Free agent reliever Adam Ottavino says he would have struck out Babe Ruth ‘every time’

Babe Ruth was one of baseball’s all-time greatest hitters. But he wouldn’t have stood a chance against modern-day relief pitcher Adam Ottavino.

“I would strike Babe Ruth out every time,” Ottavino said in a recent episode of the MLB’s “Statcast” podcast.


Some context is definitely needed to go along with that quote.

Ruth is a baseball legend who hit .342 with 714 home runs from 1914 to 1935. Ottavino is an eight-year veteran and free agent who was 6-4 with a 2.43 ERA in 77 2/3 innings pitched with the Colorado Rockies last year.

In an interview with “Statcast’s” Mike Petriello, Ottavino was trying to make a point about how baseball has evolved through the years.

"I had an argument with a coach in triple-A about Babe Ruth's effectiveness in today's game, and this was like 10 years ago. I said, 'Babe Ruth, with that swing, swinging that bat, I got him hitting a buck forty [.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.'”

In other words, Ottavino feels Ruth would have struggled facing a lot of modern-day pitchers.

"I'm not trying to disrespect him, you know, rest in peace, you know, shout out to Babe Ruth,” Ottavino said. “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."