It might not take Adam Ottavino very long to become endeared to Red Sox fans.
Boston reportedly acquired Ottavino on Monday in a surprising trade with the rival New York Yankees. The right-hander is coming off a shaky 2020 season — 5.89 ERA over 18 1/3 innings pitched — but he’s been a good-to-great reliever for the majority of his 10-year Major League Baseball career.
Ottavino also is responsible for one of the more noteworthy takes offered by an MLB player in recent memory. The Northeastern product two years ago explained why he’s confident he’d have great success against Babe Ruth if The Great Bambino played in the modern era of baseball.
“I had an argument with a coach in Triple-A about Babe Ruth’s effectiveness in today’s game,” Ottavino said on MLB.com’s Statcast podcast, as transcribed by USA Today. “I said, ‘Babe Ruth, with that swing, swinging that bat, I got him hitting .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.’
“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, I mean the guy ate hot dogs and drank beer and did whatever he did. It was just a different game.”
Now that’s the confidence you like to hear from a pitcher who could be coming out of the bullpen in high-pressure situations.
Ottavino marks the second veteran arm the Red Sox reportedly have acquired over the past three days. Boston on Saturday, per multiple reports, agreed to a free-agent deal with Garrett Richards.