Lindbergh: We’re actually watching the best baseball players ever

From SABR member Ben Lindbergh at The Ringer on March 29, 2019:

In December, then-free-agent reliever Adam Ottavino made an off-the-cuff comment that has stuck to him since. Appearing on’s Statcast Podcast, Ottavino opined that Babe Ruth would bat .140 with eight homers if transported to today’s game. “I would strike out Babe Ruth every time,” the right-hander continued, adding, “I’m not trying to disrespect him, you know, rest in peace, you know, shout-out to Babe Ruth. But it was a different game.”

In January, Ottavino signed with the Yankees. Naturally, his Ruth comments came up on his first post-signing conference call. Having recently accepted 27 million Steinbrenner Bucks, Ottavino struck a predictably penitent tone, confessing that he would “probably not” strike out Ruth every time after all. “I probably used a bad example of the point I was trying to make about the evolution of pitching over baseball history,” he said. “Babe Ruth is probably a name I shouldn’t have used in this example, but I caught a lot of flak for it.” Ottavino assured the fans of his new franchise that he “meant no disrespect.”

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Originally published: March 29, 2019. Last Updated: March 29, 2019.