Slugging Stanton lapping the field in home run race
Giancarlo Stanton has a chance to accomplish something Barry Bonds and Roger Maris never did — and the Miami slugger doesn’t need to hit 74 homers.
Stanton currently leads the major leagues with 52 home runs, which is 14 more than second-place Aaron Judge. The last player to lead the majors in homers by 14 was Jimmie Foxx back in 1933.
When Bonds hit a record 73 home runs in 2001, Sammy Sosa was second with 64. When Maris hit 61 in 1961, teammate Mickey Mantle had 54.
The home run margin of victory record, not surprisingly, belongs to Babe Ruth, who finished 35 homers clear of the field in both 1920 and 1921.
Here’s every instance in the modern era in which a player led the majors in home runs by double digits:
2010: Jose Bautista (54) over Albert Pujols (42).
1995: Albert Belle (50) over Dante Bichette, Jay Buhner and Frank Thomas (40).
1990: Cecil Fielder (51) over Ryne Sandberg (40).
1989: Kevin Mitchell (47) over Howard Johnson and Fred McGriff (36).
1977: George Foster (52) over Jeff Burroughs (41).
1965: Willie Mays (52) over Willie McCovey (39).
1950: Ralph Kiner (47) over Al Rosen (37).
1949: Kiner (54) over Ted Williams (43).
1933: Foxx (48) over Ruth (34).
1932: Foxx (58) over Ruth (41).
1928: Ruth (54) over Jim Bottomley and Hack Wilson (31).
1927: Ruth (60) over Lou Gehrig (47).
1926: Ruth (47) over Wilson (21).
1924: Ruth (46) over Jack Fournier and Joe Hauser (27).
1921: Ruth (59) over Bob Meusel and Ken Williams (24).
1920: Ruth (54) over George Sisler (19).
1919: Ruth (29) over Gavvy Cravath (12).
Some other developments from around the majors:
The Detroit Tigers began hinting last season that they were looking to reduce their payroll, and although it took a while, they finally got a deal they liked for Justin Verlander, trading him to Houston last Thursday. Detroit also traded Justin Upton earlier that day and dealt J.D. Martinez earlier in the season.
“We’re trying to stock our farm system with the best prospects we can acquire, and that’s how we’ll move forward,” general manager Al Avila said. “Once we finish this, at some point, there will be a turnaround. Hey, we’re going to have a rough month of September, and next year may not be all that pretty either.”
Detroit does still have some decisions to make in the offseason. Miguel Cabrera, Jordan Zimmermann and Victor Martinez remain on the books with big contracts, but the Tigers have a team option for 2018 on second baseman Ian Kinsler.
Detroit’s first few games without Verlander were dreadful. The Tigers were swept in a four-game series by the surging Cleveland Indians, with Detroit outscored 29-5.
Sunday’s game featured a slapstick moment in which Jose Ramirez’s drive to left bounced twice off the top of the wall, eventually rebounding back into play only to be knocked over the fence for good by Detroit outfielder Mikie Mahtook. It went into the books as a home run.
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Ramirez homered twice and had three doubles in that game Sunday, leading Cleveland to an 11-1 win . He tied a record with his five extra-base hits, and the Indians have won 11 straight.
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