ESPN – Whichever team signs free-agent reliever Adam Ottavino will have a confident pitcher. Assessing the state of today’s game on MLB’s Statcast podcast, the 33-year-old right-hander said that Babe Ruth couldn’t keep up.
“I had an argument with a coach in Triple-A about Babe Ruth’s effectiveness in today’s game,” Ottavino said. “I said, ‘Babe Ruth, with that swing, swinging that bat, I got him hitting .140 with eight homers.’
“He was like, ‘Are you nuts? Babe Ruth would hit .370 with 60 homers,’ and I’m like, ‘I would strike Babe Ruth out every time.’
“I’m not trying to disrespect him, you know, rest in peace, you know, shoutout to Babe Ruth. But it was a different game. I mean, the guy ate hot dogs and drank beer and did whatever he did. It was just a different game.”
As everyone knows, Babe Ruth is regarded as the greatest player in the history of baseball. He had a career batting average of .342 with 714 home runs and is the all-time leader in slugging % at .690 and OPS at 1.164. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.
But that was playing against guys that worked in factories and delivered milk in the morning. Not to mention he played against white guys and white guys only. Ruth retired 12 years before Jackie Robinson made his major league debut. So there are a lot of arguments to be made if you want to poke some holes in the legend that is Babe Ruth.
Babe Ruth played the cards he was dealt though and absolutely dominated the competition that was put in front of him for 22 years. Can’t knock the hustle. But if he played today?
6’2″ and north of 250 pounds? Yea that guy might struggle against hyper-specialized relievers throwing 100 mph on the black.
It’s impossible to really know how he would fare in today’s game. You know what is a much more fun argument? How would players from today fare in Babe Ruth’s era? In any sport really. Imagine LeBron James playing in the 1950s against a bunch of 5’11” dudes in short shorts? He would score 80 points a night without even breaking a sweat.
Leave it to a guy from New York who went to school in Boston to make national headlines for spitting the truth.