With 10 games to play, he has 56 home runs.
No doubt, Stanton's chase for history gives Marlins fans a good reason to watch the final week and a half of the season, despite their team being out of postseason contention. And really, as a baseball fan, I feel as though I should be interested in this. However, in all honesty, I can't bring myself to care.
The steroids era has made it impossible for me to get excited about home runs. Sixty-home run seasons were once almost unheard of in the game. Babe Ruth hit 60 in 1927, and nobody touched that figure for 34 years, when Roger Maris broke Ruth's record with 61 home runs in 1961.
Another 37 years passed, and all of a sudden we had this rash of 60-homer seasons between 1998 and 2001. Mark McGwire hit 70 in 1998 and 65 more in 1999. Sammy Sosa hit 66 in 1998, 63 in 1999 and 64 in 2001. And, of course, Barry Bonds hit 73 in 2001, a "record" that still stands.
But as we all know, everything that Bonds, McGwire and Sosa accomplished is complete crap. They were aided by drug enhancements. All three men are cheats and liars, and hopefully none of the three ever gets elected to the Hall of Fame.
What does that have to do with Stanton? Well, absolutely nothing. I have no reason to believe that Stanton is cheating or on steroids. But unfortunately, when I think of 60 home runs, I don't think of Ruth and Maris and the great feats they accomplished. I instead think of those three drug cheats -- Bonds, McGwire and Sosa -- who left a stain on the game forever.
If Maris still were the single-season home run record holder, I think I would feel much differently about Stanton's pursuit. I would be following his at-bats carefully. Perhaps I would even be cheering for him.
However, thanks to the steroids era, the mystique surrounding 60-homer seasons is long gone, As a fan, I'm now indifferent to big home run totals, and probably always will be.