On Tuesday night, New York Yankees slugger and AL MVP front runner Aaron Judge hit one of the most historic home runs in MLB history. Judge sent Jesus Tinoco’s 1-1 slider high and deep into the Texas atmosphere for his 62nd home run of the year, breaking Roger Maris’ all-time American League single season home run record.
“It’s a big relief,” said Judge. “I think that everyone can sit back down in their seats and watch the ballgame, you know? No, but it’s been a fun ride so far.”
After turning down a seven-year, $213.5 million offer this past offseason, Judge has put up the greatest offensive season in Yankees history and easily one of the best statistical seasons of all time. He hit .311 for the season with 62 home runs, 131 RBI, 133 runs and an OPS of 1.111.
You would think that a season like this would give the national media plenty of exciting storylines, and in some cases, we’ve actually seen some great content. But unfortunately, there are some who have taken this as an opportunity to turn the spotlight from Judge and instead bash all-time home run king Barry Bonds.
Despite being retired for 15 years, the 7-time MVP has once again began taking jabs from people who have anointed him the face of a generation stained by allegations of PED use. It’s been proven that the use of PEDs was rampant in the sport for over two decades, with both pitchers and hitters being guilty of using enhancers to gain a competitive edge.
This behavior by the media has emboldened others to take shots at Bonds, like this tweet from Roger Maris Jr., son of the former record holder.
Aaron Judge is the new CLEAN HOME RUN KING!! All the young kids who watched Aaron Judge set the single season record for home runs … you finally have someone to revere! No more trying to explain to you how someone could possibly hit 73 home runs.
— Roger Maris Jr (@RogerMarisJr) October 5, 2022
“Aaron Judge is the new CLEAN HOME RUN KING!! All these young kids who watched Aaron Judge set the single season record for homeruns … you finally have someone to revere! No more trying to explain to you how someone could possibly hit 73 home runs.”
Maris even took it a step further, suggesting that Major League Baseball should make two separate home run records: PED home runs and home runs. Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa all have recorded seasons where their home run totals eclipsed Judge’s 62, but there are some who want us to forget that ever happened.
These calls to anoint Judge the true home run king have been echoed by some in the media, which more than anything puts a spotlight on the hypocrisy that has surrounded this topic since Jose Conseco’s book “Juiced ” sent shockwaves throughout the sport.
Instead of praising Judge for one of the greatest seasons ever (in a contract year at that), his moment has been hijacked in order to once again bash Bonds. And that’s just wrong. We should be taking this time to acknowledge the history being made in front of us, not attempting to rewrite the past.