Free Agent Pitcher Says He’d Strike Out Babe Ruth Every Time
33 year old free agent pitcher Adam Ottavino forced himself into the news today when he made some very interesting remarks about the Great Bambino. He said he’d had an argument with a Triple-A coach and said that Babe Ruth would only hit .140 with 8 home runs per year in today’s game because of his swing and heavy bat. When the coach shot back that Ruth would instead hit .370 with 60 home runs every year, Ottavino stated that he would strike Ruth out every time. “I mean the guy ate hot dogs and drank beer and did whatever he did. It was just a different game.”
First of all, who the hell does Adam Ottavino think he is? It would be absurd if a guy like Max Scherzer made these comments. But coming from a guy who most baseball fans couldn’t even tell you what team he played for last year? In case you didn’t know, Ottavino is a relief pitcher, who has pitched in the MLB since 2010, his last seven years with the Rockies. After tossing 53 innings with an inflated 5.06 ERA in 2017, he had his best season last year with a 2.43 ERA in 77 innings and became disillusioned enough to make these outrageous claims.
Babe Ruth is one of the greatest players of all time (I think Ty Cobb is the greatest, but I won’t go there now). And Ottavino is saying that he would be…get this…WORSE than BJ Upton was in 2013 with the Braves when he hit .184 with nine home runs. Every Braves fan remembers having absolutely no hope at all when Upton would come to the plate. Apparently, Babe Ruth would have batted 44 points worse with one less homer. That is easily bad enough to be out of a job. I am the first to admit that baseball was a different game in Ruth’s day. Pitching has without a doubt gotten better since the 1920s, as today’s pitchers have their bodies in tip top shape and throw harder than they used to. But to say that Babe Ruth wasn’t good/smart enough to make the necessary adjustments is crazy. Sure, he swung a heavy bat, but don’t you think he would choose a lighter bat facing many of today’s pitchers? And while we’re talking about bats, don’t you think he would grab a nice maple wood bat that today’s hitters are blessed with instead of the tree branches he used to hit 714 home runs with? Is he also saying Ruth doesn’t have the ability to shorten up his swing? Babe Ruth was a great baseball player and great baseball players know how to make adjustments. Essentially what Ottavino is claiming is that if he could time travel back to the 1920s, he would have a career ERA of 0.00 while striking everyone out, and become the best pitcher to ever pick up a baseball.
It’s fair to say Babe Ruth’s numbers would drop a little bit if he played in the MLB today because overall the players have evolved for the better. But to claim he would put up numbers bad enough to be out of a baseball job is ridiculous. To claim to be able to strike him out every time is even more ridiculous. Babe Ruth is a legend for a reason. The Sultan of Swat would take Adam Ottavino deep over the center field wall at the old Polo Grounds with a cigar in his mouth, laughing the entire time he rounded the bases while finishing off a couple beers. Those are just cold hard facts.