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Orioles slugger Chris Davis endorses Roger Maris’ 61 as HR record

American League's Chris Davis Baltimore Orioles watches his hit during MLB All-Star baseball Home Run Derby Monday July 15 2013

American League's Chris Davis, of the Baltimore Orioles, watches his hit during the MLB All-Star baseball Home Run Derby, on Monday, July 15, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

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NEW YORK — Commissioner Bud Selig defended baseball’s drug-testing program, saying “this sport is cleaner than ever.’’

Interviewed by political journalist Mike Allen on Monday during an All-Star Game event, Selig wouldn’t say if Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and other players linked to the Biogenesis probe will be suspended soon. He did say he is proud of the work MLB investigators are doing.

“I don’t care what happens, we’re going to have an investigation, we’re going to learn everything we can possibly learn,” Selig said. “It’s in the best interests of baseball.

“People say, ‘Well, you were slow to react.’ We were not slow to react.’’

At Citi Field, where participants for the All-Star Game on Tuesday night were interviewed, Chris ­Davis of the Baltimore Orioles, whose 37 homers leads the major leagues, dissed baseball’s steroid era, saying Roger Maris’ 61 ­homers in 1961 is the real record, not Barry Bonds’ 73 in 2001. Bonds has been linked to performance-enhancing drugs.

“In my opinion, 61 is the record,” Davis said. “And I think most fans agree with me on that.”

Two All-Star pitchers from Chicago teams didn’t quite agree.

“You still have to hit it over the fence, regardless of the speculation around it,’’ White Sox left-hander Chris Sale said. “The guy still hit 73 balls over the fence at a baseball game. Regardless of the outside factors it’s still pretty tough to do especially with how much he got walked and how many pitches he didn’t get to hit.’’

Said Cubs lefty Travis Wood: “I would have to say 73, or whatever it is for Bonds, is my personal preference,’’ Wood said. “To each his own. Whatever your opinion is, ­nobody can tell you different.’’



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