Giancarlo Stanton hit his 50th homer of the season Sunday and was on pace for 63 for the year. Roger Maris hit 61 homers in 1961, a single-season record that wasn't matched until Mark McGwire hit 70 and Sammy Sosa had 66 in 1998. Three years later, Barry Bonds hit 73.
So who holds the record? History says Bonds does, but fans can let their collective conscience be their guide. Bonds, McGwire and Sosa were among dozens implicated in the performance-enhancing drug scandal that rocked baseball at the turn of the century. To me, Maris still holds the mark no matter what the record book suggests.
Stanton could surpass Maris this season. If he does, it would be wise to wait before celebrating the feat and anointing him the single-season king. I'm not accusing him of using PEDs. He was on pace for 59 homers after hitting 27 in 74 games in 2015, after all. But with MLB set to obliterate the single-season record for homers, I'm suspicious of everyone.
On average, 1.27 homers have been hit per game this year, putting MLB on pace for more than 6,150 for the season. Since 1998, the 30 teams never combined for more than 5,700. The numbers keep climbing, but the facts aren't adding up.