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Could Toronto Blue Jays' Retooled Offense Shatter Home Run Record?

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Could Toronto Blue Jays' Retooled Offense Shatter Home Run Record?
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The revamped Toronto Blue Jays offense boasts serious thunder this season. Should this lineup remain healthy, three home run records may be in trouble. 

The first possible record the Blue Jays could break is a franchise record first set in 2000.

That year, Toronto hit 244 team home runs (per ESPN).

Tony Batista and Carlos Delgado led the team that season with 41 home runs apiece. 

Climbing the charts, Toronto smashed this team record in 2010, when they clobbered 257 moonshots. This is the most in team history (per Joe Dorish of the Examiner). It is also tied for third-most in MLB history with the 1996 Baltimore Orioles.

That year Jose Bautista, Vernon Wells and Aaron Hill went ballistic with the big stick. Seven Blue Jays players had 20 home runs or more.   

This brings us to the MLB record of 264 home runs, set in 1997 by Ken Griffey Jr. and the Seattle Mariners  (according to Baseball Almanac).

This team was sick. Griffey had 56 home runs. Jay Buhner had 40. Paul Sorrento and Edgar Martinez had 31 and 28 home runs, respectively. 

Now, for some baseball fans, the thought of this year's Jays team busting one or more of these gaudy home run records seems far-fetched.

But consider this.

Despite injuries to Jose Bautista, Brett Lawrie and J.P. Arencibia in 2012, the Blue Jays were still able to muster an MLB sixth-best 198 home runs as a team (per ESPN).

Toronto did this with just a .407 slugging percent, which was 14th in the major leagues.

Below are 2012 home run stats for top Jays’ sluggers (per MLB.com). Note how much time the regulars missed.

While it Kelly Johnson will not return to the Jays this year, this team has added Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera to the everyday lineup.

Understand that Reyes and Cabrera are not huge home run guys.

The most Reyes has hit in a season was 19. This was in 2006, while Reyes was on the New York MetsCabrera has never hit more than 18 homers in a season.

Yet neither Reyes nor Cabrera have hit regularly at the launching pad ballpark that is the Rogers Centre.

Nor have they played on a team that is stacked near top to bottom with lumber pop like what Toronto has now.

Will it take a near-perfect storm to bring a domino effect of home runs to the Jays this season?

Yes.

Will this team need to stay healthy the entire year to come close to the record setting teams above?

Of course.

But in this crazy game we love to watch called baseball, breaking homer records like this is entirely possible.

And if there is any team that can do it this season, it is the Blue Jays. 

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