The Joey Votto saga continues to get weirder

In case you haven’t heard the latest about Joey Votto, he’s been placed on the 15-day Disabled List due to stress. Per Hal Mccoy’s blog:

Asked what he could tell us about Votto, Baker said, “Not much. He’s just dealing with a personal issue. He wants us to respect his privacy about that. And he’s dealing with it, trying to deal with it.”

Baker said it doesn’t involve his inner ear infection, “But it started with that.” Votto went back to Cincinnati and when asked if he’ll be back after the 15 days, Baker said, “We hope so. We don’t know.”

Today, Dusty Baker closed the clubhouse to inform Votto’s teammates of what was going on, kind of.

Of the team meeting, Baker said, “They weren’t informed about what’s wrong with Joey. They were just told we have to stick together more than ever. And whatever it is, we have to support him. It’s like a member of your family. Right now he needs support and love. They have to try to understand something that they may not understand.”

Said General Manager Walt Jocketty, “It’s basically something that Joey needs some time to get away and deal with and we gave him that time. It’s not a big deal, but it is something that was affecting his ability to play at the level he wants to play at. So we gave him a little time off.”

Jocketty added, “Yeah, the inner ear thing has been part of that. That’s part of it and we’ll leave it at that.”

Here’s my thoughts after the most recent developments: I think that Votto is having problems now with panic attacks and anxiety. I think it’s obvious although those in the organization aren’t coming out and saying it, it’s pretty clear that is what is going on. I think he’s had a few incidents that scared him to death on the field where he thought he was going to collapse or have a heart attack or whatever. This could be brought on by lyme disease or it could just be that he’s having anxiety problems and now they’re going to get him on some medication to help that. And at the very least this is one of the strangest stories I’ve ever followed involving a player as well. I think that Votto told them in that closed door meeting last night after the ballgame that “hey guys, I’m having fears that I’m dying” or something along those lines and they realized that they need to give him some time and allow him to get help.

This comes at a bad time for the Reds. They really need their most accomplished hitter in the middle of the lineup to hang in there with the Milwaukees, the St. Louis’, and the Chicago’s of the division. Obviously this young man’s health takes precedence, but it’s unfortunate.

This is without a doubt one of the strangest stories I’ve ever heard of in 20+ years of following the sport. At the same time, it’s understandable. This kind of stuff happens to 25 year old men in every walk of life every day.