Chris Davis leads the Major Baseball League (MBL) in home runs (HR) with 47 through 134 Baltimore Orioles games. That leaves Davis 20 more Oriole games to reach 60 HR within 154, the old schedule through 1960.
During today's Oriole game at Yankee Stadium Yankee announcer Michael Kay mentioned that Davis had stated clearly that he considered the single season HR record to be the 61 hit by Yankee Roger Maris in 1961, the first American League season with 162 games, five percent more. In 1962 the National League went to 162 also. The reason was that two teams were added to each league: 8 to 10. The increased number of games was originally considered temporary until more teams were added. However, the owners quickly came to appreciate that they had 5% more play for the same pay.
The Maris record was denigrated at the time because of the expansion and the dilution of the pitching. I won't go into that here but it appears that Davis is oblivious about that. His point is that he wants to break the non performance enhancing drugs (PED) record, not the 73 HR hit by Barry Bonds in 2001.
Obviously it's easier for a player to break a record of a lower total. It's easier to hit 61 HR than to hit 73 HR. It could be that Chris Davis is using the anti PED sentiment to his advantage. It could be that he is sincere in trying to make a distinction.
1. How about Chris Davis volunteering to be tested by a non-MBL entity for PED just so we have some comfort level that we are not being deceived?
2. How about Chris Davis committing to break the 154 game record set in 1927 by Babe Ruth: 60?
As far as I know in all the PED 60 HR seasons the batter beat The Babe in his team's first 154 games. Maris, of course, failed despite quite a bit of pressure for him to do it in 1961. Maris hit 59 HR in the first 154 Yankee games in 1961.
So, Babe Ruth is the only batter to hit 60 HR in 154 games without PED. Let's see Chris Davis announce that he is after that record. He needs 13 HR in the next 20 games just to tie.
Note: The Yankees played a tie game in both 1927 and 1961. Ruth hit number 60 in Yankee game 155, although The Babe himself played 151 games.