New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is closing in on the American League (and Yankees) single-season home run record and needs just one more to match Roger Maris' mark of 61.
The MLB record holder, Barry Bonds, wants him to go further and break his record of 73 home runs., and then sign with his former team this offseason.
“Go for it,” Bonds said in an Interview with Sportico this week. “The way he swings he might as well hit one a day and get past me. I don’t care. Why not?”
The simple answer for "Why not?" is that time is working against Judge at the moment. He would need to hit 13 home runs to tie Bonds and 14 to break his record over the remainder of the season. The Yankees only have 13 games remaining in the regular season, which means Judge would need to average more than one home run per game to reach the 74 mark to establish a new single-season record.
That would be a herculean task, even for somebody having the season that Judge is having.
His 60 home runs as of Friday are 20 more than any other player in baseball, while only one other player (Kyle Schwarber with 40) has hit more than 37 home runs this season. The gap between Judge and Schwarber at one and two on the home run list is the same as the gap between Schwarber and the 59th place player (Freddie Freeman) on the home run list this season.
The other major subplot to Judge's season is that he remains unsigned beyond this season and will be the most sought-after free agent on the market if the Yankees are unable to re-sign him before the winter.
Bonds would love to see the Giants be the team that signs Judge if he makes it free agency.
“I hope he signs here,” Bonds told Sportico. “Can it happen? I don’t know. It depends on what the Yankee payroll is. But we would love to have him, I’ll tell you that.”
“We in the Bay Area—he’s a Bay Area boy—we hope they don’t sign him, and we can get him. I would. He’s that good.”