Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Boston's 'Babe Ruth' Pitch To The 'Babe Ruth Of Japan'?

For once in baseball, money isn't everything. The pursuit of two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani (known as 'The Babe Ruth Of Japan') will not hinge on some ridiculous contract offer. Based on the agreement reached yesterday, the Nippon Ham Fighters will get a $20 million posting fee from the winning MLB team—but Ohtani will get a minimal "signing bonus" because he is under 25 years of age (23). So, while the like of The Evil Ones and Rangers do have the most International Pool money ($3-4 million), that's a pittance compared with the endorsement deals he'll get in Japan in his first year in America. So, it will likely be the "value-added" stuff that lures Ohtani to one club or another. Enter your Red Sox. Which of the 30 MLB franchises has had the most successful implementation of what Ohtani wants (to be able to hit and pitch)? Hmm. Would that be your Carmine Hose and one George Herman Ruth? You bethca! (to paraphrase a former Vice Presidential candidate). In fact, Dave Dombrowski has already sent out a signal along these lines, saying: "Well, Babe Ruth did it (played both ways), right? So, he was pretty good." Exactly! In 1919, his final year with the Red Sox, Ruth played in 130 games—hitting .322, smacking 29 HRs (by far the record at that time), and knocking in 113 runs. Not bad. Oh yeah, Shohei, did we mention that The Babe also started 15 games for Boston that year? He finished 9-5 with a 2.97 ERA over 133.1 innings. Once he got to Baghdad-On-The-Hudson, his pitching days ended. So, which franchise has actual successful experience with a two-way player. Your new team, Shohei—the Boston Red Sox. Not a bad pitch! (So to speak).