it again. Here's to hoping!

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u/Degan747 New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

He’s going to get walked so much more now though

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u/_meestir_ San Francisco Giants Sep 29 '22

Wasn’t he there for McGwire’s 62nd? I wonder what he said to Big Mac at the time.

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u/Mmnn2020 Sep 29 '22

Might have changed after he found out McGwire and everyone else cheated.

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u/SoberSixBiscuit New York Yankees Sep 29 '22 Gold

For fucks sake McGwire had his precursor sitting out in the open in his locker. No one “found out” that McGwire took steroids.

And McGwire was a class act to the Maris family when he broke the record. Maris’ record was seen as illegitimate by a lot of people because he did it in a 162 game season (and also because it was an expansion year) and McGwire was emphatic that Maris’ record was legitimate.

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u/Jjm3233 Chicago Cubs Sep 29 '22

There was a sarcastic part of me that read this headline and wanted reply, "What, did Judge do it in 154 games?" People have forgotten the asterisk that was in the record book for a long time.

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u/JerHat Chicago Cubs Sep 29 '22

This. Reporters, and cameras and any baseball officials were his locker every night knew he was juicing and simply didn’t care.

I hate the holier than thou attitude of old-timers and reporters as if players back then weren’t all hopped up on amphetamines. Their real bitch is that they didn’t have the same juice as guys of the steroid era.

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u/SoberSixBiscuit New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

McGwire just openly admitted to using it for a year prior as well. He didn't even say that it was something he just tried for a couple of weeks. He was like, "Yes, I have been using that testosterone pre-cursor that the NFL and the Olympics considers a steroid for an entire year now and have been doing so very intentionally."

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u/chiefteef8 Sep 29 '22

It honestly comes down to Barey Bonds being a dick and the press wanting to get him back. All of a sudden it was holier than thou.

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u/FitzwilliamTDarcy Sep 29 '22

If Barey Bonds married Mariah Carey and took her name, he'd be Barey Carey.

Just saying.

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u/Boomhauer_007 Canada Sep 29 '22 Helpful

If Barry Bonds was white he’d be Jon Dowd

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u/LeggoMyGallego MLBPA Sep 29 '22

Even when the tide had turned against McGwire and Maris Jr. changed his tune, McGwire was the same gracious person he’d been all along:

McGwire said he called Pat Maris, Roger Sr.'s widow, to apologize Monday.

"I felt that I needed to do that," McGwire said in an MLB Network interview. "They've been great supporters of mine. She was disappointed and she has every right to be."

Roger Jr. said, "He said, 'This is Mark McGwire. I just wanted to let you know that some big news is coming out. I confessed to using steroids. I want to apologize to you and your family and to Roger.' She feels bad for Mark, that he put himself in that situation. She feels hopefully something good will come of it."

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u/Alternative-Heart-96 Sep 29 '22

Right!?! The revisionist history is amazing

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u/Mmnn2020 Sep 29 '22

Ok, McGwire was a class act from a PR perspective while cheating to take the record away.

Also his steroid use was not verified at the time. That’s why in 2010 he finally came clean admitting to use during 1998. There was a substance he was taking left if his locker but it was brushed under the table, the label of “steroids” were pretty quickly dismissed.

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u/SoberSixBiscuit New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

It wasn't like a baggy full of powder in his locker. It was a bottle literally labeled in all capital letters that said ANDROSTENEDIONE. It was known to raise testosterone levels. It was a substance banned in the NFL, Olympics, and NCAA at the time. An Olympic athlete had been banned from the Olympics for life for taking it. It was a steroid.

Just because the entire baseball world looked the other way because DINGERS helped recover the sport's popularity from the strike doesn't mean that it wasn't well known in 1998 while he was chasing the record.

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u/elconquistador1985 St. Louis Cardinals Sep 29 '22

Andro was also explicitly allowed in baseball at the time.

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u/ballmermurland Sep 29 '22

Yeah, I remember this not being a big deal because it wasn't a banned substance.

I mean, if you think everyone else is juicing and you can take something that gives you a bit of a boost and is legal, why wouldn't you?

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u/Burning_Flags Sep 29 '22

It was well known before McGwire broke the record that he was using steroids.

From the article:

In 1998, during the Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa home run chase, Associated Press reporter Steve Wilstein noticed a brown bottle in McGwire’s locker labeled “ANDROSTENEDIONE.”

After doing some research, Wilstein understood it to be a legal steroid that was banned by other organizations, but not by Major League Baseball. McGwire subsequently admitted to using Andro for more than a year.

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/id/34822812

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u/no_h36 New York Mets Sep 29 '22

They all knew already. MLB encouraged it.

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u/chiefteef8 Sep 29 '22

At the time steroids were an open secret. It wasnt really acknowledged by the public until Bonds started chasing the record--mainly because the press hated Barry for being mean to them. Just think, if bonds was a charming, magnanimous guy, there probably wouldn't have ever been a steroid scandal and the while league would probably still be using to this day lmao

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u/SoberSixBiscuit New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

It wasn't just Bonds being an asshole although that certainly contributed.

The reason it really got to the forefront is that the MLBPA was very powerful and the owners rightfully realized this was an issue that they could just pillar the MLBPA about and get the fans on their side with. PEDs weren't just an issue in MLB. They were an issue in every single sport but all the other sports were committed to not looking at past use and instituting nominal testing which is the smart move to protect the sport's image.

Baseball consciously decided to make it a wedge issue and go after guys like Bonds and McGwire, etc. because it gave them leverage in the CBA talks. No other sport was out there doing what MLB did. The NFL would never fight like hell to get the goods on Tom Brady like they did with Bonds and A-Rod.

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u/mcmoody18 Sep 29 '22

I'm happy to be reminded of Roger Maris.

Quick question: do we really need his progeny at every game with 27 camera shots? Personally, I'm over it.

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u/Big_Based New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

It’s cool and alright that he’s there but yeah this is a baseball game not reality TV. Keep the cameras and the commentary on the game and the players not this guy.

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u/tyrjil_vincef Minnesota Twins Sep 30 '22

Such a complicated issue. There's probably no correct answer.

-Baseball home run record is already a mess from the start (Babe with segregated league, Maris with extended season, McGwire/Bonds with roids)

-Arguments about whether steroid ban is a good rule in the first place. I could see somebody arguing that it's part of anti-drug hysteria and that the distinction between it and methods of body alteration that are considered "natural" is fuzzy.

-Even if banning steroids is an unjust rule, it still creates an inequitable environment because (probably) most players would choose not to use steroids out of fear of violating the MLB rules, and this would be a morally acceptable choice. So even if players take steroids in defiance of a rule that is unjust, it may still be unfair to capitalize on an environment where most people will choose not to take steroids out of fear of banishment from their occupation.

-There are always going to be questions about any good professional athlete on the issue of whether they have taken PEDs. Even hitters presumed clean (and we should presume them clean, as everybody deserves the benefit of the doubt) like Ken Griffey Jr., Albert Pujols, Judge, et cetera cannot ever be 100% verified as not having taken steroids, especially given sports culture of the last half century.

-Maris got really unlucky and it resulted in a really bitter reaction to his 61 home run season. It was asterisked from the outset, never un-asterisked until after his death, and then when McGwire/Bonds came along they didn't have the same asterisk because they squarely beat Ruth within the 154 game limit. Then, it turns out they had taken steroids. I understand the personal bitterness.

Honestly, I wish a totally clean guy would come along and slug 80 in a season and 800 in a career to put the ambiguity and controversy around the record to rest.

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u/poopstainmclean Chicago Cubs Sep 29 '22 edited Sep 29 '22

yeah well Babe hit 60 in 154 so Roger Sr's doesn't count either

edit 155

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u/[deleted] Sep 29 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/ProperNomenclature Sep 29 '22

juiced hotdogs

(I think he did get sick once trying to inject bull semen, though)

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u/Less_Likely Cleveland Guardians Sep 29 '22

How do we know Judge is clean?

/s

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u/GP1269 Sep 29 '22

I know you have the /s, but why is it such a foregone conclusion that he’s 100% on the up and up. Not saying steroids, but it is unusual for 1 player to be able to distance themselves so much from the rest of baseball in power numbers. Bonds is the last example we have of a season like this. Is it because he’s getting the benefit of the doubt?

No issues with giving the benefit of the doubt, but surprised more eyebrows aren’t raised at how much he has distanced himself.

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u/GrundReport Sep 29 '22

I think it's a factor of his natural size and personality type that people aren't really suspicious. Also flat out no evidence to suggest he is. But would really be heartbreaking

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u/Big_Based New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

If people really want a conspiracy they should be looking at Judge being pitched entirely separate balls not PEDs.

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u/Less_Likely Cleveland Guardians Sep 29 '22

It’s never 100%. But there’s been a lot of testing.

Aaron Judge college

Aaron Judge now

Does he look any more toned? Look at Tatis from a couple years back to now, and there’s a marked change in muscle tone.

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u/[deleted] Sep 29 '22

Obviously a 30 year old Aaron Judge in the athletic prime of his life is going to look bigger stronger and more toned than he did as 20 year old. That’s just biology. People continue to physically mature well into their twenties.

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u/Less_Likely Cleveland Guardians Sep 29 '22

But does he? Better pic

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u/ahappypoop New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

I don't know, I need more pictures of Aaron Judge to be sure...

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u/GP1269 Sep 29 '22

But there’s been a lot of testing.

Didn’t Lance Armstrong do all of his cheating while going through testing 100x more rigorous than what MLB does?

Again, not trying to say Judge is cheating, I have 0 proof, or even speculation, that he is…but it does feel like people have totally forgotten that these type of seasons have only happened recently when someone was cheating.

Maybe I’m just far more cynical than your average fan after the past 30 years.

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u/Less_Likely Cleveland Guardians Sep 29 '22

Lance Armstrong was taking saline injections pre-test sleeping in hyperbaric chambers, getting blood transfusions, skipping minor races on rumors of testing procedures he couldn’t evade, even getting prescriptions backdated on the 1-2 times when he slipped up and tested positive. He had an entire organization set up to evade doping. There was a lot of talk about it too, even though the mainstream media ate up his story, the whispers were there.

I haven’t heard any whispers about Judge, yet. Again it’s possible he’s dirty, it’s also possible Maris was juicing too. All his hair was falling out during 61 season, maybe he was doing some old school testosterone shots.

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u/DJ_LeMahieu New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

I get what you’re trying to do, but that uniform from college is too baggy to even begin making any opinions.

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u/Smiles5555 Sep 29 '22

I think we need to acknowledge bonds is the single season home run king but Jesus Christ if I see one more dumbass “he’s only 6 on the all time list” take like yeah it happened twice before the steroid era and it’s happened once since can’t we just enjoy it, like 3 people hit 700 before Albert and 32 people hit 3000 before Miggy let’s just enjoy it cuz who knows when we’re gonna see 60 again

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u/c1h9 Los Angeles Dodgers Sep 29 '22

None of this would be happening if they'd simply stop testing for PEDs.

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u/MichaelPFrancesa Italy Sep 29 '22

Like it or not bonds still is the regular season hr champ. Cheater or not

If you want to distinguish the American league fine but some guy in the nl hit more

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u/Dunder-MifflinPaper New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

Thanks Mike - first time, long time. One question: how can Aaron Judge win the triple crown? He’s not even a horse.

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u/YoYoMoMa Baltimore Orioles Sep 29 '22

He’s not even a horse.

I don't know about that.

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u/Punchee Chicago Cubs Sep 29 '22

Man swings an awfully long bat, if ya kna’m sayin.

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u/PBRontheway New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

I’ll hang up and listen, thanks

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u/Due_Ruin_2809 Houston Astros Sep 29 '22

Multiple

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u/Spokker Los Angeles Angels Sep 29 '22

In MLB The Show, the "San Francisco Giants" hit those 73 home runs.

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u/ClydeAndKeith New York Mets Sep 29 '22

I think that’s about image and likeness rights vs scrubbing the record books. Like MVP Baseball 05 replaced Bonds with a pseudonymous character because he opted out of the standard MLBPA pay for image and likeness use as a player

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u/ramborage Boston Red Sox Sep 29 '22

John Dowd Stans rise up!!!

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u/turkeyinthestrawman San Francisco Giants Sep 29 '22

That's because Bonds removed himself from the player's union and owned his own likeness (he wanted a Tiger Woods-esque video game, starring him). The Players Union basically told any company that you either work with him or you work with us but not both. Text based games like OOTP is fine but not games like MVP, 2K, or the Show

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u/LordTreat Houston Astros Sep 29 '22

It really is funny to me how baseball is okay with certain types of cheating and completely against others.

Cheating is cheating

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u/Some_Sound7043 Sep 29 '22

Do steroids kids, people won’t care if you cheat.

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u/loadedryder New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

Not saying I have an opinion either way, but this notion that people don’t care about steroid use is really only prevalent on Reddit. r/baseball is far, far more forgiving of steroid use and the steroid era in general than your average baseball fan and, obviously, HOF voters who have essentially invalidated most of those guys’ careers. Not sure why this is the case, but it’s interesting to note.

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u/UNIFight2013 St. Louis Cardinals Sep 29 '22

Didn't stop the BBWA from voting for Bonds for MVP when he was clearly juicing though.

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u/no_h36 New York Mets Sep 29 '22

Younger crowd (these are the guys we grew up with). More willing to accept baseballs dark history (Ruth did it in a segregated league, Mays was using greenies). And just more aware of how ridiculous Bonds’ stats are, he gets defended way more than any other player because he was probably a first ballot HOFer even before and then just became jokingly dominant. You’ll never see people defend Sosa like this because he was a fairly mediocre player without them.

Also younger fans are more likely to understand all the BS MLB does. We’re able to accept that MLB more or less encouraged the use of steroids to recover the game, we also know that MLB blackballed Bonds when he likely would’ve gotten to 800 which makes fans sympathize with him too.

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u/Ed_Sullivision Los Angeles Dodgers Sep 29 '22

All I know that as an opposing fan, there is no other player I've even come close to fearing as much as Barry Bonds. It's a crime he's not in the Hall. It was a level of dominance that will never be repeated.

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u/no_h36 New York Mets Sep 29 '22

“But the dominance was only because he was taking steroids”

“Well why didn’t I fear any of the other roiders as much as I feared Bonds then?”

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u/mr_grission New York Mets Sep 29 '22

So many of the Mitchell Report guys were awful. PEDs aren't magic like some people seem to think. Larry Bigbie and Nook Logan weren't exactly lighting up the league.

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u/Mantequilla022 St. Louis Cardinals Sep 29 '22

I think your average baseball fan doesn’t give that much of a shit, either. Really most of the pearl clutching comes from the writers.

It was fairly evident back in 98 Sosa and Mac weren’t all-natural, but we all enjoyed the hell out of that summer.

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u/Punchee Chicago Cubs Sep 29 '22

I was led to believe McGwire got there on Big Macs.

McDonalds is complicit.

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u/Mantequilla022 St. Louis Cardinals Sep 29 '22 edited Sep 29 '22

I was eight at the time and thought McDonalds created the Big Mac because of Mark McGwire. It was not my best moment.

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u/BobSacamano16 Atlanta Braves Sep 29 '22

I think it’s the opposite, the only group of people I know that cares is the BBWA and old head purists who think the game was “clean” back in their day.

I feel like I regularly hear the shtick “let ‘em all juice” from people in reference to all sports, not just baseball.

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u/-nWo-- Boston Red Sox Sep 29 '22

5 years later: and new legitimate home run champion... Roger Maris!

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u/chackman13 Sep 29 '22

r/baseball:

Performance enhancing drugs: No problem, seems legit ✅

Performance enhancing sign stealing: BAN THE ASTROS ❌

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u/xXEolNenmacilXx New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

I say they are both cheaters and should be viewed as such 🤷‍♂️

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u/DrSeuss19 New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

This guy knows how to trigger this sub

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u/chackman13 Sep 29 '22

It’s weird to see all the people defending Bonds steroid use.

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u/rbhindepmo Kansas City Royals Sep 29 '22

The headline in the Sporting News Baseball Guide post-1961 season?

Ruth’s 60 homers still tops

Maris set 162-game season high with 61

So it’s sorta apt that a record that was once viewed as illegitimate by some is now the record of choice?

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u/Frijolebeard San Diego Padres Sep 29 '22

Took 30 years for that to change too.

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u/NakedGoose St. Louis Cardinals Sep 29 '22

Nobody believes that. Even Judge doesn't.

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u/Yankeeknickfan New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

There are a lot of baseball writers that do. That’s why bonds hasn’t gotten in

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u/tristpa2 California Angels Sep 29 '22

No, he hasn't gotten in because he A) cheated, B) beat his wife, and C) Was a huge asshole

You can think he cheated while also recognizing he holds the record. You wouldn't declare the 2017 Dodgers World Series champions even though the Astros cheated.

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u/turtle4499 New York Mets Sep 29 '22

Really bold of u to assume b is actually a factor. Like I want to beleive that too but I don't.

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u/Big_Based New York Yankees Sep 29 '22

If anyone in baseball actually cared about this German and Chapman would be unemployable. Not to say Aroldis Chapman SHOULD be employed (dear god no lead is safe) but still.

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u/WordSalad11 Oakland Athletics Sep 29 '22

If anyone in baseball actually cared about this German and Chapman would be unemployable.

I think the opposite is true: It only takes one organization in baseball to not care about this and employ someone. OP's argument is there is probably at least one voting member who does care, which is reasonable but also completely unprovable.

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u/Islandgirl1444 Toronto Blue Jays Sep 29 '22

Judge has so much class.