It’s sick to think that the single-season home run record currently stands at 73. What’s even worse is that it is held by a cheater who just happens to be in serious legal trouble at the moment for lying in a Federal Court about taking Steroids. It’s fair to say that Barry’s 73 home runs came with a little extra help so what will it take for someone to take back that record? Sadly, probably some form of cheating will be needed. Just think about the players who have come close to or hit 50 or more in the last decade. Mark McGwire hit 70 and nearly broke into tears in front of the senate, Sammy’s 66 is questioned by just about anyone who knows anything about baseball, Luis Gonzalez hit 57…yeah, my blood is now boiling so I won’t even get into that one.
In my opinion, the only two men in baseball that have a good chance to hit 74 are Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder. Both men have cracked the 50-home run mark, both are respectable hitters, and natural sluggers, specially Prince, and both have shown they can remain healthy for a full season, more so A-Rod, of course.
First off is Alex Rodriguez who has already cracked 50+ home runs three times including a career-high 57 a few seasons back. Not only is A-Rod the front runner for 74 homers, he has also played in 150+ games in seven straight seasons so it’s not for injuries that he probably will never hit as much as 60 home runs. The real reason he will never break the record is because he plays for the Yankees. Roger Maris started losing his hair because of the New York media and that was half a century ago. Today, with the invention of the Internet and the evolution of the journalist into Stalkarazzi, it can never happen, at least not in New York. At best, A-Rod will probably overtake Barry Bonds on the all-time home run list. Of course, that is if he is not found to be a cheater himself. The fabled Mitchell report is said to come out this Thursday and it promises to have some pretty big names on it. Could A-Rod be one of those names?
Prince to me has the best chance at 74 but he will need a good 3-4 years to mature as a power hitter. Last year he thrilled every Stat Nerd in the world by becoming the youngest player to hit 50 home runs (23). It’s possible to imagine (or at least pray) that he hits 50 or more in the next 5 seasons and playing in the middle of nowhere (Milwaukee) the media would probably only begin to hound him when he hits his 65th. After all, aside from the baseball world…who else knows who Prince Fielder even is? Not many and that is how he will hit 74.
Of course, he could be a one-hit wonder like his daddy, Cecil, but something tells me there is more than just one dimension to Prince. Only time will tell, of course. No amount of drooling by Stat Nerds is going to help Prince crack 74. Of course, we don’t know yet just how good his teammate and Rookie of the Year, Ryan Braun really is and that is scary. All of the sudden the ’08 Brewers look like the untouchable ’89 Athletics with Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco!