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Ohtani matches Babe Ruth with his 1st 10-win, 10 homer MLB season

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By MICHAEL WAGAMAN

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I don’t know baseball very well but Is this record for pitchers? 10HR and 10 wins doesn’t seem so rare.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

Ohtani is the greatest player in the history of baseball. Period. Full stop.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Shohei Ohtani withstood another injury scare and pitched six scoreless innings to go with his team-leading 25th home run, reaching yet another monumental milestone as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 5-1 on Tuesday night.

To out this in perspective, Ruth's 11 home runs came in the deadball era. But, he led the league that year; Otani will not lead the league in home runs this year; he is not even close to the lead. And Ruth also lead the league in slugging; Otani will not.

Of course, it is common knowledge Ruth hit 60 home runs in one season, a feat Otani will never match. Also, Ruth won more games pitching in 1 season than Otani has in his career.

So, does not really make much sense to compare these two players because it was a different game in Ruth's day.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

He really had to grind this start out, but he got it done. Way to go, Shohei.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

He is the greatest living athlete as of now, next to none.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

He could have achieved this last month, if he didn’t play for the lame Angels…

10 ( +11 / -1 )

all he needs is another 325 home runs to "match" Babe Ruth

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

GoodToday 03:07 pm JST

Ohtani is the greatest player in the history of baseball. Period. Full stop.

You don't know baseball. Period. Full stop. Please stop.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Dango bongToday 04:08 pm JST

all he needs is another 325 home runs to "match" Babe Ruth

True, and about 1500 more hits, a rise of about 80 points In lifetime batting average (never happen), 1900 more RBI, 140 more WAR and the list goes on. People need to pump the brakes. The guy is definitely an all-time talent but he is NOT such a special hitter. All-around, he is great because no one pitches and hits anymore. He might end up being better than the Babe in the pitching department but his hitting does NOT compare. Don't let social media and hyperbole cloud your mind. He also needs to be this good for several more seasons sustained. MLB is milking it just for the Japanese "fan."

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

You don't know baseball. Period. Full stop. Please stop.

Yup! Otani may be one of the best today, but he has to keep this up for another 10 years or so to even get close to G.O.A.T. discussion.

I also believe he is eventually going to have to give up one or the other, but while it lasts, it's fun to watch. Just wish he was playing on a winning team and had a chance to play in October!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Ohtani is the greatest player in the history of baseball. Period. Full stop.

He is amazing! But let's revisit 'the greatest in history' after his tenth season. Ohtani is among the best in baseball today, if he's the best today it's because of his outstanding pitching and hitting skills, making him a rarity. I think he might say his teammate Mike Trout is a better hitter, as is Juan Soto, and there are several pitchers in baseball better than he is.He'll most likely leave the LA Angels soon because it's such a mediocre team; I imagine he wants to play for a winner, and if he leaves the Angels will get huge money to sign with another club, maybe a New York or Texas team, maybe the LA Dodgers.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

He is the greatest living athlete as of now, next to none.

You dont know much about world class athletes if you think a baseball player is the greatest one alive today!

10 ( +13 / -3 )

While I think the people talking about Ohtani as the greatest of all time is obviously ridiculous at this early stage of his career, I'd like to nitpick some of this.

To out this in perspective, Ruth's 11 home runs came in the deadball era. 

True, prior to 1920 home runs were pretty rare. But to also put it in perspective, during the deadball era pitchers hit for themselves and would sometimes play other positions on their off days (not often, especially for stars, but sometimes). Ohtani is playing in an era where pitchers don't hit at all, even in the NL now, which makes his two-way performance much more unique today than it would have been in the deadball era.

But, he led the league that year; Otani will not lead the league in home runs this year; he is not even close to the lead.

True, but Ohtani almost led the league last year (just 2 shy of the lead, and he was in the lead for part of the season), and he still looks like he'll be in the top 10 this year. And leading the league in home runs today - when the league is full of sluggers - is arguably a much more impressive feat than it was during the deadball era when almost all the competition were slap hitters just trying to get on base.

 And Ruth also lead the league in slugging; Otani will not.

Yeah, but as with home runs Ohtani finished a close second last year in slugging.

Of course, it is common knowledge Ruth hit 60 home runs in one season, a feat Otani will never match. 

Well, its early going and we don't know that Ohtani will never hit 60. While unlikely I wouldn't rule out the possibility.

Also, Ruth won more games pitching in 1 season than Otani has in his career.

Yes, and Ruth did that while pitching in an era in which it wasn't unusual for a top starter to win more than 30 games, a feat nobody has come close to accomplishing in over 50 years. If we're going to adjust for Ruth's 11 homer performance, surely we must do so for Ohtani's pitching numbers as well, no?

So, does not really make much sense to compare these two players because it was a different game in Ruth's day.

I agree. Ohtani doesn't yet merit the comparisons with Ruth in terms of his overall career for obvious reasons, nor the impact he had on the game which in Ruth's case is without parrallel. But at the same time I wouldn't agree that any attempt at comparison would always go Ruth's way - in some ways Ohtani's performance for the past two years is uniquely impressive.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Extraordinary! Most baseball fans around the world are speechless at Ohtanis' jaw-dropping achievements.

It is now fair to say Ohtani is at least the equal of Babe Ruth as the baseball GOAT. And when he retires, he will be undisputed.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

At this rate. It's the Ohtani Angels. Mark words!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

They should really stop comparing with Babe Ruth, the era is completely different.

The pitchers and batters now are of a different class now as there's more money put into it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

In Babe Ruth's days, they had to run wearing 10 lbs of sports clothes.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

By the time Ohtani has finished with baseball in 10 years, fans will be like "Babe who?"

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I don’t know where he ranks among the pantheons, but he’s pretty damn good and his stats would be better on another team.

He has no support in the lineup so teams rarely have to pitch to him, and he gets no run support otherwise he’d have 3 more wins this year and might have challenged for a Cy young last year.

If, and it’s a big if, he stays healthy and keeps this level of production on both sides the game he will clear a first ballot HOF requirement like a hurdler steps over a curb.

Best is debatable but I think the exuberance and sportsmanship he brings in addition to his talent makes him the most fun to watch.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hitting a homerun in today's game is much harder. Back then, players were basically plumbers, bricklayers, etc. as their day jobs. Nowadays, there are specialist relief pitchers whose only responsibility is to pitch two innings to pass it on to the closer. These players are now specialized. To be fair, hitters have also become specialized. It would be interesting to see how Babe Ruth would fair against a Kershaw, Verlander, De Gromm, etc. nowadays. Back then, no one was throwing 90 miles per hour. Nowadays, everyone is. Also, it would be interesting to see how Babe Ruth would handle a splitter, cutter, or slider; pitches which were not thrown back in those days.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

rainydayToday  05:08 pm JST

To out this in perspective, Ruth's 11 home runs came in the deadball era. 

True, prior to 1920 home runs were pretty rare. But to also put it in perspective, during the deadball era pitchers hit for themselves and would sometimes play other positions on their off days (not often, especially for stars, but sometimes). Ohtani is playing in an era where pitchers don't hit at all, even in the NL now, which makes his two-way performance much more unique today than it would have been in the deadball era.

Ruth's 11 home runs were not only the most by a player that year, they were more than the home runs hit by 5 other *teams***.**

But, he led the league that year; Otani will not lead the league in home runs this year; he is not even close to the lead.

True, but Ohtani almost led the league last year (just 2 shy of the lead, and he was in the lead for part of the season), and he still looks like he'll be in the top 10 this year. And leading the league in home runs today - when the league is full of sluggers - is arguably a much more impressive feat than it was during the deadball era when almost all the competition were slap hitters just trying to get on base.

Ohtani has 25 hrs now; Judge has 44. I don't think in the deadball era players were necessarily slap hitters; the strategy of the game was different and as such, they did slap hit often ---but the same ball was used throughout the game and became soft, pitchers could throw spitters, or scuff the ball.

Rogers Hornsby also played in the deadball era, and hit home rums only in single digits; when the deadball era ended, Hornsby hit 42 home runs that first season.

Also, Ruth won more games pitching in 1 season than Otani has in his career.

Yes, and Ruth did that while pitching in an era in which it wasn't unusual for a top starter to win more than 30 games, a feat nobody has come close to accomplishing in over 50 years. If we're going to adjust for Ruth's 11 homer performance, surely we must do so for Ohtani's pitching numbers as well, no?

I'm just throwing some ice on the Ohtani fire. I think for pitching, instead of adjusting, compare Ruth and Ohtani with their contemporaries---on that line, I do think they match closely.

peterlToday  06:29 pm JST

Hitting a homerun in today's game is much harder. Back then, players were basically plumbers, bricklayers, etc. as their day jobs. 

The baseball parks were more expansive in the old days---Fenway Park is about 310 feet down the left field line. The Red Sox that Ruth played with had games in a field that was over 600 feet to center.

Players are bigger, stronger, and play basically year round now, coming up to the majors, as opposed to working as a farmer in the off-season in the deadball days, and not being in top shape when the season started.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is now fair to say Ohtani is at least the equal of Babe Ruth as the baseball GOAT. And when he retires, he will be undisputed.

Let me guess, you said the same thing about the G.O.A.T when Matsui was playing, and before that Ichiro, and before that, Aoki, and before that, Nomo too.

Fortunately MLB has higher standards, and the need for longevity and not just a season or two!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Oh and to all the folks crying that Otani is the "best ever", keep in mind that his numbers in Japan wont count, as like it or not, Japanese professional baseball is at BEST 3.5AAA ball, and not on the MLB level overall.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Oh and to all the folks crying that Otani is the "best ever", keep in mind that his numbers in Japan wont count, as like it or not, Japanese professional baseball is at BEST 3.5AAA ball, and not on the MLB level overall.

This argument always irritates me since it equates Japanese players NPB accomplishments to minor league status while ignoring the fact that its the highest league they can play at for the first few years of their careers.

Pete Rose uses it to denigrate Ichiro’s accomplishments, because he’s an idiot, but Hank Aaron never used the same logic to dismiss Sadaharu Oh’s career.

I’m not saying NPB is at the same level as MLB, clearly it isn’t, but at the same time there are a lot of MLB calibre players in NPB so its not just a minor league either.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Fightio Nonsense! In baseball, as in all sports, winning championships matters.

Ruth was a member of the most successful team in the history of baseball, if not sport.

it’s possible Ohtani May never win a championship playing for the lousy Angels. Could he do what he is doing now under the pressure of playing for a contender? Who knows but until he does he will not be considered the greatest.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

rainydayToday  07:56 pm JST

This argument always irritates me since it equates Japanese players NPB accomplishments to minor league status while ignoring the fact that its the highest league they can play at for the first few years of their careers.

Yes, I think. But at the same time, most major league players play in the minors the first 3-5 years.

Pete Rose uses it to denigrate Ichiro’s accomplishments, because he’s an idiot, but Hank Aaron never used the same logic to dismiss Sadaharu Oh’s career. 

True and true.

I think when Matsui came up Barry Bonds said he wouldn't his 20 home runs his first season because of the higher level of pitching. He hit 16.

I’m not saying NPB is at the same level as MLB, clearly it isn’t, but at the same time there are a lot of MLB calibre players in NPB so its not just a minor league either.

I think 30 years ago it was at/below Triple A. Now, it is between Triple A and the Majors.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This argument always irritates me since it equates Japanese players NPB accomplishments to minor league status while ignoring the fact that its the highest league they can play at for the first few years of their careers.

Let it irritate you, but it's a fact. The Mexican and Central and South American leagues have more major league players than any from the Japanese pro leagues. And no one equates them as being at MLB level either.

Japanese baseball is Japanese baseball, but it's no where near the level of the MLB. The worst MLB team is still better than the best Japanese one!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Fighto!

Today 06:04 pm JST

By the time Ohtani has finished with baseball in 10 years, fans will be like "Babe who?"

You don't really believe that do you? Ruth is arguably the GOAT, played on the most historic lineup (Murderers' Row), for the most storied franchise (the New York Yankees) , won 7 World Series and hit .342 for his CAREER. Ohtani's stats pale in comparison and the Angels blow. You need to rethink that comment just a wee bit.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm just throwing some ice on the Ohtani fire. I think for pitching, instead of adjusting, compare Ruth and Ohtani with their contemporaries---on that line, I do think they match closely.

The ice is well deserved, what Ohtani is doing is amazing, but being exaggerated a lot.

To me the biggest difference with him and Ruth is in their impact on the game itself. Ruth revolutionized the game and played a huge role in ending the dead ball era. The 1920s saw the emergence of the power hitter, all of whom were following Ruth.

Ohtani though isn’t leading a revolution like that though, “being a pitcher who also hits 30-40 home runs” isn’t going to be the next big thing in baseball. Its just Ohtani. He is really just a huge outlier in his generation. In some ways it makes him more impressive, but also less significant a figure.

I think 30 years ago it was at/below Triple A. Now, it is between Triple A and the Majors.

I’m not sure. 30 years ago NPB wasn’t having the top level of its talent skimmed off by MLB like it is now.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

rainydayToday  08:35 pm JST

Ohtani though isn’t leading a revolution like that though, “being a pitcher who also hits 30-40 home runs” isn’t going to be the next big thing in baseball. Its just Ohtani. He is really just a huge outlier in his generation. In some ways it makes him more impressive, but also less significant a figure.

Ruth's hitting was just so superior to his contemporaries. I just randomly chose 1924. Ruth hit more home runs than 8 teams in the major leagues. No one in the majors will outperform any team in home runs again.

I do think Ohtani sort of opened the door. Players who pitch in high school/college might not so easily give up batting, and I wouldn't be surprised if we see more pitcher/ good hitters in the majors in the next decade. Or at least one.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Fighto! Were you hit with a foul ball? Ohtani is good, but he is not equal to Babe Ruth, what he is doing is rare today, what Babe Ruth did was normal during his time. Players would play several position and not get rested at all, sometimes they would pitch two games in one day. Ohtani IS NOT GOING TO HIT 60 home runs in a year! On a lower level he can probably match Ruth on certain stats but there is no comparison. If Ohtani is the greatest in the sports that he plays his name would be mentioned when it comes to "OTHER PLAYERS IN SPORTS HISTORY where he has retired or is still in the game! If he can't be in this list he isn't one of the greatest Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Usain Bolt, Serena Williams, Cristiano Ronaldo, Tiger Woods just to name a few and the list could go on. I am not saying he can't get there but time will tell and right now I don't see him getting there. The players you see names above "DOMINATED the sports they played in. Ohtani is not dominating the game he is just in a rare position that most players don't do for example Barry Bonds he hit many home runs but he didn't pitch is Ohtani his equal? I don't think so!

Extraordinary! Most baseball fans around the world are speechless at Ohtanis' jaw-dropping achievements.

It is now fair to say Ohtani is at least the equal of Babe Ruth as the baseball GOAT. And when he retires, he will be undisputed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ohtani is not dominating the game he is just in a rare position that most players don't do for example Barry Bonds he hit many home runs but he didn't pitch is Ohtani his equal? I don't think so!

With respect, you cannot compare the drug cheat Barry Bonds to Ohtani. Everyone knows the only reason Bonds could hit a ball every inning into SF Bay is because he was juiced up for many years. Very ordinary player without those 'roids. Ohtani will never need to get involved in that nonsense.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Bonds still made hard contact on that ball, it just went a bit further. He would have been great without the juice. For those above who don't understand baseball, at least 10 HR and 10 wins is rare because pitchers cannot bat very well usually. If they are a pitcher, they are not picking up a bat and making good contact with the ball. Ohtani is a rare 2 way player - he pitches and he also hits really well. The only other player comparable is Babe Ruth.

Ohtani is amazing, but he needs to get away from the Angels and to the Yankees if he wants to win.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Very ordinary player without those 'roids. 

This just isn’t true about Bonds. Years before his head and body ballooned in 2001 from PED use he won three NL MVP awards in the early 90s and was arguably the best player in MLB.

Which makes his idiotic decision to roid up all the more disappointing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

To be honest I don’t know the stat’s and total history of baseball regarding Babe Ruth but would he get the same results now in the modern game? What would ohtani do in the years that Ruth was playing with the game he has

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He is the greatest living athlete as of now, next to none.

oh pleease, what about Hussain Bolt, Micheal Jordon, Micheal Phelps , Tiger Woods etc etc.

just a few that have dominated their ATHLETIC sports for years

Baseball and athletic dont really go hand in hand, especially if youre just a slugger

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ohtani isn't just a slugger - that is the entire point. He pitches at an elite level and he also hits. The man is an amazing athlete.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I’m not saying NPB is at the same level as MLB, clearly it isn’t, but at the same time there are a lot of MLB calibre players in NPB so its not just a minor league either.

Maybe so, but every player on a MLB team is major league calibre, not just the possibility of one on a Japanese team.

The one's who have potential, want to go, because they want to test their skills against the BEST in the world, and from around the world.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

 He pitches at an elite level and he also hits.

"Elite" is overused. He is good right now, in 19 games started this year, he has only managed to pitch a total of 111 innings. He has no complete games and no shutouts to his credit. His numbers are good, but far from elite.

You want elite, talk Justin Verlander, Degrom, Burnes, Cease, and others.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It’s a wonderful milestone, and the Babe probably would’ve bought Ohtani a hotdog and a beer. It also shows how far baseball has come as an international sport in the past 100 years.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ohtani joined Babe Ruth (1918) as the only players in major league history to have at least 10 home runs and 10 wins in the same season.

Ohtani did this in Japan twice; how come it wasn't a big deal then?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wes Ferrell of the 1931 Indians came close, 22 Wins and 9 HRs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You want elite, talk Justin Verlander, Degrom, Burnes, Cease, and others.

Uhh, none of them can hit 25+ homers and 65+ RBI's and steal 10+ bases. In fact, only Ohtani can make the claim to have notched at least 10 wins, 10 homers, and 10 steals in a season. No one can make that claim. Not Verlander. Not Ruth. No one. That to me is what many people don't realize. Even MLB players are in awe of what he is doing.

Ohtani is like two players in one. FYI, each team has their own meetings just for the pitchers. There are also meeting just for hitters. He goes to them both. Also, he does double the practices. He practices pitching, and then hits the batting cages. His work ethic is unmatched. That is what the non-athlete or non-baseball player doesn't seem to realize. I can guarantee that there is not one MLB team that would be over the moon to have a Shohei Ohtani on their team. He does everything at a high level, he is the model teammate and role model, and a true ambassador of the sport. And let's not forget, he is so underpaid for what he brings in value.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let it irritate you, but it's a fact. The Mexican and Central and South American leagues have more major league players than any from the Japanese pro leagues. And no one equates them as being at MLB level either.

That is an extremely misleading comparison. The Mexican League is formally recognized as a Triple A league and has player development agreements with MLB clubs. And most of its teams play in stadiums with capacities under 10,000. Its very clearly a minor league.

NPB is not integrated into North American baseball like that, players can only move to MLB via the posting system. Its teams play in stadiums with capacities similar to MLB teams (and draw comparable attendance levels). It has a minor league system of its own. The top players don’t get paid as high as MLB clubs, but the top players get paid much more than their Mexican league counterparts, or other minor leaguers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

NPB is not integrated into North American baseball like that, players can only move to MLB via the posting system.

Besides cherry picking only the Mexican league, let me point out, the only reason the posting system exists in the first place is to keep Japanese players in Japan. The best prospects would leave after high school if there were no such system.

There was a lot of pressure on Otani to leave after HS, but he was pressured into staying here.

Size of stadiums has nothing to do with the quality of the players either.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Besides cherry picking only the Mexican league,

No cherry picking, the Mexican League is the biggest league in that country, and way bigger than any other in Central or South America. Got a better example to illustrate your point? Then share it.

let me point out, the only reason the posting system exists in the first place is to keep Japanese players in Japan. 

Yeah, my point exactly. It keeps guys who otherwise would be in MLB in NPB, something that distinguishes NPB from a minor league because, among other things, it gets more seasons out of guys (Ohtani, Ichiro, etc) who, if they were in a minor league would have been called up.

I’m not saying the posting system is good, just that it has that effect.

Size of stadiums has nothing to do with the quality of the players either.

Not directly, but the income they generate allows NPB to economically compete for players that minor league teams cannot, which does affect quality.

They can’t offer enough to compete with MLB teams for top talent, of course, but they can offer multi million dollar salaries which is far more than any minor league can afford for mid level talent.

And all 12 teams in NPB draw higher attendance than the worst MLB teams, while the Giants and Tigers draw almost the same attendance as the even the MLB teams like the Yankees and Dodgers. Otherwise the NPB teams are very poorly run as businesses so they can’t compete economically with MLB, but they are still a far cry from a minor league.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The MLB castoffs who go to play in the NPB, when people mention their baseball stats in their introductions, do they mention their NPB stats?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

rainydayAug. 12  12:26 pm JST

> And all 12 teams in NPB draw higher attendance than the worst MLB teams, while the Giants and Tigers draw almost the same attendance as the even the MLB teams like the Yankees and Dodgers. Otherwise the NPB teams are very poorly run as businesses so they can’t compete economically with MLB, but they are still a far cry from a minor league.

What do you mean by draw higher attendance?

NPB is higher level than the minors, but at the same time, I put is between Triple A (minors) and MLB; but closer to Triple A than MLB as far as skill of the players.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What do you mean by draw higher attendance?

I mean draw higher attendance.

In 2019 (last year before Covid) average attendance at MLB games was 28,204. In NPB the Central League averaged 34,655 while the PL averaged 27,203, meaning that average NPB games draw more fans than average MLB games.

The worst MLB team in terms of attendance were the Marlins, who only drew 811,000 all season. The NPB team with the worst attendance, the Marines, drew more than double that. The best drawing NPB teams, the Giants and Tigers, each drew more than 3 million, about the same as the big market Chicago Cubs and LA Angels, and just a bit behind the Dodgers and Yankees (and they did this despite playing a shorter season than MLB).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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