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Los Angeles Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani elevated himself to international stardom this past week after a dominant performance throughout the World Baseball Classic that eventually led to Japan winning the tournament.
The pitcher / hitter combo player has always been a must-see, but displaying his unique skillset on the world stage has transformed Ohtani to historic levels.
As with everything in sports, the inevitable debate of who is the GOAT has already found its way to Ohtani – with some comparing him to the man that put baseball on the map itself, Babe Ruth.
However, longtime broadcast Mike Francesa doesn’t want to hear it.
FRANCESA SAID THE OHTANI GOAT ARGUMENT IS ‘SILLY’
Speaking on his “Mike Francesa Podcast’ the ‘Numba One’ radio host wasn’t having any of it.
“I don’t think he’s done anything near enough to be called the greatest player of all time. I think that is ridiculous,” Francesa started.
“Ya know what? Check out what Babe Ruth did before you’re going to tell me what Ohtani did. Go look at Babe Ruth’s pitching statistics in the regular season, in the World Series, career-wise. And then look at his offense, and then tell me how you would possibly think that Ohtani was better than Babe Ruth? It doesn’t make any sense. People say a lot of silly things. That’s a silly thing,” Francesa continued.
Francesa’s comments drew the ire of social media and younger fans out there.
Many stated the obvious, that even Mike himself didn’t see Babe Ruth ever play, so how can we really say that he’s the greatest? Also, Ruth only played in a league that had 8 teams at the time, and only pitched and hit in the same season once. Ohtani has done it for five seasons now.
However, the counterargument is pretty legitimate as well for those that think Ruth is still the greatest. Sure, Ohtani is a damn good pitcher and hitter – but he’s nowhere near the actual BEST at either of them. What makes him special is that he can do both really good, but not at a great level. It almost seems that yes, Ohtani is exciting and such a cool athlete to see live, but to claim that he’s better than Babe Ruth of all people may be a stretch.
At least that’s what Francesa thinks.
Keep in mind this is also the person that says Tom Brady isn’t the best regular season or playoff quarterback. That would go to Peyton Manning and Joe Montana, according to him.
As with all things in sports though, time will tell.
One way for Ohtani to help his GOAT argument? In addition to his WBC Championship, he needs to win a World Series Championship.
Babe Ruth had seven. Ohtani has none.