Reporting Rich Herrera
Mr. Know-It-All Knows Homer Run Hitters
By Rich Herrera
This baseball season has seen many great performances, as we get to the mythical first half break, Mr. Know-It-All has been impressed with a lot of what he has seen so far. The Pirates go into the break with the second best record in MLB trailing Cards by just one game. The Freak Tim Lincecum tossed a No No for the Giants in the same month he was on the mound when Homer Bailey tossed a No No against the Freak and the Giants. Yasil Puig took baseball by storm after only a few days, and he has made headlines in an impressive class of rookies that will vie for ROTY awards in both leagues. Miguel Cabrera has picked up where he left off last year after winning the Triple Crown in 2012 and would be poised to repeat the feat if it were not for the O’s slugger Chris Davis.
Rays fans were the first to witness Chris Davis’s assault on defenseless bleachers throughout the big leagues. He left the Rays having to call Rawlings to order more baseballs as he made the Trop his personal playground crushing three homers in three games and driving in 11 runs in the opening series of the season. (I had to look up to make sure that I had 11 RBI correct yep he did drive in 11 runs) He has kept it up and is approaching historical territory. He has hit 4 homers in the last 4 games to finish the first half with 37 homers equaling the total of Reggie Jackson for the most in the AL that was set in 1969, only Barry Bonds has went into the break with more homers with his 39 he hit in 2001 when he went on to be the single season home run king with 71 homers. Jackson by the way went on to hit only 10 more bombs in 1969.
So what will become of Chris Davis, how will the world react? We haven’t gotten to the All Star break and the unfounded whispers of PED’s have already begun whether fair or not. Fans have already called him out on Twitter accusing him of juicing with no evidence. I follow him on Twitter and he tweets out bible verses and motivational statements. What did he get in return, questions of PED use? His twitter accounts has been deleted and in a way I cant blame him. Chris Davis will pay the penance for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemons, and Alex Rodriguez and their fooling of the fans while the fans allowed them to pull the wool over out eyes.
When Roger Maris chased down Babe Ruth in 1961 he was under so much pressure that clumps of his hair began to fall from his head. The fans were pulling for the much more engaging fan favorite Mickey Mantle. Plus no one wanted to see the great Babe Ruth replaced as the greatest slugger of all time. When Sosa and Big Mac went homer happy baseball stood and took noticed and America stood in awe of what they saw as the two men so different became forever tied to each other as the abused baseballs in route to chasing down Ruth and Maris. We all stood and cheered as they embraced the Maris family and made sure a new generation of fans knew who Maris was. In a way it seemed like healing for our game after the player’s strike had taken away our innocence that baseball was indeed a business played by grown men not a child’s game played by men. But little we know, or more accursedly care what was going on with the whispers of PED use in baseball.
When Barry Bonds made his run and the biggest villain in the game went homer happy watched in awe as he did things no one else ever dreamed of. We heard not whispers but shouts of PED use at the time but didn’t care. We looked at him the way I look at a bottle of tequila it was fun while in lasted and I know it’s bad for me, but I didn’t care that the hang over was coming.
All of that brings us to 2013 and Baltimore Slugger Chris Davis and his 37 homers at the All Star break. How will America react? Will they embrace Davis like they did with Sammy and Big Mac, or will they look with disdain like Maris and Bonds? Only time will tell, but I have a feeling the latter is more likely what will happen with Davis. A divided America has lost some of our innocence and that is a shame.
Davis will half to fight intentional walks, and managers not wanting to pitch to him, but he will also have to fight the ghosts of sluggers past with home run totals as bloated as their biceps. He will be questioned and doubted not for what he is doing at the plate but for others have done in the batters box. He will have people looking under rocks trying to find anything to tie him to PED usage even if it not there. For Chris Davis lives in a cynical America where you are guilty until proven innocent.
Baseball will soon announce what will happen to those connected the PED clinic in Miami and while that will rock the sport and dominate the airwaves; the biggest casualty will be Chris Davis’s 2013 season. How can you not look at what he is doing and not ask the hard questions we didn’t ask to Big Mac and Sosa and Bonds. He will have to answer for them and those like him who came before in this game. Chris Davis personally doesn’t have anything to do with any of this other than he stands at the plate with a bat in his hand like those before him.
Chris Davis is a strong man with a deep faith with broad shoulders and a carries a big stick. I will root for him for one reason and one reason only, I root that is the one man in the game today that can shoulder the load much like Atlas and raise our game back to wear it belongs and restore our confidence in the game. And maybe just maybe he can return just a bit of our lost innocence and for just a brief moment make us believe once again.