For those of you who haven't heard, Jose Bautista blasted his 51st and 52nd home runs today. There have only been 26 players in the history of baseball to ever hit 50 home runs is a single season; it's really a remarkable accomplishment. But for some reason, Jose Bautista hasn't been getting any pub for what he has done this year.
In fact, instead of receiving congratulations for his accomplishment, he was questioned by the media about steroid use the day after he hit his 50th. That's really sad. In this day and age, any time a guy puts up huge power numbers people are going to ask themselves, "Are these legitimate numbers, or is this guy on the juice?" Bautista himself said he understood why people would question his numbers this season.
There was once a time when a guy hit 50 jacks and he was what Sportscenter would lead in with, but that is not the case with Jose Bautista. I've noticed in the last couple of days that Bautista is basically a side note; at the end of Sportscenter they'll be like "Oh yeah, and by the way Jose Bautista hit his 50th home run of the season today."
I've never even seen an interview with Bautista. I have no idea what he even sounds like, and I watch a lot of baseball.
Is it Bautista's fault that people that he's gone under the radar? No. It's guys like A-Rod, Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, and so on. It doesn't help that Bautista came out of nowhere this year. He's got to the most unlikely guy to hit 50 dingers in a year since Brady Anderson did it in 1996.
Prior to this year, the most homers Bautista hit in a season was 16 back in 2006, and had a total of 56 career home runs coming into this season. So like Bautista said himself, it is very easy to see why people would be skeptical of his season.
The question I raise is; how long are baseball fans going to be skeptical of the power numbers that guys put up? Major League Baseball has been testing for performance enhancing drugs since 2004. It's been six years and we still raise steroid questions any time someone puts up a monster season.
Will there ever be a day when we can look at player and say, "Man, Jose Bautista is having a great year," and just leave it at that?