Chris Davis met the talk about his torrid home-run pace head-on, saying he has never used performance-enhancing drugs.
“I think it [stinks] that guys in our day and age have to answer for mistakes that guys have made in the past, but it is part of it,” Davis told the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly. “That’s what happened when Major League Baseball started addressing the issue. We knew we were going to have to deal with it.”
Davis, who will compete in the Home Run Derby on Monday night, hit his 34th homer in the Orioles’ win Thursday night. Davis, the Post’s Dave Sheinin wrote last month, “doesn’t hit fluky wall-scrapers or wind-blown luck-jobs. He hits towering moon shots, screaming three-woods and tape-measure rockets. He has also been known to hit homers with a broken bat, off his front foot, with one hand and on pitches well outside the strike zone.” That kind of talent draws scrutiny and questions about PEDs, even though he hit 33 homers in his first full season in the majors.
“I have never taken them. I have no reason to,” Davis told the Sun. “I’ve always been a power hitter. With me, I think the biggest thing was the consistency of the contact. When I was making contact, I was always hitting for power. I’m a guy that likes to work out a lot. I’m a guy that used to eat whatever I wanted to, but I started getting into my mid-20s, I’ve been seeing that change. So I’ve been taking better care of my body. I have a pretty strict diet. But I’ve never taken [performance-enhancing drugs]. I haven’t felt the need to.”
If he can keep up the pace after the all-star break, he’s probably going to be asked about PEDs again.
“People are going to believe what they want to believe. Whether they like me, whether they hate me. Whether they want to see me do well or they want me to fall flat on my face. I mean, I’ve taken tests. I’ve passed all my tests,” Davis said. “I have never taken PEDs or steroids or whatever you want to call it. That’s the way it is. And I think it is unfair to accuse a guy that there’s nothing that leads to me doing it but speculation. But, at the same time, you are entitled to your own opinion.”
For what it’s worth, Davis, who is hitting .310 and has 86 RBI, believes he’s 27 home runs from tying baseball’s single-season home-run record…the one set by Roger Maris.
“I think when [Mark] McGwire and [Sammy] Sosa did what they did in 1998, it was awesome to watch. And then when all the stuff came out with the PEDs and all of that, it was really disheartening,” Davis said. “And if there are people that want to get upset with me saying that 61 is still, in my opinion, the single-season record, I’m entitled to my own opinions and own beliefs. I was a fan before I played this game at the big-league level, and I think what Roger Maris did is still considered by a lot of people to be the legitimate home-run record.”