It’s over MLBbro fans…it’s over. The next American league MVP will be Aaron Judge. It’s time to put away the advanced stats and lazy narratives attached to internet box score watching and Google pages. Aaron Judge has been the most dominant star on the most dominant AL team in the New York Yankees. While dealing with a tense contract negotiation that ended up with an extension that lasts through this season, the top MLBbro of the season has turned back the clock on Yankees home run history.
The Aaron Judge franchise record home run watch is now in effect. With 51 home runs in a 130-game period, he is now on pace with Roger Maris, who during the 1961 season broke fellow Yankees icon Babe Ruth’s home run record with 61. Even though Mark McGwire broke the record in 1998 and eventually Barry Bonds overtook him with the 73 homers that stands to this day, Maris’ 61 homers is still the American League record. Here’s where the story begins.
Despite the accomplishments of Judge and the Yankees this year, some baseball analysts still believe that Shohei Ohtani should be MVP even though the Los Angeles Angels are amongst the worst teams in Major League Baseball.
Who gets your AL MVP vote – Aaron Judge or Shohei Ohtani? ⚖️
Our #MLBCentral panelists discuss and look back at some notable MVP races from the past 20 seasons ⬇️@markdero7 | @LaurenShehadi | @Plakata pic.twitter.com/ltFloVNS9o
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) September 1, 2022
It just wasn’t the analysts in the studio though. J.D. Martinez of the Boston Red Sox with this quote was looking for Ohtani’s address to send him the MVP award via MLBbro’s founder Rob Parker at the All-Star Break.
“I think it’s a no brainer, Martinez told the media in L.A. “How are you going to compete with Ohtani? He’s gonna win it for the next five years. As long as he pitches and he hits, you’re not going to beat him.
“Look at (Vladamir Guerro Jr.) last year. If Vladdy didn’t win it, nobody’s going to win it. It’s too much. If you look at the WAR numbers, the value numbers, who else can affect the game on both sides? Just change it to “The Ohtani Award”.
For the record Mr. Parker did not agree with Martinez’s assessment…at all.
But leave it to our MLBbro.com’s fearless leader to shut down one argument while possibly starting the biggest debate over the next decade. If Aaron Judge does overtake Maris’ 61 home runs, should he be considered the new single season home run king?
Rob Parker did not agree with that assessment either…at all.
"NO WAY, NO HOW…I'm not going to rewrite the baseball record books. When I look at the records, Barry Bonds has the record for a single season, 73. And that's what I'm going by…There were more players using juice than just Barry Bonds."
— FOX Sports Radio (@FoxSportsRadio) September 1, 2022
Leave it to MLBbro.com to spark yet another controversial topic that tears the lid off an era that kept three of the most iconic home run hitters out of the Hall of Fame. Despite the monster numbers of Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire in 1998, a year that many believe brought back interest in baseball, neither player was inducted.
The steroid era that Rob talks about in the video is one of the most divided issues in baseball history. The home run battle between Sosa and McGwire that was celebrated by fans far beyond the baseball realm at the time, is now virtually ignored with an asterisk attached to it.
But the important discussion going forward is how the media handles the subject of “true home run king” especially if Judge hits 62. This time in history is considered the “Clean era” of baseball much like the 90’s was considered the “Steroid Era” of baseball. The face of that infamous era is Barry Bonds who is the single season and all time “Home Run King”
It is no secret that Barry Bonds is one of the greatest scientific hitters to ever touch a baseball bat. However, it is also no secret that he was notoriously hated by the members of the press and the feelings are mutual on his end.
Listen to Rob back in 2019 (He starts at the 7:35 mark)
If the old school baseball experts are still holding a grudge, the perfect way to needle Bonds is to create a narrative that Aaron Judge accomplished this feat without the help of performance enhancing drugs. Throw in the fact that he plays for the iconic Yankees in the number one media market in sports, the debate would rival the age old “Who’s the G.O.A.T.?” conversation between LeBron James and Michael Jordan.
Would it make sense at this point? No. But it doesn’t have to. Major League Baseball would have something to sell to the casual fan much like the home run chase in 1998.
Rob Parker is absolutely right on his analysis of Barry Bonds. Steroids do not directly affect the talent of Bonds. Steroids don’t allow hitters to hit curve balls. Bonds had a great eye. Steroids do not affect the style of swing hitter use. Bonds choked up on the bat and crowded the plate. With the number of pitchers caught taking PEDs (Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte being among the top pitchers caught) the playing field was just as even as it is today.
Sadly, in about five years, Barry Bonds could be pushed further back not only in Hall of Fame voting but on the single season home run list as well.