Category Archives: Joey Votto

Reds ‘lock up’ Joey Votto for 3 years, $38 million

Reports are that Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds have agreed on a 3-year deal today worth $38 million dollars that will allow the two sides to avoid arbitration.

To me, I still think there’s a shot that Votto isn’t a Red to see the end of this contract. It’s obvious that this isn’t a long-term deal. The reason for that is that Votto is probably wanting more money than the Reds know they’re ever going to be able to pay him.

The club should be commended for awarding the MVP a raise without having to have their arm twisted in an arbitration case.

This deal also gives a portrayed ‘window’ for the club and the player to work out a deal, but in two years from now–which is a relatively short time in sports–if no deal is worked out for a longer term deal the Reds will probably start fielding offers for Votto. This could happen even sooner and it will be key to watch what the Reds do with Yonder Alonso in that time. If Alonso remains a Red, it’s a telling sign that the club doesn’t feel that Votto is going to be in Cincinnati beyond the life of this deal.

Anyone who thinks that Votto is going to be a career Red at this point is really going out on a limb.

Your 2010 National League MVP is Joey Votto

Joey Votto had a season in 2010 that was for the ages. And now, he’s won the National League’s version of Best in Show. The highest acclaim. Our first baseman is a superstar, and he’s the 2010 National League MVP.

And it wasn’t even close.

Votto wins the award by receiving 31 of 32 1st place votes. He finishes “slightly” ahead of Albert Pujols and Carlos Gonzalez. He batted .369 with a 1.129 OPS with runners in scoring position and .370 with a 1.138 OPS in “close and late” situations. He defined everything and anything that a Most Valuable Player should be this past season. He was extremely dominant, and there was no same way to get him out twice.

I had the opportunity to watch Votto time and again this season live and in person. The guy seemed to homer every time I was at the ball park. I can’t tell you the exact words or phrase that describes what it is like to be able to buy your ticket, go through the turnstiles and go watch an MVP whenever you feel like. But I can tell you that multiple times this season I knew when I saw him–that is exactly what I was seeing. It was greatness and poetry in motion all in one at the same time.

No matter how long you watch the game of baseball, you’ll never forget Joey Votto’s 2010. That’s how you know it was a special year.

Given his age and the ballpark that he plays in, you have to wonder not if Votto wins another MVP award but how many.

It’s refreshing and exciting to know that a guy who plays first base in the little baseball heaven that is Cincinnati could also be a guy who takes MVP awards away from the Great Pujols.

Congratulations, Joey. You were deserving and you will be great on the throne. Here’s to another 2011 just like it.

Gutsiest Performance in a lifetime makes Reds a 2010 winner

Last night I was flipping back and forth between the Monday Night Football opener between the Jets and Ravens and of course the Reds game. I didn’t want to miss Jay Bruce’s return. I’ve got to say, last night’s most compelling storyline to wasn’t the showdowns on Monday Night Football but rather Jay Bruce’s gritty performance.

Bruce reached the 20 home run plateau for the third straight season, becoming the 2nd Red in history (Frank Robinson is the other). When he hit his first one, we looked over to our fiance with surprised eyes of joy. It put the Reds on the board after Bronson Arroyo gave up a couple leaving the Reds trailing 2-0; and it was as if Bruce hadn’t missed a beat in two weeks off. Our girlfriend replied as he rounded the bases “I love Jay Bruce”.

We love him too.

The Reds would hit five home runs on the night. Joey Votto would follow with another opposite field shot, Orlando Cabrera and Drew Stubbs (Stubbs went back to back with Bruce to tie the game at 2) would also join in the fun.

This night was a special night not just because the return of the guy who could take the Reds to the next level in the postseason but because the Reds now cannot be a losing team at season’s end. The magic number shrunk to 13 with another Cardinals loss. And postseason baseball is in the air now.

We purchased our playoff tickets this morning through a friend who won the drawing, so we’ll be there if the Reds hold up their end.

If Jay Bruce never hits another home run in a Reds uniform, last night’s return from a long strange injury bout was another warm memory in his young Reds career and a long successful season for the Cincinnati Reds.

Joey Votto's Saturday Night Walk-Off highlights the Weekend

In case you missed Joey Votto’s first career walk-off home run last night, here it is. Honestly, it was another huge home run in a season of nothing but huge knocks from this guy. Joey Votto has achieved some kind of immortality in Reds lore we think.

As he rounded the bases last night, a sense of calm came over us. We realized that; we’re probably going to do this, aren’t we? We realized once again that you’re witnessing a once in a lifetime season from a player whose talents are once in a lifetime.

It also might be a good time to buy one of these bad boys.

Thank you Joey, we knew you wouldn’t let the Reds fail on Pete’s night.

Jayson Stark casts his ballots. “NL MVP- You don’t have to burn out many brain cells to make a case for Joey Votto. He rolled into September in position to become just the ninth winner in the past half-century of the modern Triple Crown (batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage). But he also leads the league in RBIs. He’s tied for third in homers. He’s No. 1 in most of the major sabermetric categories (OPS+, offensive win percentage, win probability added, etc.) And his team is stampeding away with the National League Central. [ESPN]

Dispatch Report: A Saturday Night Sell-out in Cincinnati

I think this was the second pitch of the game. Bronson Arroyo was the hard luck loser on a night in which the Reds couldn’t scratch across enough against Randy Wells (he seems to do well against Cincinnati) and the Cubs. Arroyo gave up a solo home run to Xavier Nady and a two-run home run to Kosuke Fukudome. The Reds are now 2-8 when I’m in attendance at the park this season.
The second night in a row in which Jay Bruce hit lead off. Bruce also made an incredible catch in the top of the second inning to take away a home run.

This was the night after Jay Bruce’s 3-home run game. There is the moondeck in which Bruce’s three homers landed. Just thought I’d get a shot of this, and although I missed the once in a lifetime event by a night, I was there just hours after the smoke cleared from the three bombs.

And while it was hard to follow up a three home run night, Bruce walked, singled on a line drive to right field, and struck out twice while working a full count in each strike out. Really, it was four good at-bats out of the leadoff spot.
Here’s Joey Votto crossing the plate on his 32nd home run of the season. Votto is still leading the world in hitting at .327, but this was his only hit of the night. A lazer home run to right center field that tied the game at 1-1 (after Xavier Nady’s solo home run in the 2nd inning). You just hope that opposing teams don’t start pitching around Joey Votto too much in the pennant race, which they most assuredly will at times.
A view over the river into Kentucky that most of the stadium can’t see. Despite being pretty muggy preceding several chilly nights that felt like fall, it was a beautiful night. And in my dreams I’d get to spend a summer living in one of those homes in the picture. You often wonder about the people who own those homes. Do they go to the ballpark several times a week? If they don’t, they should. That would be the life. A house on the water just a stone’s throw from Newport, and right across the river from the greatest baseball hotspot on earth.

In my next life, I’d like to own one of those homes.

Read the Votto Sports Illustrated Article Last Night

It was a big ask. As player requests go, this one unquestionably pushed the limits. But in mid-June, Reds first baseman Joey Votto approached his bosses, asking to miss a team flight so he could attend Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Votto has been a die-hard Lakers fan for most of his 26 years, and a friend had scored tickets. The seats weren’t great—”Tickets in the lower bowl were going for, like, 10 grand!” Votto says—but they were good enough. In a sort of postmodern version of Cannonball Run, Votto had mapped out a cross-country itinerary whereby he could get from Cincinnati to Los Angeles and then meet his team in Seattle without missing an at bat.

The Reds’ executives, including manager Dusty Baker, considered the request and then consented. Yes, it was a reward of sorts for Votto’s typically excellent performance this season. But they were also thrilled to see him doing something impulsive and fun.

So it was that on June 17 Votto closed out a home stand by going 2 for 4 with a home run in an afternoon win over the Dodgers. No sooner had he delivered a few postgame fist bumps to teammates in the infield, than he tore out of Great American Ball Park, bound for the Cincinnati airport. Taking advantage of the time difference, Votto landed at LAX as the NBA game started and jumped into a cab. With the locals glued to their televisions, traffic was uncommonly light. Votto arrived at Staples Center at the start of the second quarter and watched his team beat the Celtics and win the title. He then slept a few hours, woke up early and returned to the airport to catch an 8 a.m. flight to Seattle. In a blow to coaches everywhere who preach the virtues of a good night’s rest, Votto went 2 for 4 that night against the Mariners. “It was just one of those experiences I’ll always remember,” he says.

Maybe the oddest part of the story: Votto says that between the time he left Cincinnati and the time he landed in Seattle, he went totally unrecognized. Or at least unaccosted. No “Hey, Joey, what’s up?” No autographs. No iPhone paparazzi. As he sat—stood, mostly—in the Staples Center stands, he was just a nice-looking, thickly built guy in his 20s, cheering for the purple and gold. “Trust me,” he says, “it’s fine with me that way.”

Votto’s bat is threatening to sabotage that preference for privacy. In his third full season he is quietly establishing himself as a Pujolsian figure, a National League MVP candidate who through Sunday was leading the league in hitting (.323), on-base percentage (.422) and slugging (.592) and, with 29 home runs and 86 RBIs, was among the top three in each of the Triple Crown categories. Votto is a disciplined hitter, complementing brute power with patience at the plate. And he’s a major reason that the Reds, who had a 3½-game lead in the NL Central at week’s end, are about to snap a string of nine straight losing seasons and are challenging for a postseason spot. Votto would rather the focus be on the resurgence of the proud franchise he plays for, but his MVP-caliber performance also makes for a heartening comeback story. Last season he missed nearly a month while struggling with depression after the sudden death of his father, Joseph. To judge by his hitting—and, perhaps, that seat-of-the-pants plan to see the Lakers—Votto has put those emotional issues behind him.

“I’d be lying if I said I thought he’d be what he is now,” says Nationals slugger Adam Dunn, who played with Votto in Cincinnati in 2008. “But the dude works so hard, he’s so smart and professional, it’s almost like, why wouldn’t he be this good? [Sports Illustrated]

Survival of the Fittest

[Box Score]
[] [The Real McCoy]
Today was the day when a legend grew, and when a hero shined the brightest in the moment of truth. Today was the day when the Most Valuable Player stood up. Today was the day when the pendulum swung; and when things went the opposite of how they have for so many years. Today was the day that lightning struck twice. And then didn’t (if you remember the game in Atlanta several months ago).

Today, Joey Votto cemented himself as the best Reds player of my lifetime. The 2010 Joey Votto is the most dominating version of an offensive player that a team that I’ve pulled for has ever had within its members.

Votto got four hits today. Two backside home runs to left field in a ballpark that doesn’t allow home runs to that part of the ball park. As I was driving home from work Marty Brenneman remarked that in all his years of broadcasting; George Foster had the best power to the opposite field for a right-handed hitter that he’d ever seen. He said today that Joey Votto had the best power the other way for a left handed hitter. We’re seeing something very special take place right in front of our eyes. I can hardly believe that Joey Votto is really a Cincinnati Red. Things like this typically don’t happen to us. After Votto saved us in Los Angeles on Sunday, he saved us in what could have been a monumental collapse that could allow a season to slide.

Not lost in all this is a little bit of fate and magic. In the top of the 9th after the Giants came and got what they wanted in the form of an 11-10 lead; Pablo Sandoval sailed a routine throw with one out over the head of the first baseman. This allowed Drew Stubbs to reach second base. Paul Janish (who I love more every single damn day) got one of the biggest hits all year off Giants closer Brian Wilson. A single to right field allowed the tying run to score.

I was still positive that the Reds would find a way to lose this game. But the hero rose again. On the day before he is immortalized on the cover of Sports Illustrated, he showed that there is no fucking curse.

Coco Cordero hung on in the final inning as the Giants battled until the final out. The Reds did it. They completed the West Coast road trip bloodied and battered, but they emerged 6-3 and with a lead of at least 2 and 1/2 games.

This team has driven me to the brink of insanity sometimes. They test my fandom to the sport at times. But there isn’t an ounce of quit in this bunch.

No matter how long the Cincinnati Reds of 2010 stay together, no matter how long the window stays open to compete; I predict that there will never be a group who fights like this and who refuses to give up like the guys who have put on the Reds uniform this season. Whether they collapse the final few months and break our hearts or go on to postseason play, I’ll never forget the way that this group of guys battled and scrapped until the final out was hung every night.

Joey Votto lands on Sports Illustrated Cover

The Reds season full of happenings and milestones will continue this Thursday when Reds superstar Joey Votto will appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The story will be written by Tom Verducci and will be titled ‘The Art of Crashing a Pennant Race’. It should be a great read and as you can see above, it’s a nasty looking cover that every Cincinnati Reds fan will need to own. In fact, we already have some of our scouts on the job of getting the issue signed for us by Mr. Votto.

Votto joins Ken Griffey Jr. (twice) and Eric Davis (1987ish) as two Reds who have graced the cover of SI in my our lifetime. Basically, this is how you know you’ve arrived.

Img thanks: Mo Egger

Votto shows off MVP credentials in Sunday win in Los Angeles

When those lovable 1999 Reds went out west at the end of July they had a really nice series in San Francisco followed by a really nice series in Los Angeles. That was when I knew they had something special (other then winning seven in a row on the road in late May to June 6th).

I think that the Reds proved that this is no ordinary group of Cincinnati Reds in this series, and on a much smaller scale; this game out in Los Angeles. This is the signature game in terms of Joey Votto winning the MVP award. He’s cementing himself as the leader in the clubhouse; and of course Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard among others have a chance to make some noise.

But the Reds are showing us this is no normal group. A normal Reds team on getaway day out in the California sun finds a way to lose this one. They don’t score insurance runs in the top of the 9th inning and then close it out 1-2-3. The normal Reds don’t do this. But these Reds do. Playoff teams do.

Bronson Arroyo pitched his ass off and found a way to win his 14th game of the season. I’ll tell you what, I’ve never been so glad to have Bunny Arroyo as a member of the Reds. Arroyo is going to end up with 18 or 19 wins this season and lead the staff. And they’re going to let him walk. That’s the only thing that seems sure to me. They have ‘too many arms’ and they’ll look at the $11 million price tag and just bid him goodbye.

Foolish move in my opinion. Arroyo is so solid and has blended perfectly here. I think that if anything you trade one of the young arms. I’d keep Bailey, Cueto, Wood, and either Leake or Volquez. Honestly I think Leake’s future is the farthest from a sure thing of any of them. But it’s very clear to me that not only Harang but Arroyo will not be back next year and I think that’s one ingredient of a winning team that we won’t have next season, a guy who anchors your staff. He’s the most consistent and closest thing to a stopper this team has and I’d hate it if he’s not back next year because that would be one thing that would keep us from re-creating the magic of 2010.

The Reds beat a young Clayton Kershaw when he had his dominating stuff. And the home run that Votto hit off him to the opposite field is going to be one of the bigger swings of the season. Of course, don’t forget his 10-pitch legendary at bat.

The Redlegs are 5-1 on this road trip with one city to go. They’ve taken some good punching and they’re still fighting as we enter some of the final rounds.

The at-bat that defines the season

I actually got texts about this at-bat. Tweets took place about this at-bat (I was at the grocery store). When I got home and saw this replay, man was it epic. Basically what it said to me is this is just a special year for the Reds. To go into Dodger Stadium late in the year and take 2 of 3 (which this at-bat basically sealed up for us) is something that only happens and is remembered during special seasons like your 1990s, your 1999s, and now your 2010’s.

Here is the at-bat: Joey Votto vs. Johnathan Broxton.

Reds ride Homer Bailey to a series sweep of Marlins

This was the Homer Bailey I know and love. This was the guy we saw down the stretch last year. Homer Bailey (aside from Miguel Cairo’s 2-run poke that gave us our only offense on the day) was the whole damn show.

He struck out five and walked no one. Aside from having guys foul off one too many pitches, he was really dominating. It was obvious that he was painting all day long. This is a guy that for right now you have to leave in the rotation. He looks like he’s putting it all together. If he can be anything close to how he was down the stretch last season; he could help catapult us in this pennant race.

I’m extremely happy for Homer Bailey, and he’s one of my favorite Reds. I believe we’re seeing a guy who is delivering on his promise and becoming a very established big league pitcher.

The Reds celebrating the sweep moments after Coco Cordero recorded the final out. This was also just a short while after the stadium PA announcer let the crowd know that the Cubs had a 7-1 lead on the Cardinals. The crowd roared. I just kind of thought to myself that no matter what happens, it’s exciting to be part of all this as a fan and I imagine the players are taking hold of what is happening around them. The town is starting to buy into the fact that we’re at the very least a good team this season.

The final scoreboard. The bullpen did an outstanding job, getting scoreless innings from Logan Ondrusek, Nick Masset, and of course the temperamental Cordero. Miguel Cairo’s line drive shot off a hanging breaking ball that landed in the left field seats was the only offense the Reds mustered on the day. And for this good team, it was enough.

Joey Votto got tossed today. I dropped an “F” bomb when it happened. I was really looking forward to seeing him hit today. I honestly think he would have dropped multiple bombs. The home plate umpire D.J.Rayburn is on our shit list, from now until forever.

Hey D.J., just something to think about here. There was almost thirty thousand people in that stadium today. How many of them do you think came to see Joey Votto hit? How many of them came to see you? Just a simple thought, dickbag.