After hitting his 36th home run on Saturday Davis has reached a pace to put him at 61 by the end of the season. This continues to be the number by which baseball fans use to denote a record setting campaign. We brush aside Bonds, McGwire and Sosa because of the steroid allegations (and admittance) and look back at those seasons feeling like they were fake. Bonds didn’t hit 73 all by himself, the alleged steroids inside of Bonds hit 73 home runs. Chris Davis is a different animal. He even responded to a fan on twitter who asked him if he was on the juice with a simple “No.” He’s quietly become the best power hitter in the game today right next to Miguel Cabrera, and is the only real threat to Miggy not repeating as a Triple Crown winner.
One of the reasons I’m a Davis fan is because of his often heralded potential. He isn’t somebody who came from nowhere to be somebody like Bret Boone in the early 2000’s, somebody who was also an alleged steroid user, and he isn’t a superstar having a career year. Though that last statement may change over the next year or two. Davis was a Rangers prosp ect with a ton of power potential, so much that they felt they could trade away budding prospect Justin Smoak and use Davis at first base. Dumping Smoak worked out very well for Texas but they made a mistake sending him off to Baltimore with Tommy Hunter for Koji Uehara. What a lopsided deal that ended up being. Davis has already topped last season’s home run and RBI numbers and is well on his way to finishing in the top three of MVP voting. His fantastic season is the result of hard work, persistence and some Buck Showalter magic. I don’t know what he’s doing with the guys in Baltimore but as I’ve said in previous articles, Buck has completely changed the culture there and is giving Davis consistent playing time to allow him to come into his own as a hitter.
If he hits 61 home runs it will be historic. He’ll be the first since Ken Griffey, Jr. in 1998 to come anywhere close to Maris’ mark clean of any steroid allegations. He’ll be looked at by fans and even writers and other media as the real home run record holder, one free of any asterisks. It’s going to be one hell of a ride through the rest of the summer and Chris Davis is holding the reins of the Orioles bandwagon, so jump on now and watch the show, because it may never come back again.