Three-time World Series champion Curt Schilling said on Thursday that he recognized Aaron Judge’s 61st home run as tying the “true” home run record, knowing the New York Yankees slugger wasn’t cheating to do it.
Schilling appeared on OutKick’s “Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich” explaining that he doesn’t recognize the home run marks that Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa put down during their home run escapades because of their association with performance-enhancing drugs.
“I don’t recognize anything that Sammy or Barry did, knowing full well that they cheated. I don’t recognize any of that. That’s just personal,” Schilling said. “To me, that’s how I look at it. Same reason I wouldn’t vote for someone I knew did steroids for the Hall of Fame. I just wouldn’t do it. It doesn’t mean they don’t belong, doesn’t mean they they’re not a Hall of Famer, it just means I wouldn’t.”
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“I see this as [Judge] equaled the all-time record,” continued Schilling. “As of today, there is nothing around him or around him where we talk about androstenedione in his locker or a relationship with BALCO or a personal trainer. … Doesn’t mean it won’t happen. … But don’t go to sleep with the fact that this man is having one of the greatest offensive seasons in history aside from Bonds’ stuff. … His OPS is what a guy coming out of spring practice that nobody knows he has at the end of April, and he fades as a .250 batter and goes back to Triple-A.
Even as Judge is making history in Schilling’s eyes, the former Boston Red Sox pitcher said he didn’t think Judge was the MVP of the American League.
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“That said, Shohei Ohtani is still the MVP,” he told Dakich. “You’ve got a guy who has (about) 40 home runs. I know he’s 21 shy of Judge, but the fact is he’s going to have 200 innings, 200 and something strikeouts, and he’s going to make 30-something starts, and he “Has a better year this year than last. You want to talk about value, that’s the ultimate value there.”
Judge has Triple Crown-worthy numbers, leading the AL in home runs (61), RBI (130) and batting average (.313) as he leads the Yankees to the American League East title.
Ohtani, the reigning AL MVP, hits .273 with 34 home runs. He has a 2.47 ERA with 203 strikeouts in 153 innings pitched. All of his key pitching stats are better than last year.
The debate over who holds the “real record” for home runs in one season will rage throughout the baseball world. Roger Maris Jr. made his point on Wednesday when Judge matched the record set by his father, Roger Maris, in 1961.
But for Judge, it will always be Barry Bonds’ 73 that he holds dear.
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“73 is the record,” Judge told Sports Illustrated earlier this month. “In my book. No matter what people want to say about that era of baseball, for me they went out and hit 73 homers and 70 homers, and that to me is what the record is. The AL record is 61, so that’s one I can go after. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t happen, it’s been a fun year so far.”
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