Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo wants the record books rewritten.
The WFAN legend believes Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is two home runs away from being baseball’s true home run king. And that he should be considered the rightful single-season leader over Barry Bonds once he passes Roger Maris and hits his 62nd homer.
“Bonds is not the single-season home run king,” Russo said on ESPN First Take. “Nor is (Mark) McGwire with the 70 home runs. Obviously Maris was the single-season, but [Judge] is going to fly by that. He’s going to hit 65, 66 home runs. He’s going to do that on a contract year.
“There is no argument. His achievement is better than what Bonds did, McGwire did, (Sammy) Sosa did.”
Judge clubbed his 60th home run Tuesday in the Yankees’ wild comeback win over the Pirates, tying Babe Ruth’s career best. Judge is one away from tying Maris for the American League and franchise records and two away from breaking the mark. Bonds hit 73 home runs in 2001 but, like McGwire’s 70 and Sosa’s 66 in 1998, he did so while using performance enhancing drugs.
Bonds’ steroid use has undoubtedly tainted his record. But it remains the record, and the overwhelming consensus during Judge’s home run chase is that Bonds is, and will almost assuredly remain, the record holder both literally and spiritually. Even Judge has said as much. And Russo’s old partner, Mike Francesa, feels the same way. But not the Dog.
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @JamesKratch.