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#pounditTuesday, December 7, 2021

Articles tagged: Joey Votto

Joey Votto has very high praise for Brewers pitching staff

Joey Votto

Joey Votto is one of the most accomplished hitters of his generation, and has seen almost every pitcher of note during his career. That’s what makes comments he made about the Milwaukee Brewers so noteworthy.

On Thursday, the Cincinnati Reds first baseman told MLB Network that the current Brewers pitching staff is the toughest he’s ever faced top-to-bottom.

Votto has faced the likes of the early-2010s Philadelphia Phillies, which boasted the likes of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt in the same rotation. Milwaukee’s rotation is excellent, but unlike those Phillies teams, they also have a dominant back end of the bullpen. They can start a game with Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, or Freddy Peralta, then turn it over to Devin Williams, Brent Suter, and Josh Hader. That’s tough to beat in a playoff series.

One thing is certain: as much as Votto admires the Milwaukee staff, he’s definitely not shying away from taunting their fanbase.

Video: Joey Votto went ‘scoreboard’ on taunting Brewers fan

Joey Votto

It is typically never a good idea for professional athletes to acknowledge heckling fans, but Cincinnati Reds star couldn’t resist during Tuesday night’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Votto was batting in the top of the fourth inning at American Family Field when a fan seated near home plate starting giving him a hard time. Votto worked a walk, and he scored later in the inning to give the Reds a 3-1 lead. According to Brandon Saho of WLWT, Votto immediately went over to the fan and gave him the “scoreboard” treatment.

C. Trent Rosencrans of The Athletic noted that Votto had also been jawing back and forth with the fan while he was in the on-deck circle, so it seems like the two were enjoying it. The clip below appears to show Votto pointing at the fan:

Unfortunately for Votto, the fan got the last laugh as the Brewers defeated the Reds 7-4.

Votto has every right to feel confident with the way he has played this season. The 37-year-old is batting .280 with 28 home runs and 81 RBI. He’s having one of his best seasons in years.

Joey Votto sends fan autographed ball to make up for being ejected from game

Joey Votto

Joey Votto did his best to make it up to a fan after being tossed early from Saturday’s game.

Votto was ejected from his Cincinnati Reds’ 7-5 loss to the San Diego Padres in the first inning for arguing balls and strikes.

The ejection was especially disappointing for one young female fan who loves Votto. The young fan’s presumed mother shared a photo with the Reds on Twitter. The photo was of the young girl crying following Votto’s ejection.

The Reds saw the tweet and reached out to try and make up.

The young fan was sent an autographed ball from Votto, who apologized for getting tossed early.

That was cool all around. Well, except for the Reds, who lost 7-5 and could have used Votto in their lineup.

Video: Joey Votto loved sticking it to s— talking Cardinals fans

Joey Votto

Joey Votto was quite proud of his Cincinnati Reds for their huge sweep of the Cardinals in St. Louis over the weekend.

The Reds swept a 4-game series at Busch Stadium from Thursday-Sunday. Not only was that a big accomplishment — one Cincinnati hadn’t done since 1990 — but sticking it to Cardinals fans felt great for Votto.

“We had some s— talking motherf—ers in St. Louis after the first series sweep. It’s kind of nice to go at their road ballpark and let them have it,” Votto said.

Votto was referencing a 3-game series in late April in St. Louis where the Cardinals swept the Reds. This was nice revenge for Cincinnati.

Votto has been out for a month with a fractured thumb and is returning on Tuesday. Not being part of the lineup for the sweep didn’t dampen his enthusiasm over the accomplishment in the least.

You shouldn’t be surprised by this reaction from Votto. He has shown in the past he loves dishing it to hecklers.

You can watch the video below:

Reds ejected after bench-clearing incident with Cubs

Reds Cubs players

Three members of the Cincinnati Reds were ejected from Saturday’s game against the Chicago Cubs after a bench-clearing incident in the fourth inning.

Adbert Alzolay was pitching in the bottom of the fourth for the Cubs against the Reds and threw a pitch up and in on Shogo Akiyama. Some from the Reds’ bench, like Joey Votto, began yelling out in protest of the pitch.

Reds manager David Bell, as well as Votto and Jesse Winker, were all ejected from the game.

There is some background.

In the top of the fourth, Cubs manager David Ross was ejected after the Reds threw a pitch over Anthony Rizzo’s head.

Rizzo hit two home runs in the Cubs’ 3-0 win over the Reds earlier in the day in the first game of their doubleheader.

In total, five members of the teams were ejected from the second game of the doubleheader as of this story being published.

Joey Votto dislikes MLB’s fake crowd noise

Joey Votto

Major League Baseball’s decision to pipe crowd noise into stadiums isn’t sitting well with at least one player.

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto is not a fan of the idea, and thinks whoever came up with it definitely isn’t involved in the on-field competition.

MLB is using crowd noise from the “MLB The Show” video game to enhance the experience in games without fans. However, unlike how some other sports have handled simulated crowd noise, MLB will pipe the noise directly into stadiums using sound systems instead of simply applying it to the TV broadcast. If it’s not realistic or sounds strange, it could be a distraction to players like Votto.

The Reds’ first baseman has been pretty outspoken about some aspects of MLB’s shortened season. He’s not the only one who’s not keen on the crowd sounds, either.

Joey Votto: 2020 World Series would be ‘worth more’

Joey Votto

How much would the sports world remember the champion of a shortened MLB season? One top player has no concerns about that.

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto believes that any potential 2020 World Series winner would deserve “full credit” — and that it would actually mean more to win it under the circumstances.

“I feel very strongly that any team that wins the World Series, even in an abbreviated season, will get full credit and will be able to enjoy it,” Votto told Jayson Stark of The Athletic. “And I’ll be honest with you. The more I think about winning the World Series this year, I think it’s freaking worth more.”

There are a lot of extenuating circumstances in 2020. Players would play without fans and potentially in some sort of semi-isolated situation. The playoff field would be larger as well. Whether that makes up for at least 80 missing regular season games is in the eye of the beholder. One Hall of Famer thinks it wouldn’t, but Votto clearly disagrees.

5 MLB players in need of a bounceback season in 2020

Trevor Bauer

There is still hope of playing the 2020 MLB season. While players definitely want to get back to action, there are some who may feel they have more to prove than others. Those players had bad seasons in 2019 by their standards, and would love nothing more than to make things right in 2020.

Here are five players who are looking for bounceback seasons after underwhelming 2019 campaigns.

5. Eric Hosmer, 1B, Padres

The second year of Hosmer’s eight-year deal with the Padres wasn’t much better than the first, which is worrisome from San Diego’s perspective. The veteran first baseman hit .265 with 22 home runs, but his .310 OBP simply isn’t good enough, especially for someone making $21 million annually. Hosmer is only 30, and he is still sound defensively, but he doesn’t look like the guy who was once an All-Star for the Kansas City Royals. The Padres need that to change.

4. Edwin Diaz, RP, Mets

Prior to the 2019 season, the Mets gave up a huge sum to get Diaz and Robinson Cano — most notably top prospect Jarred Kelenic. Diaz was a bust. After posting a 1.96 ERA in his final season with the Mariners, Diaz’s ERA ballooned to 5.59 in New York, and he blew seven saves. Whatever the reason for Diaz’s issues — one ex-teammate thought the city was a bad fit for him — the Mets need him to be a lot better to justify the hefty price they paid for him.

3. Miguel Cabrera, DH/1B, Tigers

Cabrera mostly stayed healthy last season, which is an improvement from a lost 2018 season. However, his tally of 12 home runs is unfathomably low for a player who was once one of the most feared sluggers in the game. It may be that age and injury have sapped Cabrera of his power, as his numbers have cratered since the 2016 season. The Tigers have him on the books through 2023, and while he may never be an MVP again, they’d desperately like to get some production out of him.

2. Joey Votto, 1B, Reds

Votto is one of the most intelligent and cerebral hitters in the league, so to see him post his worst season as an MLB player in 2019 is really alarming. Votto hit just .261, with only 15 home runs and 47 RBIs. Those are remarkably bad numbers from one of the most reliable hitters of his generation. Votto turned 36 last September, so this is another instance where age may be catching up to him. The Reds, who have been very aggressive in the offseason, are hoping that is not the case. They need Votto to be himself in order to contend. Based on some of his recent comments, we expect a turnaround.

1. Trevor Bauer, P, Reds

Bauer had a 2.21 ERA in 2018 and looked to be establishing himself as one of the game’s best pitchers. He wasn’t quite as good for the start of 2019, and then his numbers cratered after he was dealt to Cincinnati. Bauer won just twice in 10 starts for the Reds, posting a 6.39 ERA, though he said he was playing through injury. Bauer was acquired to lead the staff, and he’s entering a contract year. For those reasons, he should be motivated to be at his best in 2020. The Reds, who will likely anchor their rotation around him, desperately need that to be the case.

Joey Votto pays tribute to late Tony Fernandez with note on hat

Joey Votto

Joey Votto paid tribute to the late Tony Fernandez with a message written on his hat at Spring Training Wednesday.

Votto, who is from Toronto, was a Blue Jays fan growing up. On his hat, he wrote a message that said: “RIP Tony – My Dad and I loved you.”

Fernandez played 12 of his 17 MLB seasons with Toronto, winning the 1993 World Series with them.

“My condolences to his family,” Votto said, via MLB.com. “My father and I would watch the Blue Jays play. My father and I liked Devon White, but Tony was this slick guy, a guy who had this great personality and hitting style that was just so distinct. He had a style of defense that was also distinct. It was such a treat. Everybody seemed to like him.

“It’s sad that he passed away. I just wanted to show my appreciation and let Toronto know I was raised watching him, loving him and supporting that team. You’re not close to these people but you feel close to them in some way. It’s certainly sad.”

That’s a very respectful and thoughtful gesture from Votto.

Fernandez died on Saturday night at the age of 57 due to complications from kidney disease.

Joey Votto says he would retire with money left on his contract

Joey Votto

Joey Votto followed up a down power season in 2018 with one of the worst seasons of his career. Even though he’s 35 and seems to be slipping as he ages — a natural progression for professional athletes — Votto still has four years left on his contract and is guaranteed $107 million.

The Cincinnati Reds first baseman spoke with reporters on Wednesday and said he does not see himself being a guy who hangs around and cashes fat checks towards the end of his career if he’s not producing.

“Dropping off as much as I have, it has been really kind of an eye-opening experience — not something I want to continue to do in my career,” Votto said via The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans. “I do know some players are happy to finish their career off — I just don’t know if I’d have a lot of fun with that. I don’t think I would have fun just coming out and just collecting paychecks and facing favorable matchups and taking more days off. I just don’t think that would resonate with me. I do feel strongly that I want to play and excel.

Votto was then asked whether he would consider retiring even with years left on his contract.

“Oh, for sure,” Votto said. “If I’m dissatisfied or if I don’t feel like I want to play anymore if I’m not having fun. Like I said, I’ve really enjoyed the challenge and overcoming it. I’m very optimistic, but if I’m not having a good time and if I’m not feeling as though I want to continue playing for numerous reasons, then for sure, yeah. But I just don’t think I’m there yet. I really do feel confident that I’ll enjoy myself and I’ll play well.”

So, no, we’re not nearly at that point yet, but it’s something to keep in mind.

If anything should make the Reds and Votto feel better, it’s his play since September. This month he has batted .323 with a .981 OPS. That’s the player the Reds need and are paying for. Can he carry it into next season? That’s the big question. But if Votto ever drops off in a big way, maybe he’ll have too much pride to just cash checks late in his career.