Mike Francesa

Shohei Ohtani will soon be paid like he’s the greatest baseball player of all-time, but Mike Francesa scoffed at the idea that he actually is the greatest baseball player of all-time.

Ohtani is the face of Major League Baseball, and his performance on the global stage in the World Baseball Classic this month only added to his aura. He can slug homers and strike out opposing batters in a way that makes Babe Ruth his only relatable comp. But on the latest episode of The Mike Francesa Podcast, the former WFAN host considered it “ridiculous” to compare Ohtani to Ruth.

“Not even a little bit do I agree with that,” Francesa said of the idea that Ohtani is the best baseball player ever. “I don’t think he’s done anywhere near enough to be called that. I think that is ridiculous. I’m sorry.

“You know what? Check out what Babe Ruth did before you’re going to tell me what Ohtani did,” Francesa continued. “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.”

There are obvious counterpoints to the argument that Ruth was the greatest of all time, the first being the fact that he played against the same seven teams every season in a league that wasn’t integrated. Ruth also only played as a full-time hitter and starting pitcher for one season in his career. Ohtani is dominating as a pitcher and hitter every year and he’s doing it against the world’s best talent, Ruth did not.

But the strangest part about the talking heads who say there’s “no way” Ohtani could be better than Ruth is that they’re arguing for a player they never watched, and against a player who is right in front of them. Francesa never watched Ruth play and there’s little video evidence available to analyze. How can someone vehemently argue a person they never saw step onto the field is the best baseball player of all time, while being so quick to dismiss the candidate they get to watch up close? Seems ridiculous, maybe even silly.

[The Mike Francesa Podcast]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com