If Chris Davis keeps up his current home run pace, he has a shot at the home run record for a single season — at least, in his opinion.
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The Orioles first baseman is on pace for 60 home runs. Even though Roger Maris’ 61 was passed multiple times in the late ’90s and early ’00s, Davis still considers the former Yankees outfielder the single-season champ.
"I do and the reason being, he was the last guy to do it clean,” Davis told ESPN’s "Mike and Mike." "There’s a lot of things that have been said about the guys who have come after him 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’."
The only players to hit more than 61 homers in a single season have been Bonds, McGwire and Sammy Sosa. McGwire accomplished the feat twice, while Sosa did it three times.
Davis tried to deflect any accusations of PED use, pointing out MLB’s strict drug testing.
"I think the biggest thing for me to remember is …. as long as I continue to do things the way I’ve always done (them) … you can’t really rely on what other people are going to say," Davis said. "We get drug tested just like everybody else. We have the strictest drug testing policy in all of professional sports and I actually think in a way it’s kind of a backhanded compliment."
If Davis wants to pass the “record,” he’ll need to pick up the pace. He currently has 33 dingers and Orioles have played 88 games. Hitting a homer every 2.67 games would give him a regular-season total of 60.75.