Today at the Winter Meetings, right-handed pitcher Adam Ottavino said, “I would strike Babe Ruth out every time.”
That is a real, factual, verbatim quote from a real major league baseball player. A pitcher who has played 8 seasons in the bigs without sniffing an All Star Game is saying he would strike out Babe Ruth, who is universally known as the greatest baseball player who ever lived, every time.
Listen, I’m not naive to the fact that baseball players have evolved over time. It’s been 83 years since The Sultan of Swat set foot on a professional baseball diamond, and the game has changed. Pitchers throw harder and have more developed pitch arsenals, while hitters have more technically “sound” swings. Of course Babe Ruth wouldn’t be a career .342/.474/.690 hitter in today’s game. I’m not stupid.
But to say that that The King of Crash would bat .140 with 8 homers is flat out disrespectful. And why, you ask, does he think that? Well, to use his exact words… “with that swing, swinging that bat” and “I mean the guy ate hot dogs and drank beer and did whatever he did.”
Newsflash Adam, “whatever he did” was hit 714 career home runs with the second highest on base percentage of all time. Oh, and you mean this swing?
Attention: I have fallen deep into a Babe Ruth rabbit hole on Youtube. Look how beautiful this swing is. pic.twitter.com/8i0el2XSli
— Ben Porter (@Ben13Porter) November 16, 2018
Anyone in their right mind would kill for that swing. Put it side by side with any major leaguer’s swing and it will stack up. No joke.
I will admit, though, that Ottavino’s point about “that bat” is accurate. No matter how skilled Babe was, he’d struggle to get a 52 ounce bat through the zone. If he dropped down to a 42 incher, which is the maximum legal length, his bat speed would be off the charts. He’d be pull-happy because of his lightning fast hands. And at today’s Yankee Stadium? Babe might fuck around and hit 800 bombs.
So spare me the “hot dogs and beer” and “pitchers were throwing 60 mph” arguments. Give Babe Ruth a personal trainer, nutritionist, and Marucci bat and he’s an All-Star caliber DH. I’ll take that any day of the week. You can never prove me wrong, so don’t even try.
P.S. “I’m not trying to disrespect him, you know, rest in peace, you know, shout out to Babe Ruth” while trashing him is laugh out loud funny.