Before joining the Yankees, veteran bullpen arm Adam Ottavino made a very bold claim about one of their most celebrated players not just in franchise history, but in the history of the game.
Ottavino said he would "strike out Babe Ruth every time" on MLB's Statcast podcast, and it made headlines pretty quickly. Well, he thought it smart to walk back those comments a tad during his first conference call with New York media on Friday afternoon.
According to The Athletic's Lindsey Adler, Ottavino admitted that while explaining the evolution of baseball, he could have chose a better example than "The Great Bambino."
"Babe Ruth is probably a name I shouldn't have used in this example," he said.
Since Ottavino signed his three-year, $27 million deal with the Yanks, he isn't the only one catching flak for those comments. He explained that his uncle has come to him ticked off because New Yorkers constantly approach him about what his nephew said.
You can always count on loyal Yankees fans to protect the pinstripes, and Ottavino expects that having grown up in the Brooklyn. His career has come full circle now, which he said was "always the plan to make it happen if possible." But, after seven years in Colorado, he "didn't really think it would happen in my career."
Well, after the Yankees made the signing official on Thursday, it is happening. And Ottavino will even wear his No. 0, becoming the first Yankee to do so.
Ottavino is already making his mark before wearing that jersey, though, and he will hope to have the same success in the pinstripes as he did last season. After a brutal 2017 campaign, he bounced back with a 2.43 ERA over 77.2 innings with his devastating slider -- which he said he expects more movement to this season -- contributed to most of his 112 strikeouts.
Ottavino, along with the rest of the Yankees' pitching staff, will report to Tampa on Feb. 13 when pitchers and catchers are expected.