Curt Schilling, three-time World Series champion, said Thursday he recognizes Aaron Judge’s 61st home run as tying the “true” home run record, knowing the New York Yankees slugger didn’t cheat to do so.
Schilling appeared on OutKick “Don’t @ Me Featuring Dan Dakich” and explained that he did not recognize the homerun marks that Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, or Sammy Sosa set on their homerun escapades due to their links to performance-enhancing drugs.
“I don’t recognize anything than Sammy or Barry did so knowing full well that they had cheated. I don’t recognize any of this. It’s just personal,” Schilling said. “For me, that’s how I see it. The same reason I wouldn’t vote for anyone I know who made steroids for the Hall of Fame. I will not do it. It doesn’t mean they don’t belong, doesn’t mean they’re not Hall of Famers, it just means I wouldn’t.”
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“I see it as [Judge] tied the all-time record,” Schilling continued. “To this day, there is nothing around him or around him where we discuss androstenedione in his locker or a relationship with BALCO or a personal trainer. … That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. … But don’t fall asleep to the fact that this guy is having one of the greatest offensive seasons in history, aside from the Bonds stuff. … His OPS is what a guy coming out of spring training that nobody knows has at the end of April, and he fades as a .250 hitter and goes back to Triple-A.
Even though Judge is making history in Schilling’s eyes, the former Boston Red Sox pitcher said he doesn’t think Judge is the American League MVP.
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“All that said, Shohei Ohtani is still the MVP,” he told Dakich. “You’ve got a guy who’s (about) 40 home runs. I know he’s 21 less than Judge, but the thing is, he’s going to have 200 innings, 200 and something at bat, and he’s going in make 30 starts, and he has a better year this year than last year. You want to talk about value, this is the ultimate value here.
Judge has Triple Crown-worthy numbers, leading the AL in homers (61), RBI (130) and batting average (.313) while leading the Yankees to the American League East title.
Ohtani, the reigning AL MVP, is hitting .273 with 34 homers. He has a 2.47 ERA with 203 strikeouts in 153 innings pitched. All of its key pitching metrics are better than last year.
The debate over who holds the “true record” for home runs in a single season will rage in the baseball world. Roger Maris Jr. spoke loud and clear on Wednesday when Judge equaled the record set by his father, Roger Maris, in 1961.
But for the judge, it will always be the 73-year-old Barry Bonds whom he will hold in high regard.
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“Seventy-three is the record”, judge told Sports Illustrated earlier this month. “In my book. It doesn’t matter what people want to say about that era of baseball, to me they went out there and hit 73 home runs and 70 home runs, and that to me is the record. The record AL is 61, so that’s one I can kind of try to get to. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it’s been a fun year so far.