Chris Davis is on pace for 60 home runs this season. That’s one shy of Roger Maris‘ single-season mark in 1961 and 13 shy of Barry Bonds‘ all-time mark set in 2001. Davis, who has openly been questioned by fans and reporters about using performance enhancing drugs, told ESPN’s Mike and Mike that he still views Maris as the single-season home run king.
“I do and the reason being, he was the last guy to do it clean,” Davis said. “There’s a lot of things that have been said about the guys who have come after him and you know 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’.”
When asked about the accusations made by fans and members of the media, Davis didn’t shy away from making it clear he’s clean.
“It’s an easy assumption seeing what’s gone on in the past and I understand that. There are time when it’s frustrating to me because you know all those people that are making the accusations aren’t there in the offseason, during the season, after games when you’re tired and you don’t want to work out and you have to get your work in.”
“I think the biggest thing for me to remember is you know as long as I continue to do things the way I’ve always done [them] you know can’t really rely on what other people are going to say,” Davis added on Mike and Mike. “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.”
As Jayson Stark of ESPN pointed out on the Baseball Tonight podcast, Davis was always projected to be a big slugger he just struck out too much during his early years in the big leagues. Now that he’s cut down on the K’s, his power numbers have piled up. Of course, there will always be those who question.